Things to do in Des Moines in March

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This article is sponsored by the DSM Book Festival.

father sitting reading book to daughter. Des Moines MomAs the calendar turns to spring, we have a lot to look forward to in the metro area. Live performances, such as Charlotte’s Web at the Des Moines Playhouse and Daniel Tiger in Stephens Auditorium, are a great way to spark a love of the theater in your children. Playdates and storytimes at local libraries and community centers offer inexpensive activities for families, and we are especially excited to return to one of our favorite events, the DSM Book Festival.

DSM Book Festival

The DSM Book Festival connects people who love books with people who create them. The Festival features nationally acclaimed authors, hands-on workshops, children’s activities, and more. You can also support your favorite local merchants and businesses and literary programs that will be in attendance on-site and near the venue in Downtown Des Moines (DSM)!

The story will begin at Capital Square, 400 Locust Street, Des Moines on Saturday, March 26 from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.

des moines book festival books

Things to do in Des Moines in March 2022

March 1, 3, 8, 10, 15, 17, 22, 24 | 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!

March 2, 9, 16, 23 | 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.

March 3, 10, 17, 24 | 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.

March 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 | 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!

March 3 | Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Stephens Auditorium in Ames
Daniel Tiger and his friends from the beloved series from Fred Rogers Productions are hopping aboard Trolley once again to bring the fan-favorite stage show to Ames. Tickets start at $30.

March 4, 11, 18, 25 | Drop-in Playdates & Perks, Ankeny Kirkendall Public Library
9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Make new friends for you and the kids? Drop into the library to enjoy some coffee, the company of other adults, and playtime for your kiddos! 

March 4-20 | Charlotte’s Web, Des Moines Playhouse
See one of your favorite books come to life on stage with a live performance of Charlotte’s Web. Tickets are $14-19.

March 10 | Spinosaurus: Lost Giant of the Cretaceous, Civic Center
Bring your big kids who are interested in dinosaurs to meet Spinosaurus, the largest predatory dinosaur yet discovered—larger than T. rex—and hear the incredible story of how this prehistoric giant was almost lost to science, before being uncovered again with the help of paleontologist Nizar Ibrahim. Tickets start at $10.

March 11-13 | Jurassic Quest, Iowa Events Center
Calling dino lovers of all ages!! Jurassic Quest is the world’s largest, most popular dino event with unique and exciting experiences for the whole family. Observe our herd of life-size animatronic dinosaurs including Apatosaurus, Spinosaurus, T-Rex, and an incredible 50-foot long Megalodon. Choose an entry time to help eliminate crowds as you explore the area on a self-guided tour. Tickets start at $19.

March 14 | Storytime with Ruby the Reading Red Panda, Blank Park Zoo
11 a.m.
Join Ruby’s storytime in person at the Zoo. Listen to a story and meet a special live ambassador animal from the Zoo’s education department. The event is free for members or with paid Zoo admission. You can also join in virtually at 11:45 a.m. with EveryStep for a special bilingual storytime. They’ll read a story in a different language and then read it again in English. Check the link to view the log-in instructions.

March 14-18 | Spring Break Skills, Jester Park Nature Center
Spend part of spring break (for kids ages 10+) learning a new outdoor recreational skill. Polk County naturalists will instruct kids in archery, bouldering, geocaching and more before giving participants the opportunity to get some hands-on practice. You can sign up for the whole week, or just one class. Each class costs $10. All classes are introductory level.

>> Related Read: 12 Spring Break Activities in Des Moines <<

March 15 | Disney Princess – The Concert, Civic Center
If your family loves Disney Princesses and their music, this is a concert you won’t want to miss. Celebrate the soundtrack from our favorite movies on the live stage. Tickets start at $42.50

March 17-19 | Hoops and Hops, Cowles Commons
Plan an afternoon or evening out with your partner or a group of basketball friends to enjoy the NCAA tournament. The event is free to watch games on large screen TVs (in heated tents), and there will be food trucks and a beer tent available to purchase food and drinks.

March 18 | Spring Break Story Sprouts, Greater Des Moines Botanical Gardens
10:30 a.m.
Join us for this fun, interactive storytime for children ages 2 to 5 that explores nature and plants. This week’s theme will be about bugs. Cost is free for members. Cost is $3/youth and Adults & Seniors pay general admission.

March 26 | Doodle Pop, Temple Theater
With live sound effects, stunning animation, and an abundance of theatrical imagination, this is a touching and exciting screen show for all ages. In this show, a silly duo experiences their first sea adventure with a tiny little turtle! Cost is $12.

March 25-27 | Just Between Friends Sale, Iowa State Fairgrounds
Friday: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. (half-price sale day)
Stock up on shorts and t-shirts for the summer at a deep discount at this huge sale. For new moms, this is also a great place to stock up on baby gear, toys, and books.

March 25 | Kids Night Out, Blank Park Zoo
5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Parents, enjoy a kid-free evening while the kids enjoy the zoo! Let us be your sitter for the night and send the kids to Blank Park Zoo for an animal-tastic evening. Kids will experience the exhibits after hours, an ambassador animal program, crafts, stories, games, and more. Pizza dinner is included.

March 26 | DSM Book Festival, Capital Square
9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The DSM Book Festival connects people who love books with people who create them. The Festival features nationally acclaimed authors, hands-on workshops, children’s activities, and more. You can also support your favorite local merchants and business and literary programs that will be in attendance on-site and near the venue in Downtown Des Moines (DSM)!


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 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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