Long summer days lead to warm summer nights and a few extra hours to enjoy outdoor fun! To help fill those extra hours, here is a list of outdoor concerts happening across the Des Moines metro. Pack up the family and a bottle of bug spray and head out to enjoy some tunes under the stars. Here’s your guide to FREE outdoor concerts for kids and families in Des Moines.
Ankeny’s Summer Sounds Concert Series is held on Thursday nights in the ‘Shell in Wagner Park. Live music runs from 7:00 to 8:30 pm. The concerts are FREE and open to the public; bring lawn chairs and blankets for seating.
June 15: Roundabout
June 22: Elegant Gypsy
July 20: Ankeny Community Band and Ankeny Community Chorus
The outdoor stage in Haines Park is hosting four free concerts under the stars this summer season. Enjoy live music on Sundays from 7:00 to 8:00 pm. (2:00 pm on September 24th.) Bring picnics and a blanket and kids can roam, play and dance in the park as they listen.
June 25: TBD
July 30: TBD
August 27: TBD
September 24: TBD
People of all ages are welcome to mingle in Altoona and enjoy some FREE music on Friday nights from 6:00 to 9:00 pm. The concerts are at the Civic Plaza next to Hy-Vee. Bring lawn chairs and blankets to sit on. Food and drink items are available for purchase from several local vendors.
May 26: Faculty Lounge
June 30: Jordan Beem and Drew Kearney
July 28: The Sheet
August 25: Jason Brown
Unwind after a long week at Food Truck Friday! Jump on the Greenbelt Trail and make your way to Campbell Park to enjoy music, food, and fun. Bring the whole family — the park has three playgrounds and green space. Proceeds from beverage sales at the Clive concession stand will go to Clive Community Services.
May 12: Brad Seidenfeld
May 19: Chasing Chaos
May 26: Brian Congdon
June 2: Keifer Brandt
June 9: Josh Sinclair
June 16: SUEDE
Start the weekend at the Des Moines Art Center with some of the best musicians in town. Listen to live music during First Fridays in The Art Center’s courtyard from 5:00 to 8:00 pm. Admission is $5 or members are FREE. Enjoy an incredible mix of live music, complimentary hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, and world-class art to round out the evening.
June 16: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
July 7: Max Wellman
August 4: Los Saltinos
Join Jasper Winery every Thursday this summer from 6:00 to 9:00 pm for FREE live music on their lawn. They’ll be serving up wine by-the-glass, sangria, and Madhouse Brewing Company beer. Food vendors will be selling burgers, brats and pizza, but you’re also welcome to bring snacks too. No pets are allowed but kids are welcome. Music will go on rain or shine.
May 11: Ade and the Soul Brothers
May 18: Brazilian 2wins
May 25: Brother Trucker
June 1: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
June 8: Damon Dotson Band
June 15: Decoy
June 22: The Maytags
June 29: The Nadas
July 6: Dueling Guitars
July 13: Flipside
July 20: Pianopalooza
July 27: Dazy Head Mazy
August 3: Final Mix
In its 71st season, Music Under the Stars is held at 7:00 pm on Sunday nights on the west Capitol grounds. The concerts are FREE, open to the public and children are welcome. Bring lawn chairs, blankets and a picnic dinner to enjoy the music. Rain location is the Harmon Fine Arts Center at Drake University (25th & Carpenter).
June 11: Des Moines Metro Band/Metro Big Band
June 18: Des Moines Metro Band/Metro Big Band
June 25: Des Moines Metro Band/Metro Big Band
July 2: Des Moines Metro Band/Metro Big Band
July 9: Metro Dixie Land Combo
July 16: Iowa Veteran’s Band
Join Polk County Conservation for an evening of music in a natural setting at the Jester Park Amphitheater in Jester Park. Concerts start at 6:30 pm. Bring a lawn chair or blanket to sit on.
May 27: Four Mile Creek Bluegrass Band
July 1: Tropical Steel
September 2: An Evening Productions
Bring lawn chairs or blankets to sit on and enjoy live music, food, drink and fun for all ages at Memorial Park in Indianola. The concerts start at 7:00 pm. Children 14 and younger must be accompanied by an adult
June 2: Monday Mourners
June 23: Standing Hampton
June 14: Final Mix
Spend Thursday evenings listening to the sounds of local musicians at the historic Camp Dodge Pool Complex. Bring a lawn chair, picnic basket, sit back and enjoy! Concessions are also available. All concerts start at 7:00 pm.
May 25: Bob Dorr and the Blue Band
June 1: Brother Trucker
June 8: Bob Tyler and The Reckless Hearts
June 22: Abby Normal Band
June 29: The Candymakers
July 6: 34th Army Band Sidewinders
July 13: Bonne Finken
Join the Johnston Public Library for a free outdoor concert with the Belin Quartet at 7:00 pm. Bring your lawn chairs and yard blankets and enjoy family-friendly classical music and a free sundae ice cream cone. Rain location is the Large Meeting Room of Johnston Public Library.
June 4: Belin Quartet
Sundae in the Park is your best opportunity to get the kids ready to head back to school! Join the Johnston Community School District, Johnston Community Education and the City of Johnston for an evening of music and ice cream, with an extra sprinkle of fun!
August 6: TBD
A community event, hosted by the Urbandale Public Library, celebrating the diversity of free programs offered in Urbandale. Families are invited to pack a picnic, bring their lawn chairs and enjoy live classical guitar music in the Charles Gabus Tree Park from 6:30 to 7:00 pm.
June 15: Jeff Bianchi Classical Guitarist
The Waukee Arts Council brings FREE music and fun to Waukee on Sunday evenings in July. Join your neighbors in the park at 6:30 pm to listen to live local musicians and participate in family activities. Don’t forget lawn chairs, picnic baskets, and the kids.
