Free, Fun Things to Do in Des Moines This Summer

June 15, 16

Summer_Activities_Des_Moines.jpgYou don't have to travel far from Springs at Jordan Creek or Springs at Waukee to discover fun, free summer activities. Here's a closer look at some of the best events and entertainment coming up this summer.

1. The Des Moines Arts Festival
Western Gateway Park
1000 Grand Ave

Scheduled from June 24 to 26, The Gold Grand Pinnacle Award-winning Des Moines Arts Festival is the highlight of the year for art aficionados in the Des Moines area. A total of 175 artists, including sculptors, photographers, painters, metal workers, glass blowers, and jewelry makers, have been selected to exhibit their creations.

Live music will be performed on the Hy-Vee Main stage, and there will be dance, comedy and acrobatic acts on the second stage. With 26 food booths, multiple food trucks and an Iowa craft beer tent, the festival promises to be fun and educational.

2. Tunes on the Terrace
State Historical Museum: 3rd Floor
600 E Locust Street

If you love fresh food and great music, consider visiting Cafe Baratta's for Tunes on the Terrace where you can enjoy lunch while listening to live music performed by local musicians. Tunes on the Terrace happens every Friday between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., and the Baratta's menu includes a delightful selection of paninis, sandwiches and salads that make it well worth your while to stop by.

3. Horse Racing at Prairie Meadows
1 Prairie Meadows Dr

The live horse racing season is in full swing and goes through August 13. Thoroughbreds run Thursday through Sunday, while Quarter Horse races are held on Fridays and Saturdays. Thursday and Friday post times are at 5:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday races post at 1:00 p.m. Both indoor and outdoor seating is available, along with plentiful parking, making a day at the races a "must" on your summer calendar.

4. Downtown Des Moines Farmers Market
Court Ave District

Do your grocery shopping for the week, or just browse the wide selection of cheeses, baked goods, fresh flowers, produce and meats. The Downtown Des Moines Farmers Market boasts nearly 300 vendors and is open from 7 a.m. to noon every Saturday until October 29. Vendor booths stretch out along Court Avenue from 1st to 5th Street.

This is just a sampling of the many free events in the Des Moines area this summer. Do you plan on attending any of these events? Feel free to share in the comments below.

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