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Free Things to Do in Downtown Des Moines: January Edition

Free Things to Do

December 29, 2023

Bust out of the house this winter without breaking the bank! These 100% free things to do in Downtown Des Moines (DSM) this January will keep you entertained all month long.

Stand Up Comedy Open Mic Night

Tuesdays, Jan. 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30 | Beechwood Lounge
Every Tuesday in January, Underground Comedy hosts Dan Umthun, Alex Carter and Matt Lamb welcome local comedians and wannabes to the stage at the Beechwood Lounge’s basement bar. Interested comics can sign up beginning at 7:30 p.m. each night, followed by the show starting at 8 p.m.

Underground Comedy

Looking for more weekday things to do? Browse this roundup of trivia, Bingo, comedy and more events taking place Monday through Thursday each week in Downtown Des Moines. Bonus: Many are free to participate!

Winter Warrior Runs

Saturdays, Jan. 6, 13, 20 & 27 | Fleet Feet Des Moines
Each Saturday morning in January, dress for the weather and join fellow Winter Warriors on a social run or walk kicking off at Fleet Feet in the Historic East Village. With routes at approximately three and five miles, you’ll earn points for each day you participate which can be used towards prize drawings (hello, new running gear!). And don’t skip out on Kevan’s world-famous hot chocolate to help you warm up after each run!

 Winter Warriors

Learn to Skate Clinics

Saturday, Jan. 6 & Saturday, Jan. 20 | Brenton Skating Plaza
Adults and kids ages four and up are invited to learn to skate for free at Brenton Skating Plaza! Pro skating coach Darlene Lewis will lead each class, suitable for beginners and those looking to brush up on their ice-skating skills. Pre-registration is required.

 Ice Skating in Downtown DSM

Des Moines Wedding Show

Sunday, Jan. 7 | Scottish Rite Consistory
For all things wedding-related, you won’t want to miss the Des Moines Wedding Show taking place this month. Find 100+ professionals for consideration to make your special day even more special, including catering and cake/dessert samples, live music, prize drawings and a cash bar. General admission is free, with free parking available both on the street and at the 7th & Center Street parking ramp.

 Des Moines Wedding Show

Hey, we think you might also be interested in this guide covering everything you need to know about planning a wedding in Downtown Des Moines. Take a peek!

Crafting for Adults: Buttons! Manualidades para Adultos: Broches!

Tuesday, Jan. 9 | Central Library
Love to craft? Gather with fellow makers in Tech Central at the Library and learn to make buttons. Attendees are encouraged to email their preferred button image in advance or bring the image with them on a flash drive. Additionally, craft-lovers can bring other projects they’re working on and make some progress. Registration is recommended. Se recomienda registrarte.

Crafting at Central Library

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.