Kid’s Guide to the Des Moines Arts Festival 2023
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. Make sure you add it to your summer bucket list.
- Friday, June 23; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
- Saturday, June 24; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
- Sunday, June 25; 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 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.
- SEED BALLS – Create seed balls from organic clay.
- WHO DO YOU WANT TO BE – Using straw, beads, and pipe cleaners participants will be able to create a physical image of who they are or who they want to be.
- ROCK PAINTING – Paint an uplifting message on a rock.
- T-SHIRT DESIGN – Design a t-shirt that focuses on raising awareness of dyslexia.
- Participate in a “What is your WHY” interactive sticky note art wall. Children will also be able to make a memory box from a small cardboard box, to save notes or small items.
- Get groovy and move through a fabric design structure and become warriors for the Earth.
- Create origami birds using various colored and patterned paper. The birds will be hung from a canopy of tree branches to create a unique room full of birds.
- See what your voice sounds like with the Chrome Music Lab Spectrogram. Participants will walk away with a picture of their voice.
- And much more!
Events of Interest
- Bill Robison: Strolling entertainment through the whole festival.
- Roberto the Magnificent: Strolling entertainment through the whole festival.
B2wins: June 23 at 6:45 p.m.
- Des Moines Music Coalition Student Showcase: June 24 at 2:15 p.m.
- Des Moines Breakerz: June 24 at 3:25 p.m.
- Des Moines Playhouse – Little Shop of Horrors: June 24 at 12:45 p.m.
- Central Iowa Music Lab – June 25 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.