Things to do in Des Moines in July 2021

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This article is sponsored by The Iowa Cubs.

We are thrilled to partner with the Iowa Cubs as our July event guide sponsor!

Your family’s trip to an Iowa Cubs game just got even better! Come on out to Principal Park each Sunday home game and take advantage of their Family Fun Pack ticket special. This ticket package includes 4 tickets, 4 hot dogs and 4 drinks for $60 (additional tickets can be purchased for just $15 each)! Join the Iowa Cubs each Sunday afternoon they are in town and make it an experience the family will never forget! For more details and to purchase this package visit https://www.milb.com/iowa/tickets#family-fun-pack

Summer Guides for Endless Fun

Fire up the grill! We’re ready for backyard BBQs, fireworks, and family events. This month there are endless options for outdoor storytimes, festivals, and more.

Des Moines FireworksWhere to see Fireworks
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 July 2021

July 1 | Toddler Tales, Jester Park Nature Center
10 a.m.
Let their imaginations run wild with this nature-themed storytime! Hear a story followed by the naturalist’s choice of an activity such as an animal encounter, puppets, or a craft. This event is free, but registration is required.

July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 | 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. Click here to see more outdoor concerts.

July 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 | Sips and Songs, The District at Prairie Trail
Kick-off the weekend with music, drinks, and family fun in Ankeny. The concert and parking is free. NOTE: There are no food vendors this year. You can pick a local restaurant to support and bring a take-out meal with you as you hang out with friends. Be sure to pack chairs or a blanket to sit on.

July 3 | Independence Day & Baseball, Living History Farms
Enjoy an old-fashioned fourth with an iconic, historic Independence Day celebration in the 1876 town of Walnut Hill. 1876 marks the first centennial of the United States. Be sure to arrive early to tour the historic farms, enjoy the town activities, and make time to catch the Walnut Hill Bluestockings baseball game at 3 p.m.

July 4, 11, 18, 25 | 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 will be led by a different instructor. Classes are offered as a free-will donation, with all proceeds benefiting Des Moines Performing Arts. Click here for more outdoor yoga classes.

July 5, 12, 19, 26 | Maker Monday, Johnston Public Library
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Stop in each Monday to pick up a free activity for kids in third through fifth grades. Each week’s kit will include all the things you need to complete the craft. No registration required. First come, first serve. Check their site to see what the featured craft is each week.

July 6, 13, 20, 27 | Storytime in the Parks, Urbandale Public Library
Explore a new park each week 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.

July 9 | Farm School, Rose Farm near Norwalk
9 a.m., 10 a.m., or 11 a.m.
Catch one of the 30-minute farm school sessions for a story and a hands-on learning activity. This event is geared for children ages 4-10. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and be ready to share what is your favorite farm-grown foods.

July 10 | Celebrate Ankeny, Prairie Ridge Area
5 p.m. to 10 p.m. (With fireworks at 9:30 p.m.)
Enjoy live music, games, food vendors, and fireworks with a one-night celebration in Ankeny. There is a $5 admission fee to the entertainment garden, but it’s free to participate in the coloring contest and to watch the fireworks display. Pack chairs, sunscreen, and bug spray! Click here to see more fireworks. 

July 11 | Family Yoga, Ashby Park in Beaverdale
9 a.m.
Here’s a family event that is fun and healthy for the whole family. Work on balance, flexibility, and mindfulness together. Bring a water bottle, yoga mat, and an extra blanket or towel. Click here for more outdoor yoga classes. 

July 12 | Storytime with Ruby the Reading Red Panda, Blank Park Zoo
11 a.m.
Listen in for a story and meet a special live ambassador animal from the Zoo. Storytime is free with membership or regular daily admission.

July 12 | Art on the Green, Colby Park
3 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.
Join the staff from Des Moines Public Library and make sandpaper art. This free creative program gives kids the chance to explore various materials to bring their artwork to life. Be sure to have them wear clothing they can get messy in. You may want a towel or blanket to sit on.

July 14 | Nature Story Hour, Jester Park Nature Center
12 p.m.
Pack a picnic lunch, grab a blanket, and bring our family for an hour of nature stories and activities with a naturalist from Polk County Conservation. Enjoy the fresh air, sunshine, munch your lunch, listen to a story or two, and discover new parks with your children. The event is free.   

July 15 | Pop-up Fun: Outdoor Obstacle Course, South Side Library Lawn
1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
This is a great event for elementary-age kids. They can challenge themselves with an outdoor obstacle course on the library lawn. 

July 16-17 | Waukee Arts Festival, Centennial Park in Waukee
6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday
Enjoy a Friday night concert by Bonne Finken and Saturday night by DECOY, art from more than 100 regional artists, and food vendors.

July 16-17 | Family Concert Featuring Terrance Simien & Princess and the Frog movie, Jamie Hurd Amphitheater (July 16) and Prairie Meadows Riverview at Park Riviera Amphitheater (July 17).
7 p.m.
Bring the family out for a free concert followed by a showing of the Princess and the Frog movie at dusk. The event is free. Bring a blanket and chairs.

July 17-18 | Great Iowa Pet Fest, Horizon Events Center
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Pet parents you can show off your fur baby and find the best supplies for your four-legged friend at the Great Iowa Pet Fest. There are also opportunities to meet adoptables. Cost is $10 for adults ($8 for seniors, $6 for military), $6 for children 6-12, and kids 5 and under are free. Your pet is also free!

Weekend Pass: $15 (New!)

July 18-23 | Library Learning Bags: Outdoor Fun Edition, Any Des Moines Public Library
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Stop by any of the six Des Moines Public Libraries to pick up a learning bag with outdoor-themed activities as well as a copy of Sesame Street’s picture book, Comfy-Cozy Nest. Library learning bags are intended for ages 5-12 and will be available until supplies run out. 

July 30 – August 7 | National Balloon Classic, Memorial Balloon Field, Indianola
The beloved National Balloon Classic is back, but there are some changes to the event this year.
The biggest change is about admission: Tickets ($10 for guests 6 and older) must be purchased online and printed on paper. Tickets cannot be scanned from a mobile device, and cash will not be accepted at the gate. The parade, kids land, and Dawn Patrol are all canceled for 2021. Check the website for details and full schedule.


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, as COVID guidelines are always changing, 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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Content Coordinator Megan doesn’t really fall into any one mom category. With three kids from ages 5 to 12, she’s been a working mom and a stay-at-home mom. She’s breastfed and bottle-fed. She’s kept kids on strict sleeping schedules in their own beds and also embraced the benefits of co-sleeping. She’s a big believer in finding what works for you and your kiddo (and it’s often different for each kid). Megan is an Iowa native and lives in Ankeny with her husband Darren. They love to travel and are often planning their next road trip (even it’s a year away). They also enjoy entertaining and are famous among their friends for throwing big bashes to celebrate the Olympic Games. But her everyday life is mostly comprised of playdates, trips to the park, and trying to stay ahead of the never-ending laundry pile.    

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