5 Things Not to Miss This Summer in Des Moines

Iowa State Fair, Des Moines

We love summer in Des Moines! But it’s only 3 months long and there are only so many weekends to pack in all the fun. If you’re overwhelmed by all the options, we’ve got you covered! Here’s what we recommend if you only do 5 things in Des Moines this summer! 

Looking for more summer fun? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Summer with 125+ Things to do in Des Moines.

5 Things to Do this Summer in Des Moines

1. Explore Treehouse Arboretum at Iowa Arboretum & Gardens 

Treehouse Village is opening in Madrid this summer. It is designed to be a place where children of all ages and abilities can play and enjoy nature. Kids can climb and explore to their heart’s content.  

2. Cool off at Athene North Shore Recreation Area at Easter Lake Park

Labeled the most accessible beach in Iowa, there’s truly something for everyone to enjoy at the newly opened park. Little kids will love splashing in the sprayground and digging in the sand, big kids can swim out to a diving platform in the lake, you can rent kayaks and canoes, or sit in a shaded area and enjoy the view. 

3. Go to Yankee Doodle Pops Concert 

If you only see one fireworks show this year, it should be Yankee Doodle Pops on July 3. The Des Moines Symphony plays at 8:30 pm on the West Terrace of the Iowa State Capitol followed by fireworks. Pack a picnic, blanket, and chairs and come early to snag a good spot. 

4. Head to Wilson Orchard

Check out Wilson Orchard that opened in Cumming (just south of Des Moines) this spring. It has a Farm Market, bakery, a ciderhouse restaurant, berry picking, live music, and more.

5. Spend a Day at the Iowa State Fair

Whether you go for the food on a stick, the people watching, the animals, or the concerts (we can’t wait for Lauren Daigle and Jelly Roll). There truly is something for everyone at the Iowa State Fair! 

What’s on your list of things to do this summer in Des Moines? 


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