Des Moines Arts Festival: Ultimate Kid’s Guide

Des Moines Arts Festival: Ultimate Kid’s Guide

Kid’s Guide to the Des Moines Arts Festival

One of our favorite central Iowa festivals is the Des Moines Arts Festival. It is free to attend and there is a ton offered for all ages. Here is a kid’s guide to the Des Moines Arts Festival this summer in Western Gateway Park.

The ultimate kid's guide for the Des Moines Arts Festival 2019 in Des Moines, Iowa.


Friday, June 28; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Saturday, June 29; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Sunday, June 30; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The schedule + interactive activities

You can find the complete schedule online. You can find everything from live music, special events and more.

Below is a small list of kids activities being offered by local businesses and organizations, some are located in the Creative Family Zone. Some are free and some may ask for a small fee or donation.

  • BOOM ART! an Interactive Mural Project suspended 30 feet high from the all-new MidAmerican Energy all-electric bucket truck.
  • Screen Print with Artforce Iowa
  • The Knotty Nail – hammer, nails, and string!
  • Create spin art with Prairie Meadows and the Altoona Lions Club.
  • Create your own cat, dog or rabbit mask with the ARL.
  • Make a seed ball with the Blank Park Zoo.
  • Be artistic and paint an uplifting message on a rock with Boy 2 Men Youth Programs. 
  • Sketch and transfer on to foam board and more with Catholic Schools Diocese of Des Moines.
  • Create your own necklace from different sizes of metal washers and leather cords with Community Support Advocates, Inc. 
  • Create your own little broom with Des Moines European Heritage Association to hang in your room or on your Christmas tree. 
  • Create and decorate your own 3D version of a home with EveryStep. 
  • Make homemade hair ribbons, a stretch band maze, Hulu hoops and more with the Iowa Dance Theatre. 
  • Make your own egg shaker with Iowa Music Educators Association.
  • Ge creative using upcycled t-shirts to create headbands, bracelets, and necklaces with the Pancreative Cancer Action Network. 
  • And much more! 

Events of Interest 

Other activities + events your kiddos will love

  • Live music! There is a lot of open green space. Find a place to relax and enjoy one of the many artists lined -up to perform. The kids will love to dance and run.
  • Let the children run through and explore the John & Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park.
  • Eat food. The Des Moines Arts Festival is a great place to enjoy delicious, local food.
PappaJohn Sculpture Park, Wester Gateway Park, Des Moines, Iowa, Downtown Des Moines

Some tips to make your life a bit easier with kids

  • Bring cash. Some food vendors and shops may accept cards, but not all. There are different ATM locations available. 
  • If you are bringing a stroller, throw a large blanket and/or foldable chair for sitting & listening to the live music.
  • Bring water bottles & snacks! There are food vendors, but you may want to eat one big meal.
  • Bring a swimsuit and extra change of clothes. There is a fun area to play and get wet. A great place to cool off in the heat of the Summer.
Western Gateway Park, Des Moines, Iowa, Downtown Des Moines

Erin Huiatt

Erin is a reliable resource and stepping stone for women and families to find support and make connections within our community. She wants families to feel confident to reach out and ask for help and advice to get pointed in the right direction. She enjoys traveling and exploring with her two children in tow!

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