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Downtown DSM is Serving Up These 5 Can’t-Miss Events This Week

Five Things to Do

Downtown Des Moines (DSM) is serving up a full plate of things to do this week, including five events you can’t miss without having major regrets. Let your FOMO be the nudge you need to check out one of these epic events coming soon to Downtown DSM:

Middle of the Map Tattoo Convention

Friday, April 14 – Sunday, April 16 | Hy-Vee Hall at the Iowa Events Center
Nearly 300 featured tattoo artists hailing from around the Midwest will descend on Downtown DSM to showcase their skills and compete in live competitions for best tattoo artistry. (Pro Tip: Sneak a peek at several local Downtown DSM names like Carrie Black and Bryce Budha Oakes of the DSM Tattoo Collective.) Rounding out the entertainment is the three-time winner of the hit show Ink Master, DJ Tambe, and host Bernadette Macias from CMT’s Tattoo Titans. And don’t sleep on the after party both Friday and Saturday at Coa Cantina in the Historic East Village!


Saturday, April 15 | Starting and Ending at Ken’s – A Not So Secret Speakeasy
Have you ever wondered about the history of the intriguing buildings around Downtown DSM? Well now is your chance to explore! The Iowa Architectural Foundation (IAF) will host guided walking tours throughout the Market District, Historic Court District, riverfront and Historic East Village areas. Food and drink samples will be available at several stops along the route, such as Truman’s, Rita’s Cantina, The Red Monk, Royal Mile and Ken’s. This event will take place rain or shine.

Gross Domestic Product Music Festival

Saturday, April 15 | Hoyt Sherman Place
After a two-year hiatus, the GDP music festival is back and better than ever! This all-Iowa music fest will showcase The Envy Corps, B.WELL, Annalibera, Geneviève Salamone, James Tutson, EleanorGrace and Lani. And remember to check out the pre-party and after-party, too! At 4 p.m. Saturday, head to Big Grove Brewery for the free, all-ages pre-party including an 80/35 Garage Sale with past merchandise available for purchase. Then post-GDP, hit up Carl’s Place (open to ages 21+ only!) for the after-party with music featuring MFKS, J’Main and Annie Kemble.

Monster Jam

Saturday, April 15 and Sunday, April 16 | Wells Fargo Arena at the Iowa Events Center
You’re in for an adrenaline rush! For two hours of thrills, watch favorite monster trucks like Grave Digger®, El Toro Loco® and several more in unexpected, unscripted and unforgettable motorsports action. Be sure to catch the epic Monster Jam Pit Party fan experience taking place both Saturday and Sunday at 10:30 a.m. to see the trucks up close, meet drivers and crews and take advantage of family-friendly activities.

Petal & Plate: A Monthly Dinner Series

Wednesday, April 19 | Trellis Café at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden
From 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., enjoy a delightful spring garden culinary experience! This month, savor portobello pizza as the starter dish, followed by sun-dried tomato gnocchi with pickled rhubarb, sauteed greens and white beans in a preserved lemon white wine sauce. Then the main course of deconstructed ratatouille over sweet corn whipped hummus with fried risotto cake will be expertly followed by a dessert of honey-chevre panna cotta, served with a strawberry basil compote. (Pro Tip: Come ready to wander the Botanical Garden conservatory and Gardeners Show House before the first course is served!)

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.