2018 Spring Break Activities in Des Moines

2018 Spring Break Activities in Des Moines

Find 2020 Spring Break events and activities here. 

Spring Break in Des Moines means plenty of events and activities for families. If you’re not leaving the metro for a Spring Break vacation, this list features exciting activities to keep your kids and family occupied. From live shows to sporting events and everything in between, we’ve got you covered.

In addition to this list, we have a list of St. Patrick’s Day events and activities and  find even more family fun on our calendar.  If you need childcare through the break, please visit our list of Spring Break Camps.

Editor’s Note: Not all spring break activities have been announced at post date. This is a working list, please check back often for updates.

Spring Break Activities 4 Kids and Families in Des Moines:

Take in a Movie or a Live Show Over Spring Break

Moon Over Buffalo

Carousel Theatre of Indianola will present Moon Over Buffalo a play about Charlotte and George Hay, an acting couple on March 8-11, 2018.  Showtimes are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:00 pm and Sunday at 2:00 pm. Tickets can be purchased at the door at Indianola First United Methodist Church Parish Hall, Indianola.

A Wrinkle in Time

A Wrinkle in Time, rated PG, will be released on Friday, March 9, 2018.  The movie tells the story of Meg Murry, a high-school-aged girl who is transported on an adventure through time and space with her younger brother Charles Wallace and her friend Calvin O’Keefe to rescue her father, a gifted scientist, from the evil forces that hold him prisoner on another planet.


Broadway’s razzle-dazzle smash makes its way to the Civic Center stage March 9-11, 2018; Friday at 7:30 pm; Saturday 5:00 and 9:00 pm and Sunday 1:00 pm. Tickets start at $35 for this triumphant hit musical that is the recipient of six Tony Awards®, two Olivier Awards, a Grammy®, thousands of standing ovations and now the #1 longest-running American Musical in Broadway history.

Jack and the Beanstalk

CAP Theatre in Altoona, hosts their spring break Lunch N’ Laugh March 10, 17 and 24, 2018.  Beans Beans the magical fruit … But just how magical, Jack will find out for sure. When little Jack’s family decides to sell their only cow to buy some food, it takes only a few beans to raise the roof and reap rewards in gigantic proportions. Suggested ages are 4 year olds to adults! Tickets just $10 for children and $16 for adults.

Miranda Lambert – Livin’ Like Hippies Tour

On March 15 join Miranda Lambert on her Livin’ Like Hippies Tour at Wells Fargo Arena.   In addition, Capitol Records Nashville’s Jon Pardi and special guest Ashley McBryde will also perform.

Attend a Sporting Event Over Spring Break

Iowa Barnstormers

The Barnstormers kick-off with their 2018 season home opener on Saturday, March 10, 2018 against the Arizona Rattlers.  Then they’ll take on the Sioux Falls Storm on March 18th. Single game tickets start at $12.00.

Iowa Wild

The Iowa Wild meet the Manitoba Moose on the ice at the Well on Sunday, March 11th.  Single game tickets start at $10.00.

Iowa Wolves

The Iowa Wolves will play two home games at the Well during spring break.  They play on March 16 and 17, 2018.  Single game tickets start at $10.00.

Corn Cob Nationals

A national wrestling tournament that is open to all youth wrestlers up to the age of 18.  Over 1,000 grapplers from multiple states will meet on the mat in the Jacobsen Center at the Iowa State Fairgrounds March 17-18, 2018.

Get Back to Nature Over Spring Break

Brenton Arboretum

Brenton Arboretum has several fun events planned March 12-16, 2018 for Spring Break.  Attend “Tiny Houses”, “Art Play Day”, “Witchcraft and Wizardry” or “Mud Kitchen” sessions at 1:30 to 2:30 pm or conclude the week with a Night Hike on Friday the 16th at 7:30 pm.  Register by March 8, 2018.

Polk County Conservation

Go on a Wild Night Life Hike in Jester Park on March 15, 2018 or learn about Iowa’s reptiles at Jester Park Lodge on Friday, March 16 at 11:00 am.  The Night hike costs $5 and you need to register by March 12th.  Iowa Reptiles is FREE and no registration is required.

Warren County Conservation

Join Warren County Conservation for Geocaching 101 on Saturday, March 10, 2018. You will learn about geocaching, how to use a GPS unit and then head out in the park to find some “treasures” call caches. GPS units will be provided. Please register by March 9, 2018.

Give Back Over Spring Break

Meals from the Heartland

Bring your friends, your kids, your daycare (kids 5 and over welcome) and help Meals from the Heartland reach their goal of packaging 1,000,000 meals during Meals Madness over Spring Break!  Bonus, each day has a fun theme to get you in the giving spirit!

Visit a Local Attraction Over Spring Break

Des Moines Home + Outdoor Living Show

One of the largest home and outdoor living shows in Des Moines, this show features landscaping companies, remodeling contractors, interior design companies, and more, at the Iowa Events Center.  March 9-11, 2018 at the Iowa Events Center.

State Historical Museum of Iowa

Families can drop by the Museum over spring break, March 12-16, 2018 to go on an “Adventure into Iowa’s Past”. Themes include “Storm Chaser”, “USS Iowa Voyager”, “Archeology Academy”, “Super Iowan” and “Mt. Everest Expedition”.  You can stop by any time between 1:00 and 3:00 pm to check out artifacts.  A movie or documentary will be shown at 1:30 pm each day.

Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden

The Botanical Center will host an array of Spring Break drop in classes and Family Workshops March 13-16, 2018.  The drop-in classes are included with admission and will be held between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm each day.  The family workshops are designed for youth ages 4-14 and an adult; and take place at 10:00 and 2:00 pm each day.

Urbandale Public Pool

Urbandale Public Pool will host it’s annual Spring Break Carnival on Wednesday, March 14, 2018 at 1:00 pm.  They will have a large inflatable slide along with carnival games and prizes.  $6 per person, $1 with an Annual Pass.  They will also be have additional Open Swim Times throughout Spring Break week.

Outlets of Des Moines

The shopping center will host Spring Break FREE Kids Events.  See the Emoji Movie at 10:00 am and Science Center Programs at 1:00 and 3:00 pm on March 14th.  Make a cute Daisy Craft at 10:00 am on March 15th. Space is limited. RSVP to MarketingDSM@OutletsofDesMoines.com. All events located in Space 520, across from Direct Tools and Maurice’s.

Blank Park Zoo

Thursday, March 15, 2018 is Big Cats Day at the Blank Park Zoo. Learn about the three species of great cats that call Blank Park Zoo home – the Amur tiger, snow leopard and African lion. All activities during Animal Days are available 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and are included in your general admission fee.

Des Moines Register All Iowa Auto Show

The All Iowa Auto Show brings emerging trends and the latest vehicle models to Des Moines. Compare more than 200 new cars, trucks and SUV vehicles from foreign and domestic brands all in one place.  March 16-18, 2018 at the Iowa Events Center.

Des Moines Art Center

Drop by the Art Center for Staycation: A Journey in Art on Saturday, March 17, 2018 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. Bring your children, friends, and family for an engaging experience that will spark curiosity and imagination! Drop-in for unique hands-on activities in the studios or go on a walkabout in the museum. Chef’s Palette, the Art Center Café, will join the fun with a special kid’s menu.

Enjoy Spring Break at the Library

Altoona Public Library

In addition to their usual story times, the Altoona Library will also host fun events over spring break like; March Magnets Madness, Cardboard Regatta Boat Building Workshop, Star Wars Jedi Training, Music Bingo and Wonderland Lock-In for kids, tweens, teens and families.

Clive Public Library

No need to pack a suitcase this spring break.  Head on over to Clive Public Libary to escape and explore through various programs they will be offering all week long.

Des Moines Public Library

Des Moines Public libraries have a number of story times, book clubs and other fun events taking place throughout the spring break week. Be sure to visit their website for the full line-up of events.  Below is a small sampling of what they have scheduled.

Central Library

Join a Polk County Conservation Naturalist and learn about Iowa’s reptiles. They’ll discuss the fears and myths that surround these scaly creatures people love to hate. This program will feature live reptiles! March 13th at 1:00pm to 2:00pm.

East Side Library

Adults and older kids, ages 12 -18 can join in Game Day!: Life Size Edition on March 15th from 4:00 to 5:00 pm. The Library will provide the giant gaming options, but the group will choose what to play.

Forest Avenue Library

Youth Makerspace-Spring Break! Kids ages 8-12 create circuits, build a robot, design a bridge, explore gadgets and more! March 14th, 2:30pm to 3:30pm.

Franklin Avenue Library

Join the Franklin Avenue Library and play Harry Potter Bingo on March 14th, 3:00 to 4:00 pm. Feel free to dress as your favorite character or wear your house colors proudly. Prizes will be awarded to the winners.

Northside Library

A Wrinkle In Time and Tarot. Celebrate diversity, symbolism, and love in the beloved novel A Wrinkle in Time. Special guest, Anita Shekinah, will share stories of the tarot to make this a magical afternoon on March 16th, 4:30 to 5:30 pm.

Southside Library

Learn and explore the exciting world of electricity at the South Side Library with the Science Center of Iowa on March 12th, 6:30pm to 7:15pm. Experience hair-raising fun with several science experiments in this wonderful program for families during Spring Break. All ages are welcome.

Indianola Public Library

Spend Spring Break at the Indianola Public Library.  Kids in grades 3+ can attend Escape Room on March 14, 2018, 1:30 - 2:15 pm. Tweens and Teens in grades 6-12 can watch Spider-Man: Homecoming on March 15, 2018 from 3:00 to 5:00 pm and the younger kids can see Gnomeo & Juliet on March 16 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm.

Grimes Public Library

Celebrate spring break with a Spring Tea Party at the Grimes Public Library. Saturday, March 17, 2018 at 11:00 am to 12:30 pm.  Kids can bring their favorite adult and enjoy, a light lunch, story, games and a craft. Fancy Tea Party attire is encouraged but not required.  For ages 4-8, registration required.

West Des Moines Public Library

The West Des Moines Public Library will be showing My Little Pony: The Movie during their Friday Flicks on Friday, March 16, 2018.  It will start at 1:30 pm in the Library Community Room.  No registration is needed, though space is limited. Popcorn and water will be provided, or you may bring your own snack and covered drink.



What is your plan for spring break? Let us know in the Comments!

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