Find dozens of ideas for things to do, activities and events in Des Moines
Riders in the Sky
For more than 30 years, the Riders in the Sky have been reviving and revitalizing the Country Western music genre adding to it their own signature wacky humor and way-out Western wit. See them perform live at Temple Theater, with performances at 2 and 7:30 p.m.
History on the Rocks: Bring 'em Home
A century ago, every train that brought men and women back from the First World War gave Iowans a cause for celebration. Medals of honor were awarded, the American Legion was born and jazz started playing on new-fangled radios as America roared into the 1920s. Come relive this unique chapter of history: Dance to the NOLA Jazz Band, see historical artifacts, and enjoy pizza from Truman's KC Pizza Tavern and New Orleans Abita beer courtesy of Doll Distributing (while supplies last). A cash bar for mixed drinks will be available. Admission is $10 at the door for the general public and free for active duty service members and veterans with a military ID. iowaculture.gov. 5-7 p.m.
The signature fundraising event for the Foundation for Children and Families of Iowa, the Tango Gala includes heavy hors d’oeuvres, live and silent auctions and music by Final Mix. 6:30 p.m. The Ron Pearson Center, 5820 Westown Parkway, West Des Moines. Tickets are $125 or $105 for Young Professionals at cfiowa.org.
April 26-May 12
Ella Enchanted: The Musical
Don’t miss this spin on the Cinderella story, where girl power rules and Ella finds a way to save herself from a curse that has made her a servant in her own home. 7 p.m. Fridays, 1 and 4 p.m. Saturdays. Des Moines Community Playhouse, 831 42nd St. Tickets are $19-$23 at dmplayhouse.com.
Grammy-nominated recording artist and all-around musical treasure Marilyn Maye appeared on "The Tonight Show" starring Johnny Carson 76 times, a record for a singer. See Maye perform live on stage at the Temple Theater, 1011 Locust St. 7:30 p.m. Friday and 3:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $42.50-$52.50 at desmoinesperformingarts.org.
PBR Velocity Tour
See some of the best bull riders in the world battle the sport’s fiercest bovine athletes when the PBR Velocity Tour makes a stop at Wells Fargo Arena, 730 Third St. 7 p.m. Tickets start at $17 or $150 for a VIP experience. Order tickets at HyVeeTix.com.
Don’t miss the chance to see the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning Broadway masterpiece “Rent” on its 20th Anniversary Tour. The inspiring musical follows seven struggling artists as they struggle to follow their dreams without selling out. 7:30 p.m. Stephens Auditorium, 1900 Center Drive, Ames. Tickets start at $35 at ticketmaster.com.
Healthy Kids Day
Awaken summer imagination at Healthy Kids Day, hosted by the Walnut Creek YMCA. Enjoy activities for all ages and interests, including games, arts and crafts, prizes and more. The event is free and open to the public. 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Saturday at Dowling Catholic High School, 1400 Buffalo Road, West Des Moines.
Family Camp-In: Blackout
Families of all ages are invited to attend the Indoor Family Camp-In at the Urbandale Public Library on Saturday from 6:30-8 p.m. Listen to the story “Blackout” by John Rocco and learn about the 2003 blackout. Then, when the lights go out, families will build a blanket fort and engage in tech-free adventures. Bring your own blankets, pillows and flashlights. Register by calling 278-3945. 3520 86th St., Urbandale. Free.
Masterworks 6: Simon Sings Porgy & Bess
Iowa native and internationally renowned opera singer Simon Estes joins the Des Moines Symphony to sing selections from Gershwin’s “Porgy & Bess.” This special concert also features Luther College’s Nordic Choir singing Bernstein’s “Chichester Psalms.” 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Des Moines Civic Center, 221 Walnut St. Tickets start at $15 at desmoinesperformingarts.org.
Food & Farm Festival
Local producers, brewers, makers and artists will gather on the lawn of Living History Farms to celebrate everything that makes Iowa great. Enjoy live music, food and craft demonstrations, private classes and VIP Tasting Events. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. 11121 Hickman Road, Urbandale. Admission to the festival is free. Purchase tickets for classing and Tasting Events at lhf.org.
