The Best Day to Play in Des Moines -

A Day By Day Guide To Family Fun in the Des Moines Area

As the winter doldrums set in, turn a cold winter day into an adventure with our daily guide to Family Fun in Des Moines.  Hopefully, it will help you keep the “I’m bored!” at bay.

Easy Like SUNDAY Morning

BEAT THE CLOCK Sundays at Plaza Lanes Family Sports Complex in Des Moines.  Prices start at $1.49 per person per game at 9:00 am and increase every hour to $3.59 per person per game from noon to 4:00 pm.

OPEN JUMP Daily at Monkey Joe’s in West Des Moines. For kids 12 years-old and younger, stop by their inflatable play center, where kids can safely bounce, jump, slide, and have fun.

OPEN SWIM Saturday and Sunday at Summit Pool.  Bring your little fish to this pool in Johnston from 1:30 to 3:30 pm.  Daily admission is $2.00 for kids and $3.00 for adults.

BOTANICAL BLUES Sundays at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden. Take a break from the winter cold every Sunday now through February 28th from 2:00 to 4:00 pm.  Warm up in the tropical conservatory while enjoying some of the best blues music in the Midwest.

HAIR & MAKEUP CLASSES Sundays at Shear Madness in West Des Moines and Ankeny.  You and your darling little diva can learn how to style hair and put on make-up together.


TOT LOT Mondays and Wednesdays at the Waukee Public Works Building.  Romp, stomp and play at 8:30 am.  With toddler toys ranging from blocks to tunnels and moats, there’s no shortage of indoor winter fun.

ART CLASS Mondays at the Valley Community Center in West Des Moines.  The Creative Kids Art Class at 9:30 am is a fun and creative learning experience for children of all ages.

MUSIC CLASS Mondays at the Clive Public Library.  Classes are at 11:00 am and include songs, finger plays, plenty of movement and many fun props for ages 0 – 3. Registration required for this class that runs through February 29th.

IMAGINATION PLAYSCHOOL Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at the Pioneer Columbus Community Center in Des Moines.  Sponsored by Des Moines Parks and Recreation at 10:00 am, kids seven and under have the chance to play on all kinds of equipment and burn off some energy.

KIDS EAT FREE Mondays at IHOP in Ankeny.  Kids can enjoy a free meal with an adult meal purchase from 5:00 to 10:00 pm.

Love You Till TUESDAY

STORYTIME Mondays and Tuesdays at the Johnston Public Library. Children ages three to six can enjoy stories and early literacy activities at 10:30 am.

2 for $10 Tuesdays at the Playground for Kids in Ankeny.  Kids can enjoy Open Jump from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.  Four kids max.

STORYTIME Tuesdays at Pottery Barn Kids at Jordan Creek Town Center in West Des Moines.  Kids of all ages are invited to join in for story time at 11:00 am.

FENCING CLASS Tuesdays with Red Door Fencing in Des Moines. Join them to learn the Olympic sport of fencing!  The class runs from 5:30 to 6:30pm until March 8th.

COOKING CLASS Tuesdays, once a month at The Machine Shed in Urbandale. Kids can experience real cooking by measuring and mixing, using kitchen gadgets, following recipes, learning etiquette, safety and nutrition.

Waiting for WEDNESDAY

STORYTIME Wednesdays at Barnes & Noble at Jordan Creek Town Center in West Des Moines.  For preschoolers and their friends are invited to participate in story time and craft at 10:00 am.

TODDLER TIME Wednesdays and Thursdays at Sky Zone in Grimes.  Kids ages five and under can jump till their hearts content for $8.00 from 11:00 am to 12 noon.

½ PRICE DAY Wednesdays at Warrior Lanes in Waukee. Noon to 10:00 pm pay $1.75 for Games and $1.75 for Shoe Rental.

CRAFT Wednesdays at the Pleasant Hill Public Library.  Children from Kindergarten to 5th grade are welcomed to attend and make Creative Kids Crafts. Must preregister by contacting the library.

OPEN SWIM Every day at the Urbandale Public Pool.  Kids can splash the day away Monday – Thursday 7:00 to 8:30 pm and Saturdays and Sunday 1:00 to 4:00 pm.


FISH FEEDINGS Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at Bass Pro Shops in Altoona. They feed the fish in their Main Aquarium at 3:00 pm.

OPEN JUMP Every day at Pump it Up in Urbandale.  Open jump times vary daily, be sure to check their calendar for specific times and events.

EVENING STORY TIME Thursdays at the Grimes Public Library.  Bring your family and join them to listen to stories, sing songs, and make a craft. For all ages at 6:30 pm. No registration required.

KIDS EAT FREE Thursdays at 5 De Mayo in Des Moines and West Des Moines. One free kids meal per paying adult until 5:00 pm.

PAJAMA TIME Thursdays at the Waukee Public Library.  Kids can wear their jammies to this fun family storytime followed by a craft at 6:45 pm.

Another FRIDAY Night

STORY SPROUTS Fridays at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden.  Have fun as you explore plants and the natural world through a series of books, songs, puppets, activities and more! For kids ages three to five at 10:30 am.

FRIDAY FLICKS Fridays at the Urbandale Public Library.  Enjoy a FREE Friday Flick at 11:00 am.

WATCH A SHOW Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at the Des Moines Playhouse.  Performances occur most weekends either on the Playhouse’s Mainstage or the Kate Goldman Children’s Theatre.

HOCKEY GAME Every day when the Iowa Wild are in town at Wells Fargo Arena. There’s still plenty of time to go.  The last home game is scheduled for April 15th, 2016.

$5 FAMILY NIGHT The second Friday of the month at the Science Center of Iowa.  Starting at 5:00 pm explore SCI with your family with $5 general admission, documentary IMAX films and Food Chain Cafe specials!

S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y, Hey!

KIDS WORKSHOPS Saturdays at Home Depot stores across the Metro. Free workshops for children where kids build wooden projects to keep.

MEALS 4 MUNCHKINS Saturdays monthly at the Waukee Hy-Vee.  A hands-on cooking class series where kids learn how to make recipes that are fun, easy and, most importantly, tasty! For ages 7-13. Registration required.

EXPLORE Tuesdays and Saturdays at the World Food Prize Hall in Des Moines.  The public is invited to tour the building and view the exhibits, artwork and storytelling all focused on Iowa’s incredible heritage.

BASKETBALL GAME Every day when the Iowa Energy are in town at Wells Fargo Arena.  The Energy will play 24 regular season home games through April 2nd, 2016.

½ PRICE SKATE NIGHT Saturdays at Skate South in Des Moines.  Roller skate from 7:30-9:30pm; $3 admission and $3 skate rental.


Do you have a favorite activity for each day of the week in Des Moines? Tell us about it in the comments section below. 

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