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Summer Arts & Entertainment Guide


The live horse-racing action at Prairie Meadows runs through Oct. 10. Photo submitted

COVID-19, coupled with social distancing, facemasks and cancelations, have altered central Iowa’s summer plans in a big way. That is no news flash. But as pandemic restrictions begin to lift, and local organizations adapt and improve sanitization procedures and implement other precautions, the forecast for fun in the area is beginning to clear up.

A 100 percent return to normalcy isn’t yet possible or prudent, but salvaging your summer is absolutely achievable. The following pages offer a multitude of ways to either get out and enjoy local hotspots or to be entertained without leaving home. Whichever way makes
sense for you, please enjoy the rest of your summer in the city.

PLEASE NOTE: CITYVIEW gathered the details of entertainment offerings as they were listed prior to its press deadline, but we live in a world where things can change rapidly. Be sure to verify the accuracy of these details before embarking.


Lighting up the night sky is a magnificent Independence Day pastime. The following is a sampling of the area’s Fourth of July events and other patriotic celebrations. We couldn’t list every event in the metro area, but this is a good start.

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NOTE: All dates, times and other details are believed to be accurate, but be sure to verify event details and look for updates.

July 3-5
Iowa State Fairgrounds
Goodguys 29th Speedway Motors Heartland Nationals
A Fourth of July weekend celebrating “cool cars, cool people and good times.”

Friday, July 3
Prairie Meadows
1 Prairie Meadows Drive, Altoona
Fireworks at dusk and live music from SPAM at 5 p.m. Prairie Meadows is partnering with 100.3 The Bus to simulcast the music so attendees can watch and listen from the comfort of their cars. The horse-racing action is also on the agenda in Altoona.

Saturday, July 4
Independence Day & Historic Baseball
Living History Farms, 11121 Hickman Road, Urbandale
Enjoy an old-fashioned Fourth with a historic Independence Day celebration in the 1876 town of Walnut Hill.

Saturday, July 4 at 10 p.m.
The Grimes Home Base July 4th Fireworks Show
Grimes Sports Complex, 600 S. James St., Grimes
Celebrating the nation’s Independence Day with friends and family in Grimes.

Saturday, July 4 at 10 p.m.
Urbandale Fireworks Show
Walker Johnston Park
The Urbandale 4th of July committee has canceled all other 4th of July events, but even a pandemic won’t stop Urbandale’s Independence Day fireworks celebration, according to Uniquely Urbandale website.

Saturday, July 4, approximately 9:30 p.m.
Waukee Independence Day Celebration
Centennial Park
The bulk of Waukee’s Independence Day Celebration is a no-go, but the fireworks show is scheduled to continue as planned. In addition, the City will offer an exciting appearance from the Des Moines Skydivers, who will jump from an airplane and land in Centennial Park at
8 p.m. Social distancing signs will be present within Centennial Park, and visitors are encouraged to stay in their vehicles or to find a spot to sit within the park that is at least 6 feet from other groups. Vendors will not be present in the park during the events.

Saturday, July 4 at dusk
West Des Moines fireworks display
Relocated to 4200 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines 
A limited fireworks display will take place on West Des Moines’ city campus. The parking lots will open at 7:30 p.m. Spectators are allowed, but guidelines for social distancing must be followed.

NOTE: According to the City of West Des Moines, there will not be a fireworks display at Raccoon River Park this year.

Saturday, Sept. 5 through Monday, Sept. 7
Yankee Doodle Pops
Lauridsen Amphitheater at Water Works Park
Stars & Stripes Forever… 1812 Overture… The Des Moines Symphony’s Yankee Doodle Pops, originally planned for July 2 at the Iowa State Capitol, will instead be a Labor Day celebration on Monday, Sept. 7 at Water Works Park.

NOTE: The Symphony’s second season of Water Works Pops, originally scheduled for July 24-26, has been moved to Labor Day weekend and paired with the rescheduled Yankee Doodle Pops Concert for a full weekend of free music.


NOTE: All dates, times and other details are believed to be accurate, but be sure to verify your event’s specifics and look for updates before attending.

