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Find dozens of ideas for things to do, activities and events in Des Moines

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Tuesdays through October 5

Johnston Farmers’ Market

The Johnston Farmers’ Market will take place each Tuesday from 3:30-6:30 p.m. at the Johnston Public Library, 6700 Merle Hay Road, Johnston. Enjoy produce and local goods from a variety of vendors. Free admission.

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Thursdays through September 30

Valley Junction Farmers Market

Join in the fun of the 33rd season of the Valley Junction Farmers Market each Thursday, located in HIstoric Valley Junction, the 4th-7th blocks of Railroad Avenue and Locust Street in West Des Moines. Find fresh produce and quality local products. 4-8 p.m. Visit for an interactive map to find out what vendors will be on hand each week. Free admission.

Saturdays through October 30

Downtown Des Moines Farmers’ Market

The modified in-person Downtown Des Moines Farmers’ Market will run each Saturday May through October in the Historic Court District in Downtown Des Moines. The scaled-back market will focus on providing only fresh produce and farm and artisan packaged food from local vendors to the community in a safe, socially distanced way. Approximately 110 vendors will be set up each Saturday. Other vendors will be selling products online at 7 a.m.-noon. Free admission.

Fridays through October 8

Fridays at the Farm

Head to Middlebrook Farm Friday nights for a farmers market, plus live music and food trucks. A Wine Wagon will also be available with wine and beer selections. Admission is free. Bring a lawn chair or sit at one of the picnic tables. 4:30-7:30 p.m. 4300 Cumming Ave., Cumming. Check out the live music lineup at

Tuesdays through September 14

Beaverdale Farmers’ Market

The Beaverdale Farmers’ Market takes place Tuesdays from 4-7 p.m. in the Franklin Junior HIgh Parking Lot, 4801 Franklin Ave. Vendors offer fresh produce, baked goods and prepared meals. Free admission.

Wednesdays through September 29

Waukee Farmers Market

The Waukee Farmers Market takes place each Wednesday in the Downtown Triangle of Waukee (6th Street), offering fresh produce and local goods. 4-7 p.m. Free admission.

Through August 30

Pleasant Hill Community Farmers Market

Enjoy fresh produce, baked goods, crafts, food and more each Monday from 4-7 p.m. Berean Church parking lot, 5299 E. University Ave. Pleasant HIll. Free.

Through June 20

'A Love Offering'

Co-produced by the Des Moines Community Playhouse and Pyramid Theatre Company, “A Love Offering” tells the story of T’Wana Jepson, a nurse’s aide caring for patients with Alzheimers, and what happens when she is attacked by the patient in room E 204. See the play in person on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. Sundays at the Playhouse, 831 42nd St. You can also watch a livestream on June 4 at 7:30 p.m. or choose video on demand through June 17. Learn more and purchase tickets at

Through July 25

Summer Sundaze

Spend a relaxing Sunday evening at the Jamie Hurd Amphitheater for live music, lawn games, food trucks and more family-friendly fun. 5:30 p.m. 4100 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines. Admission is free.

Through August 6

Moonlit Movies

Join West Des Moines Parks and Recreation each Friday June 4-August 6 for a free outdoor movie series. Come an hour prior to the show for activities related to the movie and food to purchase. Movies will begin at sunset. Jamie Hurd Amphitheater, 4100 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines. See the movie schedule and check for updates at the West Des Moines Parks and Recreation Facebook page.

Through July 11

Music Under the Stars

It’s the 74th season of Music Under the Stars, central Iowa’s favorite Sunday night event. Bring your own lawn chairs, blankets and picnic baskets and enjoy a variety of band, instrumental and jazz music on the West Capitol Mall. Concessions provided by The Outside Scoop. 7-8:30 p.m. 1007 E. Grand Ave. Rain location: Drake Fine Arts Center, 25th and Carpenter. Free admission.

June 17

Corey Taylor/CMFT with Cherry Bombs

Corey Taylor of Slipknot and Stone Sour will perform live at the Horizon Events Center with special guests Cherry Bombs. Presented by LAZER 103.3. 7 p.m. 2100 NW 100th St., Clive. Tickets are $54 at

Music in the Garden - Dustin Smith

Listen to the rich country music of Dustin Smith in the outdoor Koehn Garden at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Center. Bring your own outdoor seating or blankets. Trellis Cafe will serve grilled items for guests to purchase. Capacity is limited, and tickets are sold at the door on a first come, first serve basis. 6-9 p.m. 909 Robert D. Ray Drive. $10 adults, $9 seniors and military, $7 youth, free ages 3 and under.

