My Top Summer Activities for Families, Kids, and Date Night


FAVORITE ACTIVITIES in DES MOINESI love the month of May! Mother’s Day, sunshine, warm breezes, and the coming end of the school all year have me excited for summertime family events. And May is the time for planning all those upcoming fun things to do!

I got to thinking about all of the things I love about Des Moines in the summer and thought I would share some great family and date night possibilities to get your imagination flowing.

So here you are — my top picks for summertime fun around the Des Moines area:

American Legion Park

The American Legion Park Spray Ground in West Des Moines is open daily from Memorial Day to Labor Day, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., weather permitting. Grab your kiddos and head out for a fun day!

Heritage Carousel in Union Park

Heritage CarouselHeritage Carousel is a turn-of-the-century replica carousel. It is hand-carved, hand-painted, and turns to an old-fashioned band organ. It has 30 animals, two chariots, and is wheelchair accessible.

It is located in Union Park (off of Pennsylvania Avenue), one of the largest parks in Des Moines. Union Park also offers the popular Rocket Slide, a free splash pool, play equipment, and large open play spaces.

See map, hours, and admission rates here.

Nitefall on the River

nitefall on riverOne of our favorite date nights! Since 1996, Nitefall on the River has been rocking the river with well-crafted beats, dynamic views of the city, and ice-cold beverages.

Nitefall is a summertime tradition for my husband, my friends, and me. We’ve been to a dozen or more Nitefall shows, and here’s some inside information that I’ve found helpful over the years: I highly recommend grabbing your tickets at Wooly’s (504 E. Locust St.) to avoid service fees! Wooly’s sells the Nitefall tickets MondayFriday from 12:00 – 5:00 p.m. (Note it’s cash only, so stop by the ATM first!)

If you can’t make it to Wooly’s, you can always purchase your tickets online at or via Facebook.

Check out the great lineup for this year here.

Young Lives 5K Run/Walk – June 27, 2015

Young Lives fun run logo I’m honored to be a part of the “Supermoms & Little Super Heroes” Fun Run/Walk again this year. Walkers, runners, strollers, and wagons welcome! Bring your entire family out to this uplifting event for fitness, fellowship, snacks, and a silent auction! This year’s theme is SUPERMOMS/Little Super heroes, so bring your family dressed up in their favorite super hero costumes to support all SUPERMOMS in your life! Ariel from Little Princess Parties and a Super Hero will be at the race for the kids, as well as a Kids Dash at 9:45 a.m. that day.

YoungLives is a 100-percent community funded ministry. Proceeds from this great family event will help send local teen mothers and their babies to a weeklong YoungLife camp at TimberWolf Lodge near Lake Michigan this summer. Teen moms and babies will get an opportunity to relax, meet other teen moms from around the country, and most importantly, receive an opportunity to experience the love of Jesus.

Registration is available at DMMB Followers can get $5 off their registration with code YLS5OFF. 

And check out the Event Page on Facebook and be sure to get your family involved in this awesome event!

Yankee Doodle Pops at the Des Moines Capitol – July 2, 2015

Des Moines Symphony’s 21st annual Yankee Doodle Pops, Iowa’s largest single-day concert event! This year’s theme is “Our Greatest Generation — Honoring America’s Heroes.” This family-friendly and patriotic concert concludes with the area’s premier fireworks display over the downtown Des Moines skyline, and best of all, it’s FREE! Bring your blankets, lawn chairs, and picnic baskets, or purchase food from an array of vendors.

This year’s event will be held on Thursday, July 2, 2015, at 8:30 p.m. on the West Lawn of the Capitol.

The Adel Sweet Corn Festival – Friday and Saturday, August 7-8, 2015

adel sweet corn festivalThe Adel Sweet Corn Festival falls on my husband’s birthday weekend, and it is one of our family’s favorite ways to celebrate!

They have a golf outing Friday, then the Sweet Corn Festival 5K run to kick off the morning Saturday, but be sure to stick around for one of Iowa’s largest parades. The action happens downtown to the square — free delicious Deardorf Sweet Corn. The festival is complete with fantastic food vendors and live entertainment for the entire family.

Get Out and Enjoy This Great City

So, whether you’re just looking for something inexpensive to do with your kids to make it a lazy summer afternoon of memory making, or you’re more interested in a great date night, Des Moines and the surrounding communities host some truly wonderful events and great off-the-beaten-path attractions. If you have some other ideas to share, comment on this post! I hope I got you excited to plan for a great summer!

About Ingrid Williams

Ingrid 2014 Headshot NEW 11 14Ingrid Williams is a top performing real estate agent for Re/Max® Precision. She can handle all your home selling or buying needs as one of the most highly respected real estate agents in Des Moines, Iowa.

Reach her at [email protected] or 515-371-5277. And check out her website here.

To receive amazing local coupons and/or real estate advice, contact her at [email protected] and she’ll add you to her monthly email list.

And for help in determining if this is the right time for you to sell your home, give her a call at 515.371.5277 and she’ll be glad to come out and do a free market analysis on your home.

This post is sponsored by Ingrid Williams Real Estate. DMMB is honored to share an ongoing partnership with Ingrid! 


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