Each month, we highlight the most buzzworthy places and events in Greater Des Moines in a feature we call Des Buzz. It's your “in the know” list of places to go!
Summer in Des Moines is festival season and there’s no better way to kick it off than with the 25th anniversary of the Des Moines Arts Festival! From June 24 – 26, spend the weekend admiring different displays of art throughout Western Gateway Park. Buy your own piece, let your kiddos make their own spin art, and enjoy food and live music all weekend long. This free festival won the Gold Grand Pinnacle Award, reflecting the “best festival in the world”. Not Des Moines. Not Iowa. The world. (Mic drop)
On Saturday, June 18, head to Capitol Hill to experience Red Bull Soap Box Race Iowa. Watch 50 different teams attempt to race their handmade karts down a track. Competitors have themes for their karts and must perform a show before sending it down the hill. This is the weirdest, wackiest event to come to Greater Des Moines in ages. If you need more convincing, watch this video of all the hilarity here. Expect lots of cheering, plenty of (safe) crashes, and an overall great time.
Summer is in bloom and your patio is ready for its makeover, so head out to Pots and Shots in West Des Moines for your fill of not only plants, but tasty beverages as well. That’s because it’s not only a haven for green thumbs, but they also have a full-service bar. So, while shopping for your plants, sip on a delicious drink at the same time. It’s the perfect pair.
The month of June is Pride Month and Greater Des Moines has celebrations for everyone all month long! Whether it's a Pride Walk, Pride Pageant, pool party, or a parade, Capital City Pride has endless ideas on ways to celebrate. The biggest celebration happens from June 10 - 12 when Pride Fest takes place. Enjoy entertainment from headliners Matt and Kim and Todrick Hall, as well as a street festival all weekend long in the East Village. Learn more about Pride Fest here!
Quiet please! Principal Charity Classic returns to beautiful Wakonda Club from June 1 – 5. (Golf clap.) This PGA Champions tournament raises millions of dollars for Iowa Children’s Charities, so you can cheer on some big-name golfers while also supporting a great cause. Spend your weekend at the Wakonda Club soaking up the sun and taking in Iowa’s premier annual golf event.
Last year we were able to experience 70.2 miles of intensity, but this year we are doubling up! All day on Sunday, June 12, IRONMAN Des Moines will be happening throughout the whole city! Cheer on the swimmers at Grays Lake, bikers throughout the city all the way to Winterset, and the runners throughout Downtown Des Moines. Need an idea for where to find the athletes? Check out our Best Viewing Spots blog here. Enjoy cheering the athletes on to the finish line!
Head to the Iowa Events Center from June 21 – 26 for the 2022 USA Gymnastics Championships! Cheer on the athletes as they compete in acro, rhythmic, trampoline, and tumbling disciplines. This is a direct path to the National Team, so the best of the best will be competing. Tickets are on sale now. It’ll be a flipping good time!
Our dark horse pick for most underrated Des Moines destination is Prairie Meadows. Prairie Meadows has live horse races every Friday – Monday. It’s the perfect way to enjoy some time outside while cheering on the fastest (or cutest) horses. Don’t miss the third of the Triple Crown Race Days with Belmont on June 11. June is the perfect time to experience the races, but don’t worry, they continue through October if you need even more racing in your life.