Fly a Kite!
Celebrate spring and National Kite Month at Brenton Arboretum. Bring a kite or make your own with supplies provided. The event is free for both members and non-members. 1-3 p.m. Sunday. 25141 260th St., Dallas Center.
Tiny Tot Triathlon
Help raise money for Special Olympics Iowa at the First Annual Tiny Tot Triathlon. Kids in grades K-6 will choose a distance to run, as well as participate in a fireman’s crawl and a mini Polar Plunge. The event is meant to be recreational, not competitive, and encourages families to be active together. Hosted by the Johnston-Grimes Firefighters Association. Register in advance at classy.org/campaign/tiny-tot-triathlon/c219765 or the day of the event. 1-3 p.m. Sunday at 10225 NW 62nd Ave., Johnston.
Wallace House hosting 'American Dreamer' performance
Tom Milligan will portray Iowa native Henry A. Wallace during his performance of “American Dreamer: The Life and Times of Henry A. Wallace” at 7 p.m. at the Wallace House, 756 16th Street, Des Moines. The one-act play is based on the award-winning book of the same name by Sen. John C. Culver and John Hyde. Admission is $20 per person. Reservations are suggested by calling 515-243-7063.
April 30-May 5
School of Rock: The Musical
Based on the hit movie, “School of Rock: The Musical” follows Dewey Finn, a wannabe rock star who poses as a substitute teacher and turns a class of straight-A students into a rock band. The musical features 14 new songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber, all the original songs from the movie and musical theater’s first-ever kids rock band playing their music live on stage. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 2 and 7:30 Saturday, 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Des Moines Civic Center, 221 Walnut St. Tickets start at $40 at desmoinesperformingarts.org.
April 30-May 19
The Second City: It’s Not You, It’s Me
The world-famous comedy company The Second City brings “It’s Not You, It’s Me” to the Temple Theater, where they will take shots at heartbreak, missed connections and the mire of human relationships. 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays, 5 and 8 p.m. Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays. 1011 Locust St. Tickets start at $30 at desmoinesperformingarts.org.
Rapper and Internet celebrity Cardi B makes her Des Moines debut at Wells Fargo Arena. Hear her perform her chart-topping hits like “I Like It” and “Money” in this not-to-miss concert event. 7 p.m. 730 Third St. Tickets start at $49.50 at HyVeeTix.com.
The Civic Music Association’s season finale concert features eclectic string quintet SYBARITE5 with “Everything In Its Right Place,” a showcase of the ensemble’s regular playlist, including music by Radiohead, Mozart and more, as well as new compositions. 7:30 p.m. Hoyt Sherman Place, 1501 Woodland Ave. Tickets start at $17 at ticketmaster.com.
DSM Gala: An Evening in Paris
The Des Moines Area Committee for Make-A-Wish Iowa presents the 26th Annual Des Moines Gala. Enjoy an evening of entertainment, featuring area Wish Kids, as well as silent and live auctions. 5:30 p.m. Ron Pearson Center, 5820 Westown Parkway, West Des Moines. Individual tickets are $125. Visit iowa.wish.org to reserve your seats before it sells out.
Shovels & Rope / Frank Turner
Married duo Shovels & Rope and British “punk-folk troubadour” Frank Turner co-headline a special night in concert at Hoyt Sherman Place. Shovels & Rope have made a name for themselves by carving out their own musical niche with their original music that takes inspiration from roots, indie, folk and rock. Turner remains one of the most successful UK solo artists of the past decade. 7 p.m. 1501 Woodland Ave. Tickets start at $29.50 at hoytsherman.org.