July 4: Targeted reopening
Science Center of Iowa
401 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, Des Moines
The Science Center of Iowa engages and inspires attendees along a journey of lifelong science learning. The 110,000-square-foot downtown facility features dynamic experience platforms and daily interactive science demonstrations. SCI will initially be open on Saturdays and
Sundays. Visitors are asked to pre-purchase tickets online, and access to “high-touch” attractions will be restricted.

Monday, July 6: Targeted reopening to the general public
Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden
909 Robert D. Ray Drive, Des Moines

July 7: Des Moines Art Center reopens
4700 Grand Ave., Des Moines
The Des Moines Art Center is planning to reopen to the community on Tuesday, July 7. Admission for all remains free, but tickets for entry will be required so that proper social distancing can be maintained. Reserving tickets online in advance is recommended. While the Art Center galleries will be open to the public, all indoor, public programming is currently on hold until the fall. The Shop at the Art Center and Tangerine at the Art Center are finalizing phased reopening plans beginning in late summer.

Robert Moore’s “Harvesting Humanity,” 2020 – An installation and silent demonstration in rural Iowa. Mainframe Studios reopens Aug. 7 with a special exhibition and art sale featuring multi-disciplined works created this year. Photo submitted by Mainframe Studios

July 7: Targeted reopening date for art museum
Hoyt Sherman Art Gallery, 1501 Woodland Ave., Des Moines
In February of 2016, while Hoyt Sherman’s executive director looked in a little-used storeroom for something completely unrelated, he found a painting wedged between a table and the wall. Upon further inspection, he had uncovered a 400-year-old early Baroque panel painting depicting the figures of Apollo and Venus accompanied by her son Cupid. You can view “Apollo and Venus” at Hoyt Sherman Place.

Friday, Aug. 7: Targeted reopening, 5-8 p.m.
Mainframe Studios: First Friday is Back: “Art of Our Time”
900 Keosauqua Way, Des Moines
Mainframe Studios reopens its doors with a special exhibition and art sale featuring multi-disciplined works created this year responding to our changing world. This First Friday event is titled, “Art of Our Time.” A portion of proceeds will be donated to two designated nonprofits. The show will be available for viewing online. Reservations will be required for attending in person. Look for details at and on @mainframearts on social media, or email

Ankeny Art Center
1520 S.W. Ordnance Road, Ankeny
Through July 29: Artwork by Anna Segner and Katharine Silent Water
July 14-24: K-8 Summer Art Camps
Fall: Online art classes available

“Electric Railroads of Iowa”
James H. Andrew Railroad Museum and History Center, on the grounds of the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad – 225 10th St., Boone
A new exhibit called “Electric Railroads of Iowa” consists of 19 four-color 7-foot display panels, which cover such topics as the inception of Iowa’s trolleys and interurbans, their growth and decline, and an array of related topics. The exhibit utilizes rare and never-before published Iowa photos of trolleys and interurbans.

John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park
At 15th and Locust streets in downtown Des Moines
Summer isn’t complete until you take a stroll within downtown’s Western Gateway and through the Sculpture Park. The 4.4-acre local treasure offers more than two-dozen mind-bending pieces of oversized artwork.


Drive-in theater at the Des Moines Community Playhouse offers unique two-person plays performed in the parking lot while audiences watch safely from their cars, listening via a radio. Photo submitted

Live-action theater performances evoke emotion, empathy and understanding. Many local stages and shows suspended operations this summer, but that only serves to make the remaining options that much more in demand.

NOTE: All dates, times and other details are believed to be accurate, but be sure to verify event details and look for updates.

Drive-in theater at Des Moines Community Playhouse
831 42nd St., Des Moines
The Des Moines Playhouse is keeping theater live while still taking pandemic precautions with its new initiative: Live Theatre Drive-in. Audiences remain safely in their cars while listening via a radio as a two-person cast performs in the parking lot. Tickets are pay-what-you-can, but reservations are required.

July 10-26: “Rounding Third.” Wednesdays – Sundays, 7 p.m. What should kids baseball be about? Don (Chris Ennis) is a coach who believes that winning is most important, while Michael (Nathan Jorgensen), his assistant coach, believes kids should have fun.

