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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

2024 National Balloon Classic

July 26 - August 3, 2024

Experience the awe-inspiring beauty of over 100 hot air balloons soaring across the skies at the 2024 National Balloon Classic in Indianola, Iowa. This beloved 50-year-old community event offers an unparalleled celebration of aviation artistry, thrilling balloon rides, and family-friendly festivities that are sure to create lasting memories.

Indianola, Iowa

Summer Concert Series 2024

Now - August 1, 2024

Every Thursday evening from May 16 through August 1, 2024, excluding July 4, Jasper Winery invites you to its Summer Concert Series. Guests can enjoy a selection of wines, beers, and ciders available for purchase, alongside a tempting array of grilled foods and food truck offerings. Bring your blankets or chairs and settle in for a series of performances that are perfect for family outings or relaxing evenings with friends.

Jasper Winery, 2400 George Flagg Parkway, Des Moines, IA 50321

Iowa State Fair Parade

August 7, 2024

6:15 PM

The excitement of the Iowa State Fair kicks off with a spectacular parade that paints the streets of Des Moines in vibrant colors and lively sounds. This event is a wonderful opportunity for residents and visitors to experience the pride of Iowa and the unity of its people. Whether you're there to cheer on a local school band, admire the creative floats, or simply soak in the festive atmosphere, the Iowa State Fair Parade is a must-see highlight of the summer.

Starts @ State Capitol; goes West on Grand to 15th Street, Des Moines, IA 50309

Live Music & Food Truck Wednesdays

Now to August 28, 2024

5:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Nestled in the inviting ambiance of Country Lane Lodge in Adel, the Live Music & Food Truck Wednesdays offer a delightful midweek escape. As the sun sets from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM, the grounds of Country Lane Lodge transform into a vibrant gathering spot for families, friends, and music lovers alike. Whether you're a fan of jazz, rock, or country, the diverse array of musicians ensures there's something to suit every musical taste.

Country Lane Lodge
29300 Prospect Circle, Adel, IA 50003

Downtown Des Moines Farmers' Market 2024

Now – October 26th | Every Saturday

07:00 am to Noon

The Downtown Des Moines Farmers' Market is a Saturday morning tradition, where the heart of Iowa's capital beats in rhythm with local vendors and the hum of a community coming together. From May 4th to October 26th, 2024, the Historic Court District becomes a canvas of local bounty, showcasing the freshest produce, artisan foods, and vibrant energy of Iowa’s farmers.

Historic Court District in Downtown Des Moines.

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!