Carlisle Picker's Day with a Side of Bacon
50+ vendors sell their repurposed crafts, antiques, junk and rustics. Also: Farmers' Market, food court and live music. Bacon by the slice, kettle korn and homemade ice cream. North Park in Carlisle. Free admission, free parking. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. https://carlisleiaalumni.wixsite.com/-carlisle-pickers/vendors-page
Annual Spirit Seekers Fair
“Practical Intuition, Guidance and Healing” is the theme. The day will feature exhibitors and practitioners from the healing arts, intuitive readers, merchandise and personal enrichment opportunities. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Unity of Des Moines 414 31st. Free. unitydesmoines.com
Classical pianist Mark Valenti
Enjoy two recitals by Chicago-based classical pianist Mark Valenti. 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets will be $8 for one recital, $10 for both, and $5 for students to attend both. Heartland Presbyterian Church, 14300 Hickman Road in Clive. https://hpcusa.org
Des Moines Vocal Arts Ensemble Choral Concert
The Des Moines Vocal Arts Ensemble presents “Choral Gems of the Romantic Era,” featuring music by Romantic masters in Germany, Austria, France and England. The program features guest conductor and clinician Dr. David Rayl, Director of Choral Programs at Michigan State University. 4 p.m. Plymouth Congregational Church, 4126 Ingersoll Ave. Tickets are $18 in advance at dmvae.org or $20 at the door and $5 for students.
Don’t miss this family-friendly festival for all fandoms at Central Library, 1000 Grand Ave., from 1-5 p.m. Meet Paw Patrol characters, Disney princesses, Wonder Woman and the Dark Knight. Interact with friends from the Science Center of Iowa, Jester Puppets and luchadores. Enjoy food from local food trucks. Free.
Shen Yun Performing Arts
Experience the grandeur of ancient Chinese civilization brought to life by more than 80 artists, a full orchestra and illustrated digital backdrops. Shen Yun’s artists carry on the noble ancient Chinese notion that to create true art, artists must not only master their craft but also cultivate goodness and inner purity. 7:30 p.m. Des Moines Civic Center, 221 Walnut St. Tickets start at $84.50 at desmoinesperformingarts.org.
The Beach Boys
See one of the most iconic music groups of all time, the Beach Boys, perform live at Stephens Auditorium on their “Now & Then” tour, and hear all your favorite hits that will have you longing for summer. 7:30 p.m. 1900 Center Drive, Ames. Tickets start at $54.50 at ticketmaster.com.
Spring Garden Festival
Celebrate gardening in Iowa at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden’s Spring Garden Festival, featuring more than 500 limited-edition varieties of plants, garden art and merchandise, as well as workshops, educational sessions and family-friendly activities. Kick it off Thursday night with a cocktail party and butterfly release (6-8 p.m., $75 members & $85 non-members). 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. Non-member adults are $10, kids are $7 (free for ages 3 and under). 909 Robert D. Ray Drive. Learn more at dmbotanicalgarden.com.
Iowa Stage Theatre Company presents “Disgraced,” winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, which tells the story of a successful Pakistani-American lawyer who is distancing himself from his cultural roots and his wife, a white artist whose work is influenced by Islamic imagery. When they host a dinner party for colleagues, friendly banter turns into something more searing and damaging. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Des Moines Social Club Kum & Go Theater, 900 Mulberry St. Tickets start at $20 at iowastage.org.
Brian Stokes Mitchell and Megan Hilty in Concert with the Des Moines Symphony
Two-time Tony Award winner Brian Stokes Mitchell and Tony Award nominee and star of NBC’s “Smash” Megan Hilty present a night of unforgettable music and Broadway hits as they perform with the Des Moines Symphony. 7:30 p.m. Des Moines Civic Center, 221 Walnut St. Tickets start at $40 at desmoinesperformingarts.org.
Orphan Jon and the Abandoned
Rip Cat Records recording artist based out of Southern California is a national touring Roots and Blues band. A 2018 Blues Blast Music Awards double nominee. 6 p.m. at Lefty's Live Music, 2307 University Ave, Des Moines.
Dave Matthews Band
Dave Matthews Band became the first music group to have seven consecutive albums debut at No. 1 on the Billboard charts when their newest album, “Come Tomorrow,” was released last year. See why they’re known for their interactive and never-the-same live shows when they make a stop at Wells Fargo Arena. 8 p.m. 730 Third St. Tickets are $39.50-$95 at HyVeeTix.com.
