Join us for this summertime favorite! Every other week, hear books read aloud and join in an activity or craft. Best for children up to eight accompanied by an adult. No preregistration required.
Free for Members, ISU Students
Free with admission for the General Public
Visit us at Dewey Park on Thursday mornings throughout the summer, weather permitting. Sign-up for a library card, choose a free book, create a fun craft, and participate in our Summer Library Program and earn prizes!
newborn – 6 years
Play, Grow, Learn! is an opportunity for you to use the Imagination Station to explore early literacy tips and books, play with others, and develop early literacy skills using Forest Avenue Library’s space and toys. This is an unsupervised, drop-in playtime where parents and caregivers are encouraged to interact with their children. Many items will be available for free exploration and play.
Join us for stories, songs, fingerplays and movement that build literacy skills for ages three to six years old.
Books, music, and movement add up to fun in this 30-minute storytime. (Morning and afternoon sessions will be the same each week.) Ages 3-5 years.
The storytime theme will change each week, but the day (Thursday) and time (11am – 12pm) will remain the same (unless otherwise mentioned).
June 20: Elephant and Piggie
June 27: Garden
July 11: Pinkilicious
July 18: Auto
July 25: Waldo
August 1: Marine
August 8: Dogs
August 15: State Fair
August 22: Bug
Join the Des Moines Environmental Educator for an evening paddle on Gray’s Lake to learn more about the history of the lake, how it functions and the wildlife that lives there. Starting at 5:30 from the peninsula next to the swimming beach, we will paddle in search of wildlife that lives in and around the lake and discuss what we find along the way. This is registration for the June 18th paddle. There will other SUP’s on June 27, July 17, July 23, Aug. 13, and Aug. 27. Registration for this event is limited and includes the stand-up board and gear. The fee is $10. All ages welcome. If you have your own board and gear feel free to join us.
Enjoy stories, rhymes, songs and crafts in English and Spanish.
Disfruten cuentos, rimas, ya canciones en ingles y espanol.
Join us for our annual summer movie series!
6/7 – LEGO Movie 2
6/14 – Ralph Breaks the Internet
6/21 – Toy Story 2
6/28 – Hotel Transylvania 3
7/05 – Lilo & Stitch
07/12 – Wall-E
07/19 – Big Hero 6
07/26 – Teen Titans Go! the Movie
18 months – 3 years
Join us for stories, songs, and movement to practice the 5 simple steps of pre-literacy: reading, singing, talking, writing, and playing..
FREE EVENT – No Pre-Registration Required: Come experience your community park and join the West Des Moines Parks and Recreation staff for a story and a craft. Bring a blanket and a friend!
June 7 American Legion
June 14 Quail Cove
June 21 Ashawa
June 28 Huston Ridge
July 5 Jaycee
July 12 Wild Rose
July 19 Kiwanis
July 26 Meadowview
August 2 Pearson
Join us at the East Side Library for open play and more! Meet families with other young children, check out our awesome picture books, and engage in the five simple steps to success – Read, Write, Sing, Play, and Talk! We will have a variety of toys and more that promote learning for little ones.
18 months – 6 years
We have dragons living in Polk County; dragonflies and damselflies that is. Come learn about these amazing aerialists! We’ll even try to catch some! FREE. No registration required.
2019 Summer Lecture Series
2019 is the 50th Anniversary of Man’s first steps on another world.
In Celebration of Man’s first steps, the 2019 Lecture Series will present man’s exploration of our solar system and beyond. The Summer series “Sp’am In A Can” will outline our quest to land a man on the moon. The fall series “Beyond The Horizon.. the First Step” will outline the possible futures of manned space travel to “where no one has gone before”.
As always, the lectures begin at 8:00 pm and sky viewing (if clear) are open and free to all.
June 7 A Hostile Environment Space is not a nice place to visit. Some extraordinary measures must be taken just to live.
June 14 Yuri, The First The space race gets scary and different priorities take hold.
June 21 A Promise & A Plan The second place country puts its money where its mouth is.
June 28 The Angry Alligator Newton’s rules of engagement. The plan unfolds and becomes history.
July 5 Fear Runs The Agenda Newly invented machinery is tested on the fly. “Tried and True” procedures turn deadly.
July 12 Conquered and Abandoned The country keeps its promise but it doesn’t move forward.
THE WORLD FOOD PRIZE HALL OF LAUREATES tells a story in every room – from the building’s rich history as the Des Moines public library, to the Foundation’s celebrated agricultural and humanitarian pioneers there is something for every visitor.
Built in 1903, this century-old building has been restored into a museum that celebrates those who have dedicated their lives to fighting hunger around the world. The Hall of Laureates is a beautiful space of learning and collaboration, and we welcome you to visit.
The Hall is open to the public on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Admission is free of charge, and visitors have the opportunity to take a guided tour or explore the building on their own. Private and group tours are also available.
Guided tours at 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 12 p.m., 1:30 p.m.
Please arrive 10-15 minutes early
9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
There are no guided tours on Saturdays. Docents are stationed in the building to provide information and education.
The Hall of Laureates is closed during all federal holiday weekends, including New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving week and Christmas. The Hall of Laureates is also closed during World Food Prize Week.
Des Moines Parks and Recreation and UnityPoint Health-Des Moines invite you to enjoy your Saturday mornings by participating in a free weekly yoga session. Free outdoor yoga classes start June 1 from 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. at the Clare and Miles Mills Rose Garden in Greenwood-Ashworth Park. Classes run every Saturday from June 1 to September 30.
The classes, taught by volunteer instructors from around the Metro Area, are perfect for all skill levels, from curious beginner to advanced yogi. You are encouraged to bring a mat or a towel as well as some water and clothes you can move in. No registration for the class is required, just show up ready to relax, release and enjoy. For ages 8+.
Stay tuned for more information on the instructor schedule.
|Come discover what creatures live in and around a pond. All sampling equipment will be provided. All ages welcome. FREE. No registration required.|
Get out on the water and give stand up paddleboarding a try. A WCCB naturalist will go over the basic equipment, paddle strokes, and get you paddling around at various areas. No experience necessary! An adult must accompany children and children must be at least 10 years old. Space is limited to 11 participants and registration is required.
If you have to cancel please contact us at 515-961-6169 so we can open your spot for someone else to enjoy SUP.
Dark skies and the Milky Way reign over Ashton Observatory every clear night, waiting for us all to seek them out. From April through October members of the Des Moines Astronomical Society open Ashton Observatory to the public each Saturday evening. We are delighted to share the majesty of the night sky with you!
The first Saturday of each month is pure stargazing. The other Saturdays of each month offer a classroom program from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m., followed by stargazing after that.
All Ashton Public Nights are free admission. Your free-will donations will help keep Ashton Observatory open.
Saturday Public Nights stop during July, mainly due to late sunset times – full darkness doesn’t begin until after 10:00 pm. If sky conditions are good, some DMAS members might be present on July Saturdays, but no regular programs will be provided.
Get your Sunday off to a great start with some Yoga on the Lawn! This FREE program is a great introduction to Yoga for the beginner and offers new challenges for seasoned yogis. Bring a water bottle and yoga mat.
Ages 6+ welcome.