2018 Fall Arts & Craft Shows in Des Moinesn - dsm4kids.com

Over the last year, my crafty 10-year-old daughter and I have enjoyed checking out local arts and crafts fairs and shows.  It’s a great way to find some unique gifts, but it’s also fun to visit with the artists and learn more about their creations. I also find that it inspires us to go home and try to create our own works of art.  If you’re looking for something fun to do this fall, or are on the hunt for a one-of-a-kind gift, check out these craft shows happening in Des Moines. Continue Reading…

2018 Fall Festival Fun in Des Moines - dsm4kids.com

Usher in the fall season in Des Moines with a host of family autumn festivals. The area’s community and cultural celebrations are packed with fun seasonal activities for kids, including pumpkin fun, apple-picking and more. We’ve rounded up details on the best upcoming fall festivals in Des Moines, a few of which made our September Play List. Continue Reading…

12 of Our Favorite Outdoor Murals 4 Photo Ops in Des Moines – dsm4kids.com

Have you noticed an uptick in artistic, beautiful and creative wall murals popping up all over the DSM? From local businesses to empty buildings and bypasses, artists are bringing their talents to the streets…quite literally. Photographers are using these colorful murals as backdrops for fun, family photos and kids love them! Do something different with your little ones and take them on a hunt for these fun, contemporary murals. Take pics and add a pop of culture and color to your lives! Continue Reading…

September 2018: Des Moines Kid n’ Play List - dsm4kids.com

Just because the kids are back in school doesn’t mean all of the fun has to come to a screeching halt. September brings with it fall festivals, apple picking, football games, and many other fun outings. Our Event Calendar is a wonderful resource full of fun events happening all over Des Moines. Many of our picks are FREE or inexpensive. Have fun planning!

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Activities in Des Moines 4 Kids with Special Needs - dsm4kids.com

Many kids’ schedules are packed with extracurriculars, but for children with special needs, it can be challenging to find programs they can participate in fully. We’ve rounded up some adapted classes and activities in the Des Moines area that accommodate a variety of learning styles, so that kids with special needs—be they physical, social, or emotional—can partake in the same enriching fun as their peers. Continue Reading…

Girls on the Run of Central Iowa: Fall Registration Now Open – dsm4kids.com

Girls on the Run of Central Iowa’s registration for the fall season is now open. Girls on the Run is a physical activity-based, positive youth development program that inspires girls in 3rd through 8th grade to be joyful, healthy and confident. The volunteer-led program brings together groups of 8-15 girls for a ten-week program that encourages personal development, team building and connection to the community. Continue Reading…

Grandparents Day 2018 in Des Moines - dsm4kids.com

Time to send the kids to Grandmas!

What better excuse than Grandparents’ Day (September 9, 2018) to send the kids out for some fun with their grands (and get some time to yourself)! We have rounded up some fun events that are perfect for the multi-generational sets.  Keep reading to discover all the ways to show Mimi and Papa how much you love them this Grandparents’ Day. Continue Reading…

Teaching Teens to Drive: Driver's Education Courses in Des Moines - dsm4kids.com

Palms sweating, hands gripping tightly to the seat and feet stomping an imaginary brake – oh, the horror of teaching your teen to drive. This adolescent rite of passage can strike terror in the heart of many an otherwise fearless parent. However, unless you see your future as one endless chauffeuring gig, it’s inevitable your child will eventually need to learn to take the wheel.

In Iowa, teenagers aged 14 and older can obtain a “Learner Permit”, allowing them to drive with a licensed driver 21 years of age or older, if they are enrolled in a driver’s education course and can pass both a vision test and a written exam. Continue Reading…

Bridging the Gap from Summer to School: 7 Fun & Educational Late-Summer Outings in Des Moines - dsm4kids.com

The weeks of warm, lazy days are dwindling and before we know it, school will start, and September will be here. Rather than fret about the impending return of homework and schedules, I decided to come up with a list of both fun AND educational outings perfect for these last few weeks of August. They’re all a great way to make some memories, get our brains back into learning mode and soak up what’s left of summer. Continue Reading…

2018 Edition: Family Friendly Things To Do This Labor Day Weekend in Des Moines - dsm4kids.com

Where did the summer go?  It seems like just a few weeks ago, we were finally putting away the snowblower and shovels!  The calendar doesn’t lie, and Labor Day is almost here, the unofficial, last weekend of all that summer is made of. Let the planning begin for your family’s last, big weekend of summer, and make it a memorable one! Continue Reading…

Celebrate the End of Summer at Glow Wild - dsm4kids.com

Labor Day weekend ushers in the return of one of our favorite end-of-summer events, Glow Wild. The annual outdoor extravaganza, hosted by Polk County Conservation in picturesque Jester Park, is filled with all manner of nature-loving fun.  It’s a perfect way for families to say sayonara to summer! This year’s festival will feature live music by Drake White & the Big Fire (how appropriate;), educational programs, canoeing, hiking, a glow-in-the-dark climbing wall, and of course the biggest bonfire you’ll ever see!  Continue Reading…

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…