Feb
19
Tue
Full Moon Snowshoe Hike @ Grandview Park Enclosed Shelter
Feb 19 @ 5:30 pm

Take a hike through Grandview Park on a set of snowshoes and enjoy a look at the full moon. This program will meet at the Grandview Park Enclosed Shelter at 5:30 p.m. so dress for the weather.

Registration is $5 and includes snowshoe rental and hot chocolate.
Register Here: http://bit.ly/2BwJ0Kx

All ages are welcome. This program is subject to snow conditions. Anyone under 12 years old will need to have a guardian present.

Snowshoeing is fun and easy to do, if you can walk you can snowshoe. For additional information, contact Joel at Des Moines Parks and Recreation 515 248 6369.

Feb
22
Fri
Van Gogh Outside and Paint @ Mac Rae Park Walker Enclosed Shelter
Feb 22 @ 6:00 pm

Des Moines Parks and Recreation will be hosting a fun evening of nature-themed painting in the park. For this program we will work with a local artist and paint your own owl painting. Participants will learn about an owl, take a short hike outside in the park and then be guided step-by-step to create an owl painting of their own to take home. The cost is $25 per painter; space is limited and pre-registration is required.

Register Here: http://bit.ly/VanGoghOutsideAndPaint

Participants will meet at the MacRae Park W.C. Walker Enclosed Shelter in the SW corner of the park. This event is open to painters of all ages but children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Come prepared for the outside hike, but don’t worry about the weather because we will be inside for the painting portion of this event.

Because of ongoing construction at MacRae Park, the main entrance/road will not be accessible. To access the enclosed shelter, enter by taking Davis Ave. on the south side of the park. directions: https://www.facebook.com/DesMoinesParks/photos/a.160386224001477/2639999586040116/?type=3&theater

For more information contact Joel at (515) 681-2027 or dmparksEE@dmgov.org.

Feb
23
Sat
Family Nature Club @ Various Locations
Feb 23 @ 1:30 pm

Family Nature Club adventures are generally held on the fourth Saturday of the month at 1:30 pm unless otherwise specified.

All adventures will be approximately 1.5 hours in length.

Activities are free of charge but require registration as space and supplies are limited. For activities located at Blank Park Zoo, admission is not included with registration. Families that participate in Family Nature Club activities will receive admission tickets for 1 free child with paid adult.

All children must be accompanied by an adult aged 18 years or older.

Click here to register for an activity.

January 26, 2019 – Snow/Ice Play – Fort Des Moines Park – 1:30 pm – All Ages

February 23, 2019 – Nature Art – Blank Park Zoo – 1:30 pm – All Ages

March 23, 2019 – Animal Tracks – Greenwood Park – 1:30 pm – All Ages

April 27, 2019 – Frogs and Toads – Blank Park Zoo – 1:30 pm – All Ages

*Dates, times, and activities are subject to change depending on weather conditions
*Activities will be on foot.  Stroller accessibility may be limited.

Feb
24
Sun
Bald Eagle Watch @ Saylorville Lake Visitor's Center
Feb 24 @ 12:00 pm

Stop by the Saylorville Visitor’s Center to learn about the bald eagle, then venture outside to view them in their natural habitat. Jester Park Lodge will host a live eagle used for education. Hourly programs start at 1 pm. FREE. No registration required.

Mar
1
Fri
First Friday @ East Village
Mar 1 @ 5:30 pm

Every first Friday of the month several stores in Historic East Village stay open late, so you to have time to experience what all the East Village has to offer!  Each month brings different themes and entertainment offerings.

Mar
6
Wed
Toddler Tales @ Jester Park Nature Center
Mar 6 @ 10:00 am

Let your imagination run wild with this fun, nature-themed story time! Hear a story followed by the naturalist’s choice of an activity such as an animal encounter, puppets or a craft. Recommended for ages 3-6. FREE. No registration required.