June 17-20

Johnston Green Days

Visit Terra Park in Johnston for Johnston’s annual Green Days celebration, featuring a carnival, parade, Bill Riley Talent Search, games, entertainment and more. 6300 Pioneer Parkway, Johnston. For a full list of events, visit

June 18

Midland “Back to the Minors” Tour

Country music superstars Midland will play at Principal Park in a special on-field performance as part of their “Back to the Minors” Tour. Attendees will have the option of viewing the concert from the field in private pods or from the seating bowl. Only blankets or towels will be permitted on the field. 6 p.m. 1 Line Drive. Tickets start at $29 at

June 18-19

Video: Video: Protests disrupt Des Moines City Council's first in-person meeting in months (Des Moines Register)


4th Annual Juneteenth Comedy Jam

This 4th annual three-show comedy showcase will feature the finest local and regional African American comedians. Friday at 7:30 p.m. is the Ladies Night Showcase and the New Crew Showcase is Saturday at 7 p.m. and will introduce you to newer comics. The closing ceremony will be the Heavy Hitters Showcase Saturday at 9:30 p.m. with some of the favorite comedians from prior Juneteenth Comedy Jam shows. Teehee’s Comedy Club, 1433 Walnut St. $20 Friday, $15 Saturday early show, $25 Saturday late show. Purchase tickets at

Shaun Latham

Shaun Latham is host of the Barstool Sports show 20 Dollar Chef and his new show The Shaun Latham Show, a daily one-hour show featuring comedy and interviews on SiriusXM’s Channel 85. See him perform live at the Funny Bone Comedy Club, 650 S. Prairie View Drive, Suite 100, West Des Moines. 8 p.m.June 18, 7 and 9:30 p.m. June 19. Tickets start at $17 at

June 18-20

Des Moines Latino Film Festival

Don’t miss the inaugural Des Moines Latino Film Festival. Celebrate the Latino culture through arts, music, food, movies and other performances for the whole family. Friday will feature a Street Party on 16th Street between East Grand and East Des Moines Streets. Saturday and Sunday will take place in Riverview Park, 710 Corning Ave. Iowa Latino produced films and directors will be celebrated throughout the festival, interspersed with national and international films from the Chicago Latino Film Festival. Free admission.

June 18-26

Art Week Des Moines

Don’t miss all the goings-on during the weeklong celebration of local art, organized by artists. Check out the schedule at

June 19

Pedal Bike Patio Party

Kick off patio season at Hawk Heaven Tavern with their Pedal Bike Patio Party for all of their pedal bike patrons. Enjoy live music, craft beer samples and a food truck. 1-4 p.m. 805 17th Ave. SW, Altoona, right off the Gay Lee Trail. Free.

The Bacoon Ride

If you like to ride bicycles and eat bacon, this ride is for you. Enjoy a 71-mile ride on the scenic Raccoon River Valley Trail and enjoy bacon food specialties along the way. Learn more and register at

Neighbor’s Day

Celebrate Juneteenth at Western Gateway Park with the whole family. Visit the many vendors, including Manifestival and Urban City Magazine. 11 a.m.-11 p.m. 1205 Locust St. Free admission.

2nd Annual Community Water Balloon Fight

Come to the 2nd Annual Community Water Balloon Fight at Evelyn K. Davis Park. 1-4 p.m. 1400 Forest Ave. Free.

June 19-20

Des Moines Health & Fitness Expo

Get health, nutrition and fitness education from experts in their fields and explore tons of vendors. See cooking demonstrations, participate in strength challenges and much more. 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. Horizon Events Center, 2100 NW 100th St., Clive. Tickets are $5 for adults and free for ages 17 and under. See the full schedule of events and purchase tickets at

June 22

ARL Dog Days of Summer at Iowa Cubs

Bring your favorite furry friend to the Iowa Cubs game and sit with other dogs and their owners in a special section of the park. Dogs attend free with paid human admission. Each dog will receive a bandana and the opportunity to participate in a dog parade on the field before the game. Principal Park, 1 Line Drive. 6 p.m. Tickets are $16 for humans. Sign up at

June 24-July 15

2021 Camp Dodge Summer Concert Series

The Iowa National Guard is bringing back its popular outdoor summer concert series at the Historic Pool Pavilion. June 24 -- The Nadas; July 1 -- The Sidewinders, 34th Army Band; July 8 -- Brother Trucker; July 15 -- Standing Hampton. 6-9 p.m. East gate at 7700 NW Beaver Drive, Johnston. Free admission.

June 25-26

Outdoor Summer Theatrical Concert Events: The Bridges of Madison County

In collaboration with the West Des Moines Parks and Recreation, Tallgrass Theatre Company will present the concert version of the hit Broadway Musical “The Bridges of Madison County.” 7:30 p.m. Friday (Gates open at 6:30.), 1 p.m. Saturday (Gates open at noon.). Jamie Hurd Amphitheater, 4100 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines. Free-will donation suggestion of $20. 

June 26-27

Spring Barn Tour  by Iowa Barn Foundation

Jack Smith, president of the Iowa Barn Foundation, will give a personal preview of the amazing historic and beautiful barns at the Anamosa State Penitentiary (Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.). These barns have never been open to the public before.  In addition to the historic Anamosa State Penitentiary barns, an extraordinary tour touting Iowa historic treasured private historic barns will also be on Saturday and Sunday, from 8:30 to 5 p.m. Also featured will be a close-up look at the history of Grant Wood, a revered quarry, Stone City, and some of the state's most picturesque landscape, centered in the Stone City and Anamosa area. More information: Roxanne Mehlisch, 641-751-1406. Free admission.