AViD Presents Madeline Miller
Hear Madeline Miller, author of the 2018 New York Times Bestseller “Circe,” speak as part of the Authors Visiting in Des Moines series presented by the Des Moines Public Library. 7-9 p.m. Central Library, 1000 Grand Ave. Free.
Kenny Chesney has sold more than 30 million albums, topped the Billboard Hot Country Charts 29 times and won numerous country music awards. Don’t miss the chance to see him perform live at Wells Fargo Arena on his “Songs for the Saints” Tour, with David Lee Murphy and Caroline Jones. 7 p.m. 730 Third St. Tickets start at $29 at HyVeeTix.com.
Derek Hough LIVE! The Tour
This live dance show is the first ever for Emmy Award-winning dancer Derek Hough. Featuring a brand-new stage production, Hough will explore styles from ballroom to tap to salsa, hip-hop and more. 7:30 p.m. Stephens Auditorium, 1900 Center Drive, Ames. Tickets start at $59.50 at ticketmaster.com.
Masterworks 7: Season Finale — Bernstein’s “West Side Story”
All season the Des Moines Symphony has celebrated the works of Leonard Bernstein, and they wrap up the year with his iconic “West Side Story.” Maestro Joseph Giunta will also pay a personal tribute by leading the orchestra in Rossini’s Overture to “Italian in Algiers,” a piece he studied with Bernstein. 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Des Moines Civic Center, 221 Walnut St. Tickets start at $15 at desmoinesperformingarts.org.
Ballet British Columbia
See the internationally acclaimed collaborative and creation-based contemporary ballet company Ballet BC when it makes a stop at the Des Moines Civic Center, 221 Walnut St. 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $16-$61 at desmoinesperformingarts.org.
Bourbon & Bow Ties
Support the JDRF (Junior Diabetes Research Foundation) and the Blank Park Zoo by attending Bourbon & Bow Ties for food, cocktails and entertainment. 5:30-8 p.m. Blank Park Zoo, 7401 SW 9th St. Must be 21 to enter. Tickets are $15 for members and $30 for non-members at blankparkzoo.org.
Don’t miss the opportunity to hear one of the longest-running and best-selling pop groups of all time when Chicago performs a concert at the Des Moines Civic Center. This year marks their 52nd year of touring, without missing a single concert date! Hear the signature sound of the horns, iconic voices and classic songs. 221 Walnut St. 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $55 at desmoinesperformingarts.org.
AViD Presents: C.J. Chivers
Meet one of his generation’s most revered war correspondents when two-time Pulitzer Prize winning journalist C.J. Chivers speaks at Central Library. His 2018 book “The Fighters” offers a vivid account of modern warfare told through the stories of a half-dozen American combatants serving in the MIddle East conflicts. 7-9 p.m.1000 Grand Ave. Free.
Bassist/Vocalist Katie Thiroux & Her Trio
Katie Thiroux has gained considerable attention for her bravura bass playing, assured singing and compelling compositions. Her debut album has received numerous awards including “Top 5 Debut Records of the Year” from NPR Jazz Critics Poll. Hear her perform live at the Temple Theater, 1011 Locust St. 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $29 at desmoinesperformingarts.org.
3rd Avenue Boone River Valley Festival
Spend Memorial weekend in Boone at the Boone River Valley Festival. On Saturday night, rock out to Grand Funk Railroad’s 50th Anniversary “50 Years of Funk” Tour with special guest Blue Oyster Cult at the Seven Oaks amphitheater. Visit boonerivervalleyfestival.com to order tickets and learn more about the weekend festival.
Booneville Backroads Ultra 2019
Run through the beautiful rural Iowa countryside during the Booneville Backroads Ultra 2019. Not a leisurely run, the course includes thousands of feet of elevation gain, seemingly endless hills and some of the most challenging level B roads. Choose the #tuffstuff10K, the 100-mile run (Yes, you read that correctly.), or something in between. Visit boonevillebackroadsultra.com to learn more and sign up.
