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.
Des Moines Farmers' Market
May 6 - October 28, 2023
7:00 AM to noon
The Des Moines Farmers' Market is the ultimate destination for foodies and local produce enthusiasts. This weekly event brings together over 300 vendors from across Iowa, offering everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to artisanal cheeses, baked goods, and handmade crafts. With a bustling atmosphere and live music, the Des Moines Farmers' Market is a fun-filled experience for the whole family.
Historic Court District of downtown Des Moines
8th Annual Valley Classic Car Show
July 29, 2023
9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
This annual event brings together classic and modern cars from all over the region, showcasing some of the most impressive and unique vehicles on the road today. With food trucks, music, and activities for all ages, the Valley Community Center Car Show offers a fun-filled day out for the whole family.
Valley Community Center
Iowa State Fair
Aug 10 - 20, 2023
7:00 AM to midnight daily
The Iowa State Fair is an annual event that has been a beloved tradition for over 160 years. This 11-day extravaganza brings together people from all over the state (and beyond!) to celebrate the best of Iowa. With carnival rides, food on a stick, live music, and agricultural exhibits, the Iowa State Fair offers something for everyone.
Iowa State Fairgrounds
World Food & Music Festival
August 25th - August 27th, 2023
The Des Moines World Food & Music Festival is the ultimate celebration of multiculturalism and diversity. This three-day event brings together over 50 food vendors and musicians from around the world, offering visitors a chance to sample a wide variety of international cuisine and enjoy live performances from a diverse range of artists. With a vibrant atmosphere and activities for all ages, the Des Moines World Food & Music Festival is a fun-filled experience for the whole family.
Western Gateway Park in Downtown Des Moines (DSM)
Vintage & Made Fair
September 23, 2023
9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Vintage & Made Fair is the ultimate celebration of all things vintage and handmade. This one-day event brings together over 175 Midwest Curators, offering a wide variety of antique and vintage home decor, handcrafted goods, seasonal flora, and locally-sourced eats. Whether you're a collector or just looking for unique pieces to add to your home, Vintage & Made Fair has something for everyone.
28057 Fairgrounds Road, Adel, IA 50003
Latino Heritage FestivalSeptember 23rd to September 24th, 2023
Saturday from 10 am - 11 pm, Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm.
The Latino Heritage Festival is a vibrant celebration of Hispanic culture and traditions. This two-day event brings together people from all over the region to experience the music, dance, food, and art of Latin America. With over 15,000 attendees and a wide variety of vendors, the festival offers visitors a chance to learn about the rich history and diverse cultures of the Latino community.
Western Gateway Park, 1398 Locust St, Des Moines, IA 50309
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
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!