The weather is slowly starting to get sunnier and less likely to involve snow. Spring is the perfect time to get out and do things in Des Moines after a long winter of being cooped up inside. The following are the best things to do in the spring time in Des Moines.
- Pella Tulip Time– May 4-6- Make the short drive from Des Moines to Pella for their annual Tulip Time festival. Pella plants around 200,000 tulips every year for this festival and the flowers come in all sorts of color variations so you’ll be sure to get plenty of gorgeous pictures. They have a full weekend of events planned including two parades on Thursday, Friday and Saturday with one being in the afternoon and the second being a lighted parade on all three of those nights. Dutch Demos will feature small classes about Dutch clothing and authentic Dutch food. Most of the activities are free and this is very family friendly. Take home extra Dutch letters so you can enjoy them the next time you get a craving and can’t make the trip out to Pella.
- Drake Relays– April 26-29- The Drake Relays are rated one of the best track and field events in the United States. The first relays were started in 1910 and only had about 100 people in attendance. Carl Lewis made his debut here in 1994. Come and watch as athletes ranging from high school and college level to professional level try and win the gold. Be sure to plan for any bags you plan to bring into the stadium to be searched due to new security measures this year. Tickets range from $5 general admission on Thursday to up to $40 reserved adult tickets. This is a fun opportunity to watch what may become famous future athletes at the beginning of their careers.
- Maifest– May 6-7- The Amana Colonies are a bit out of the way but they’ll make it well worth the drive for their annual Maifest. Watch the Maipole dancers do the traditional dance around the Maipole in authentic German clothing. The Amanas make sure to have plenty of activities to keep everyone in the family busy with things like the Wine, Beer and Chocolate Walk where you can sample free drink and food from each of the shops, free demonstrations at the Woolen Mill of how they make their wonderful quilts, and Art in the Barn where local artists display their work and an open mic for anyone who wants to read their own work to those in the audience.
- Heartland Swing Festival– April 6-9- Whether you’ve been swing dancing for years or you just want to learn it for the sake of having something fun to do for the weekend, this festival will be fun for you either way. The weekend starts on Thursday with a Welcome dance and has a full schedule full of both classes and competitions to both watch and participate in if you’re brave enough. Classes like Tricks Yo Momma Could do and Gettin’ Hep to the Jive will give you new moves at the next wedding you attend. A beginner crash course costs $99 and a full weekend pass is $165. This festival certainly beats a weekend spent at home watching Netflix.
- Spring Garden Festival– May 11-14- Held at the Des Moines Botanical Center, the Spring Garden Festival is a four day pop up event with over 500 limited edition plant varieties for sale plus educational sessions and family friendly gardening activities. If you’re in need of flowers to buy for your garden but want to also support a good cause, this annual garden festival is a wonderful opportunity to help support the Botanical Center as well as having the reassurance that whatever you end up buying will be of the utmost quality possible.
- Childserve’s Bubble Ball-April 8- Childserve’s Bubble Ball is their signature gala that features pieces of art created by both amateurs and professional artists made entirely of bubble wrap as part of both a fashion runway show and in a gallery of stationary objects. Attendees are treated to a delicious dinner with live musical entertainment. Tickets cost $150 so this would be an awesome date night for those who want to splurge. All proceeds go towards Childserve programs to help children with special needs live healthy and happy lives.
- Earth Day Geocache Hunt-April 22- Gather the children in your family to learn how to use GPS and search the woods of Jester Park to find the Lorax and his hidden treasures. Space is limited and the spots can fill up pretty quickly so pre-registration is required and the last day to register is April 17. It costs $5 per child and is suited fo those ages 5-14.
- Vintage in the City– March 25- For the antique lovers and for those who love to DIY, this is the fifth year the Vintage in the City festival is being held downtown. 11 businesses will be participating who will show their love of repurposing and many will have demonstrations on how to do projects on your own. Refreshments will be served and giveaways will be given throughout the day. Spend the day shopping gorgeously repurposed furniture as well as learn some new skills.
For the best places to take wedding photographs, click here.