Kid’s Guide to the Des Moines Arts Festival 2021
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.
Friday, June 25; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturday, June 26; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday, June 27; 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.
- SPIN ART – Join Prairie Meadows and the Altoona Lions Club to create your newest masterpiece from everyone’s favorite art pastime.
- FLEECE PET TOY – Design your own fleece pet toy for your furry friend or one of theirs.
- SKETCH – Who’s an influential person of color in your life? Share it with the world!
- SEED BALLS – Create seed balls from organic clay.
- ROCK PAINTING – Paint an uplifting message on a rock.
- JEWELRY MAKING – Create a jewelry masterpiece from everyday items like washers, tape, clips, ribbon, and buttons.
- T-SHIRT DESIGN – Design a t-shirt that focuses on raising awareness of dyslexia.
- CULTURAL CRAFTS – European cultural crafts from Croatia, England, Russia, Ukraine, & Germany.
- THANK YOU – Create a thank you card to give to someone who has made an impact on you using markers, crayons, and stamps.
- PERCUSSION INSTRUMENTS – Create percussion makers from recycled materials.
- MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE – Decorate a sticker to show how you “Make the World a Better Place”.
- UPCYCLE T-SHIRTS – Turn upcycling t-shirts into braided bracelets and keychains.
- MASK MAKING – Cloth mask decoration and participation in Vision of Hope Mural.
- CULTIVATING COMPASSION – Create a costume or a prop to use as a mover for cultivating compassion.
- CONFETTI – Create earth-friendly confetti.
- CREATE A HUG – Create a “hug” to mail to a friend or family member!
- MASK MAKING – Create a mask, and become someone else – an evil witch, a beautiful princess, a firebreathing dragon!
- PAPER HOUSE – Make your own paper house!
- DIA DE LOS MUERTOS – Create a traditional Dia de Los Muertos altar.
- MANTRA BUTTON – Create a personalized Mantra Button.
- FINGER PAINTING – Finger Paint Art!
- PAINT POTS – Paint pots with paint markers to let your creativity soar.
- And much more!
Events of Interest
Yoga on Sculpture Garden Lawn – June 26 at 9:15 a.m.
- Des Moines Playhouse on Hy-Vee Main Stage – June 26 at 11 a.m.
- Girls Rock! Des Moines – June 26 at 1:30 p.m.
- Iowa Dance Theatre – June 27 at 11 a.m.
- Central Iowa Music Lab – June 27 at 3 p.m.
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.
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 live music.
- Bring water bottles & snacks! There are food vendors, but you may want to eat one big meal.
- Bring a swimsuit and an 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.