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Special Events

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Des Moines Parks and Recreation provides a variety of special events that allow community members to participate in safe and organized leisure activities in an outdoor setting, recreation center or other locations throughout Des Moines. Most of these events have a minimal cost or are free.


Take a peek at the events below and discover ways to get involved! 
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Special Events

Yoga from the Park - Saturday Mornings in June - September
For the 2020 Yoga from the Park schedule, visit Yoga in the Park!

Time: Yoga classes launched at 9 a.m. on Facebook and YouTube
Dates: Saturdays in June - September (schedule below)
Location: From the comfort of your own home or backyard
Cost: Free 

To keep our community safe, we're bringing yoga to you in 2020! Enjoy yoga from Gray's Lake Park each Saturday morning at 9 a.m. on Facebook and YouTube. These virtual classes, taught by volunteer instructors from around the metro, are perfect for all skill levels, from curious beginner to advanced yogi. 

No registration required.

Nature Trail Running Series - Wednesdays in September
Dates and Locations:
Wednesday, Sept. 2
Greenwood/Ashworth Park
Address: 102 45th St, Des Moines, IA 50320

Wednesday, Sept. 9
Ewing Park
Address: 5300 Indianola Ave, Des Moines, IA 50315

Wednesday, Sept. 16
Grandview Park
Address: 3230 Easton Blvd, Des Moines, IA 50317

Wednesday, Sept. 23
Greenwood/Ashworth Park
Address: 102 45th St, Des Moines, IA 50320

Wednesday, Sept. 30
Ashby Park
Address: 3200 38th St, Des Moines, IA 50310

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. Each Wednesday in September at 6 p.m., participants are invited to join the three or six mile guided runs. In the event trail conditions are not ideal, runs will be on paved surfaces.
Fall Family Fun Ride - Saturday, Sept. 26 or Virtual Option
For specific details and to register, visit Fall Family Fun Ride!

 Saturday, September 26, 2020

Location: Captain Roy's -1900 Saylor Road
Who: All ages and abilities

Packet Pick-Up Times: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. 
Registration Fee: $10 per rider
Virtual Registration Fee: $12 per rider*
*$2 increase from regular registration to cover shipping fees.

Join Des Moines Parks and Recreation on Sept. 26 or virtually for a 10-mile bike ride! Registration includes a bike route (DSM trails), a family-friendly scavenger hunt that pairs with the bike route, and a jack-o-lantern buff.  The 10-mile ride has a family-friendly scavenger hunt that is included with registration, where you are challenged to find city amenities along the route based on photos and riddles. 

Registration is open!
2020 Holiday Event
More information to come soon!
Father Daughter Dance - First Saturday in February
Date and Location:
  • February 1, 2020: Science Center of Iowa  - 401 W Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway
Time: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Cost: $10 per person
Who: Parents, relatives, guardians and/or role models are welcome to attend with their children.

Don’t miss out on this memorable opportunity at our annual Father Daughter Dance, sponsored by the Des Moines Parks and Recreation and Boesen The Florist. Dads are invited to bring their daughter(s) to our annual Father Daughter Dance. This event provides an evening of dancing, refreshments, photo opportunities, ASAP art project and exhibits. A carnation flower will be given to all daughters and a chocolate fondue station with dipping options will be available for everyone to enjoy.

Thank you for participating!
Mother Son Fun Night - First Saturday in March
Date and Location:
  • March 7, 2020: Pioneer Columbus Community Recreation Center  -  2100 SE 5th Street
Time: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Cost: $10 per person
Who: Parents, relatives, guardians and/or role models are welcome to attend with their children.

Enjoy live animals from the Blank Park Zoo, compete on our inflatable obstacle course, enjoy a live magician, make a special take home project for mom with the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, get your face painted, meet members of the Des Moines Police Department, say hi to the K-9 unit dog, tour a fire truck with the Des Moines Fire Department, test your sports skills and play laser tag. This event provides an evening of Mother and Son bonding experiences through interactive play. When you run out of fuel, grab a slice of pizza and a drink to get ready for more action!

Thank you for participating!
Mayor's Annual Ride and Run - Third Saturday in April
Save the date for April 17, 2021!
Free Flicks - Thursday Nights in June - August

In accordance with Mayor Cownie’s proclamation, guidance announced by the Centers for Disease Control, and in our continued effort to keep patrons and staff safe, Des Moines Parks and Recreation has canceled Free Flicks for 2020. We appreciate your patience and cooperation.

31 Miles Your Way - July
Date and Location:
  • July 1 - 31, 2020: Fitness can be done in your neighborhood, on the trails, at the gym, in the pool, etc. 
Time: 24 hours
Cost: $10 per person
Who: Ages 5 & up

It is easy to participate and we are willing to bet you'll love how easy it is to accomplish. We invite you to complete 31 miles your way in 31 days! Staying inside is not easy so this virtual event is to keep you inspired, healthy and motivated from a safe social distance. All you have to do is register, complete 31 miles your way, and track it! You can walk, run, bike, swim, stroll, sprint or crawl your way to victory.

Thank you for participating in 31 Miles Your Way!
This virtual event is now closed. 

Free Flicks: Drive-In Edition - July & August
Dates, Locations & Movies:
  • ONWARD - July 23, 2020: Cownie Soccer Complex: 2600 Hartford Avenue
  • THE LORAX - July 30, 2020: Birdland Swimming Pool: 300 E Holcomb Avenue
  • MOANA - August 6, 2020: Nahas Family Aquatic Center: 1101 Porter Avenue
  • UP - August 13, 2020: Teachout Family Aquatic Center: 2601 Hubbell Avenue
Time: Access to the event begins at 8 p.m.
Movie Start Time: Dusk (approximately 9 p.m.)
Cost: Free (vehicle registration required)
Who: All ages (movies are rated PG)

Free Flicks: Drive-In Edition allows us to gather safely and enjoy a film this summer season! Admission is free per vehicle, but with limited parking spots, we ask that you claim your spot by registering. 

With social distancing guidelines still in place, here are the rules we ask you to follow:
- Please stay in and around your vehicle for the duration of the event;
- If you choose to leave your vehicle, we encourage you to wear a mask/face covering and practice social distancing; 
- No campers or RVS will be permitted; 
- Vans, trucks and SUVs will be asked to park toward the back so as not to block the view of other moviegoers;
- No alcohol or drugs allowed;
- No animals allowed (with the exception of service animals);
- You are allowed to bring snacks - no outside food delivery will be permitted.

Thank you for joining us for these films!
Bike Back to School - Youth Bike Giveaway
For the safety of our community, we will not be hosting Bike Back to School in 2020. However, as an alternative option we will offer a Youth Bike Giveaway, which will provides low-income children and families a way to obtain active transportation.  Bike Back to School - Youth Bike Giveaway is presented in partnership by the Des Moines Street Collective, Des Moines Police Department and Des Moines Parks and Recreation. 

The 2020 Youth Bike Giveaway application has closed. Thank you!

A big thanks to Blank Children's Hospital for donating the helmets to Bike Back to School - Youth Bike Giveaway. To donate a bike or to learn more, visit the Des Moines Street Collective.

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