2019: 11 Ways to Have Fun with Dad this Father’s Day in Des Moines

2019: 11 Ways to Have Fun with Dad this Father’s Day in Des Moines

Find 2020 Father’s Day Activities in Des Moines here.

With Father’s Day right around the corner (June 16, 2019), it’s time to start brainstorming ideas to let dad know just how much we appreciate him. Give dad the gift of a fun experience. It doesn’t matter if the dad in your life is active or into the arts, is someone who appreciates fine dining or wants to spend the afternoon outdoors with a cold beer, we’ve got you covered with fun Father’s Day events and activities happening in and around Des Moines.

If you need even more ideas, be sure to check out the dsm4kids Calendar, Summer Fun Guide or sign-up to receive our Weekend Fun Guide.

Here’s 11 ways you can Have Fun with Dad this Father’s Day in Des Moines:

1. Get Your Game On

Dad can spend the day playing arcade games or lawn games and being a kid at area Des Moines arcades and entertainment venues. Places like the Operating Room – Pinball Arcade in West Des Moines, Old School Pinball and Arcade in Grimes and Smash Park in West Des Moines will bring the fun on Father’s Day.

2. Enjoy a Local Brew

Des Moines has no shortage of local craft breweries to visit, most with great outdoor patios, and Father’s Day is an ideal time to let Dad kick back with a cold one.  Confluence Brewing Co. is offering a Father’s Day BOGO Special or he can check out 75 breweries (including over 60 from Iowa) at the Iowa Craft Brew Festival on Saturday, June 15th.

3. Hit the Trails

For all the trail lovers out there, there are plenty of family-friendly ways to get off the beaten path and do some exploring via foot or bike. Just make sure you wear plenty of sunscreen and bring lots of water, because it’s almost guaranteed to be h-o-t.

4. Get out on the Water

Get out on the water with the family and enjoy a leisurely paddle or let dad feel the wind in his hair.  You can rent motorized boats at local lakes or go at a slower pace with a kayak or canoe on local waterways.

5. Look at Classic Cars

Naturally, Father’s Day weekend is full of car shows – it’s really the only weekend they can get away with convincing the entire family to walk around ogling at cars! And lucky for dads who have the need for speed, there are multiple car shows in the Des Moines area over Father’s Day Weekend. The 2019 Juneteenth Wheels N Meals Auto Show, the “Peace” Classic Car and Truck Show and the JNM Carshow in Carlisle all take place on Sunday, June 16th.

2019: 11 Ways to Have Fun with Dad this Father’s Day in Des Moines – dsm4kids.com

6. Eat some BBQ

Sure, no one can grill like dad, but it’s his day to kick back. Give him the day off and enjoy a fun family meal at a local BBQ joint.  Let dad indulge at one of these local favorites: Smokey D’s BBQ, Butcher’s BBQ and Brews, or Uncle Wendell’s BBQ.

7. Go Golfing

Pick a tee time and spend the day as a family bonding on the green.  Jester Park Golf Course and Miniature Golf is hosting two tournaments: the Father-Son & Parent-Child Mini Golf Tournament and the IGA Father-Son & Parent-Child Championship.  Or, take Dad to Toad Valley Golf Course in Pleasant Hill on Father’s Day. His green fees are FREE when your round is purchased at full price.

8. Go to a Local Festival

Find family fun, food, live music, crafters, vendors, games and carnival rides at a local festival.  Johnston Green Days, and the Iowa Blues Challenge – Finals both take place over Father’s Day weekend.

9. Enjoy FREE Admission

Local attractions are treating Dad with FREE admission this Father’s Day.  Dads can visit the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, Reiman Gardens in Ames, Summerset Winery’s – Sunday Tunes in Indianola and Des Moines Parks & Recreation pools and aquatic centers all for FREE!

10. See a Show

There will be several family friendly performances happening on Des Moines stages over the Father’s Day weekend.  Ankeny Community Theatre will present “The Diary of Anne Frank”; the Salisbury House will host “MacBeth” during Shakespeare on the Lawn and Class Act Productions Community Theatre in Altoona will perform “Willy Wonka, Jr”.  

11. Take a Day Trip

Enjoy a Father’s Day getaway. Waterloo’s Lost Island Water Park and Honeycreek Resort near Moravia are both top dad picks. You can also find more getaway inspiration in our Spring Day Trip Guide.



What are your plans for Father’s Day in Des Moines? Let us know in the comments below. 

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