July 11 – Aug. 15: “Miss Electricity.” Saturday mornings at 10 a.m., excluding July 18. Ten-year-old Violet is determined to show everyone how special she is. With the help of her assistant, Freddy, she sets out to break a world record but becomes accidentally extraordinary when struck by lightning, twice, and gains control over all things electric.

July 31 – Aug. 16: “The Roommate.” Thursdays-Sundays, 7 p.m. Sharon (Laura Sparks) is a recently divorced woman in her mid-50s who needs a roommate. Robyn (Jodi Jinks), also in her mid-50s, needs a place to hide and start over. But as Sharon uncovers Robyn’s secrets, they encourage her own deep-seated desire to transform her life completely.

Virtual Festival: Opera with Des Moines Metro Opera and Iowa PBS
“Manon,” “Rusalka,” “Billy Budd” and “Le Comte Ory” to be streamed globally
The Des Moines Metro Opera and Iowa PBS bring the opera season into a digital format with online streams and TV broadcasts of four fan-favorites. These broadcasts will be supplemented by artist recitals, cast reunions, interviews, prelude talks and more. The Virtual Festival runs until July 19 and is available on Iowa PBS’s primary channel and online.

1326 Walnut St., Des Moines,;
Area music lovers agree, when it is time to jazz, it is time to get to Noce. Featuring local, regional and national musicians, Noce is the city’s only club dedicated exclusively to jazz. The downtown hotspot announced it will reopen on July 11.


The local live music scene’s return to pre-COVID-19 conditions will be slow, but as restrictions ease, you can expect the number of performances to start picking up. The following list offers a wide range of genres with a little something for everyone.

NOTE: All dates, times and other details are believed to be accurate, but be sure to verify your event’s specifics and look for updates before attending.

July 26
The Growlers, Wooly’s (Surf Rock)
Children of the Los Angeles underground scene, The Growlers have grown from their DIY roots into a surf rock staple. Their vintage pop-rock sound is both glamorous and laid back with an air of too-cool-to-care. The band’s six studio albums are rich with feel-good influences, ranging from the Black Lips to the Black Keys and everything in between.

July 29
Reverend Horton Heat, Live at Lefty’s (Psychobilly Rock)
Psychobilly rock is exactly what it sounds like — an odd intersection between psychedelic and rockabilly stylings. Perhaps no other group marries the two better than the Texas-based trio Reverend Horton Heat. Frontman Jim Heath assumes the spotlight with a background as a music historian — a know-it-all for all things rock and roll. His knowledge shines through in their sound with guitar riffs coiling like hellfire around a rockabilly round vocal track. The group is steeped in both country and punk scenes, having recorded with Johnny Cash and toured with the likes of Soundgarden, ZZ Top, the Sex Pistols and even Marilyn Manson. Their biggest hit, “Psychobilly Freakout,” wavers between the rolling thunder of guitar riffs and the rapid fire of cymbal clashes, all the while keeping a toe dipped in offhand country twang.

July 30
The Schizophonics, Vaudeville Mews (Punk Rock)
A band with a name like “The Schizophonics” automatically sets a certain musical threshold to be met — and boy do they deliver. This larger than life duo is steeped in the sweat of Iggy Pop and the energy of Little Richard, a tightrope they sprint across headbanging the entire way. Their two studio albums “Land of the Living” (2017) and “People in the Sky” (2019) drive a sonic wave of spirit that’s absolutely meant to blast-out your speaker system.

Aug. 8
Eric Tessmer, xBk Live (Blues Rock)
Hailing from the live music capital of the country, Eric Tessmer’s silky and sly blues is coming to Des Moines. Tessmer’s newest release “EP II” was recorded in Los Angeles by producer Sean Beavan, a seasoned veteran with groups like Nine Inch Nails and Guns n’ Roses. Beavan’s sound is more reminiscent of groups like Cream or Led Zeppelin yet with a style that’s completely his own. His blues is controlled and cathartic yet rich with live improvisation. The Boston Globe wrote, “This guitar prodigy plays like a man possessed,” and the sentiment is true. You could drown in the rock’s fluidity this August at xBk Live.

