If you are staying in town for the 4th of July, don’t fret, you don’t need a big backyard or lake house to have a lot of fun…there are festive, patriotic events going on all around Des Moines. Check out some of our favorite Independence Day celebrations below that come complete with parades, fun runs, antique car shows, and so much more than just fireworks!
If all of that isn’t enough for you (kids shout: more!), visit our event calendar, and our action-packed Summer Fun Guide with all the FREE fun events coming our way, plus the best of pools and aquatic centers in the area.
Here’s where you can find July 4th Fun in Des Moines:
Wednesday, July 3, 2019; Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino
Prairie Meadows Annual Independence Day Celebration – live racing, live music and firework show! Admission is FREE and all ages are welcome.
Thursday, July 4, 2019; Adventureland
Adventureland Park annually presents a spectacular firework display for their guests. Fireworks typically start at 9:45 pm.
Wednesday, July 3, 2019; Reiman Gardens
Reiman Gardens is open all day on July 3rd from 9:00 am to the conclusion of the fireworks display which is across the street from the Gardens. Visitors may bring their folding chairs, coolers with food and drinks. No fireworks or sparklers are allowed inside the Gardens. Reiman Gardens will also be open on July 4th, so bring your family for some fun. If it rains on July 3, the fireworks will be moved to July 5.
July 2 – 6, 2019; Iowa Events Center
Show your team spirit at this five-day championship that includes both Junior Olympic and elite levels for acrobatic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, and trampoline and tumbling. The competition will be at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center, Hy-Vee Hall and Wells Fargo Arena.
Wednesday, July 3, 2019; West Terrace, Iowa State Capitol
The Des Moines Symphony’s 26th annual Yankee Doodle Pops, Iowa’s largest single-day concert event, is a 4th of July tradition. This family-friendly and patriotic concert starts at 8:30 pm and concludes with the area’s premier fireworks display over the downtown Des Moines skyline, and best of all, it’s FREE!
Thursday, July 4, 2019; All Des Moines Pools & Aquatic Centers
Des Moines Parks and Recreation thanks all military members for their service by offering them FREE admission to all Des Moines Pools. Family members will also receive half-priced admission for the day.
July 4-7, 2019; Principal Park
What could be more patriotic than enjoying America’s Pastime over the 4th of July holiday? The I-Cubs will take on the Redbirds and will end the evenings of July 4th and 5th win or lose with a Holiday Fireworks Spectacular.
July 5-7, 2019; Iowa State Fairgrounds
Over 4,000 Rods, Customs, Classics, Muscle Cars and Trucks thru ’72 along with entertainment, live music, and a Saturday night fireworks extravaganza at approximately 9:30 pm. General admission at the gate is $20.00 for adults, $10.00 for kids (ages 7-12) and FREE for kids 6 and under at the gate.
Thursday, July 4, 2019; South Sports Complex
Celebrate the anniversary of our nation’s independence at the Home Base Grimes Independence Day Fireworks Show! Fireworks will begin at dusk.
July 2-July 4, 2019; Various Locations in Urbandale
Urbandale has an array of family activities planned such as a parade, carnival, 5K fun run, car show, fireworks and other special events and yummy food. The parade starts at old City Hall at 10:00 am on July 4th. It heads north on 70th Street, west on Aurora to 82nd Street. The carnival and entertainment are at Lions Park. Fireworks will light up the sky on Independence Day from Walker-Johnston Park at 10:00 pm.
Thursday, July 4, 2019; Living History Farms
Enjoy an old-fashioned Fourth with a historic Independence Day celebration in the town of Walnut Hill at Living History Farms from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Fun for the entire family including pie eating contests, foot races, spelling bees, watermelon seed spitting contests and more! There will be a flag raising ceremony at 11:00 am; then enjoy historic entertainment and an 1875-rules baseball game, which starts at 2:30 pm.
July 3-4, 2019; Centennial Park
Each year, Waukee hosts an all-day celebration of our nation’s independence. Activities start this year on July 3rd, with the carnival in Centennial Park and a Movie in the Park showing at dusk. On July 4th the parade starts at 3:00 pm and will make its way through the Historic Downtown and end in Centennial Park where the fun continues for the rest of the day and night. Bring your friends and family for fun at the carnival, live music, food vendors and a spectacular firework show after dusk.
Thursday, July 4th; Lutheran Church of Hope Waukee
Set for its 37th year, Waukee Boy Scout Troop 178 is hosting it’s 4th of July 5K Road Race and 1 Mile Kids Fun Run. Boy Scouts of all ages will line the course to cheer you on, keep you safe, and provide water stations to keep you hydrated. These will be timed events with awards given in multiple age categories. The event is open to competitive and non-competitive runners and walkers. Door prizes will also be given.
Thursday, July 4, 2019; Colby Park
Join the Windsor Heights Chamber of Commerce for the 4th of July Parade at 4:00 pm. After the parade, head to Colby Park for Nights in the Heights celebration with live music and food trucks followed by fireworks, hosted by The Windsor Heights Foundation.
West Des Moines
July 3, 2019; Valley Junction
Celebrate America at the All Iowa Bash! In Valley Junction. The festivities start at 3:00 pm and will celebrate all things Iowa with local vendors, crafts from Iowa makers, music from Iowa bands, and more. The evening’s festivities will be held in Railroad Park and the 100 block of 5th Street after the completion of the West Des Moines Independence Day Parade.
Wednesday, July 3, 2019; West Des Moines
The parade starts at 6:30 pm with a NEW ROUTE due to road construction. It will start at Valley West Drive (35th Street) and Ashworth Road. From Valley West Drive the parade will proceed southeast on Vine to 12th Street, east on Locust Street, north on 8th Street to Vine and then south on 4th Street ending at Maple Street.
Thursday, July 4, 2019; Coneflower Shelters in Raccoon River Park
Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy an evening of patriotic favorites starting at 7:00 pm at the Coneflower Shelter in Raccoon River Park. The West Des Moines fireworks display will start at dusk following the concert and will be shot off over Blue Heron Lake.
What we’d forget? Let us know what 4th of July fun we’re missing out on in Des Moines in the comments below!