Central Iowa Blues Society Spring Fest
Music by Rev Raven, Dustin Arbuckle & the Damnations, Heather Newman Band and The Matt Woods Band. Free and all ages welcome. Bring blankets or lawn chairs. Wine from Jasper Winery, beer from Madhouse Brewing, and food vendors. 2 to 9 p.m. Jasper Winery, 2300 George Flagg Pkwy, Des Moines.
May 28-June 2
Principal Charity Classic
See professional golfers, including 2018 champion Tom Lehman, John Daly, Jesper Parnevik, Jay Haas, Fuzzy Zoeller and more, as they compete in the Principal Charity Classic at historic Wakonda Club. The tournament has raised more than $13 million for Iowa’s children’s charities since it began. Find out more about how to obtain tickets to this family-friendly event by visiting principalcharityclassic.com.
Evolution of the Revolution: 50 Years Since Stonewall
A visual and informative display of local and national historical information about the growing LGBTQIA+ community. Reception on May 31. Exhibit on display May 13-June 21. Polk County Heritage Gallery, 111 Court Ave. http://www.polkcountyheritagegallery.org
May 31-June 16
“Silent Sky,” performed at Des Moines Community Playhouse, tells the previously untold stories of female astronomers through the eyes of real scientist Henrietta Leavitt, who served as “computer” at Harvard College Observatory. 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays. 831 42nd St. See ticket options at dmplayhouse.com.
Dam to DSM 2019
Run from the Saylorville Dam to downtown Des Moines in this unique 20K race. Celebrate afterwards at the finish line at Cowles Commons outside the Des Moines Civic Center. Register at damtodsm.com.
Kick off summer in Campustown in Ames at Summerfest, a family-friendly celebration on Saturday, June 1. Kids’ activities include face painting, balloons, a root beer garden, petting zoo and more. Bring furry family members and enter the Cutest Dog Contest. The fun starts at 3 p.m., with the family activities ending at 7 p.m. and the beer garden open until 9 p.m. Free admission. Visit amescampustown.com.
Easterseals Iowa Admiral’s White Party
Celebrate Easterseals Iowa’s mission at the Admiral’s White Party. The gala celebrates benefits the clients and families served by Easterseals Iowa. Camp Sunnyside, 401 NE 66th Ave. Learn more at easterseals.com/ia.
Discover the work of artists, including painters, jewelry makers, photographers, woodworkers, potters, sculptors, musicians and more at the annual Art Walk in Downtown Ames.
2019 Midwest Victory Rally
Victory Motorcycle enthusiasts are invited to attend the MIdwest Victory Rally. On Friday, visit vendors, attend the Welcome Social then listen to live music. Saturday begins with the Blessing of the Bikes, followed by a Scavenger Hunt Motorcycle Ride, Bike Show, social, supper and more. The Vic Shop, 33 Ellefson Drive, De Soto. Tickets are $45-$60 at midwestvictoryrally.com.
2019 Pride Fest
More than 10,000 people attended Capital City Pride’s Pride Fest 2018, and this year promises to be even bigger, with the addition of a Pet Parade, Pride Fun Run and more. Don’t miss the headline performances, family-friendly parade and many more events in the Historic East Village. Visit capitalcitypride.com for more details.
Reiman Gardens’ annual Rose Fest features a juried show of the best roses in the state. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. 1407 University Blvd., Ames. Regular admission applies.
New Kids on the Block and more
You’ll swear you’ve traveled back in time a few decades when you hear New Kids on the Block, Salt-N-Pepa, Naughty by Nature, Tiffany and Debbie Gibson all perform in one night at Wells Fargo Arena, 730 Third St. 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $30 at HyVeeTix.com.
Pod Tours America Live
The podcast Pod Saves America, co-hosted by Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, Dan Pfeiffer and Tommy Vietor, has been downloaded more than 370 million times. Experience their no-nonsense conversations about politics, the press and the Trump presidency when they stop at Hoyt Sherman Place on their Pod Tours America Live. 8 p.m. 1501 Woodland Ave. Tickets start at $39.50 at hoytsherman.org.