Aug. 18
The Secret Sisters with Logan Ledger, Wooly’s (Americana)
The Secret Sisters is an Americana-Folk duo composed of Laura and Lydia Rogers. Since their self-titled debut album in 2010, the two have experienced love, loss and everything in between. Their 2017 record “You Don’t Owe Me Anymore” earned them a Grammy nomination and widespread acclaim, but the secret to their success lies in their vulnerable lyrics and earnest voices. The duo’s newest album is titled, “Saturn Return,” and the astrological allusion reminds the listener of the passage of time and their own role within it. As the sisters wrote the record, both of their grandmothers passed away. Their music acts as a relic to what’s lost and will surely make for a moving performance.

Sept. 20
An Evening with Kelly Hunt, xBk Live (Folk)
The daughter of an opera singer and a saxophonist, Kelly Hunt was destined to become an artist. The self-taught banjoist found creative inspiration at a young age from songwriters like Norah Jones and John Denver. She later perfected her own style of finger-picking improvisations while continuing to grow in her music after college. She went on to record her first studio album, “Even the Sparrow,” in Kansas City in 2019, combining the slow twang of her instrument with the melancholy of her voice.


Summer blockbusters paired with ice-cold sodas, buckets of well-buttered popcorn and boxes of Jujyfruits are a central Iowa staple in July, August and early fall. This summer won’t be identical to how it otherwise would have been, thanks to COVID-19, but it still offers an impressive array of films.

NOTE: All dates, times and other details are believed to be accurate, but check with local venues for verification.

July 24
Liu Yifei, Donnie Yen, Yoson An, Jet Li, Gong Li, Jason Scott Lee, Susana Tang, Tzi Ma, Rosalind Chao
Disney’s “Mulan,” a live-action remake of their 1998 animated feature, is expected to be this summer’s first big release. When Fa Mulan’s aging father is forced out of military retirement to defend China against the Huns, she decides to enlist herself in his place. The catch? She must disguise herself as a son rather than a daughter. While burdened with hiding her true identity, Mulan’s quest soon evolves from saving her father to saving all of China.

July 31
David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Michael Caine, Kenneth Branagh
Director Christopher Nolan is a giant in Hollywood, and rightfully so. Having spearheaded production on films such as “Inception” (2010) and “Dunkirk” (2017), his newest film “Tenet” is all the buzz right now. In classic Nolan fashion, he hasn’t given many clues to what the movie is about. What we do know is that a man is tasked with stopping something catastrophic — something worse than World War 3 or even a nuclear holocaust. Nolan’s creative hallmark is his cryptic storytelling, often leading audiences down narrative rabbit holes that defy our understanding of time and reality. “Tenet” is expected to be no exception.

Aug. 7
“The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run”
Tom Kenny, Bill Fagerbakke, Rodger Bumpass, Clancy Brown, Mr. Lawrence, Jill Talley
Absorbent, yellow and porous, SpongeBob SquarePants is back on the big screen this summer. In his pineapple home under the sea, SpongeBob discovers his beloved pet snail, Gary, is missing and must voyage to the “Lost City of Atlantic City” to return Gary home to safety.

Aug. 21
“Bill and Ted Face the Music”
Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, William Sadler, Kid Cudi, George Carlin, Anthony Carrigan
After nearly three decades, Bill and Ted are back. The cult-classic duo returns to the big screen with yet another excellent adventure, and while they may be adults, they certainly haven’t grown up. In order to save the universe, the middle-aged Bill and Ted must write a song that will unite the world. In an act of desperation, the two use their magical phone booth to travel to a future where the song is already written, but of course, this doesn’t go quite as planned. “Party on, dudes.”

Aug. 21
Janelle Monáe, Marque Richardson, Eric Lange, Jack Huston, Kiersey Clemons, Tongayi Chirisa, Gabourey Sidibe, Robert Aramayo, Lily Cowles, Jena Malone
Veronica Henley has a near-perfect life. She has a beautiful family, a successful writing career and a lovely home. However, all this is stripped from her when she awakens in a nightmarish reality as a slave in Confederate America. In order to regain her family and her freedom, Veronica must unravel a terrible mystery before all is lost forever.

