Summer is my favorite time of year! I love the extra time I am able to spend with my kids and all of the activities we can do together in the summer. If you're making travel plans to the Des Moines metro this summer, and looking for some accessible activities your family can enjoy together, I encourage you to check out these fun opportunities.


1. Blank Park Zoo: Dreamnight at the Blank Park Zoo provides a unique opportunity for children with special health care needs and their families to enjoy train rides, story book characters, animal enrichment demonstrations, face painting, crafts, live music, dinner, and more-all for free. Dreamnight is Friday, June 5 and Saturday, June 6 from 6-8:00 p.m. This event is available by invitation only; Easter Seals Iowa has a limited number of tickets available. Call Easter Seals Iowa to receive tickets for your family at (515) 309-1300. Learn more about the event here



2. Performing Arts: The Des Moines Community Playhouse provides American Sign Language interpreters on request, audio description at select performances and infrared listening devices for all mainstage performances. Learn more at


3. The Principal Charity Classic: This Champions Tour event is June 2-7 at Wakonda Club in Des Moines. Easter Seals Iowa is proud to sponsor Disability Services at the tournament this year. Accessible parking is available at Southridge Mall and guests can take an accessible shuttle to the main entrance. The 13th Green and 18th Green provide accessible viewing areas. Guests utilizing wheelchairs or scooters may follow cart paths to access viewing areas. Cart services are also available for those needing assistance. Learn more at


4. Assistive Technology Center: While this isn't a recreational opportunity, I encourage you to check out this resource while you're in town. The Assistive Technology Center located at Easter Seals Iowa Camp Sunnyside in Des Moines and serves the entire state of Iowa. Through the center devices are loaned to individuals to aid in the activities of daily living. Devices range from computer adaptations, voice activated software, memory aids, educational sensory items, safety devices, and devices to assist with bathing, eating and medication management. Learn more at



5. Courage League Sports: Courage League Sports in Urbandale is a recreational adaptive sports facility specifically designed for children with disabilities. Passes to try out equipment can be purchased for $5 each. Learn more at



-- Sherri Nielsen