Top 8 Things To Do in Des Moines in July

Sharing is caring!

Top 8 Things To Do in Des Moines in July

Fourth of July celebrations, music festivals, and hot air balloons, summer is in full swing in Des Moines. It is going to be hard to do all the things happening in Des Moines, Iowa this summer. Take a look at the top 8 things to do in Des Moines in July.

Urbandale 4th of July Celebration

Address: Lion’s Park, 72nd Street and, NW Aurora Ave., Urbandale, IA 50322

When: Sunday, July 2nd-Tuesday, July 4th

Cost: Free admission (Purchase carnival tickets before July 1st at Hy-Vee in Urbandale and Medicap Pharmacy in Urbandale.) 

Start your July off at the Urbandale 4th of July Celebration. Each day of the festival will have carnival rides, food vendors, music, and kids’ activities. On the 4th of July, take part in a fun run with options such as 5K, one mile, and even a tot trot for the littlest runners. At 10:00 AM watch the 2-mile parade. End the day with the fireworks show at 10:00 PM. (Fireworks are not viewable at Lions Park.) Other festivities include a cribbage tournament, a pie-eating contest, and a bag tournament. 

80/35 Music Festival 

Address: Western Gateway Park, 1205 Locust St, Des Moines, IA 50309

When: Friday, July 7th-Saturday, 8th

Cost: Four of the stages are free! For the paid stage, tickets start at $55 (Children 11 and under are free with a paying adult) 

80/35 Music Festival is a celebration of music and culture. Proceeds from the festival go to support the non-profit Des Moines Music Coalition. The two-day festival will have four free music stages and a paid stage. Visit the Kids Zone for kid-friendly activities and musical discovery. This year, 80/35 partnered with Fi & Friends to create sensory tents. Sensory tents are calm and predictable spaces that can help promote self-regulation when feeling overwhelmed. The Science Center of Iowa will host a star party which will include viewing sunspots and solar flares using telescopes and other activities too. Another new part of this year’s festival is the Vintage and Craft Market. This will be a great opportunity to shop for vintage clothing, jewelry, home decor, and more. 

Ankeny Summerfest

Address: The District at Prairie Trail, 1500 SW Main Street, Ankeny, IA 50023

When: Friday, July 7th-Sunday July 9th

Cost: Free admission 

Ankeny Area Chamber of Commerce presents Ankeny Summerfest, a three-day music festival. Each day listen to several live bands, enjoy carnival games and rides and eat something delicious from the local food vendors. A kiddie parade will be held on Friday, July 7th at 5:30 PM. Ankeny Family Fun Night will be on Friday as well. This will include games, superheroes, water games, and more. The grand parade will be held on Saturday, July 8th at 9:00 AM. View fireworks from Promenade Park on July 9th at 9:30 PM.

Trek The Parks Meetup

Address: Walker Johnston Park, 9000 Douglas Ave, Urbandale, IA 50322

When: Monday, July 10th, 10:00 AM-12:00 PM 

Cost: Free

Join us for another Trek The Parks Meetup! Cross a park off your list and get a chance to meet other families. Bubbles from Goldfish Swim School will be there too. If you haven’t joined the challenge yet, get all the information you need here

Waukee Arts Festival

Address: Centennial Park, Waukee, IA 

When:  Friday, July 14th, 5:00 PM-10:00 PM and Saturday, July 15th, 10:00 AM-10:00 PM 

Cost: Free admission 

Waukee Arts Festival is back with over 100 artists, live music, and lots of family fun. Along with the art vendors, there will be balloon animals, a magic show, kite building, Des Moines Breakerz and so much more. 

Four Seasons Festival

Address: Polk City Town Square, Polk City, IA 50226

When: Friday, July 14th-Saturday, July 15th 

Cost: Free admission 

Head to Polk City for their Four Seasons Festival. Take part in the Fun Run with several length options including 2.5K, 5K, and 8K. Enjoy the parade on Saturday at 10:00 AM.  Color and craft with Ms. Elizabeth from Kids Create. The Kids Zone will have balloon twisting, face painting, inflatables, a rock wall, and a coloring contest. The younger kiddos will have a special Toddler Territory. This will include a corn pool, character visits, a trackless train, a splash zone, and bubbles. For car lovers, there will be a car show on Saturday at Water’s Edge Bar and Grill from 12:00 PM-3:00 PM. 

Clive Festival 

Address: Greenbelt Landing Project, NW 114th Street, Clive, IA 50325

When: Friday, July 21st- Saturday, July 22nd 

Cost: Free admission 

Make your childhood dreams come true by going down a giant Slip-N-Slide hosted by the Clive Fire Department at the Clive Festival!  On Saturday, tie up your running shoes and race in the 

Clive Running Festival. Running options include 10K, 5K, 1 mile, or the Tadpole Trot. The best part is all the proceeds from the running festival will go towards improvements on Clive’s Greenbelt Trails. Each night view fireworks at “Thunder over Clive” at 9:30 PM. Check here for more information to come soon. 

National Balloon Classic

Address: Memorial Balloon Field, 11366 150th Ave, Indianola, IA 50125

When: July 28th-August 5th 

Cost: General Admission is $10 and ages 5 and under are free. Must purchase tickets.

Top off your July at the National Balloon Classic. With more than 100 hot air balloons filling the sky, you are bound to be dazzled. Each morning of the classic will begin with a competition flying at 6:30 AM and is free admission! Every evening there is a balloon flight at 6:30 PM. You can also enjoy live music, fireworks, kite shows, skydivers, and a kid’s land! You can even buy your own ride in a hot air balloon. All the events are weather permitting and there are no refunds but you can use the ticket for another day of the National Classic. Check out this guide for all the information you need! 

BONUS! SWAY’s Bloom!

Address: Cowles Commons at 221 Walnut St, Des Moines

When: July 21 – July 23 at various times

Cost: FREE!

SWAY’s Bloom! is the newest creation of SWAY (formerly known as Australia’s Strange Fruit) atop their signature 14-foot sway poles. A 20-minute performance, BLOOM! is a family-friendly, colorful, and spirited performance exploring themes of earth and nature, community, transformation, individuality, and diversity. Accompanied by an original soundtrack by Ania Reynolds, BLOOM! celebrates the ephemeral and simultaneously beautiful nature of life. Fun for the whole family! Take a look at all FREE summer programming from Des Moines Performing Arts.

Jackie Fioritto

Jackie Fioritto

Hi, I’m Jackie. I am a teacher who recently became a stay-at-home mother of two. My husband and I moved to Des Moines from Green Bay, Wisconsin a few years ago. Originally, I am from Chicago, Illinois. My family has loved exploring Des Moines and all that it has to offer!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *