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Beat the Summertime Blues with These 5 Can’t-Miss Downtown Events

Five Things to Do

With back to school right around the corner, beat those summertime blues with these five can’t-miss events in Downtown Des Moines. From live music shows, a dog market, plant how-tos and more — these Downtown events are taking place this week only (so don’t miss out!).

Adé & the Soul Brothers

Friday, Aug. 11 | Pura Social Club
With soulful undertones of funk, jazz, reggae and R&B, Adé and the Soul Brothers will perform during dinner and into the evening at Downtown Des Moines’ restaurant atop the Lyon Apartments, Pura Social Club. Enjoy food, music, cocktails and conversation — what more could you want on a Friday night?

Live Music: Dan Medeiros Friday and theThe Savage Freds Sunday

Friday, Aug. 11 & Sunday, Aug. 13 | Truman’s Pizza Tavern
Friday, jam to Dan Medeiros’ alt-rock sounds with music from the ‘80s and ‘90s combined with his unique use of a 12-string acoustic guitar. And come back Sunday to see the Savage Freds live, for more ‘90s tracks. Snag a bite to eat and a drink on the patio, while you’re here!

The Savage Freds

Bonsai Demonstration with Julian Tsai

Saturday, Aug. 12 | Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden
The Botanical Garden and Iowa Bonsai Association will host three opportunities to see demonstrations with Julian Tsai, a Southern California-based bonsai artist who trained at Fujikawa Kouka-en in Japan. The demonstrations will both educate and inspire on the art of bonsai design.

Barket Market

Sunday, Aug. 13 | Des Moines Biergarten at Water Works Park
This first annual pet market is hosted by Dog Training Elite. Furry friends are welcome to attend, while their owners shop locally owned pet businesses such as Canine Clean, Jax & Josie’s Smoked Jerky and the Arf & Wag Studio. Sip on a beverage from the nearby Des Moines Biergarten as you shop, and don’t miss the live music and food, too!

Barket Market


Thursday, Aug. 17 | Gray’s Lake
Join in on this volunteer opportunity and collaboration between Blank Park Zoo, Des Moines Parks & Rec, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation and Trees Forever. Volunteers will be provided with gloves, tools and instructions to remove invasive plants crowding the woodlands and native plants around Gray’s Lake Park, which will then be used as food for the Zoo’s birds, reptiles, primates and mammals.

Hey! Looking for even more Downtown events and happenings? Here’s a look at 5 free things to do in Downtown Des Moines during the month of August.

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.