Shakespeare on the Lawn Presents 'Macbeth'
There is no better way to make Shakespeare come to life in Iowa than to see it under the stars in front of the backdrop of the terrace and gardens of a castle. Shakespeare on the Lawn, performed by Iowa Stage Theatre Company at the historic Salisbury House and Gardens, is a Central Iowa tradition. This year, see “Macbeth,” Shakespeare’s tragedy set in a Scottish castle, complete with murder and ghosts. 7:30 p.m. 4025 Tonawanda Drive. $30 adults, $20 students, $10 children ages 6-10, free ages 5 and under. Order tickets at salisburyhouse.org.
Steve Miller Band
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Steve Miller amassed a number of highly popular hits in the 1970s and ‘80s with the Steve Miller Band, including “The Joker,” “Take the Money and Run” and “Jungle Love.” He makes a stop at Wells Fargo Arena on his summer tour, playing with Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives, including Kenny Vaughan, Harry Stinson and Chris Scruggs, in what Miller calls “An Amazing Evening of Original American Music -- Classic Rock Meets Classic Country.” 7 p.m. 730 Third St. Tickets are $35-$125 at HyVeeTix.com.
Blank Park Zoo’s annual fundraising gala supports educational programs, animal training, conservation efforts and veterinary care of the zoo’s diverse animal population. Spend an evening at the zoo and enjoy food and drinks, a live and silent auction and special animal encounters. 6 p.m. 7401 SW 9th St. Tickets are $150 per person or $1,000 per table. Learn more at blankparkzoo.org.
History Through the Lens
Learn photography tips from local experts and practice your skill on the 500 acres of beautiful scenery at Living History Farms during its History Through the Lens event. Capture beautiful shots during a Pioneer wedding at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. 11121 HIckman Road, Urbandale. $16 adults, $9.50 kids, free for members.
Des Moines Storytellers Project: On Second Thought
The Storytellers Project is a series of live storytelling events curated and hosted by the Des Moines Register. The Register’s journalists help community members to draw out authentic, personal experiences and hone them into engaging dialogue. the June 18 theme is On Second Thought: Ideas Reconsidered and Lessons Learned. 7 p.m. Hoyt Sherman Place, 1401 Woodland Ave. Tickets are $12 or $60 for the season at ticketmaster.com.
See one of the country’s favorite female singer-songwriters when Melissa Etheridge performs live at Hoyt Sherman Place, promoting her new album “The Medicine Show.” Etheridge is best known for such hits as “I’m the Only One” and “Come to My Window” and has won two Grammy Awards and an Academy Award for “Best Song” for a song she wrote for “An Inconvenient Truth.” 7:30 p.m. 1501 Woodland Ave. Tickets start at $65 at hoytsherman.org.
Des Moines Register Sports Awards
The Des Moines Register Sports Awards recognizes the state’s top athletes in 21 categories. See award presentations, contests and a Q&A session with a celebrity guest. The Red Carpet starts at 6 p.m., with the show beginning at 7 p.m. Wells Fargo Arena, 730 Third St. Tickets are $15-$18 at sportsawards.desmoinesregister.com.
2019 World Refugee Day
Celebrate the United Nations’ World Refugee Day in Des Moines, complete with a Cultural Celebration, showcasing the talents and cuisine of refugees and immigrants in Iowa, as well as the Cup of All Nations soccer tournament. 12-4 p.m. Valley Community Center, 4444 Fuller Ave., West Des Moines. Learn more at dsmworldrefugeeday.weebly.com.
Shawn Mendes: The Tour
Despite being only 20 years old, Shawn Mendes has already achieved two #1 debut albums, two Platinum albums and seven consecutive Platinum and multi-Platinum singles and has amassed over 11 billion song streams worldwide. Don’t miss the chance to see Mendes perform live, including songs from his newly released self-titled album, at Wells Fargo Arena, 730 Third Ave. 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $29.50 at HyVeeTix.com.
Vintage & Made Fair
Find antiques and vintage home decor, jewelry, handcrafted goods, outdoor accents, seasonal flora, local eats and everything needed to create a vintage and handmade lifestyle at the Vintage & Made Fair. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Franklin Jr. High, 4801 Franklin Ave. Tickets are $8 and free for kids 12 and under. Buy tickets and see a vendor list at vintageandmadefair.com.