Aug. 28
“The New Mutants”
Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Heaton, Henry Zaga, Blu Hunt, Alice Braga, Happy Anderson
It’s a classic trope: An unfortunate teenager comes to the realization that they have supernatural abilities. Danielle Moonstar awakens in an eerily empty hospital after a violent and unexplainable encounter with the surreal. It’s revealed she only survived due to her previously unknown powers. She is then introduced to other teens with similar abilities in a support group within the confines of the hospital — but all is not what it seems. Danielle soon learns this is not a place of rehabilitation, but rather something much more sinister.

Sept. 4
“Monster Hunter”
Milla Jovovich, Tony Jaa, T.I., Ron Perlman, Meagan Good, Diego Boneta
Actress Milla Jovovich is no stranger to film adaptations of video games, having starred in all six “Resident Evil” films from 2002 to 2016. It made perfect sense then for her to reprise the trope of a kick-butt woman in the new action-fantasy film “Monster Hunter.” Based on the hit video game series of the same name, the title implies exactly what the film delivers: lots and lots of epic monster slaying. Captain Natalie Artemis of the United Nations Military and her team fall into a portal to an alternate world. They encounter a team of organized Hunters dedicated to fighting the giant monsters that terrorize their realm. The two teams must unite to defend the portal and to stop the monsters from invading and destroying Earth as we know it.


If you feel that fresh food is the best food, then this is the section for you. We couldn’t list every market in the area, but the venues below include a few farmers markets that are well known for quality produce.

NOTE: All dates, times and other details are believed to be accurate, but be sure to verify your event’s specifics and look for updates before attending.

At 48th Street and Franklin Avenue
Tuesdays, 4-7:30 p.m., June 2 through Sept. 8.
Live music, friendly food vendors and food trucks are scheduled to be on hand.

In the parking lot near the Simpson Barn and Johnston Public Library, 6700 Merle Hay Road, Johnston
Tuesdays, 3:30-6:30 p.m., through the beginning of October.; email:

Waukee’s Downtown Triangle on Sixth Street, south of Highway 6
Wednesdays, 4-7 p.m., July 17 through Sept. 30

Along Fifth Street in West Des Moines’ Valley Junction shopping district
Thursdays, 4-8:30 p.m., through September — tentatively scheduled to restart by July

Grimes Public Library – Waterworks Park at 200 N. James St.
Fridays, 4-7 p.m., July through the end of August

Ankeny Market & Pavilion Park, 715 W. First St. in Uptown Ankeny
Saturdays, 8 a.m. to noon, open every Saturday through September, except July 11

As of CITYVIEW’s press deadline, the Downtown Farmers’ Market hadn’t announced when it would reopen, but it had launched the Downtown Farmers’ Marketplace Online to connect vendors with customers during its temporary closure. The Online Marketplace allows customers to order locally grown food from vendors virtually. Vendors can coordinate a pick-up time and location or delivery options with customers through the program. Find more information at


9875 Meredith Drive, Urbandale
Do you like apples? Pick your own apples or strawberries at the Iowa Orchard. U-pick seasons begin around June 1 for strawberries and around Sept. 1 for apples. The orchard pre-picks pumpkins for easy access in the fall. The Iowa Orchard doesn’t charge admission but there is a charge for family activities and tours. U-pick apples and strawberries is located at 13140 N.W. 102nd Ave. in Granger.
NOTE: The orchard’s freshly baked made-from-scratch apple pies are available year-round at the Urbandale location, as well as apples — in the fall, winter and spring — and a host of other goodies.


Central Iowa has deeply missed the healthy summer docket of spectator sporting events, but good news could be on the way. Triple-A baseball looks likely this summer — as of CITYVIEW’s press deadline — and the area will host an array of other top athletes and world-class caliber talent. Let the excitement begin.

NOTE: All dates, times and other details are believed to be accurate, but be sure to verify your event’s specifics and look for updates before attending.

