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Des Moines Destinations

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

Upcoming Events

Live Music Wednesdays

May 3 - December 27, 2023

6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Live Music Wednesdays at the Republic on Grand's 6th floor lounge. Get ready for an unforgettable evening filled with captivating melodies, delicious food, and irresistible cocktails. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere as talented musicians and DJs take the stage to create an enchanting ambiance. Whether you're a music enthusiast or simply looking for a midweek escape, this is the perfect opportunity to unwind and indulge in a night of exceptional entertainment.

Republic on Grand

Iowa's Largest Arts, Crafts & Holiday Show

November 17 - November 19, 2023

Recurring Daily at Different Timings

Discover Iowa's largest Arts, Crafts, and Holiday Show at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines! With over 250 talented exhibitors showcasing thousands of unique, handmade products, this event is a shopper's paradise. Mark your calendars for November 17-19, 2023, and immerse yourself in a fantastic shopping experience. Admission is $8, and children 10 and under enter for free. Don't miss out on this extraordinary opportunity to find one-of-a-kind treasures at Iowa's Largest Arts, Crafts, and Holiday Show!

Iowa State Fairgrounds

40th Annual Festival of Trees and Lights

November 24 - November 26, 2023

at 11:00 AM

Step into a winter wonderland adorned with stunningly decorated trees that twinkle in the holiday cheer. But that's not all! Your family can enjoy a lineup of special performances from talented local music and dance groups, adding a delightful rhythm to your holiday memories.Looking for a touch of magic? Santa himself will be there, ready to spread joy and listen to your holiday wishes. Engage your little ones with a captivating scavenger hunt and a variety of crafts and activities that promise fun for all ages.

Blank Children's Hospital

Sounds of the Season w/ The Des Moines Big Band

November 29 - December 20, 2023

This season, let the Des Moines Big Band, a legendary ensemble with a rich jazz history, ignite your holiday spirit at Noce. Experience a month-long extravaganza of holiday classics reimagined in a lively Big Band style, from Duke Ellington's "Sugar Rum Cherry" to a vibrant Zydeco "Joy to the World". Led by the dynamic Dave Rezek, these Wednesday nights will resonate with unforgettable music. Don't miss out - make your holidays swing at Noce!

Noce, 1326 Walnut Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50309

Des Moines Santa Bar Crawl

December 9, 2023

4:00 PM - 11:30 PM

The Des Moines Santa Bar Crawl is a Christmas-themed bar crawl event happening on December 9th, 2023. It offers a night of festive fun as participants visit spirited bars dressed as Santa Claus. The bars are adorned with holiday decorations, and drink specials are available. The event includes entertainment, surprises, and Santa-themed photo opportunities. Tickets include Santa gifts, a wristband, free entry to venues, drink specials, food specials, and more.

Des Moines Des Moines, IA 50310 United States

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

Blank Park Zoo Year-Round

Blank Park Zoo hosts a series of events throughout the year. Join us for DISCOVER the WILD Days, held monthly from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM, to learn about our conservation efforts and how we care for our animals. Additionally, don't miss our fun-filled Halloween events like Halloween Zoo Brew, a spooky evening for adults, and Night Eyes, a merry family-friendly tradition featuring light displays, treats, and more. Become a Zoo Member to access exclusive events year-round. Join us in supporting wildlife conservation and enjoying exciting zoo experiences!

7401 SW 9th Street | Des Moines, IA 50315

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

Art Appreciation

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! 

Outdoor Adventures

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!  

Shopping & Dining

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!