Nitefall on the River: Lake Street Dive
Hear Lake Street Dive, with their original mix of soul, R&B and rock and roll, when they perform as part of Nitefall on the River. Listen to music from their 15 years together, including from their 2018 album Free Yourself Up. 7 p.m. Brenton Skating Plaza, 520 Robert D. Ray Drive. Tickets are $30-$35 at nitefalldsm.com.
The Play That Goes Wrong
Described as “what would happen if Sherlock Holmes and Monty Python had an illegitimate Broadway baby,” “The Play That Goes Wrong” has received rave reviews on Broadway and in London. A classic murder mystery comedy, the play-within-a-play features an unconscious leading lady, a corpse that can’t play dead and actors who trip over everything (including their lines). Don’t miss this smash hit that’s fun for all ages at the Des Moines Civic Center, 221 Walnut St. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets start at $36 at desmoinesperformingarts.org.
Des Moines Arts Festival
Attend one of the best festivals in the world right here in Des Moines when the Des Moines Arts Festival sets up on over 4 acres across downtown. Eleven-time winner of the coveted Grand Pinnacle Award from the International Festivals and Events Association, the outdoor festival attracts 200,000 people and features 180 of the nation’s top artists. See live musical and dance performances all weekend long, enjoy children’s activities and munch on some delicious food. 15th & Locust Streets and Western Gateway Park. 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. See a full schedule of events, including music lineups, at desmoinesartsfestival.org.
4th Annual Indie Author Book Expo
Meet authors, learn about writing and publishing and pick up some freebies at the 4th Annual Indie Author Book Expo, with the theme “Books in Wonderland.” At 1 p.m. Saturday, listen to an Authors Q&A Panel, featuring Erin Casey, Kristine Plum, Wanda & Kimberlee Ann Bastin, Brian K. Morris, Scott Champlin and Alexandrea Penland. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday at Valley West Mall, 1551 Valley West Drive, West Des Moines. Free admission.
See works from approximately 260 artists at Iowa’s largest fine art show, ArtFest Midwest. Offered as an affordable alternative to the Des Moines Arts Festival, ArtFest Midwest will provide a free shuttle bus service to and from downtown. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Varied Industries Building at Iowa State Fairgrounds, 3000 E. Grand Ave. Admission and parking are free.
Don’t miss the chance to see one of metal’s icons, Ozzy Osbourne, perform live on his No More Tours 2 tour. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and Grammy-winning singer and songwriter will be backed by longtime collaborators Zakk Wylde, Blasko, Tommy Clufetos and Adam Wakeman. Megadeth will also perform. 7:30 p.m. Wells Fargo Arena, 730 Third St. Tickets start at $30 at HyVeeTix.com.
Yankee Doodle Pops
Iowa’s largest single-day concert event is a treat for the whole family. Yankee Doodle Pops features a patriotic concert performed by the Des Moines Symphony, followed by an amazing fireworks display over the downtown Des Moines skyline. Bring chairs, blankets and a picnic, or purchase food from one of the vendors. Get there early to stake out your spot on the West Terrace lawn of the Iowa State Capitol, 1007 E. Grand Ave. The concert begins at 8:30 p.m., and the event is free.
Des Moines Firecracker 5K 2019
Celebrate America’s Birthday in America’s Greatest City during the Des Moines Firecracker 5K. Afterwards, enjoy post-race fun at Peace Tree. 317 E. Court Ave. The run begins at 9 a.m. Learn more and sign up at desmoinesfirecracker.com.
Boz Scaggs’ new album, “Out of the Blues,” reflects on what genre began his five-decade musical career. After returning from touring and recording abroad, he joined the Steve Miller Band for a year before launching his solo career in 1968. See Scaggs perform live at Hoyt Sherman Place, 1501 Woodland Ave. 7:30 p.m. Ticket start at $45 at hoytsherman.org.
