A- A+

Fan Favorite Des Moines Events

Fan Favorite Events in DSM

June 22, 2023

Summer in Greater Des Moines (DSM) is officially in full swing and with that so are the many fun events that take place in the region. There are a wide array of events that take place throughout the beautiful metro area, some of my personal favorites are located right in the heart of the city. Downtown Des Moines (DSM) often takes on a life of its own with music, art and business that breathe life into the community.

Iowa Favorites

When naming a few of my all-time favorites, the Downtown Farmers’ Market kicks off the list. The Market is open to the public every Saturday until the end of October, with a vast assortment of different local vendors and small businesses it is a must for locals and people visiting Iowa alike. The Market is one event that happens rain or shine so keep the weather in mind as you plan your farmers’ market experience.

Next on the list to enjoy this summer is right outside of the Downtown DSM area at the Blank Park Zoo. The different events like live music feature a schedule of various local and traveling artists. Zoo Brew is an event for those 21 and older, where you can spend a Wednesday evening enjoying locally sourced craft beer, and we cannot forget the stars of the show … the animals! With a ton of different animals to be enjoyed by all and educational programs for kids like animal feeding at Kid’s Kingdom you cannot go wrong. When planning your next visit, go to blankparkzoo.com for more info.

If you’re like me and got a taste for the live music scene at the Zoo and could not get enough, you’re in luck! There is live music almost every week in DSM. To find out more check out the Greater Des Moines Partnership's latest Live Music in DSM post here.

Live Music in DSM

There are a number of different artists in the region. Local Indie bands, country artists and pop stars — you name it and at some point, the Iowa Event Center or Wells Fargo Area will have it. No matter what kind of music you enjoy you can find it in DSM, and with the communities’ inclusive nature, you may even be encouraged to try something new.

Adding some more culture to my favorite events is the Des Moines Arts Festival, back in Downtown DSM beginning Friday, June 23 at 11 a.m. at the John & Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park in the Western Gateway neighborhood. The three-day festival has been annually held during the last week of June for 25 years. It features many activities for community participation and hosts some amazing food vendors during the entire three-day event.

Des Moines Arts Festival

The Des Moines Arts Festival turns the sculpture park (an already amazing landmark) into a spectacle with close to 200 artists showcasing a number of different mediums.

This summer I encourage you to take some time and experience all that Iowa has to offer, the more that you look, the more you can find here. This community is vibrant and magnanimous, and its people will inspire and encourage you to be your most authentic self. The events listed above are annual proof of that. These events and festivals are a living testament to the wonderful culture and people who call DSM home. So, make your own traditions and figure out your favorite events to go to. Who knows I might just see you there.

This blog was provided by a DSM Fellow. Looking for opportunities as a young professional in Greater Des Moines (DSM)? The DSM Fellowship Program is the preeminent professional development initiative attracting, developing and retaining a diverse community of top-tier graduates to the region. You can also connect with other young professionals and emerging leaders through Young Professionals Connection (YPC) events and committees.

Alyson K. Sassman

Alyson is a Tax Administrator at Fidelity and Guaranteed Life Insurance and Annuities (F&G). She is an Iowa local and a seventh-generation farm kid. With a passion for agriculture and small-town Iowa, Alyson is committed to being an advocate for her community. Image by BC photography.