Things to do in Des Moines in August


August Events




August brings the pinnacle of Iowa summer fun, the state fair! But, that’s not even close to the only thing going on. Fill up those last weeks of summer with events all over the metro. From concerts to storytimes, festivals to swimming, the fun just keeps on going.

Summer Guides for Endless Fun

Ultimate Guide to Summer
Summer Bucket List
Pool Guide 
Spraygrounds & Wading Pool Guide
Outdoor Ideas for Toddlers
Outdoor Movies
Outdoor Yoga Classes
Summer Road Races 
Outdoor Concert Guide

Things to do in Des Moines in August 2022

July 29 – August 6 | National Balloon Classic, Memorial Balloon Field, Indianola
This spectacular, 9-day event held every summer features 100+ hot air balloons. Enjoy live music on, buy a balloon ride or enjoy the mystical glow during Dawn Patrol and Nite Glow. Enjoy food vendors, beer/wine, fireworks, Special Shapes, and so much more! Tickets ($10 for guests 6 and older) must be purchased online. Check the website for details and the full schedule.

Aug 2 | National Night Out

The goal of this event, happening in neighborhoods across both Des Moines and the whole country, is to build safe communities by getting to know your neighbors. Find an event in your neighborhood and enjoy a night out right where you live. 

Aug 2 | Waukee Public Safety Day, 1300 SE La Grant Pkwy, Waukee
5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
See a fire truck, ride in the old fire truck, and spray a real fire hose. Sit in a police car and meet real police officers. Enjoy grilled food from Fareway and a fun night of public safety activities.

Aug 2 – 7 | My Fair Lady, Des Moines Civic Center
This classic play tells the story of Eliza Doolittle, a young Cockney flower seller, and Henry Higgins, a linguistics professor who is determined to transform her into his idea of a “proper lady”.

Aug 2, 9 | Storytime in the Parks, Urbandale Public Library
Explore a park and enjoy storytime with the Urbandale Public Library. This event is geared for younger kids, ages 2-8, but the whole family is welcome to join in on the fun. Check their website for the weekly location.

Aug 4 | 3rd Annual Smash Park Teacher Appreciation Day, West Des Moines
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
This back-to-school party celebrate teachers with $1 mules and wells, $1 tacos, $1 off beer, and special classroom prize giveaways every hour! Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader Trivia is from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the 21+ Paddle Club. Teacher ID is required for eligibility.

Aug 4-7 | Kid’s Closet Connection, 200 Army Post Rd Suite 8
Don’t miss this back to school consignment event. Shopping is free and there is a ton of great stuff!  

Aug 4-7 | Hinterland Music Festival, St. Charles, Iowa
Headliners, Billy Strings, Glass Animals, Nathaniel Rateliff, and Phoebe Bridgers. Check out other music fests and outdoor concerts.

Aug 4 | Summer Concert Series, Jasper Winery
6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Enjoy free live music at Jasper Winery. Bring a lawn chair, blankets, and snacks. Drinks and food will also be available for purchase at the event. Check their website before the event for the most up-to-date social distancing guidelines.

Aug 5, 12, 19 | Sips and Songs, The District at Prairie Trail
Kick off the weekend with music, drinks, and family fun in Ankeny. The concert and parking are free. Be sure to pack chairs or a blanket to sit on.

Aug 5, 12, 19, 26 | Pizza on the Prairie, Wallace Center
Come to the prairie on Friday nights for handmade-from-scratch brick oven pizza packed with straight-from-the-farm veggies and local meats! Live music plays from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Walk the prairie path and enjoy the outdoor art along the way. Seating is limited, so bring your own lawn chairs and blankets. Reservations required.

Aug 6 | Bike Back to School, Stone Park
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Bike Back to School is presented by the Des Moines Street Collective, Des Moines Police Department, and Des Moines Parks and Recreation. Bikes will be given away to the first 100 eligible children based on free and reduced meal qualifications.

Aug 6 | Grain Harvest, Living History Farms
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Watch as the historic farmers bring in the year’s grain harvest, using hand power, horsepower, and steam. Hear the smash of the flail and the roar of the steam-powered thresher. Demonstrations will be weather-dependent.

Aug 7 | Mermaid Princess Party, Clive Aquatic Center
6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Meet Ariel and other mermaid princesses while you splash around. Crafts and treats will also be available at the event. Come in your favorite royal attire over your swimsuit for a photo opp. Parents are encouraged to be in the water with their swimmers for aquatic safety. Cost is $25 per child/parent.

Aug 7 | Clowns at the Carousel, Union Park
4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Have fun and learn about bike safety at this free event near the Heritage Carousel at Union Park. There will be clowns and entertainment along with educational information about bike safety for kids.

Aug 7 | Never Alone Widows Summer Social, Valley Community Center
3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. 
Come for conversation, refreshments, and connection for widows of all ages and seasons. Free childcare will be available on-site.

Aug 7, 14, 21, 28 | Yoga in the Commons, Cowles Commons
9 a.m.
Shake up your yoga practice with a yoga session in Cowles Commons. Each week’s practice is led by a different instructor. Classes are offered as a free-will donation, with all proceeds benefitting Des Moines Performing Arts. Click here for more outdoor yoga classes.

Aug 9 | Splash with a Princess, Prairie Ridge Aquatic Center
6:15 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.
Your little one will love a chance to splash and play with a princess. Sign up to attend a pool party with  Snow White, Snow Queen, Ice Princess, the Little Mermaid, and more! Cost is $24 – $29.

Aug 10 | Story Tellebration, Jester Park Nature Center
12 p.m.
Join volunteer storyteller, Carmen Epstein, for a fun, interactive tale tailored toward children ages 2 to 6 that explores the wonders of the outdoors. During each program, participants enjoy interactive stories and an activity.

Aug 11-21 | Iowa State Fair
7 a.m. to 1 a.m.
Join more than one million fellow fair-goers at the award-winning Iowa State Fair, right here in Des Moines! Check the website for a full listing of events, concerts, and attractions.

Aug 12 | Family Pool Day, Des Moines
Grab the family and jump into the pool! Enjoy $5 admission at all City of Des Moines aquatic facilities.

Aug 13 | Adel Sweet Corn Festival, Adel courthouse square
Run the 5K, see the parade, enjoy the entertainment, and of course eat corn at this annual festival. See our guide to all summer festivals for more local celebrations.

Aug 14 | Vegan Summer Market, Cowles Commons
Noon – 3 p.m.
The Vegan Summer Market is hosted by VegLife Des Moines, a 501(c)3 non-profit whose mission is to connect and grow our community around veganism and anti-oppression.

Aug 20 | Carfest / Truckfest /Bikefest Dedicated To Epilepsy Awareness, Ankeny Market & Pavilion
4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Get out to this 8th annual event with portions of the $5 entry fee donated to The Cute Syndrome Foundation.

Aug 20 | Des Moines Princesses at the Zoo, Blank Park Zoo
Kids can don their favorite costume to join the Princesses at the Zoo. Adults and Children will require a ticket to attend the Princess Party. Babies 12 months and under free. Tickets are $20 – $35.

Aug 27 | Ingersoll Live, Ingersoll Avenue, Des Moines, IA 
Ingersoll Live is a family-friendly “block party” along Ingersoll Avenue featuring live music, art, food and entertainment. This annual event gives local organizations, businesses, and neighbors an opportunity to connect and celebrate.

Send us an email if we missed anything, 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 or check websites to confirm dates, times, location, and other information before heading to an event or activity, since it may change.


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