What I Love About Summer in Des Moines


des moines sculpture parkThere are so many different reasons our family loves summer in Des Moines. From activities for kids and date nights, to mom’s nights out, the metro has so much to offer.

Here’s what’s on our summer bucket list.


Our absolute favorite thing is going to Adventureland! My kids ask to go there the very first day of summer! One reason we like Adventureland is there is something for all ages. There are over 100 rides, magic shows, and a concert series. Don’t forget the waterpark but my advise is to chose either Adventure Bay or the rides and not cram everything into one day. My kids are younger and one park is the limit for their little bodies. This is where the season pass comes in handy!

Farmers Markets

Second on our list are the local farmers markets. Check out the previous post for a giant list of what the metro has to offer. If it is a Saturday morning, the Downtown Farmers market is great! This farmers market is so big it is the entire Court Avenue District and runs from 7am to noon. There is something for everyone: baked goods, art, music, flowers, wine, and of course veggies.

Free Outdoor Music Music

Jasper Winery offers a free concert series on Thursdays from 6-9pm. It runs May through August, and they have a variety of food trucks, but you can also bring your own food. We pack blankets, lawn chairs and a fun game to enjoy the night.

Middlebrook Farm hosts Fridays at The Farm. We enjoy the live music as well as the food trucks and farmers market venders. Go check it out from May to September 4:30-7:30pm.

Farm School

We love Farm School at Rose Farm this seasonal series happens on Friday mornings from June to August. I like that they offer  several sessions at 9, 10 or 11 and are all complimentary. We bring a blanket to enjoy the farm lesson. Each week is a different topic ranging from frogs, pollinators and even wildflowers. While we’re there, my boys enjoy putting together a beautiful flower arrangement to take home.

Another Friday night option is Food Truck Fridays at Campbell Park. (12385 Woodlands Pkwy, Clive) There’s a large variety of food trucks and local music.

Berry Picking

We look forward to picking strawberries at Center Grove is something we look forward to as well. For $9.95/ ticket we head out to Cambridge to get the best strawberries and enjoy the farm activities. The train, corn pool, and zipline are all included with the strawberry ticket. Be on the lookout for their opening day which is usually late May or early June.

Dates Nights

We love checking out the new restaurants and ice cream shops. Our favorites are Snookies in Beaverdale and Home Sweet Cone. Another great date night is Zoo Brew. Those 21 and older can enjoy the zoo on Wednesday nights after hours. Drink purchases support the zoo!

Baby Animals

Last, but not least is goat snuggling at Howell’s Farm.  This is such a fun time for my kids! They love farm life! Yes, they always ask to take a goat home, but for $9/ticket purchased online we can snuggle goats all day. While, there we can make mud pies.

More summer fun in the metro: Des Moines Arts Festival, Iowa Cubs game, Pappajohn Sculpture park, National Balloon Classic, Iowa State Fair and Goodguys Car Show.


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