Mar
8
Fri
Nature Club @ Brenton Arboretum
Mar 8 @ 10:30 am

Nature Club takes place on the 2nd Friday of every month, unless otherwise noted. This program offers your youngest explorers a thematic sensory discovery with a simple lesson and an activity, game, or craft.
Best suited to ages 2-5, but all ages are welcome!

Pre-registration is requested by the Wednesday before the program.

Mar
9
Sat
Star Party hosted by the Science Center of Iowa @ Various Locations
Mar 9 @ 8:00 pm

From common astronomical occurrences to rare cosmic phenomena, join us to learn about our solar system and beyond.

Join SCI staff and members of the Des Moines Astronomical Society to observe celestial objects, colorful double stars and star clusters, meteor showers and more through high-powered telescopes!

2019 Star Parties

  • January 20, 8:30 pm – Midnight at Birdland Shelter 
    Total lunar eclipse (full moon and supermoon!)
  • February 9, 7:30-9:30 pm at SCI
    Waxing crescent moon, Mars, Orion Nebula
  • March 9, 8:00-10:00 pm at Ewing Park 
    Waxing crescent moon, Mars
  • April 13, 8:30-10:30 pm at Ashton Observatory
    Mars, waxing gibbous moon
  • May 18, 9:30-11:30 pm at Ewing Park 
    Mars, Jupiter, “Blue Moon”
    PLUS: 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 10 lunar orbit and return
  • June 8, 9:45-11:45 pm at Ewing Park 
    Waxing crescent moon, Jupiter, Saturn
  • July 20, 8:00-10:00 pm at SCI
    Waxing gibbous moon, Saturn
    PLUS: 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing
  • August 10, 6:00 pm – Midnight at Ewing Park 
    Perseid meteor shower, waxing gibbous moon, Jupiter, Saturn
  • September 7, 8:30-10:30 pm at SCI
    Waxing gibbous moon, Saturn, Jupiter
  • October 5, 7:00-9:00 pm at SCI
    Waxing gibbous moon, Saturn, Jupiter
    PLUS: International Observe the Moon Night
  • November 11, 8:00 am – 12:00 pm at SCI
    Transit of Mercury
  • December 14, 7:00-9:00 pm at Birdland Shelter 
    Geminid meteor shower, waxing gibbous moon

PLEASE NOTE: Star Parties are weather dependent and are subject to cancellation. Check the SCI website and Facebook for updates on the event.

Events at Ewing Park are held in partnership with Des Moines Park and Recreation.

Mar
16
Sat
Des Moines St. Paddy’s Half Marathon and 5K @ Iowa State Capitol
Mar 16 @ 8:30 am

A family friendly St. Paddy’s Half Marathon 5K, appropriate for ages 3-99 at the Iowa State Capitol Grounds.

7:00 am Packet Pick-Up, 8:15 am Kids Dash Start and 8:30 am Half Marathon & 5K Start.

Geocaching 101 @ Annette Nature Center
Mar 16 @ 1:00 pm

Looking for a fun new outdoor hobby? Want to participate in our county-wide Geocaching Adventure? Come discover the fun and excitement of geocaching, the high tech outdoor scavenger hunt that uses a Global Positioning System (GPS) unit!

Join a Warren County Conservation Board naturalist to learn about geocaching and how to use a GPS unit. Then head out in the park to find some  “treasures” call caches. GPS units will be provided. Fun for the whole family! After this session, you will be prepared to head out on your own and find the Tree Geocache Adventure caches hidden in all of our Warren County Parks. Please register by March 15th at noon.

