Your perfect day of summer 2024 starts and ends in the Historic Valley Junction. Find charming nods to West Des Moines’ origins sprinkled into the spunky food, shopping, and culture of one of our favorite neighborhoods. We’ve put together five hits of Valley Junction you can’t miss. Start with these, but don’t limit yourself…

1. Mingle and Music 

Spend an evening at the Valley Junction Farmers Market strolling through over 80 vendors selling fresh produce, baked goods, handmade jewelry, and more. The market runs from 4 – 8 p.m. on Thursdays starting in May and runs through September.  

After you’ve grabbed a gourmet grilled cheese or a vegan pastry for dessert, follow the sounds to Music in the Junction, a street party and weekly showcase of local musicians. This free event begins Thursdays at 6 p.m., with the beverage garden in Railroad Park opening at 5 p.m. with drinks for purchase.

2. Events That Engage 

Summer is never short of things to do in the Junction. Don’t miss out on special events like the Cinco de Mayo Festival (May 4), the Historic Valley Junction Arts Festival (May 19), Vintage in the Valley (June 23), and so much more. The best part? All these events are FREE!

3. Eat, Drink, Eat Some More 

Whether it’s brunch, lunch, drinks, or a meal on the go, you’re sure to find something to cure your cravings here. Visit G Mig’s for hit-the-spot bar food, head down to St. Kilda Collective for farm-to-table freshness, grab a craft cocktail at Winchester Public House, or pair Des Best cheese curds in town with the big game at Bix & Co. Want a quick treat to cool down this summer? Try Big Acai Bowl for the ultimate refresher.

4. Shop Til You Drop 

Make sure you browse through Valley Junction’s six square blocks filled with all kinds of hip and eclectic shops. There is something for everyone, from A Ok Antiques, offering vintage, collectible, and refurbished items, to Reading in Public, a modern twist on the classic bookstore. Freshen up your wardrobe or find that perfect home good to tie the room together at local favorites like Bozz Prints and MoMere.

5. Make it an Experience 

No adventure is complete without a one-of-a-kind Valley Junction experience: Throw a clay pot at Kunzler Studios, or skip the sculpting and head straight for the glaze at Five Monkeys Inc. If you’re a cat person, you need to share a cappuccino with a calico at Coffee Cats… and if you are a dog person, swing by Bing’s to visit the shop pup, Penny!