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.
Our Favorite Annual Events
Blank Park Zoo Wild Lights Festival April 1 - May 29, 2022
This visually stunning immersive experience takes you through the zoo down a path illuminated by over 40 larger-than-life lanterns. This year’s display features endangered animals, dinosaurs, and mythical creatures.
7401 SW 9th Street | Des Moines, IA 50315
Downtown Farmers Market Weekly, Starting May 7, 2022
The Downtown Farmers Market is the perfect place to stock up on local veggies, eggs, hand-crafted goods, meat, and more! There’s live entertainment and food, too—a great way to begin your Saturdays.
Downtown Des Moines’ (DSM's) Historic Court District
Des Moines Arts Festival June 24 – 26, 2022
Set against the backdrop of the 4-acre Pappajohn Sculpture Park and the newly constructed Krause Gateway Center, the Des Moines Arts Festival is the perfect opportunity to stop and appreciate the city's art scene. A mecca for the nation's top artists and fans alike, this world-renowned arts festival attracts more than 200,000 people each year.
Western Gateway Park, 15th & Locust Streets, Des Moines, IA 50309
World Food & Music Festival September 16 - 18, 2022
Travel around the world through food and music at this exciting festival! 50 food vendors and dozens of performers from every corner of the globe will be on hand for a celebration of all cultures. Plus, artists will be on hand displaying all kinds of artwork.
Western Gateway Park, Des Moines, IA 50309
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.
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!