Principal Park, One Line Drive, Des Moines
That eerie sound of silence haunting Planet Earth thus far this summer includes the absence of big-league caliber players and the crack of their bats at Principal Park. But as of CITYVIEW’s press deadline, it looked like there could be light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. Let’s cross our fingers and keep hoping the I-Cubs will soon… PLAY BALL!

NOTE: In the meantime, Principal Park is still planning to host the Iowa High School Baseball State Tournament in late July.

Jack Trice Stadium in Ames
Iowa State University’s home games are played at Jack Trice Stadium, located at 1800 S. Fourth St. in Ames — capacity 61,500. Be sure to check for updates at for more information as the competitions near.

September home games
Sept. 5 (Saturday) vs. South Dakota – TBA
Sept. 19 (Saturday) vs. UNLV – TBA
Sept. 26 (Saturday) vs. Texas Tech – TBA

Wakonda Club, Des Moines
Sept. 1-6 at Wakonda Club in Des Moines. This central Iowa golf classic, The Principal Charity Classic, will take place a little later than usual, but pro duffers will still tee off at Wakonda to help raise money for charity. All tickets, volunteer registrations and sponsorships for the original dates (May 26-31) remain valid for the rescheduled event, which helps more than 130,000 Iowa kids each year.

Horse-racing action is on the agenda each and every summer in Altoona. Prairie Meadows is widely regarded as the nation’s only “racino” — a combination of a racetrack and a casino — offering attendees the chance to play the “ponies” or take a chance on some table games, slots, or enjoy fine dining and other entertainment. The 2020 Live Racing Season will run through Oct. 10 with 6 p.m. post times on Fridays and Saturdays; 4 p.m. post times on Sundays and Mondays.
Prairie Meadows is located in Altoona at 1 Prairie Meadows Drive. For more information, visit

Iowa transformed itself into one of the racingist states in the nation on a per-capita basis after the turn of the last century when many rural Iowans transitioned their horse racing tracks into auto racing ovals. Some of the fruits of those labors are ongoing and are listed below.

Boone Speedway
1481 223rd Place, Boone
“Iowa’s Action Track” is a 1/3-mile high-banked dirt oval auto racing hotspot. The Saturday night schedule is sanctioned by the IMCA. Regular events include Modifieds, RaceSaver 305 Sprint Cars, Stock Cars, Northern Sport Modifieds, Hobby Stocks and ModLites.

Racing highlights

Knoxville Raceway is known as the “Sprint Car Capital of The World.”

•Saturday, July 4: Saturday Night Series #8
•Saturday, July 11: Saturday Night Series #9
•Saturday, July 18: Saturday Night Series #10
•Saturday, July 25: Saturday Night Series #11
•Saturday, Aug. 1: Rage Chassis Super Saturday Modified Triple Crown
•Saturday, Aug. 8: Saturday Night Series #13
•Saturday, Aug. 15: Saturday Night Series # 14
•Saturday, Aug. 22: Saturday Night Series # 15
•Saturday, Aug. 29: Saturday Night Series #16 Season Championship
•Saturday, Sept. 5: Prelude to the Super Nationals
•Monday, Sept. 7: Speedway Motors IMCA Super Nationals

Knoxville Raceway
1000 N. Lincoln St., near Knoxville at the Marion County Fairgrounds
Boasting the moniker of “Sprint Car Capital of The World,” Knoxville Raceway’s one-of-a-kind loop attracts gearheads and racing fans from around the globe.

Major events
•July 10-11: Corn Belt Nationals
•Aug. 6-8: 360 Knoxville Nationals
•Aug. 12-15: Knoxville Nationals
•Aug. 9: Capitani Classic
•Sept. 17-19: Lucas Oil Late Model Nationals


The greater Des Moines metro doesn’t have its usual array of entertainment options, but CITYVIEW found plenty of dates to look forward to and circle with red ink.

NOTE: All dates, times and other details are believed to be accurate, but be sure to verify your event’s specifics and look for updates before attending.

ONGOING: EWING PARK’s free Frisbee golf course. FORE! Social distance in style while slinging Frisbees at Ewing Park with friends, family and worthy foes.