Mar
18
Mon
Red Cross Babysitting Course @ Grimes Public Library
Mar 18 @ 9:00 am

ed Cross Babysitting Course

Ages 11-15

$35 fee for class materials required

Monday, March 18th 

9am- 3:30pm (please bring a sack lunch)

Register Here

This course gives youth ages 11 to 15 years old the knowledge and confidence to care for infants and school-age children. Combining video, activities, hands-on skills training and discussion for a complete learning experience, Babysitter’s Training teaches youth how to:

*Respond to emergencies and illness with first aid, rescue breathing, and other appropriate care
*Make decisions under pressure
*Communicate with parents and learn household rules
*Recognize safety and hygiene issues
*Manage young children
*Feed, diaper, and care for infants
* Start their babysitting business

Nature Songs Stories & More @ Jester Park Nature Center
Mar 18 @ 10:00 am

Join a naturalist to hear stories and sing songs as we learn about insects, decomposition, how dirt made your lunch, and more. Come ready to sing loud and proud, the more singers, the more fun. FREE. No registration required.

Spring Break Play Week @ Brenton Arboretum
Mar 18 @ 11:00 am

Spring Break Play Week is back for another year filled with all sorts of nature-themed activities to make your stay-cation complete!

March 18 – Movie Monday

In Arthur and the Invisibles, ten-year-old Arthur, in a bid to save his grandfather’s house from being demolished, goes looking for some much-fabled hidden treasure in the land of the Minimoys, tiny people living in harmony with nature. ​

FREE for both members and non-members!
Run time is 94 minutes.
Best for children ages 7+ with an adult
No pre-registration necessary. 

March 19 – Tie Dye Tuesday

For the creators! You’ll be making one mini (11″ square) and one medium (21″ square) playsilk to take home. We’ll color one with food dyes and the other with plants! Class fee includes $5 materials fee per person. Wear old clothes in case dyes splatter! Best for children ages 4+ with an adult. Please register.

March 20 – Wilder Wednesday

For the historians! The Brenton Arboretum was originally homesteaded by the Brenton family in the 1800s, when Iowa was a new state and tallgrass prairie ruled the landscape. We’ll journey back in time to explore the early spring prairie the way Laura Ingles Wilder did in the Little House on the Prairie books! This program will be almost entirely outdoors. Dress for the weather! Best for children ages 8+ with an adult. Please register.

March 21 – Thoughtful Thursday

For the thinkers! We’ll learn about meditation and try a short guided practice, and weather permitting, we’ll visit Arboretum’s labyrinth for a reflective walk. Then we’ll learn a few easy earth-themed yoga poses and use them to tell a story! Best for children ages 10+ with an adult. Please register.

March 22 – Filthy Friday

For the play-bakers and fun-makers! Bring your imagination to this messy cook-off filled with sloppy sensory play opportunities! We’ll finish the program off with a delicious edible “muddy” treat. Weather permitting, this program will be almost entirely outdoors. Dress for the weather and plan to get dirty! Best for children ages 2+ with an adult. Please register.

Critter Club @ Jester Park Nature Center
Mar 18 @ 1:00 pm

Come visit Jester Park Nature Center’s resident turtles, snakes, and salamanders to learn about these misunderstood animals. You may even get to touch a turtle or snake. This is an open house program, so come anytime between 1-2:30. FREE. No registration required.

Mar
19
Tue
Survivor Day Camp @ Jester Park Outdoor Recreation & Wellness Center
Mar 19 @ 9:00 am

Spend a day having fun and staying active. We will try archery, geocaching, and fire building! Activities will take place indoors and outdoors. Pre-registration required; deadline is March 6. Ages: 10-12. Fee: $30. Registration required.

Nature Hike @ Jester Park Nature Center
Mar 19 @ 10:00 am

After a brief discussion around the campfire about these flying predators of the night, we’ll go for a hike and learn how to call three different species of owls. Pre-registration required; deadline is January 16. Fee: $5. Registration Required.

Spring Break Play Week @ Brenton Arboretum
Mar 19 @ 11:00 am

Spring Break Play Week is back for another year filled with all sorts of nature-themed activities to make your stay-cation complete!

March 18 – Movie Monday

In Arthur and the Invisibles, ten-year-old Arthur, in a bid to save his grandfather’s house from being demolished, goes looking for some much-fabled hidden treasure in the land of the Minimoys, tiny people living in harmony with nature. ​

FREE for both members and non-members!
Run time is 94 minutes.
Best for children ages 7+ with an adult
No pre-registration necessary. 

