Things to do in Des Moines in April 2023


Join the city of Johnston for the tenth annual Kites on the Green festival at Johnston Commons, 6700 Merle Hay Road. The event is Saturday, May 6, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visitors can enjoy giant show kite displays, kite fighting, free kite building at the Veridian Credit Union Hub, bol racing, live music, an inflatable obstacle course, climbing wall from the Iowa National Guard, learn about stormwater best management practices, and much more. Food trucks will be available for you to enjoy the event and watch the colorful kites fill the Johnston sky.


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Ongoing Events in Des Moines

Wednesdays | Arts & Snacks, Johnston Public Library
3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Plan an after-school art session at the library. Kids in grades K-5 can drop in for a variety of art activities on Wednesday afternoons. All supplies will be provided as well as light snacks and beverages.

Tuesday & Thursdays | Toddler Time, Get Air
10 a.m.
Little jumpers get special access to the trampolines on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Admission is $8.99 (free for a parent). It’s a great way to burn some winter energy!

Thursdays | Caterpillar Club, Reiman Gardens in Ames
Get outside and have some fun with a weekly storytime at Reiman Gardens. This program is designed for kids ages 2-5 with an adult. Program is included with general admission to Reiman Gardens.

Thursdays | Tot Town, Valley Community Center
9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Bring the little ones out to play for a morning at the Valley Community Center. This event is free!

Thursdays | Thursday Night Fun, Clive Public Library

6:15 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Families with children of various ages will delight in making memories during the Thursday night programs. These programs are free, and pre-registration is necessary. Please register each child who will be attending the programs where registration is required. Go online, call, or stop in the library to register.

2nd Monday of the Month | Storytime with Ruby the Reading Red Panda, Blank Park Zoo
11 a.m.
Once a month, join in for Ruby’s Story Time at the Zoo! Each month they will read a story and you’ll meet a special live ambassador animal from the Zoo’s education department.

1st Friday of the Month | First Fridays in the East Village
5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The shops, businesses, restaurants, and bars will showcase products and fun events. Parking is free! 

Things to Do in Des Moines in April 2023

March 30-April 16 | Disney’s The Lion King, Des Moines Civic Center 
You don’t want to miss this spectacular Tony-award-winning Broadway show. From the music to the costumes, it’s truly a breathtaking production. 

April 1 | Build a Bunny Planter Workshop, metro Lowe’s
10 a.m.
Celebrate spring when you bring your little builder to create a Bunny Planter. It’s a great way for kids to grow new skills and take home a fun garden project!

April 1 | Iowa Cubs Baseball Opening Weekend, Principal Park
3 p.m.
Take your favorite baseball fans out to see the Iowa Cubs during opening weekend.

April 1 – May 30 | Wild Lights Festival, Blank Park Zoo
7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Enjoy a visually stunning festival of larger-than-life illuminated animal-shaped Asian lanterns. Immerse your family in light and culture in a festival. Advanced tickets: $25 per person; $20 for zoo members. At the door: $30 per person; $25 for zoo members. $72 for a four-pack of tickets.

April 3 | Fun Size Kitchen, Altoona Public Library
12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Preschoolers and their caregivers will prepare a snack based on a story. They’ll also learn important kitchen skills like following directions, stirring, mashing, scooping, pouring, and cutting (with supervision).

April 4 | Family Dance Party, Central Library
6 p.m.
Bring the whole family to read a book and dance your hearts out! Come dressed in your pajamas if you’d like, and get the wiggles out before bedtime.

April 6 | Family Storytime: Pokémon Egg Decorating, Forest Avenue Library
6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Decorate wooden Pokémon eggs to keep and go on a hunt for your very own 3-d printed Pokémon figure, hidden in the library. Best for ages 6+. As supplies last.

April 8 | Family Easter, Living History Farms
9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Celebrate Easter with ongoing egg hunts (divided by age), games, baby farm animals, and more. Living History Farms’ Family Easter is full of traditional holiday activities with a small-town twist. Cost is $9 per person/$8 for members.

April 8 | Hop Into Uptown, Uptown, Ankeny
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Mark your calendar, the Easter Bunny will be hopping into Uptown Ankeny.