The Des Moines Skydivers offer excitement at a variety of altitudes. Photo by Randy Roth

ONGOING: The Des Moines Skydivers; What goes up must come down, generally speaking, but coming down is the fun part. Fall out of an airplane from nearly 10,000 feet… ON PURPOSE. While you are hurtling through the atmosphere, pull the ripcord, relax and enjoy the view. Skydiving is available in tandem or solo at Des Moines Skydivers in Winterset, billed as the metro’s
“closest skydiving drop zone.”

ONGOING: Roller coasters offer an easy surge of excitement, and Adventureland brings the fun with its Dragon, a 2,600-foot double-loop track; Tornado, a 3,200-foot wooden roller coaster; and the park’s newest roller coaster, The Monster. The park also offers tamer rides for the kids and all sorts of 21st century fun. Adventureland, 3200 Adventureland Drive, Altoona;

ONGOING: Fishing at Easter Lake Park. This 172-acre lake in southeastern Des Moines serves as the centerpiece of a 468-plus acre park. Anglers enjoy catching catfish, bluegill, largemouth bass, crappie and walleye. A swimming beach and fishing pier are also available on the lake’s north side. Surrounding the lake, visitors enjoy a 4-mile paved trail, nature trails, picnicking, playgrounds and viewing Polk County’s sole surviving covered bridge. 2830 Easter Lake Drive, Des Moines;;

ONGOING: Gray’s Lake offers paddleboarding, canoeing, kayaking, boating and a sandy beach for summer fun, plus a 2-mile walking trail and more. Located just south of downtown, Gray’s Lake is a great place to relax and enjoy the outdoors. 2101 Fleur Drive, Des Moines;

Roller coasters offer excitement, and Adventureland brings the fun with its Dragon, a 2,600-foot double-loop track; Tornado, a 3,200-foot wooden roller coaster; and The Monster. The park also offers tamer rides for the kids. Photo submitted

July 10, Aug. 14, Sept. 11: Downtown Des Moines Walking Tours. View the city’s architectural treasures from architect guides teaching about architectural detail, style and elements while offering intriguing stories and noting the historical significance of various buildings in downtown Des Moines. Signin starts at 5 p.m. adjacent to the entryway of the Iowa Center for Architecture, Capital Square at 400 Locust St. Tours begin at 5:30 p.m. Four different tour routes are offered and typically last 90 minutes and span approximately 14 city blocks. Comfortable shoes and clothing are recommended. For tickets and other details, visit

Friday, July 24: Summer Stir. Sample 10 unique summer drinks from watering holes located in the Historic East Village District in downtown Des Moines. The event runs from 5-9 p.m. For tickets and other information, visit

Aug. 7-9: Des Moines Renaissance Faire, at The Pines on 66th Avenue N.W. in Saylorville Township.

Saturday, Aug. 8: Election Day in Walnut Hill. The 1876 town visits the polls, and you’re invited to help get out the vote. Living History Farms, 11121 Hickman Road, Urbandale;

Friday, Sept. 4: Fall Homeschool Day. Families learn together at Living History Farms’ Homeschool Days. Living History Farms, 11121 Hickman Road, Urbandale;

Sunday, Sept. 13: Fall Junkin’ in the Junction & Valley Junction Arts Festival at Historic Valley Junction, West Des Moines. Step back in time and enjoy bagging some historic treasures from the past while enjoying Valley Junction’s Junkin’ in the Junction, one of the largest outdoor antique shows in the Midwest. It offers free admission and parking. ♦

Wells Fargo Arena
Sept. 11: Alan Jackson
Sept. 24: Luke Bryan – Proud to Be Right Here Tour
Sept. 28: Cher – Here We Go Again Tour

Lauridsen Amphitheater at Water Works Park
2201 George Flagg Parkway, Des Moines
Friday, July 10: 311
Sunday, Aug. 9: Blues Traveler and JJ Gray and Mofro
Friday, Sept. 4: Lee Brice
Thursday, Sept. 17: Wilco and Trampled By Turtles

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