August Family-Friendly Events in Des Moines


Let’s take advantage of the sunshine and warm days of summer to explore the city and the many natural wonders surrounding Des Moines before kids head back to school. From nature playdates to outdoor festivals and sunset yoga sessions, there is so much to do in August in Des Moines! We also found a great collection of virtual events to keep kids busy at home with STEM activities and online storytimes.

Ideas for More Summer Fun in Des Moines

August Events in Des Moines 2020

Aug 1 – 16 | Live Theatre Drive-In, Des Moines Playhouse
7 p.m.
On Wednesdays through Sundays, The Playhouse will present a two-person cast play in its parking lot. The audience can remain safely in their cars listening via a radio frequency, just like at drive-in movie theatres. Tickets are pay-what-you-can, but reservations are required as space is limited. For $5 there will be games for kids 5 and up after the show.

Aug 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, 30 | Science Center of Iowa
One of our favorite family-friendly attractions has reopened on weekends. Visit the Science Center of Iowa on a Saturday or Sunday when you purchase $7 tickets in advance for a two-hour session. Admission is free for members but still requires a reservation.

Aug 1 | Grain Harvest & Historic Baseball, Living History Farms
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Get your hands dirty and help bring in this year’s grain harvest, using hand power, horsepower, and steam. Then catch an 1870s rules historic baseball game at 1:30 p.m. The bleachers are removed, so be sure to bring a lawn chair or blanket to watch the game and spread out from other visitors.

Aug 2 | Farmstand to Fork Dinner at Dogpatch Urban Garden
5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Date night idea! Join chef Jacob Demars, who opened RI Restaurant in Windsor Heights in 2019, for a carefully curated menu showcasing flavors and techniques that embody his culinary journey. To allow for social distancing, tickets are sold by the table and each table will seat 6 guests, rather than one big long table. Gather your group for a magical evening of local food!

Aug 4 | Summer Skills – Kayaking, Thomas Mitchell Park
10 a.m.
Get your big kids off screens for some outdoor fun! This clinic teaches the basics of recreational kayaking and lets them practice their skills on the water. This class is for kids ages 10-16 and costs $10. Pre-registration is required.

Aug 4 | Surprise Animal Rocks, Virtual Event with Des Moines Public Library
10:15 a.m.
This online class will teach kids about the chemical reaction of baking soda and vinegar in a fun and memorable way. Click on the link to see the supplies you will need at home to follow along with the video. Happy experimenting!

Aug 5 | Nature Playdate, Jester Park
10:30 a.m.
Discover Jester Park with a Polk County Naturalist as your guide. This is a great opportunity to meet other families interested in the great outdoors and natural play. Tip: Wear shoes for hiking! Admission is free, but registration is required.

Aug 7, 14, 21, 28 | Pizza on the Prairie, Henry A Wallace Country Life Center
5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Plan a Friday night out the entire family can enjoy! There will be brick oven pizza packed full with straight-from-the-farm veggies and local meats. Enjoy live music and walk the prairie path. Drinks, desserts, and salads are also available for purchase. Seating is limited, so bring a lawn chair or blanket. To maintain social distancing, reservations and a small deposit are required.

Aug 7-9 | Des Moines Renaissance Faire, Puttmasters at the Pines (2911 NW 66th Ave)
Friday: 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Saturday: 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Sunday: 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
This outdoor festival is fun for the whole family and is in a new location near Saylorville. There are delicious food vendors and fun performances. Interactive cast members will respect those wearing masks by not engaging in one-on-one performances. Admission is $12 for adults ($3 for additional days), $6 for ages 8-12, and free for kids 7 and under.

Aug 8 | Music in the Park, Sunset Park in Ankeny
9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Passion Studios will be leading socially-distanced, musical activities for all ages 0-5 at Sunset Park in Ankeny. This event is free. Bring your picnic blankets and makeshift instruments for a fun morning.

Aug 8 | Insect Hunt, Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt, meet near Longhouse
10 a.m.
Explore the fascinating world of bugs. Kids will get to see a large insect collection up close and go on an insect hunt. This event is free and open to all ages but requires registration.

Aug 10 | Maker Monday, Virtual Event with Waukee Public Library
Kids can get creative and stay cool with this craft project. This week they will make a fan out of paper plates. Let their creativity run wild!

Aug 14 | Butter Cow Festival, Lauridsen Amphitheater at Water Works Park
4 p.m. to 11 p.m.
This event will have you thinking INSIDE the box. Your ticket purchases a 15-foot square space so you and a handful of friends or family members can use the area to sit and enjoy music, fair food stands, and Iowa craft beers. The “boxes” are available for $75 to $250.

Aug 15 | RipRoar Youth Triathlon, Terra Park in Johnston
Get your kids moving and give them a great goal to shoot for. This youth triathlon combines swimming, biking, and running for children ages 6-15. Age-appropriate distances ensure all children, regardless of background or ability, face an achievable challenge and are rewarded with an incredible finish line.

Aug 15 | Virtual Science, Virtual Event with the Altoona Public Library
Miss Sheila and Miss Amber will share (on Facebook) an online STEM activity using things you can find around the house. Follow along for a fun and educational activity.

Aug 19 | Story Time Online, Virtual Event with Waukee Public Library
If your little one has been missing storytime at the library, tune in to watch a new storytime video each Wednesday.

Aug 19 | Sunset Yoga for Black Lives Matter at 1111 E Court Ave, hosted by Glohemian Yoga
7:15 p.m.
Looking for a way to connect and give back to the Black Lives Matter movement? Attend this sunset yoga session for a time to reflect. The $10 suggested donation for the class will go to Black Lives Matter.

Aug 26 | Virtual Yoga in the Garden with the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden
6 p.m.
Hop on the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden’s Facebook page to follow along with their livestream yoga event.

Aug 29 | Vintage in the City
10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Shop hop through 11 local shops with in-store specials and light refreshments. Watch their event page for updates as the event gets closer.

Send us an email if we missed anything, and we’ll add your event to the list.

We work hard to ensure the accuracy of this information. However, you should always call ahead to confirm dates, times, location, and other information before heading to an event or activity, since it may change.

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Megan Boettcher
Content Coordinator Megan doesn’t really fall into any one mom category. With three kids from ages 5 to 12, she’s been a working mom and a stay-at-home mom. She’s breastfed and bottle-fed. She’s kept kids on strict sleeping schedules in their own beds and also embraced the benefits of co-sleeping. She’s a big believer in finding what works for you and your kiddo (and it’s often different for each kid). Megan is an Iowa native and lives in Ankeny with her husband Darren. They love to travel and are often planning their next road trip (even it’s a year away). They also enjoy entertaining and are famous among their friends for throwing big bashes to celebrate the Olympic Games. But her everyday life is mostly comprised of playdates, trips to the park, and trying to stay ahead of the never-ending laundry pile.    


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