A- A+

Upcoming Events for Incoming Students in Downtown DSM

Events for Incoming Students

August 22, 2023

As summer winds down and fall ramps up, see what’s going on in Downtown Des Moines (DSM)! There are several festivals and events that offer students somewhere to meet others living, working and learning as a student in the city. Here’s a few we recommend!

1. Get to Know Downtown Des Moines Food + Drinks Thanks to Des Moines Restaurant Week

Through Sunday, Aug. 27 | Varies
When you’re dining out in Downtown Des Moines through this Sunday, check out the special menus for Des Moines Restaurant Week. Local restaurants are offering their best options, and students can easily discover new places to eat!

2. Experience the Flavors Surrounding the Award-Winning World Food & Music Festival

Aug. 25 – 27 | Western Gateway Park
First up is the World Food & Music Festival. With its wide selection of unique musical acts and delicious food vendors, students can enjoy a whole lot of variety in Downtown Des Moines’ Pappajohn Sculpture Park in Western Gateway. Attend this Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. to try foods with items from across 26 countries. See the layout of vendors and activities on the Festival Map or meet someone new by volunteering!

3. Get to Know Ingersoll Avenue During Ingersoll LIVE

Saturday, Aug. 26 | 2800 Ingersoll Ave.
What college student doesn’t love a party? Well, when you attend the free Ingersoll LIVE Block Party from 3 – 10 p.m. Saturday, you can get to know others in the Ingersoll neighborhood as you take part in mini golf, watch pop-up performances and visit vendor booths featuring local artists. Check out our guide to the Block Party to find out about the food and entertainment as well as how to get to the event.

4. Take Advantage of the Iowa Cubs Dollar Dogs Night

Tuesday, Sept. 5 | Principal Park
On Tuesday, Sept. 5, the Iowa Cubs take on the Omaha Storm Chasers at Principal Park in Downtown Des Moines. Highlight for students? Hot dogs are just $1 the entire game, so you can enjoy some baseball and eat economically, too! The game begins at 6:38 p.m.

5. Wear Your School Colors at the Touchdown Tailgate

Saturday, Sept. 9 | Cowles Commons
Two jumbotron TVs will showcase the Iowa vs. Iowa State game on Saturday, Sept. 9 at 2:30 p.m. Students can enjoy local food truck vendors, music and free admission for this Downtown Des Moines tailgate party. The party starts at 10 a.m.

6. Navigate Des Moines Streets by Attending the 3rd Annual Streetstyle Open

Sept. 21 – 23 | Varies
During the third annual Streetstyle Open presented by Kum & Go, new students can watch an open street contest that runs throughout the city. The contest stops along Lauridsen Skatepark along the way — Downtown Des Moines’ skatepark and the largest open park in the nation located next to the Des Moines River. The multi-day skate event includes a Welcome to Town Block Party on Thursday, Sept. 21 at Subsect Skateshop and other fun events for college-aged spectators.

7. Celebrate Culture at Iowa’s Latino Heritage Festival

Sept. 23 – 24 | Western Gateway Park
From 10 a.m. until 11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23 and from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24, attend the Latino Heritage Festival. This inclusive weekend offers Latin music, artist displays, food vendors and cultural booths in Western Gateway Park. This festival gives back to the community — specifically students! — through scholarships for Iowa high school and college students, too!

If you’re a new student in Downtown Des Moines, check out the seven events above to get to know your surroundings and potentially meet other students, too! Find parking and navigation info and a full events calendar online. And don’t forget to follow Downtown Des Moines on Facebook and Instagram.

The Greater Des Moines Partnership calendar of events is a one-stop resource for activities taking place throughout the region. Find networking information for Greater Des Moines (DSM) businesses or events specific to Downtown DSM.

Amelia Klatt

Amelia Klatt is the Director of Events for the Greater Des Moines Partnership. Her background working with nonprofit organizations has led to skills as a relationship builder and events professional. Klatt received her MPA from Drake University in 2019.