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Things To Do in Downtown DSM

Fun for Everyone in Des Moines

Whether you're living in Des Moines, working here or just visiting, there's fun for everyone in Downtown Des Moines (DSM)! Attend a virtual Iowa Authors Series event or take a jog on the city streets. Try new curbside pickup options or skate safely at Brenton Skating Plaza. Explore everything Downtown Des Moines has to offer!

Attractions in Downtown DSM

Downtown Des Moines is a hub for attractions and entertainment in DSM. If you’re looking for fun things to do in Des Moines, start your search Downtown:

Music & Entertainment: Festivals and Concerts in Downtown Des Moines

Discover the vibrant live music scene in Downtown DSM! Enjoy both local acts and chart-topping artists at a variety of venues, or attend a music festival Downtown. Enjoy all types of concerts in Downtown Des Moines:

Downtown Des Moines Trails & Outdoor Recreation

Despite being an urban hub, Downtown Des Moines is full of parks, trails and various outdoor recreation opportunities. Many Des Moines bike trails and walking paths are connected to the Downtown area. Find something to enjoy outside:

Downtown Shopping

Shop safely in Downtown Des Moines by masking up and visiting locally owned shops. Support our business owners in the Historic East Village and beyond in the Avenues of Ingersoll and Grand or the Drake University neighborhood.

  • Browse screen-printed shirts at RAYGUN
  • Buy cute and quirky gifts from Domestica
  • Shop for antiques and vintage finds at Reclaimed
  • Bring the sunshine inside with plants from Art Terrarium
  • Treat yourself with some self-care beauty products from Eden


In Downtown Des Moines, you can support local Des Moines sports teams, enjoy state-wide high school competitions and attend national NCAA events:

Downtown Festivals & Markets

A recipient of an international award for festivals and events, DSM is home to exciting arts, culture, food and music. Festivals and markets are continuing to pivot and offer safe, socially distanced programming and virtual opportunities.

Downtown Des Moines Restaurants & Nightlife

Downtown Des Moines offers some of the best restaurants, bars and breweries in the area. Now, find carryout options, curbside pickup, delivery and more so you can enjoy your favorite menu items safely.

The Heart of Des Moines is Downtown

With all the attractions and activities in Downtown DSM, it's no surprise this city gets ranked as one of the best places to live and work. It has earned the titles of World Festival and Events City by the International Festivals and Events Association, the #1 Minor League Sports Market by the Sports Business Journal and #4 Best Place to Live in the U.S. by U.S. News & World Report. For more titles earned by DSM USA, visit The Partnership's rankings page.

From the Historic East Village to Western Gateway, finding fun in Downtown DSM is easy! Visit the Downtown DSM calendar of events for more ideas of things to do here in the heart of the city.