The "S" in Des Moines may be silent, but our city's local events have lots to say for themselves. As one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the Midwest, Des Moines draws in people from near and far to experience its slew of special events. No matter how long you've lived here, or how new you are to the area, there are endless Des Moines destinations just waiting to be discovered.
Keep scrolling to dive into Des Moines' event calendar, and in the meantime, you can check out some of the area's most sought-after neighborhoods.
DSM Book Festival
Sat, March 25, 2023
9:00 AM – 6:30 PM
The DSM Book Festival is the perfect event for book lovers of all ages! It's an unforgettable experience that brings together people who appreciate books and those who create them. So come out and enjoy the literary celebration at the DSM Book Festival - it's sure to be a wonderful time!
Capital Square, 400 Locust Street, in Downtown Des Moines (DSM)
Disney Presents The Lion King: Willis Broadway Series
March 30th - April 16th
Recurring everyday except for Monday
With its amazing visuals and some of Broadway's best music, THE LION KING continues to be one of the most acclaimed and beloved productions ever seen on stage. Don't wait any longer – get your tickets today and be part of an awe-inspiring performance that has inspired audiences across the globe!
Des Moines Civic Center
Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival
Friday May 12, 4:00-10:30pm
Saturday May 13, 12:00-10:00pm
It's no secret that the Bacon and Beer Festival has earned its reputation of being one of the best festivals in town, so don't miss your chance to be part of the fun! As always, there will be plenty of lip-smacking bacon dishes and ice cold beer flowing, plus amazing entertainment and competitions to keep you entertained all night long.
Iowa State Fairgrounds
2nd Annual Polk County Sheriff's Office Public Safety Cadet Car Show
Saturday, June 3rd, 2023
At 9:00 AM
This is your chance to support the future of public safety while having a fantastic day out! The event will once again be held at Capitol City Church. All proceeds from the Cadet Car Show go directly toward supporting the program's youth and young adults, helping them achieve their dreams of pursuing a career in the field of public safety.
Capitol City Church
The Doobie Brothers
Sunday, June 18, 2023
At 6:30 PM
The Doobie Brothers are an iconic band, one that has been delighting music lovers for over five decades. They’ve become synonymous with mind-blowing, harmony-driven rock and roll – such a perfect fit for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame that they were recently inducted in 2020.
Iowa Events Center, 730 3rd Street | Des Moines IA 50309
Des Moines Arts FestivalJune 23, 2023 - June, 25, 2023
Whether you’re a returning visitor or new to the Des Moines Arts Festival®, there’s something for everyone. With over 190 professional artists showcasing their work, a variety of interactive activities and two stages filled with live performances, your visit will be jam-packed with entertainment, fun and creativity.
John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park
Our Favorite Year-Round Events
Science Center of Iowa/Blank IMAX Dome Theater Year-round
Open all year, the Science Center of Iowa (SCI) allows you to learn about science in an engaging and entertaining way. Catch the interactive exhibits and live science demonstrations while you learn all about scientific phenomena, from astronomy to dry ice.
401 W Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway | Des Moines, IA 50309
Sleepy Hollow Sports Park, Inc Year-round
Enjoy fun every season at Sleepy Hollow! With events like the Renaissance Faire and Haunted Scream, Sleepy Hollow has put Iowa on the map for theme parks. In winter, watch it turn from a Halloween Haunted House to a snowy hill ready to sled down! Or, if you aren't a fan of snow, just wait until spring, when you can participate in the only permanent Renaissance Village in Iowa.
4051 Dean Avenue | Des Moines, IA 50317
Des Moines Civic Center Year-round
Spend a night with your loved ones at the theatre! Watch local and touring crews perform a hit musical, or buy a ticket to a stand-up comedian's show when you need a laugh. Des Moines Civic Center is there for you with masterpieces of art, whatever you need, whenever you need them.
221 Walnut Street | Des Moines, IA 50309
Wells Fargo Arena at Iowa Events Center Year-round
If you're tired of watching a game from your couch, head down to the Wells Fargo Arena to catch it live! Whether you're more interested in watching the local high school's wrestling championships or the collegiate basketball team's home competitions, you'll find it at the Arena. Unobstructed sights, no commercials, and seating that might replace your chair as your favorite furniture are only some of the benefits of attending.
730 3rd Street | Des Moines, IA 50309
Tours at Hoyt Sherman Place Year-round
Built in 1923, this theater is part of the Des Moines historic district. Boasting elegant banquet, meeting, and theater areas, Hoyt Sherman Place offers tours, is open for special events, and allows bookings for corporate meeting rooms. Book a day now and experience history in the 21st century.
Historic Sherman Hill, 1501 Woodland Avenue | Des Moines, IA 50309
Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden Year-round
Feast your eyes on seven acres of vibrant blooming buds, all from 10 distinct gardens. Enjoy an afternoon in the rose garden, or explore the iconic conservatory, home to tropical and desert plants! Stop by the Trellis Café for brunch and then visit the Gardeners Show House to get inspiration for growing your own plants!
909 Robert D. Ray Drive | Des Moines, IA 50309
Some Highlights of Des Moines
When you spend the day in Des Moines, make sure to set your sights on some of the city's artistic attractions. Dripping with diversity, the Des Moines arts scene features everything from performing arts stages to sprawling art routes.
There's no better way to celebrate a city's culture than with a fun-filled festival. Think of Des Moines festivals as networking events—ones where you get to know your neighbors in the midst of good food, music, and most importantly, company!
When the weather forecast calls for sunshine in Des Moines, there's no doubt you'll find our residents out and about. With more than 150 miles of water passages, there's always a lake or river to be explored in the area. And if you prefer dry land adventures, there are tons of trails to embark on, too!
Do you consider yourself a foodie? Or maybe more of a shopaholic? Either way, you'll fit right in throughout Des Moines' shopping and dining districts. Des Moines has enough dining options to devote an entire day to eating (hey, we won't judge you). But if you want to break up your meals, there's a lengthy shopping list of must-visit stores in Des Moines.
Find Your Fun in Des Moines
Ready to Dive into Des Moines?
If you're thinking of buying a home in or relocating to the Des Moines area, then it's time to contact VIA Group Realtors! We want to help you explore the area, discover its fun and unique communities, and find the perfect home for your personalized needs!