Saturday, July 8: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
July 23: TBD
July 30: TBD
West Des Moines
Enjoy FREE live music at the Jordan Creek Town Center Amphitheater on Sundays July 2nd through September 3rd from 5:00 to 8:00 pm.
July 2: Decoy
July 9: Final Mix
July 16: Gimikk
July 23: Flipside aka (Write) Back At ‘Cha
July 30: Tony Valdez Large Band
August 6: Boomerang
August 13: Mason’s Basement
August 20: Tony Valdez Retro Rockets
August 27: Flipside aka (Write) Back At ‘Cha
September 3: Piano Palooza featuring tony Bohnekamp and Jerry Lorenson
Music in the Junction is a signature event in Historic Valley Junction. Catch the FREE concerts on Thursday evenings at 5:30 to 8:00 pm. Bring the family and enjoy fun, music and shopping at the farmers’ market.
May 11: Randy Burk & the Prisoners
May 18: Sumpin’ Doo
May 25: Fahrenheit
June 1: Decoy
June 8: The Blue Band
June 15: Abby Normal
June 22: Ctrl C
June 29: Toaster
July 6: The Tighten Up
July 13: Hound Dog Shy
July 20: James Biehn Band
July 27: Final Mix
August 3: Jimmy the Weasel
August 10: Monday Mourners
August 17: Boomerang
August 24: Brother Trucker
August 31: Royce John’s Band
September 7: Sons of Gladys Kravitz
September 14: Gimikk
September 21: NOLA Jazz Band
September 28: Tony Valdez Large Band
The Windsor Heights Foundation hosts a Windsor Heights summer tradition, Music in the Park. The FREE concert series in Colby Park is on Tuesdays at 7:00 pm. In addition to the FREE concert, FREE beverages and snow cones are served and door prizes are awarded. Food trucks and local vendors will also be on hand to add to the fun family friendly atmosphere. In case of inclimate weather watch the Foundation’s website www.windsorheightsfoundation.org and Facebook page.
June 13: Bob Dorr
June 20: Max Wellman
June 27: Hold On
July 11: Scott Davis
July 18: Jimmy the Weasel
July 25: Broken Keys
August 1: Des Moines Community Band
August 8: TBD
City Sounds Public Piano project was started with a mission to engage the local arts community with people who may not have easy access to the wonderful visual artists and musicians our city has to offer. To kick off their City Sounds Season Opener Auction 10 FREE shows will be played at pianos located throughout the Des Moines area on Saturday, May 20th. This year will feature a diverse array of piano talent on the installed pianos in the Metro. The line-up will feature artists from Des Moines which highlight the strength of piano music in our scene.
1:00-1:45 pm: Nola Jazz Band in Windsor Heights on the corner of 66th & University from
2:00-2:30 pm: Jordan Mayland in Valley Junction
2:45-3:15 pm: Jason Danielson on Ingersoll in front Ted’s Coney Island
3:30 – 4:00 pm: Justin Appel in the Drake Neighborhood at Woody’s Smoke Shack
4:15-4:45 pm: Dorothy Hecht in Sherman Hill at Smokey Row
5:00 – 5:30 pm: Christopher the Conquered at the Downtown YMCA
5:45 – 6:15 pm: Tanner Taylor at the Des Moines Social Club
6:30 – 7:00 pm: Annalibera at Capital Square
7:15 – 7:45: The Snacks at on the Riverwalk at the Hubspot
8:00 – 8:30 pm: Nick Leo and Robert Espe at Raygun
8:00 – 8:30 pm: Afterparty with Dave Zollo and the Body Electric in the East Village
Jazz in July crosses community boundaries and brings great music to neighborhoods and parks throughout Greater Des Moines. The FREE July concerts are presented by Metro Arts in partnership with neighborhood groups and corporate sponsors and feature both local musicians and national acts with Iowa ties. This month-long family-friendly festival celebrates jazz and art, and to add to the fun, features food vendors and children’s activities. Grab your lawn chairs and blankets and head out to one of the concert sites.
July 4: Christopher’s Very Happy.Band. at Urbandale Lion’s Park, Urbandale
July 5: Lunchtime Series Concert at Cowles Commons, Des Moines
July 6: Rose Colella “Cocktail” at Terrace Hill, Des Moines
July 7: Dave Razek’s Alpha State Agents at the Bondurant Trailhead, Bondurant
July 8: Parranderos Latin Combo at Mound Park, Dallas Center
July 9: Freddy Gazzo Band at Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, Des Moines
July 12: Lunchtime Series Concert at Banker’s Trust, West Des Moines
July 13: High Society Big Band at Wesley Acres, Des Moines
July 14: Scott Davis Quartet at Evelyn K Davis Park, Des Moines
July 15: The NOLA Jazz Band at 6th Avenue Corridor, Des Moines
July 16: Bryan Schumacker Quintet at Metro Arts Alliance, Des Moines
July 19: Lunchtime Series Concert at Cowles Commons, Des Moines
July 20: Foxtrot Hot Shots at Hoyt Sherman, Des Moines
July 21: John Morgan Orchestra at Drake University, Des Moines
July 22: The Tighten Up at Waveland Golf Course, Des Moines
July 26: Lunchtime Series Concert at Cowles Commons, Des Moines
July 27: Betsy Hickok Quartet at Wagner Park Bandshell, Ankeny
July 28: Max Wellman 7 at Copper Creek Lake, Pleasant Hill
July 29: Jazz in July Finate at Valley Junction, West Des Moines
What’s your family’s favorite FREE summer concert series in Des Moines? Give it a shout out in the Comments below and we’ll add it to our list.