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Des Moines Spotlight


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Greater Des Moines Events

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Catch the vibe of Greater Des Moines. Festivals and endless foods-on-a-stick. Art shows and the Downtown Farmers’ Market. Live music at the Iowa Events Center. Racing at Prairie Meadows and the Iowa Speedway. Stage theater at the Des Moines Playhouse and the Civic Center. Catch sports action. Iowa Wild, Cubs and Energy. Family-friendly and free events. Catch it all in a city that thrives and thrills. Experience more in Greater Des Moines.


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Special Events

AAU Junior Olympics

July 23, 2014 to August 02, 2014 (Recurring daily)
  • Location: Greater Des Moines and Iowa City
  • Times: See description below
  • Admission: Passport: $40.00 (6 & under free); Daily Pass: $12.00 (6 & under free)
  • Website

Registration times for certain sports may differ, please check your sport's entry information for specific check-in times. You may only check-in at your sport's designated location. Participants should check-in the day prior to competing. CHECK-IN LOCATIONS: SPORTS: Iowa Events Center: Baton Twirling, Bowling, Cheerleading, Cricket, FOS AllSports Combine, Gymnastics...

Baking Expereince Session 4 Creme Summer Camp for Kids

July 22, 2014 to July 24, 2014 (Recurring daily)

Bakery Experience: Day 1 Cinnamon Rolls & Cake Balls Day 2 Bars & Cookies Day 3 Cupcakes - cupcakes, frostings, decorations + Graduation ceremony. As seen on Food Network's Cupcake Wars, voted Cityview best dessert & DSM Magazine's Top Bakery! Details: •3 day session Tue-Thur •Enrollment strictly limited to 6 students & for Ages...

Family Days @ The Races

July 13, 2014 to July 27, 2014 (Recurring daily)

Coloring books, crafts, spin art, mascots, Heartland Greyhound Adoption, Animal Rescue League, Des Moines Mounted Police, Avenue of Horses. Sunday brunch special $11.95/adults; $5.95/children; Free/children under age 5.

Free Flicks - Outdoor Movies

June 05, 2014 to September 04, 2014
  • Location: See website for locations
  • Times: 9 p.m. approximately
  • Admission: Free
  • Website

Thursday nights - with some exceptions...check website. Movie locations are in partnership with neighborhood associations and Des Moines Art Center, Full schedule on website.

Free Flicks: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2

July 24, 2014
  • Location: Tower Park
  • 4900 Hickman Road
  • Des Moines, IA 50310
  • Times: Around 9 p.m.
  • Admission: Free
  • Phone: 515-277-4405
  • Website

Free Flicks is a summer-long series of outdoor movie showings throughout the Des Moines area. The films will be shown on a 25-foot portable screen, and will begin after sunset around 9 p.m. Admission is free, blankets & lawn chairs are encouraged. People are free to bring their own snacks as concessions will not be provided for purchase. Des Moines neighborhood associ...

From Speaker to Receiver Exhibition

June 13, 2014 to August 24, 2014 (Recurring daily)

From Speaker to Receiver seeks to explore the role of spoken and written communication as a catalyst for social agency in a world radically altered by digital information and social networking. The exhibition specifically looks at how artists use the linguistic transfer of information to address a broad set of issues pertaining to political and religious propaganda, history, ...

Funny Bone presents D.C. Benny

July 23, 2014 to July 26, 2014
  • Location: Funny Bone Comedy Club
  • 570 Prairie View Drive
  • West Des Moines, IA 50266
  • Times: see website
  • Admission: see website
  • Phone: 515-270-2100
  • Website

Tickets/more information: http://www.funnybonedm.com/.

Garden Chic: Painting Class @ Pinot's Palette

July 24, 2014
  • Location: Pinot's Palette
  • 900 42nd Street
  • Des Moines, IA 50312
  • Times: 7 - 9 p.m.
  • Admission: $35
  • Phone: 515-277-7651
  • Email | Website

Hy-Vee Cup

July 24, 2014

The Hy-Vee Cup is the special kick off to the Meals from the Heartland Annual Hunger Fight scheduled August 27-30 at Hy-Vee Hall in downtown Des Moines. Includes entertainment, education and meal packaging.  The Annual Hunger Fight will engage 15,000 volunteers to package 5 million meals in the largest event of its type in the United States.  This is the seventh year ...

Hy-Vee Cup Challenge

July 24, 2014

Join us to cheer on teams competing for the Hy-Vee Cup at the kick-off event for the Meals from the Heartland Annual Hunger Fight. On Thursday, July 24, more than a dozen local teams will join in a friendly competition at Jordan Creek Town Center to package meals.  

Iowa Cubs vs New Orleans

July 24, 2014

Jazz in July - The Jazz Page

July 24, 2014
  • Location: Waukee Downtown Triangle
  • S 6th Street and Ashworth Drive
  • Waukee,
  • Times: 6:30 - 8 p.m.
  • Admission: Free
  • Website

Jazz in July Lunch time concert

July 24, 2014
  • Location: American Enterprise Art Park
  • 601 6th Ave
  • Des Moines, IA 50309
  • Times: 11:30 am - 1 pm
  • Admission: Free

Jazz in July lunch time concert featuring Max Wellman.

Music in the Junction: The Blue Band

July 24, 2014

Join us for our signature event in Historic Valley Junction - our weekly Farmers Market and Music in the Junction concert series. Free parking and free shuttle service are available 4-9 p.m. during all scheduled Thursday night events at Hillside Elementary School, 713 8th St., West Des Moines. Farmers Market is home to over 100 weekly vendors selling fresh produce, baked goods,...

