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10 Can’t Miss Events in Downtown DSM This Week

10 Things to Do

Wow, there is so much going on in Downtown Des Moines (DSM) this week! We’re giving you five can’t miss events coming up soon PLUS five bonus events you have to check out — all taking place this week only in Downtown DSM. Drumroll please…

Trouble in Mind

Now – Sunday, April 9 | Stoner Theater
The Iowa Stage Theater Company will take to the stage in this thought-provoking performance following the story of Wiletta Mayer, a Black actor who challenges the authenticity of the play direction given by her white Broadway producers. “She doesn’t mean trouble, but sometimes there’s only so much a person can take.”

Poetry Palooza

Thursday, April 6 – Saturday, April 8 | Mainframe Studios & Franklin Jr. High School Event Center
Get your snapping fingers ready, Poetry Palooza is here! This three-day festival provides an interactive performing arts experience for students, emerging talent and enthusiasts to enjoy the positive power of poetry — a collaboration between Poetry&, Humanities Iowa, Mainframe Studios, Franklin Jr. High Event Center and the Iowa Poetry Association. (P.S. – Dig in deeper to discover seven reasons you’ll want to be a part of this Downtown DSM event!)

Be Our Guest: Disney DJ Night

Friday, April 7 | Wooly’s
Calling all ‘90s kids and Disney lovers! Experience the magic of a Disney dance party (open to adults ages 21+ only), including songs from your childhood favorite movies and tunes from former Mouseketeers like Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, the Jonas Brothers and more. This is one unique event you just must experience for yourself!

First Fridays in the Historic East Village

Friday, April 7 | Historic East Village Businesses
You’re invited to Downtown DSM! Every first Friday of the month, April through August, the Historic East Village shops, businesses, restaurants and bars will showcase unique events and entertainment sprinkled throughout the neighborhood, plus FREE metered parking in designated retail areas from 5 to 8 p.m.

Loop the Lake

Saturday, April 8 | Gray’s Lake
Hit the pavement and join Capital Striders for this kickoff to spring 8k race around Gray’s Lake Park. Packet pickup takes place at Downtown DSM’s Fleet Feet and the post-race after party will be held at Confluence Brewing Co.

Taylor Fest

Saturday, April 8 | Wooly’s
Take a journey through Taylor Swift’s extensive discography and dance, dance, dance the night away with your fellow Swifties! This event has sold out in the past, so don’t miss your chance to secure a spot now!

Love is Love

Saturday, April 8 | PLATFORM
In celebration of the anniversary of Iowa’s establishment of marriage equality on April 3 in 2009, dance the night away with Capital City Pride, DJ Brad Goldman and enjoy special performances by DTF Productions featuring drag performers Tyona Diamond, Sharaya Diamond, Karma Kills and Jade Knight. (This event is open to individuals ages 21+.)

The Iowa Signing & Saying Symposium

Wednesday, April 12 | Science Center of Iowa
This free event produced by the Iowa School for the Deaf is open to all Iowa deaf and hard-of-hearing students in Kindergarten through 8th grade. The day-long event will include hands-on applications and learning of science vocabulary and concepts.

The Art of Cheese

Wednesday, April 12 | Mainframe Studios
Step up your charcuterie game at the Art of Cheese event provided by Young Variety, a DSM nonprofit made up of young professionals whose goal is to improve the lives of children around the region. The charcuterie class will be taught be Lauren from Smorgas-Boards and will also include additional art activities by Mainframe Studios’ artists in residence.

AViD Presents: R.F. Kuang

Thursday, April 13 | Central Library
This week, the Authors Visiting in Des Moines Series (AViD) features Rebecca F. Kuang, the award-winning and New York Times best-selling author of The Poppy War trilogy and “Bagel: An Arcane History” which debuted in 2022. Additionally, Kuang’s upcoming and highly anticipated novel, “Yellowface,” is set for release in May.

Looking for even more ideas to do during on weeknights? Check out this guide for Downtown DSM things to do taking place each week Monday through Thursday. And don’t forget to explore our list of five FREE things to do this month in Downtown DSM, as well.

For these upcoming events and more, find tips on Downtown Des Moines (DSM) parking and navigation. For additional upcoming events, visit the Downtown DSM events calendar. Plus, follow @downtownDSMUSA on Instagram for more epic, things-you-just-can’t-miss happening around Downtown.

Greater Des Moines Partnership

DSM USA is the regional identifier for Greater Des Moines (DSM). DSM USA is a bold statement to the world: This is a welcoming, diverse and vibrant community with affordable and accessible amenities for residents and businesses. This regional identifier is the result of significant quantitative and qualitative research. The Partnership will champion the DSM USA message, and encourages its Investors, its more than 6,500 Regional Business Members and DSM USA Ambassadors to help share the region's story with One Voice.