What’s there to do in Des Moines in August? Spoiler alert: Tons! The theme of the month seems to be FREE summer parties! Our August 2018 Event Guide for Moms will help you make the last month of summer count!
Celebrate the end of summer with these community-wide parties in the park, bouncy houses, and free activities for the whole family. (We’ve also included a few fun events just for Mom, and a glamorous date night idea, too!)
Looking for things to do in Des Moines this summer? Be sure to check out our just-for-you summer guides:
- 2018 Summer Bucket List
- Des Moines Moms Ultimate Summer Guide
- 2018 Summer Guide to Farmers Markets
- 2018 Summer Guide to Splash Pads and Spraygrounds
- 2018 Summer Guide to Outdoor Summer Yoga
- 2018 Summer Guide to Pools
August 2018 events and activities
July 27 – August 4 | National Balloon Classic, Memorial Balloon Field, Indianola
Gates open at 5 a.m. for morning attendees and 4 p.m. for afternoon and evening attendees
Watch nearly 100 hot air balloons paint the Iowa sky with brilliant colors and playful shapes. Cheer on skilled pilots as they compete for points and prizes, enjoy live music, and maybe even buy a balloon ride for a one-of-a-kind view. The event also features Dawn Patrol, Nite Glow, Kids Land, and, of course: food and fireworks! Cost is $5 for adults and children over five.
August 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 | Wellness Wednesdays Yoga, Cowles Commons, Downtown Des Moines
Noon to 1 p.m.
Enjoy free yoga on the Commons lead by professional instructors. All levels and abilities welcome.
August 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 | Family Game Night, Barnes & Noble, West Des Moines
7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Bring the family to the Barnes & Noble Cafe for some free fun and board games.
August 3 | Summer Blast, Lions Park, Urbandale
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Enjoy a night of free family fun featuring inflatables, games, and even a caricature artist. A free meal of hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, and cookies will be provided. Bring chairs, blankets, and some friends to enjoy a community-centered summer celebration hosted by Meredith Drive Reformed Church and The Bridge.
August 4 | What’s Your Type? Block Party, LifeServe Blood Center, Des Moines
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Join LifeServe in the Historic East Village to help them raise awareness for their scholarship program. Enjoy food trucks, live music, inflatables, kids’ craft area and a beer garden (21+) hosted by Beechwood. This event is free and open to everyone. LifeServe will also provide free blood typing, appointment scheduling, and the donor center will be open for anyone who wants to donate blood.
August 7 | 2018 National Night Out, Urbandale Police Department
5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
National Night Out is an event for communities to show their support for local police officers, military members, and first responders! The Iowa League of Heros members will be making a special appearance in the Batcar just to meet all the junior heroes in central Iowa.
August 8 | Free Frozen Yogurt Social, Cowles Commons, Des Moines
11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
What if we told you that every scoop of FREE frozen yogurt you ate would donate $1 to charity? Come enjoy free Kemps Moose Tracks Frozen Yogurt to help raise $10,000. For every scoop of free frozen yogurt served, $1 will be donated to The Salvation Army of Des Moines.
August 9-19 | Iowa State Fair, Des Moines
7 a.m. to 1 a.m.
Join more than one million fellow fair-goers at the award-winning Iowa State Fair, right here in Des Moines! Adult tickets are $12, children ages 6-11 are $6, and children ages 5 and under are free. Check the website for a full listing of events, concerts, and attractions.
August 10 | Magic Show with Rick Eugene, North Side Library, Des Moines
3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Magician Rick Eugene will bring 20 years of experience to a free magic show. Kids will even get a chance to take part in the tricks themselves at this family-friendly event.
August 10 | Movies in the Park: The Greatest Showman, City of Waukee
Bring your lawn chairs, blankets, and refreshments, and get ready to make memories with family and friends.
August 11 | Coffee and Carnations with DMMB, Mapelnol Cafe in the Valley Community Center, West Des Moines
9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
We’re thrilled to introduce “Coffee With Moms,” a regularly scheduled gathering hosted by DMMB contributors at various coffee shops around Central Iowa. These gatherings will be a relaxed opportunity to connect with some friendly faces and drink some great coffee. Infants through elementary-aged kids are welcome to play in the indoor play area.
August 11 | New Horizons Academy Open House, 450 SW 9th Street in Des Moines
10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Enjoy a morning filled with free family activities that include Iowa-State-Fair-themed games and activities, face painting, a live animal experience, fair food, and more. You will have the opportunity to tour the brand new school, meet the staff, and enjoy the fun activities.
August 15 | DIY Bath Bomb Night, Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, Des Moines
5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Looking for a fun idea for a moms’ night out event? Take your bath to the next level with botanical bath bombs. This class will explore the science of creating bath bombs as well as the best bath botanicals, essential oils, and petals to use. You’ll craft set of bath bombs to take home for a floral soak. Cost for members $30, and cost for non-members is $35.
August 17 | Party in the Park, Walker-Johnson Park, Urbandale
Noon to 10 p.m.
Enjoy one last hurrah the Friday before Urbandale Public Schools begin. The City of Urbandale is hosting a summer party with fun for all ages. Free activities include “touch a truck,” a climbing wall, disc golf course, lawn games, bouncy houses, and obstacle courses. Concessions and drinks will also be available. The event features live music and will conclude with a movie in the park at 8:30 p.m.
August 19 | Fam Jam: Tim Kubart & The Space Cadets, Cowles Commons, Des Moines
This free family-friendly event at Cowles Commons will feature children’s pop band, Tim Kubart and the Space Cadets; arts and crafts stations, bouncy houses, and food trucks.
August 23 | Summer Night at the Museum, Des Moines Art Center
5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Bring the family to the Des Moines Art Center studio to explore a variety of activities for all ages and work at your own pace. This event is inspired by your favorite storybooks and characters. Families will be able to collage a character, create a mini book, build a puppet, and listen to stories. The event is designed for children ages two and up with an adult companion. It will feature a family-friendly tour of the museum at 6 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Register in advance for a discounted rate.
August 24 | SCI’s Big Blast, Science Center of Iowa & Blank IMAX Dome Theater, Des Moines
6:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
SCI’s Big Blast is an end-of-summer celebration and fundraiser to support SCI’s mission of engaging and inspiring Iowans along their journey of lifelong science learning. Tickets are $125 per person and two for $225 until July 31. After August 31, tickets are $150 per person and two for $275.
August 25 | Exile Music Fest 2018, Exile Brewing Company, Des Moines
Noon to 11 p.m.
Exile Music Fest is a one-day, outdoor community party with music and craft beer. Attendees 15-20 years old must pay for a general admission ticket and be accompanied by an adult. Kids 14 and under are free but must be accompanied by an adult. Tickets are $15-25.
August 25 | Ingersoll LIVE 2018, 2800 Block of Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines
4 p.m. to 11 p.m.
This family-friendly street festival offers live music throughout the afternoon and evening, inflatables, rides, and activities for kids, arts and crafts for browsing and buying, food and beverage vendors, street performances, and more.
August 25 | Gatsby Gala, Salisbury House, Des Moines
6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
The Salisbury House is bringing back the 1920s with its popular fundraising Gatsby Gala. The swanky event features live music and dancing under the stars, a complimentary signature cocktail throughout the evening, full cash-bar with champagne and signature speakeasy-approved libations, delectable food from local restaurants and caterers, silent auction and raffle, and more. There will also be vintage automobiles on display. Black tie or ’20s-inspired attire encouraged.
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.