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Special Events Overview


Special Events

Father Daughter Dance - First Saturday in February
  • Location: Science Center of Iowa  - 401 W Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway
  • Time: 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
  • Cost: $10 per person
  • Admission includes full access to the Science Center exhibits, DJ, chocolate fondue station and photo station.
  • Parents, relatives, guardians and/or role models are welcome to attend with their children.
Mother Son Fun - First Saturday in March
  • Location: Pioneer Columbus Community Recreation Center - 2100 SE 5th Street
  • Time: 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
  • Cost: $10 per person
  • Activities include inflatable obstacle course, Police Athletic League boxing, computer car race, magician, face painting and soccer.
  • Parents, relatives, guardians and/or role models are welcome to attend with their children.
Mayors Annual Ride and Run for Trails - Third Saturday in April
  • Location start - Municipal Service Center – 1551 E MLK Jr Parkway
  • Run starts at 9 a.m.
  • Ride starts at 10 a.m.
  • Cost: Children 5-17 $5, 18 and over $30. Day of Registration - $40
  • Proceeds benefit the Des Moines trail system
Bike Back to School - First Saturday in August
  • Location: Des Moines Police Station
  • Starts at 9:00 am
  • Cost: Free
  • Free bikes provided to the first 50 children (based on qualifications for free and reduced school lunch) helmets, safety lessons and refreshments.
Nature Trail Running Series - Wednesdays, late-August to mid-September
  • Locations: Nature Trails in Des Moines Park System
  • Time: 6 p.m.
  • Cost: Free
  • Runners of all levels explore nature trails in our park system, guided by volunteers from Fleet Feet Sports and Capital Striders.
Fall Family Fun Fest - September 28

Fall Family Fun Fest

Saturday, September 28 - 1:00 – 4:00 PM
 Union Park (North side of the park) – 1801 Pennsylvania Avenue

Trikathalon – 1:00 PM. Cost $10.00 - Pre-registration online and opens August 26, 2019, children 8 and under will ride their trike, splash and run, participation award to all  registrants. A limited number of trikes are available for use, participants are encouraged to bring their own. register here

 Food Eating Contests - 2:00 PM and 3:00 PM – Pre-registration online and opens August 26, 2019, first eight participants to register, can only register in one of the two events, prize pack for the winner of each contest. (details below)
register here 

Heritage Carousel – cost $0.50  to ride

1:00 – 4:00 PM – Free Activities

  • Inflatables –  Obstacle Course, slide and bounce house
  • Fire Department – Fire truck
  • Police Department – SWAT vehicle and K-9 Unit
  • Music - DJ - Joe
  • Face Painting – Acts Entertainment
  • Rocket Slide – Iconic park feature

For more details contact Barb Baker at or call (515) 248-6330

 Food Eating Contests details – Located at Union Park on Saturday, September 28 at 2:00 PM and 3:00 PM, will consist of two different food eating events. Participants can only enter one competition as part of this day. This will be more about speed and accuracy over volume…but the quantity of food will still have an impressive vibe. Each competition will be six minutes in length with the person finishing all food placed in front of them first or consuming the most amount of that food in the time allotted will be declared the winner. The winning participant will be awarded a generous prize pack for their efforts. Participants will be contacted the week of the event to ensure their spot in their selected event. If a space becomes available participants will be contacted off the waiting list to fill that spot. Only eight spots are available in each event. Good luck and good eating.

 FFF 2 child Bounce



Jingle Bell Parties - Two events in December
  • Location #1 - Fourmile Community Recreation Center
  • Location #2 - Pioneer Columbus Community Recreation Center
  • Time: 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
  • Cost: Free
  • Preregistration is required
    • Registration for #1 – Fourmile Event 248-6315 starts Nov 1
    • Registration for #2 - Pioneer Event call 248-6316 starts Nov 1
  • Visit with Santa, treats from Hy-Vee, a nail painting station with Avon, jump in the bounce house, a new handmade knit hat, an environmental project, and Toys for Tots gifts to take home.