2018-19 School Starting Dates in the Des Moines Area - dsm4kids.com

The greater Des Moines area is home to many, many school districts. And the nature of living in Central Iowa means you have at least one friend or family member who lives in a different district than you. It’s always handy to have school start dates on hand, so bookmark this page for the 2018-19 academic calendars for the area’s numerous school districts. Continue Reading…

2018 Edition: School Supply & Health Screening Events in the Des Moines Area - dsm4kids.com

As we’re out and about, my kids and I have noticed that school supplies are starting to take over the shelves of local retailers. According to a 2018 Deloitte survey parents plan to spend an average of $510 between July and September on back to school items. Back to school time can be particularly challenging for families who are struggling financially.  Fortunately, there are several area businesses, organizations and churches receiving donations and giving away school supplies in Des Moines and surrounding areas. Continue Reading…

Family-Friendly Entertainment at the Iowa State Fair - dsm4kids.com

Looking for fun, family-friendly entertainment during your visit to the Iowa State Fair (August 9-19, 2018)? With loads of family-friendly activities and exhibits included in the price of admission, it’s not hard to find.  There can be a lot of walking at the Fair, so it’s always good to take a little break and enjoy some entertainment, sitting down.  That’s why we’ve rounded up this list of family-friendly live performances that will keep the whole family entertained at the Iowa State Fair. Continue Reading…

Chill Out at One of these 5 Great Ice Cream Places in Des Moines – dsm4kids.com

This will be our fourth annual list of local ice cream shops in Des Moines! Each year I think we’re going to run out of new places to highlight and each year, much to my delight, new discoveries are made.  There are LOTS of places to get ice cream in Des Moines that are a step above the ordinary, everyday chain. You’ll find delicious ice cream that can be the highlight of your child’s day (or maybe even their whole summer!) Read on to find some of our favorite local ice cream experiences to cool down your Des Moines kid. Continue Reading…

Summer 2018: Des Moines Indoor Summer Fun Guide - dsm4kids.com

Everyone agrees summer is a great time to get outdoors. Our Summer Fun Guide shares many special outside events like outdoor movies and live music under the stars. But we also know Iowa summers can get pretty hot! When the weather feels stifling, you need an air-conditioned escape. We’ve rounded up a few of Des Moines’ top inside experiences to make your summer memorable. Continue Reading…

5 Summer Birthday Party Spots 4 Des Moines Kids - dsm4kids.com

I loved having a summer birthday, growing up as a kid.  Several of my most memorable parties were spent at the lake swimming, boating and water skiing.  But, there can be a downside to having a summer birthday.  Your friends may be on vacation or away at camp and you don’t get to be “the center of attention” at school by wearing that fun paper crown and handing out treats. Parents of summer babies have a tougher job than it seems when it comes to party planning!  So, I thought I’d help you out and come up with a few ideas.  Continue Reading…

Lost Island: Family-Friendly Water Park in Waterloo – dsm4kids.com

A water park is hard to beat on a hot summer day! With summer’s heat on the horizon, I’m re-living the fun my family had at Lost Island Water Park in Waterloo last summer. We hardly noticed the blazing July temps as we floated along the lazy river and enjoyed the waterslides and other thrill rides.  Lost Island offers all the fun of much larger water parks, with a solid family-friendly vibe and fun rides for all ages. It was also named the second-best outdoor water park in the country for 2017, according to a reader poll from a list of 20 possibilities in USA Today. Continue Reading…

Summer 2018: Family Friendly Events Hosted by Des Moines Area Pools and Aquatic Centers

There’s always something fun happening at Des Moines area pools and aquatic centers! Of course, they’re great for a fun family outing on a hot summer’s day and swimming lessons, but did you know that they also host fun events and activities?  Princess and superhero meet and greets, cardboard boat races, teen nights and more! Below you’ll find a list of just a few of the events that local swimming pools and aquatic centers will host this summer in Des Moines. Continue Reading…

Summer 2018: Celebrate our Independence with Family Fun in Des Moines! - dsm4kids.com

dsm4kids’ Guide to Independence Day Fun includes a list of fireworks displays, festivals, parades and other family-friendly celebrations taking place across the Des Moines metro and beyond.  So, put on your red, white and blue, light some sparklers, and get ready to “Ooh!” and “Ahh!” as you enjoy some patriotic fun with your family this 4th of July! …Be safe and have fun! Continue Reading…

Ways to get in on the Hamilton Fun in and Around Des Moines - dsm4kids.com

“Hamilton: An American Musical” comes to the Civic Center stage this summer, June 27 – July 15, 2018 and Hamilton mania will sweep in with it. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award-winning musical has fans of all ages. Although Hamilton isn’t aimed at families in the way that some of our other Des Moines Summer Theater Picks are, many school-age kids love it thanks to its contemporary score (rap, R&B, pop are all represented) and engaging presentation that makes this 200-plus-year-old tale of immigrant success feel totally timely. That said, the show is almost three-hours long, lyrically dense and contains quite a few curse words. Continue Reading…