Happy New Year! What’s going on in Des Moines in January? From snowshoeing adventures to fun theatre performances, there’s plenty to help you and your family beat cabin fever. Here’s to starting off 2018 with a bang!
January 2018 events and activities
Jan 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 | Yoga Under the Stars, Science Center of Iowa
5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Take your yoga practice to the next level under the stars in SCI’s Star Theater Planetarium. Pre-registration is required.
Price is $10 for single pass; $35 for a monthly pass.
Jan 5 – 21 | Elephant & Piggie’s “We Are in a Play!”, Kate Goldman Children’s Theatre, Des Moines Community Playhouse
7 p.m. Fridays; 1 p.m. & 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays
Get ready for a musical experience, ripped from the pages of Mo Willems’ best-selling children’s books, that will leave audiences doing the “Flippy Floppy Floory” dance all night long. The entertaining show is geared toward young audiences.
Jan 5 | Free Friday Flicks, Franklin Ave. Library, Des Moines
1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Need to get out of the house? Bring the whole family to watch the incredible live-action version of Beauty and the Beast.
Jan 6 | Nature Tots, Prairie Learning Center, Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge, Prairie City
10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Children ages 3-5 are invited to bring their favorite adult to this free event for storytime, outside exploring, and nature-crafting. Registration is required: email [email protected].
Jan 6 | Kids Workshop, The Home Depot, West Des Moines, Ankeny, and Urbandale
9 a.m. to noon
Get organized for 2018 with this hands-on workshop. You and your child can assemble a wooden block calendar to kick off the new year. Useful year-round, the block calendar is perfect for a tabletop display. Once the calendar construction is complete, your child can decorate it with paint and stickers. All Kids Workshop attendees must be accompanied by a parent or adult at all times. All kids get to keep their craft, receive a free certificate of achievement, a workshop apron, and a commemorative pin while supplies last.
Jan 6 | Daddy-Daughter Dance, Sapphire Gymnastics Academy, Urbandale
6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
This red carpet event will include dancing, refreshments, a photo booth, and tons of memory making. This event is open to members and non-members ages two and up.
Jan 6, 13, 20, 27 | Family Movies in the Gardens, Reiman Gardens, Ames
Showings at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Looking to entertain the kids for a few hours? Every Saturday in January, Reiman Gardens will offer free movies for children: Jan. 6: Cars, January 13: Beauty and the Beast (2017), January 20: Tangled, January 27: Sing. Movie snacks will be available for purchase.
Free for all kids ages 17 and under. Free for member adults and Iowa State University students. General public adults pay $8 and $7 for seniors.
Jan 12 -14 | Chow’s Gymnastics Winter Invitational, Iowa State Fairgrounds
8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Have little gymnasts in your home? All are welcome to watch this Junior Olympic gymnastics competition, which hosts more than 1,600 athletes. Two complete gyms will have gymnasts competing for three days.
Cost is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, and free for children six and under.
Jan 12 | Friday Funday: The Three Little Pigs, Des Moines Community Playhouse
Performances at 9:30 a.m., 10:45 a.m., and 1:30 p.m.
This interactive theatre show is for children ages 4 to 6, making it a fun choice for preschools, child care centers, kindergarten classes, and families.
Cost is $5 per person.
Jan 12-14 | Iowa Home Show, Iowa State Fairgrounds
Friday 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m
The Iowa Home Show boasts hundreds of new and innovative products for remodeling and updating the inside and outside of the home. Tickets are $7 for Adults. Kids 16 and under are free.
Jan 13 | Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Des Moines Civic Center
With original songs and performing penguin puppets, this musical adaptation of Richard and Florence Atwater’s popular book (also made into a Hollywood film starring Jim Carrey) is the perfect family treat.
Tickets are $12.
Jan 13 | Snowshoe Hiking, Fort Des Moines Park, Shelter #3
1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Learn how fun and easy snowshoeing can be! Pre-registration is required; deadline is Jan. 11. Cost for the class is $10 and includes snowshoes. (Class will be canceled without snow.)
Jan 13-15 | The Velveteen Rabbit, Ankeny Community Theatre
Matinee times vary
This heartwarming adaptation of Margery Williams’ classic children’s story shows how the power of love brings about a remarkable transformation for an ordinary toy bunny.
Jan 15 | Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration, Forest Ave. Library, Des Moines
4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Join the Forest Avenue Library & the Des Moines community to honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during their annual program. Doors open at 3:30 p.m. and refreshments will be served following the program featuring Dionna Langford, a Des Moines School Board member, who works for the Work Readiness Program at Children and Families of Iowa.
Jan 19-20 | Indulge: A Wine, Cheese, and Chocolate Affair, West End Architectural Salvage, Des Moines
6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Indulge yourself in the opportunity to enjoy generous pours of wine paired with artisan cheeses and decadent chocolates. Tickets are $35 in advance and include a commemorative wine glass and musical entertainment for this adults-only event.
Jan 20 | Waukee FamilyFest, Lutheran Church of Hope, 305 NE Dartmoor Dr., Waukee
9 a.m. to noon
This free, family-friendly features inflatables, games, prizes, and local businesses.
Jan 26 | Winter Jam Tour, Wells Fargo Arena at Iowa Events Center, Des Moines
Doors open at 6 p.m., shows begin at 7 p.m.
Winter Jam is a general admission concert, which means there are no pre-sold tickets — admission is just $15 at the door. Performers include Skillet, Kari Jobe, Building 429, and John Crist.
Jan 26-28 | Za-Ga-Zig Shrine Circus, Iowa State Fairgrounds, Richard O. Jacobson Exhibition Center
Friday 7 p.m.; Saturday 9:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Sunday 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.
See live animals, a human cannonball, and new acts formerly with Barnum and Bailey Circus. Tickets are available at all Hy-Vee and Fareway Stores.
Adult tickets are $16 and tickets for children 12 and under are $8. (Tip: Coupons for $4-off are available at Casey’s General Stores!)
Jan 27 | Cabin Fever: Farms Uncorked, Living History Farms
12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Gather your friends and explore local food and beverage specialties made from Iowa agricultural products. Complimentary snacks and soft drinks are included. Vendors include: Annelise Winery, Country Barn Winery, and Train Wreck Winery.
Advanced tickets are $20; tickets for members are $15. Tickets at the door are $22.
Jan 26 | Dozing with Dinos, Science Center of Iowa, Des Moines
6 p.m. Friday to 10 a.m. Saturday
Spend the night at the museum, and doze with dinos! The fun begins at 6 p.m. on Friday and concludes at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Overnight Adventures are recommended for groups and families with children ages 6-12. One chaperone is required for every six children.
Cost is $36 per child and $18 per adult. Tickets include overnight admission, a film in the Blank IMAX Dome Theater, a light evening snack, and a hot breakfast.
Send us an email if we missed anything, and we’ll add your event to the list.
We work hard to ensure the accuracy of this information. However, you should always call ahead to confirm dates, times, location and other information before heading to an event or activity, since it may change.