June 25-27

2021 Des Moines Arts Festival

The Des Moines Arts Festival is an 11-time winner of the coveted Grand Pinnacle Award from the International Festivals and Events Association and attracts more than 200,000 people each year. See works from 180 of the nation’s top artists at the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park and newly constructed Krause Gateway Center. 1330 Grand Ave. Free. For a schedule of events, visit

June 26

Jeanne Robertson

This rescheduled event features 75-year-old comedian Jeanne Robertson on her Rocking Humor Tour. The former Miss North Carolina, at 6 foot 2 inches, continues to charm audiences with her humorous observations about life around her. 7 p.m. Hoyt Sherman Place, 1501 Woodland Ave. Tickets start at $40 at

Water Lantern Festival Des Moines

Voted #1 Best Cultural Festival by USA TODAY, the Water Lantern Festival returns to Water Works Park. Enjoy food, games, vendors, music and the beauty of thousands of lanterns adorned with letters of love, hope and dreams reflected on the water. 4:30-10 p.m. 4343 Water Works Park. Tickets start at $25.99. See prices and learn more at

June 26-27

Artfest Midwest

This two-day indoor fine arts show features artists from the Midwest and across the nation. The family-friendly event specializes in showcasing various media, from painting, photography, clay, metal, glass and more. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Hy-Vee Hall at Iowa Events Center, 730 3rd St. Free.

June 27

Live at the Creek and Fireworks

Kick off the Live at the Creek Concert Series at Jordan Creek Town Center. Enjoy live music by Final Mix starting at 5 p.m. Enjoy fireworks at dusk and drinks from a beverage vendor. The family-friendly event is free. 101 Jordan Creek Parkway, West Des Moines.

June 29

Playhouse Pavilion Party

Enjoy a garden party to celebrate the kick off of tent theatre, featuring heavy appetizers, a signature cocktail, a silent auction and a special preview of the summer and fall seasons. 5:30-7 p.m. Des Moines Community Playhouse parking lot, 831 42nd St. Tickets are $50 per person at

July 2-3

Big Country Bash

This two-day music festival celebrates country music and local radio. Camp, explore vendors and enjoy the outdoors at the Avenue of the Saints Amphitheater. Scheduled to perform are Lee Brice, Scotty McCreery, Jordan Davis, Cam, Jon Pardi, Brett Young, Eli Young Band, Ingrid Andress, Tyler Farr and more. Fireworks conclude each night. 12 -9:45 p.m. 3357 St. Charles Road, St. Charles. Tickets start at $65 at

October 14

Air Supply

Originally scheduled for March 29, 2020, Air Supply will play Hoyt Sherman Place on April 8, 2021. Iconic band of the 1970s and 80s, Air Supply sold more than 20 million copies of their albums Lost in Love, The One That You Love, Now & Forever and The Greatest Hits. Hear them belt out favorites like “All Out of Love” and “Lost in Love” when they play at Hoyt Sherman Place, 1501 Woodland Ave, in a concert rescheduled from March 29. 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $49 at

October 20

Jeff Dunham

Rescheduled several times, comedian/ventriloquist Jeff Dunham and his somewhat-inappropriate proteges, Peanut, Walter, José Jalapeño, Bubba J. and Achmed the Dead Terrorist, will finally make a stop at Wells Fargo Arena on their “Seriously?! World Tour.” Don’t miss their cringe-worthy banter and antics. 3 p.m. 730 Third St. Tickets are $50.50 at

November 12

Georgia on My Mind: Celebrating the Music of Ray Charles

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the hit “Georgia on My Mind,” the first number one hit of Ray Charles, who would become one of the most influential musicians of the 21st century, the Civic Music Association presents a special concert featuring the music of Ray Charles performed by Take 6, Nnenna Freelon and Clint Holmes. 7:30 p.m. Hoyt Sherman Place, 1501 Woodland Ave. For tickets, visit

November 20

Gladys Knight

Legendary singer Gladys Knight has won seven Grammy Awards and has enjoyed #1 hits in Pop, Gospel, R&B and Adult Contemporary. At the age of 16, Gladys Knight fronted Gladys Knight and the Pips when they released their first album in 1960. They went on to record the most memorable songs for the next three decades, including “Every Beat of My Heart,” “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” and “Midnight Train to Georgia.” 7:30 p.m. Hoyt Sherman Place, 1501 Woodland Ave. All ticket holders will be invited to tour the new Center for Arts and Education at Hoyt Sherman Place and enjoy celebratory refreshments. Tickets start at $79 at This is a rescheduled event.

This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: Find dozens of ideas for things to do, activities and events in Des Moines


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