More Easter activities:

Easter Egg Hunts
How-to Dye Easter Eggs
Non-Candy Easter Basket Ideas

April 14 | Game Night, The Shop DSM
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Play it forward for DMARC at this free family event! A silent auction will raise funds, they will also be collecting personal care donations on behalf of DMARC. There will also be food trucks and family-friendly games. 

April 15 | Kite Building Workshop, Johnston Public Library
2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Get ready for the 10th Annual Kites on the Green Festival on Saturday, May 6 by attending a free Kite Making Workshop at Johnston Public Library. Attendees will receive a free kite-making kit, personal instruction, and a chance to test out their new kite.

April 15 | Love You Des Moines FAMILY Day, Valley Community Center

1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Bring the whole family for an afternoon of fun and games! There will be multiple activities taking place for all ages to participate in. This is a free event and registration is not required.

April 15-16 | Monster Jam, Iowa Event Center
Lovers of big trucks will have an incredible time at Monster Jam. It’s an action-packed motorsports experience for families. Monster Jam features world-class athletes locked in intense competitions of speed and skill. 

April 16 | After-School Club: Minecraft Bingo, North Side Library
4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Tweens and teens ages 10-18 can compete for prizes while playing Minecraft Bingo!

April 17 | Every Woman Counts, Iowa Events Center
11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Every Woman Counts, pre­sent­ed by Mer­cy­One Des Moines is an annual event that includes an uplift­ing and moti­va­tion­al 90-min­utes program that sup­ports our mis­sion to save babies and improve birth out­comes.

April 20 – 22 | Frozen the Musical, Johnston High School
Johnston High School is the only school in Iowa, and one of 52 high schools across the nation, selected to perform FROZEN: The Broadway Musical. The sensory-friendly show on Saturday at 2 PM will have relaxed house rules and low house lighting, as well as a lower volume of music and less dramatic visual and sound effects to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to experience live theatre.

April 21 | Family Fun Night, Jester Park Nature Center
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Gather your friends and family together for a night of fun at Jester Park’s Outdoor Recreation and Wellness Center. Opportunities will be available for bouldering (age 4+) and archery (age 10+). A variety of games will be available and you are free to bring some of your own family-appropriate games as well. Light snacks will be provided. Register online.

April 21-May 7 | How I Became a Pirate, The Des Moines Playhouse
Sail off on a fantastic excursion when a band of comical pirates land at North Beach looking for an expert digger to join their crew. Braid Beard and his mates enlist young Jeremy Jacob as they look for the perfect spot to bury their treasure. 

April 22 | Earth Day Celebration, Waukee Public Library
10 a.m.
Join their Earth Day celebration with a special story or presentation and activities with staff from Ankeny Sanitation. After the presentation, venture outside and see a trash or recycling truck up close! This event is open to all ages. Registration is requested.

April 22 | Free Admission for Earth Day, Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden
Visit Des Moines’ favorite indoor garden for free in celebration of Earth Day. 

April 22 | Earth Day, Extraordinary Egg Hunt, Water Works Park
8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Search for glass eggs hidden throughout Water Works Park, limit one per person. Grab a trash bag and pick up garbage while you hunt! Enter to win a giant egg or a free glass-blowing class. 

April 25 | Grand Blue Mile, Downtown Des Moines
The Grand Blue Mile is the Midwest’s premier community street run for all ages and abilities. Held annually since 2010, the Grand Blue Mile has hosted more than 35,000 participants, including Olympic medalists, American record holders, and many of the world’s finest track and field athletes. Bring your family and be a part of the magic.

April 26-29 | Drake Relays, Drake University
Witness the best of the best at the Drake Relays. Go for one session or the whole weekend. Tickets start at $15

April 29 | Air Play, Civic Center
In Air Play umbrellas fly, fabrics soar over the audience, balloons swallow people, and snow swirls, filling the stage. With stunning images and gales of laughter, Air Play bounces on the edge of definition: part comedy, part sculpture, part circus, part theater.  

May 6 | Kites on the Green, Johnston Commons
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Head to the Johnston Commons for the tenth annual Kites on the Green event on Saturday, May 6. You’ll enjoy giant show kite displays, kite fighting, free kite building, bol racing, live music, an inflatable obstacle course, and more.

Send us an email if we missed any fun things to do in Des Moines, and we’ll add your event to the list.

We work hard to ensure the accuracy of this information. However, you should always call ahead to confirm dates, times, location, and other information before heading to an event or activity, since it may change.


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