Nitefall on the River: Umphrey's McGee

July 24, 2014

Since forming in the late '90s, the musically muscular and relentlessly inventive Umphrey's McGee has cultivated an impressive presence both live and in the studio. Lauded by critics and adored by fans, the band continues to draw in new listeners with their singular style: virtuoso playing and acrobatic tempo changes and rhythmic shifts complemented by dazzling song craft and...

Polk City Farmer's Market

May 29, 2014 to October 09, 2014
  • Location: Polk City Town Square
  • Times: 4 - 7 p.m.
  • Admission: Free
  • Phone: 515-238-2850
  • Website

The Polk City Farmer's Market will take place every Thursday from May 29 - mid-October from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.!

Summer Concert Series: Flipside

July 24, 2014
  • Venue: Jasper Winery
  • 2400 George Flagg Parkway
  • Des Moines, IA 50321
  • Times: 6 - 9 p.m.
  • Admission: Free
  • Phone: 515-282-9463
  • Website

Join us every Thursday from 6 - 9pm this summer for live music at Jasper Winery! As always, we'll have all of our wines, sangria & Madhouse Brewing Company beer available by the glass. The grill will be back this year for burgers & brats with a some special appearances by Gusto Pizza. For the really hot nights, don't forget to enjoy a Chocolaterie Stam gelato float! R...

Summer Sounds - Ankeny Community Chorus / Ankeny Community Band

July 24, 2014
  • Location: Wagner Park
  • 410 W 1st Street
  • Ankeny, IA 50023
  • Times: 7:00pm - 8:30 pm
  • Admission: Free

The Summer Sounds Concert Series is held on Thursday nights at the 'Shell in Wagner Park. Live music will run from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The concerts are free and open to the public; bring lawn chairs and blankets for seating

Summer Sounds: Ankeny Comm. Band & Community Chorus

July 24, 2014
  • Location: Wagner Park
  • 410 W 1st Street
  • Ankeny, IA
  • Times: 7 - 8:30 p.m.
  • Admission: Free

Enjoy live music during the Summer Sounds Concert Series at Wagner Park, Thursday nights starting June 19. The concerts are free and open to the public from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Residents are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets to the concerts. Scheduled performers are: El Dorado, June 19; Nice Bangs, June 26; Abby Normal, July 17; Ankeny Community Band and Ank...

Valley Junction Farmers Market

July 24, 2014

Join us for our signature event in Historic Valley Junction – our weekly Farmers Market (plus Music in the Junction concert series)! Free parking & free shuttle service available 4-9 p.m. during all scheduled Thursday night events at Hillside Elementary School, 713 8th Street, West Des Moines. The West Des Moines Farmers Market is home to over 100 weekly vendo...

Wear Purple for Alzheimer's Awareness

July 24, 2014
  • Location: Glen Oaks Country Club
  • 1401 Glen Oaks Drive
  • West Des Moines, IA 50266
  • Times: 4:30 p.m. - 6 p.m.
  • Admission: Free (donations)
  • Phone: 515.440.6383x107
  • Email | Website

Official Des Moines Walk to End Alzheimer's Kickoff Did you know someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with Alzheimer's every 67 seconds? Or that Alzheimer's disease is the fifth-leading cause of death in Iowa? Show your support for those living with Alzheimer's by wearing purple on Thursday, July 24. Send us a photo of how you "go purple" and we will feature the b...

YWRC- Movin' onto Middle School

July 14, 2014 to July 25, 2014 (Recurring daily)
  • Location: The Young Women's Resource Center
  • 818 5th Avenue
  • Des Moines, IA 50309
  • Times: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Admission: Free
  • Phone: 515-244-4901
  • Email | Website

A free 2-week program for 5th grade girls who are going into 6th grade! We'll be talking about self-esteem, body image, healthy relationships, reproductive health, and what concerns the girls may have about middle school. We have lots of fun activities planned and can even provide transportation for the girls.

On-Going Events

Botanical Details

July 05, 2014 to August 31, 2014 (Recurring daily)

Local painter Jerri Ross presents a series of plant paintings from a unique point of view as executed in watercolor and gouache media. The exhibit celebrates Jerri's excitement and fascination with plants and their diversity of colors, patterns, anatomical symmetry and chaotic growth. Jerri's art is influenced by her experiences as an architectural designer and travels abroad. ...

Douglas and Harnack Exhibit

June 03, 2014 to July 26, 2014 (Recurring daily)
  • Location: Ankeny Art Center
  • 1520 SW Ordnance Rd.
  • Ankeny, IA 50021
  • Times: Gallery hours: Tuesday/Wednesday 9am - 1pm; Thursday 4 - 7pm; Friday 9am - 1pm; Saturday 9am - Noon
  • Admission: Free
  • Phone: 515-965-0940
  • Email | Website

Exhibition: June 3-July 27; Opening Reception: Thursday, June 5, 5 to 7pm! The Ankeny Art Center gallery & receptions are free & open to the public. Wine & appetizers will be served. Main Gallery: Pamela S. Douglas specializes in painting & drawing. Like many professional artists her work has evolved from a traditional approach to a more intense exp...

Live Thoroughbred Racing

April 20, 2014 to August 09, 2014 (Every Sunday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday)
  • Location: Prairie Meadows
  • 1 Prairie Meadows Drive
  • Altoona, IA 50009
  • Times: Thurs - Sat 6:30 p.m.; Sun 1 p.m. through August 9
  • Admission: No admission fee
  • Website
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The Parent Organization of the Des Moines Area Sports Commission
400 Locust Street, Suite 265, Des Moines, IA 50309-2350 (800) 451-2625
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