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

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.

In addition, many area pools and aquatic centers host story times.  Find info. about those here.

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


Altoona Campus Donut Dip- 1 Mile Run & Dip in Aqua Park

Run a mile and then take a dip in the Altoona Aquatics Park!  Participants will of course be fed, what else?…donuts, coffee and juice.  The first 400 attendees will also receive a t-shirt at this FREE event on June 16, 2018.

The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson

Are you a mom or dad looking for a fun, memorable way to teach your kids about being safer in and around the water? Well, we have the perfect event for you and your family — The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™ event set for June 21, 2018 at the Altoona Aquatics Park.


Splash with a Princess

Kids ages 2-9 years old join their favorite characters for a special evening on July 8 and August 7, 2018 at the Prairie Ridge Aquatic Center in Ankeny. Wear your best prince or princess costume over your swimsuit, as you enter a world of make believe. Pre-registration required, and the fee is $20. Each paying participant must be accompanied by one adult 18+. Daily admission of $4 required for any additional adults 18+.

SummerFest Splash Dance

This is a fun event for middle school students entering grades 6th to 9th at the Cascade Falls Aquatic Center in Ankeny.  The dance is on July 13, 2018 from 7:15 to 9:15 pm.  Admission is $8.


Mermaid Princess Party

Kids ages 3 – 8 can swim with the royal mermaids on Sunday, June 24 and August 12, 2018! The Clive Aquatic Center has invited Ariel and her friends to join them for a swim at the pool. The leisure “kiddie” pool will be open for hanging out with the mermaids. Crafts and treats will also be available at the event. Come in your favorite royal attire over your swimsuit for activities before you swim. Parents are free and encouraged to swim with the kids for safety (sorry no unregistered siblings). Fee: $25.

Teen Splash Parties

An after-hours private party for just teens in Grades 7 – 12 for 2017– 18 school year! Snacks, prizes, music, and games provided by the Aquatic Center staff. Fee: $5, at the door; Clive pool passes accepted. Monday, June 11; June 25; July 9; Thursday, July 19 (Clive Festival) and Monday, July 30 (End of Summer Bash) at 8:45 to 10:00 pm.

Des Moines

Teen Night

A night for teens ages 13-17 to enjoy swimming with friends on June 22, 2018 at Ashworth and Birdland swimming pools. Everyone attending must be in the water swimming from 7:00 to 9:00 pm and between the ages of 13-17.  Concessions will be open and food will be available for purchase.  Outside food and beverages NOT permitted inside the gates.  Regular Admission Rates

Doggie Dive

An opportunity for dogs and their owners to celebrate the last day of the pool season. August 19, 2018 from 3:00 to 5:00 pm at Ashworth, Birdland, Nahas and Teachout.  September 3, 2018 at 4:30 to 6:30 pm at Northwest. Dogs must be accompanied by their owner at all times.  Dogs must be on a leash at all times while they are visiting the pools.  $4 per dog; regular admission fees apply for dog owners and family members.


Mermaid, Princess & Super Hero Pool Party

Come dressed as your favorite princess, mermaid, or superhero on June 15, 2018 at 6:30 pm. This event is for both girls and boys! Just put your dress or costume over your swimsuit! Princesses and Superheroes will be on the pool deck!  Adults will need to be in water within arm’s reach of child. Parents are strongly encouraged to bring your swimsuit and swim with the kids for safety. Registration required, $15 per child.

Cardboard Boat Races

Build your boat using only cardboard and duct tape, then arrive at the pool ready for the race of your life on July 29, 2018 at 7:15 pm.  Plan on getting wet, so wear your swimsuit! Paddles will be provided. Spectators invited. Admission is free w/ non-perishable food item per person or $2.00 per person.

Doggie Dive

On the last day of the pool season, August 19, 2018 at 2:00 pm, Veteran’s Memorial Aquatic Center throws a party for the dogs! Dogs will follow their owners’ rules, must have current vaccinations, and will remain leashed until inside the facility. Inside, they will be accompanied by their family at all times. Slides will be closed. $10/dog at the gate.


Dog Dayz of Summer

Bring your dog to cool of at one of Urbandale’s outdoor wading pools. Lions Park Wading Pool will host dogs under 40 lbs and the Aquatic Playground (at the Indoor Pool) will host dogs over 40 lbs.  The cost is $6 per dog; owners are FREE.  Sunday, August 12, 2018 at 4:00 to 6:00 pm.

West Des Moines

Special Needs Night Pool Party!

Join West Des Moines Parks and Recreation on June 23 and July 21, 2018 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm when their special population will have the pool to themselves! In partnership with Courage League Sports, they will host an evening of fun reserved just for your special person and your family at Holiday Aquatic Center. Pre-registration required.

Princess and Pirate Splash Bash

Hear Ye! Hear Ye! and Yo Ho Ho! All princesses across the land and pirates of the sea are invited to kick off summer with a spectacular Splash Bash at Holiday Aquatic Center on July 14, 2018!!  The Little Mermaid and five of her princess friends will be there for photo ops.  The cost is $15 for ages 3 and up.


You can visit our Events Calendar and Summer Fun Guide for even more things to do this summer in Des Moines.


Are you planning on attending an event or activity hosted by a local pool or aquatic center in the Des Moines area? If so, give it a shout out below!


Featured image source Clive Parks & Recreation Facebook Page.

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