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Downtown Des Moines: 5 Free Things to Do in June

Five Free Things to Do

That summer feeling has taken over Downtown Des Moines (DSM)! This month, get your fill of free things to do taking place around the city — with a heavy dose of free festivals and free music concerts all happening in Downtown DSM. Here are five free June things you won’t want to miss:

Free Downtown DSM Festival in June

Capital City Pride Festival

Friday, June 9 – Sunday, June 11 | Historic East Village
Get ready for the 44th annual PrideFest! The weekend’s festivities include the 5k Pride Stride and Little Rainbow Run .5k, the Ms. Mr. Mx. Capital City Pride pageant and, of course, the much-loved and highly anticipated parade winding its way through Downtown DSM. This year’s entertainment includes drag superstar and DJ Trixie Mattel, percussionist Sheila E. and performer Shangela, as well as Leslie and the Lys and Haiku Hands.

Des Moines Arts Festival® and Interrobang Film Festival

Friday, June 23 – Sunday, June 25 | Western Gateway Park
Iowa’s largest arts and cultural event returns for three days this month in Downtown DSM. This juried art show brings together nearly 200 of the nation’s top artists, creating an unforgettable atmosphere with performing arts, a film festival, incredible local and cultural food vendors and national musical acts including headliners the 502s, Sister Hazel and Satsang. Don’t miss this once-a-year free festival in Downtown DSM!

Free Music in Downtown DSM This June

Gray’s Lake Summer Music Series

Thursday, June 8 | Gray’s Station Featuring the Avey Grouws Band and Liza’s Sushi food truck this month, with additional musicians and food trucks continuing through the summer and early fall.

Field Daze Music Series

Various Dates | Water Works Park

  • Friday, June 9: Charles Wesley Godwin
  • Friday, June 23: Charley Crocket with special guest Myron Elkins
  • Tuesday, June 27: Willie Nelson & Family
  • Friday, June 30: Koe Wetzel, along with Pecos & The Rooftops & Dylan Wheeler
  • And more, continuing into July!


Music Under the Stars at the Iowa State Capitol

Sundays | Iowa State Capitol
Featuring the Des Moines Metro Concert Band and Big Band, with various special guest vocalists and guest artists each week.

  • June 11: Des Moines Metro Concert Band & Big Band with guest vocalist Gina Gedler
  • June 18: Drake Night/Juneteenth Celebration with Des Moines Metro Concert Band & Big Band and guest vocalist Tina Haase-Findlay
  • June 25: TBD
  • Additional dates and musical acts will take place in July, also.


And many Downtown DSM restaurants and nightlife venues host live music throughout the summer as well! Check out The Cave DSM, Truman’s KC Pizza Tavern, the Continental Lounge and Exile Brewing Co. to namedrop just a few.

Looking for more budget-friendly things to do in Downtown DSM? Check out these ideas from April and May to get more totally free ideas for your next Downtown adventure.

Plan your visit to Downtown Des Moines (DSM) with these tips for parking and navigation and 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.