Jazz in July: Charmin Michelle
Charmin Michelle’s conversational style recalls the late Billie Holiday and other legendary ladies of jazz, yet her music refrains from being called “campy” or full of easy nostalgia. See this savvy songstress perform live during this Jazz in July concert, sponsored by Principal Foundation and Faegre Baker Daniels. 7:30 p.m. Hoyt Sherman Place, 1501 Woodland Ave. Admission is free.
80/35 Music Festival
The 80/35 Music Festival is where music meets community. Hear mind-bending music, from headliners like Portugal. The Man, Elle King and Metric, to other big names like Misterwives, Noname, Liz Phair, Yungblud, XL (Sadat X & El Da Sensei) w/DJ Kaos and And the Kids on the Main Stage. Listen to plenty of up-and-coming music on the free stages, as well as take in some breakdancing, check out eye-popping art, chow down on fest foods and much more. It all takes place at Western Gateway Park downtown. Tickets start at $25 at 80-35.com.
July 12-August 4
The Des Moines Community Playhouse presents the smash hit Broadway musical inspired by the New York newsboys’ strike of 1899. When publishing giants Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst raise distribution prices at the expense of the delivery boys, a group of teenage “newsies” must fight for what’s right. The musical comedy drama filled with high-energy dance numbers is fun for the whole family. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. 831 42nd St. Visit dmplayhouse.com for ticket options.
Iowa’s oldest Anime convention will be held for three days, featuring all-things Anime and Japanese culture. The family-friendly event will include guest panels, artists, video games, video viewing, cosplay, a fan market and much more. Iowa Events Center, 730 Third St. Tickets are available in advance, starting at $35, or are available at the door. Visit animeiowa.com for updates on programming and to purchase tickets.
Orchard Place Moonlight Classic
Light up your bike, yourself or your helmet and compete to win prizes while raising money for Orchard Place during the Orchard Place Moonlight Classic. Beginning at 9:30 p.m., bike through downtown Des Moines during this family-friendly event. Register at orchardplace.org/moonlight-classic.
The Struts with the Glorious Sons
English rock band The Struts have opened for such icons as The Rolling Stones, The Who and Guns N’ Roses. Experience the wildly popular group perform live at the new Lauridsen Amphitheater at Water Works Park. Performing with them will be the Glorious Sons. 7:30 p.m. 2201 George Flagg Parkway. Tickets start at $25 at firstfleetconcerts.com.
Lyle Lovett and His Large Band
Singer, composer and actor Lyle Lovett has a gift for storytelling and has broadened the definition of American music throughout his career that spans 14 albums. Hear him perform his blend of country, swing, jazz, folk, gospel and blues with His Large Band. 8 p.m. Hoyt Sherman Place, 1501 Woodland Ave. Tickets start at $59 at hoytsherman.org.
Jazz in July: Debbie Duncan
Debbie Duncan, hailing from Minneapolis, is known as “The First Lady of Song.” Hear her perform her funky and tender jazz numbers when she appears as part of Jazz in July. 7:30 p.m. Hoyt Sherman Place, 1501 Woodland Ave. Tickets are free.
Warren Morrow Latin Music Festival
Dedicated to exclusively showcasing Latin music and supporting Latin artists, the Warren Morrow Latin Music Festival is Iowa’s premiere Latin music festival. Headlining this year is Celso Piña, world-renowned accordion player who plays high-energy cumbia. Also performing are Dos Santos, The Dollly’s Cuartet, Rosendo Robles and more. 4 p.m.-midnight. Brenton Skating Plaza, 520 Robert D. Ray Drive. Tickets are $35 at warrenmorrowmusicfest.com.
Don’t miss the world’s greatest Pink Floyd tribute show as they present a very special 40th Anniversary celebration of Pink Floyd’s iconic rock opera “The Wall.” As close as you’ll get to a real Pink Floyd concert experience, Brit Floyd’s show includes a multi-million dollar light show, large circular screen, lasers, inflatables and theatrics. 7:30 p.m. Stephens Auditorium, 1900 Center Drive, Ames. Tickets start at $50 at ticketmaster.com.