March 19 – Tie Dye Tuesday

For the creators! You’ll be making one mini (11″ square) and one medium (21″ square) playsilk to take home. We’ll color one with food dyes and the other with plants! Class fee includes $5 materials fee per person. Wear old clothes in case dyes splatter! Best for children ages 4+ with an adult. Please register.

March 20 – Wilder Wednesday

For the historians! The Brenton Arboretum was originally homesteaded by the Brenton family in the 1800s, when Iowa was a new state and tallgrass prairie ruled the landscape. We’ll journey back in time to explore the early spring prairie the way Laura Ingles Wilder did in the Little House on the Prairie books! This program will be almost entirely outdoors. Dress for the weather! Best for children ages 8+ with an adult. Please register.

March 21 – Thoughtful Thursday

For the thinkers! We’ll learn about meditation and try a short guided practice, and weather permitting, we’ll visit Arboretum’s labyrinth for a reflective walk. Then we’ll learn a few easy earth-themed yoga poses and use them to tell a story! Best for children ages 10+ with an adult. Please register.

March 22 – Filthy Friday

For the play-bakers and fun-makers! Bring your imagination to this messy cook-off filled with sloppy sensory play opportunities! We’ll finish the program off with a delicious edible “muddy” treat. Weather permitting, this program will be almost entirely outdoors. Dress for the weather and plan to get dirty! Best for children ages 2+ with an adult. Please register.

Mar
20
Wed
Rock on and Fossil Fun @ Jester Park Nature Center
Mar 20 @ 10:00 am

Join a naturalist to learn the basics about rocks and minerals. Afterwards, participants will get the chance to make their own fossil to take home. All materials provided. FREE. No registration required.

Spring Break Play Week @ Brenton Arboretum
Mar 20 @ 11:00 am

Spring Break Play Week is back for another year filled with all sorts of nature-themed activities to make your stay-cation complete!

March 18 – Movie Monday

In Arthur and the Invisibles, ten-year-old Arthur, in a bid to save his grandfather’s house from being demolished, goes looking for some much-fabled hidden treasure in the land of the Minimoys, tiny people living in harmony with nature. ​

FREE for both members and non-members!
Run time is 94 minutes.
Best for children ages 7+ with an adult
No pre-registration necessary. 

March 19 – Tie Dye Tuesday

For the creators! You’ll be making one mini (11″ square) and one medium (21″ square) playsilk to take home. We’ll color one with food dyes and the other with plants! Class fee includes $5 materials fee per person. Wear old clothes in case dyes splatter! Best for children ages 4+ with an adult. Please register.

March 20 – Wilder Wednesday

For the historians! The Brenton Arboretum was originally homesteaded by the Brenton family in the 1800s, when Iowa was a new state and tallgrass prairie ruled the landscape. We’ll journey back in time to explore the early spring prairie the way Laura Ingles Wilder did in the Little House on the Prairie books! This program will be almost entirely outdoors. Dress for the weather! Best for children ages 8+ with an adult. Please register.

March 21 – Thoughtful Thursday

For the thinkers! We’ll learn about meditation and try a short guided practice, and weather permitting, we’ll visit Arboretum’s labyrinth for a reflective walk. Then we’ll learn a few easy earth-themed yoga poses and use them to tell a story! Best for children ages 10+ with an adult. Please register.

March 22 – Filthy Friday

For the play-bakers and fun-makers! Bring your imagination to this messy cook-off filled with sloppy sensory play opportunities! We’ll finish the program off with a delicious edible “muddy” treat. Weather permitting, this program will be almost entirely outdoors. Dress for the weather and plan to get dirty! Best for children ages 2+ with an adult. Please register.

Vernal Equinox Hike @ Jester Park Nature Center
Mar 20 @ 4:00 pm

The spring equinox (vernal equinox) marks the astronomical first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. This hike will feature spring equinox facts, folklore, and more! FREE. No registration required.