Free (and Cheap) Summer Concerts 4 Kids in Des Moines

Free (and Cheap) Summer Concerts 4 Kids in Des Moines

Find a list of 2019 Outdoor Summer Concerts here.

All across town this summer you’ll hear the sounds of live music.  And a lot of it is FREE!  This is a great time and opportunity to introduce your kids to what live music is really all about.  We have your complete guide to help you find the best music near you!  If you know of other free family friendly concerts to add to the list, email


Summer Sounds Concert Series is held on Thursday nights June 18th through July 23rd  in the ‘Shell in Wagner Park.  Live music runs from 7-8:30 p.m.  The concerts are FREE and open to the public; bring lawn chairs and blankets for seating.

Ankeny Unplugged is back for its tenth year of summertime entertainment on Saturday, August 8th. Join the Ankeny Jaycees for an all day outdoor music festival at the Ankeny Bandshell. Cost is $3.00 per person with food and beverages available for purchase inside the venue. Bring the family as there are games for the kids and numerous on-site vendors.


Music on the Plaza welcomes people of all ages to mingle and enjoy some FREE music every other Friday from 6:00 to 9:00 pm. The concerts are on the Civic Plaza next to Hy-Vee in Altoona. Bring lawn chairs and blankets to sit on.   Food and drink items are available for purchase from several local vendors.

Des Moines

First Fridays at the Art Center feature live music in the courtyard from 5:00 to 8:00 pm.  Admission is $5 or members are FREE.  Enjoy an incredible mix of live music, complimentary hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, and world-class art to round out the evening.

Music Under the Stars is held at 7:00 pm on Sunday nights starting June 14th on the west Capitol grounds.  The concerts are FREE, open to the public and children are welcome.   Bring lawn chairs, blankets and a picnic dinner to enjoy the music.


Bluegrass Tuesdays is a FREE family friendly bluegrass music series on the Indianola Square.  Shows start at 6:30 pm and guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets to sit on.


Adjutant’s General’s Summer Concert Series.  Spend Thursday evenings listening to the sounds of local musicians at the historic Camp Dodge Pool Complex. Bring a lawn chair, picnic basket, sit back and enjoy! All concerts start at 7:00 pm.


Friday Fest features live bands from 4:45 pm to 8:30 pm at the Walker Johnston Complex in Urbandale.  In addition to live music, there will be various activities each week for the kiddos, including jumping inflatables and a nice playground. Admission is $8.00 and includes a cup, wristband, and 3 drink tickets.  Children 12 and under are FREE.   Concessions are available.


Sundays in Centennial brings FREE music and fun to Waukee for three Sunday evenings in July.  Join your neighbors in the park at 6:30 pm to listen to live local musicians and participate in family activities.  Don’t forget lawn chairs, picnic baskets, and the kids.

West Des Moines

Fridays at the Fountain brings FREE live music to West Glen Town Center and their dancing, light-up fountain. The concerts start at 6:30 pm and are family friendly events.

Live at the Creek is FREE every Sunday, June 28th through August 30, 2015 from 5:00 – 8:00 pm at the Jordan Creek Town Center Amphitheater.

Music in the Junction is a signature event in Historic Valley Junction.  Catch the FREE concerts on Thursday evenings at 5:30 to 8:00 pm.  Bring the family and enjoy fun, music and shopping at the farmer’s market.

Windsor Heights

Music in the Park is sponsored by the Windsor Heights Foundation.  The FREE concert series in Colby Park begins Tuesday, June 9th at 7:00 pm.  In addition to the FREE concert, FREE beverages and snow cones are served and door prizes are awarded.

Jazz in July

Jazz in July gets its own special mention as it crosses community boundaries and brings great music to neighborhoods and parks throughout Greater Des Moines.  The FREE July concerts are presented by Metro Arts in partnership with neighborhood groups and corporate sponsors and feature both local musicians and national acts with Iowa ties.  This month-long family-friendly festival celebrates jazz and art, and to add to the fun, features food vendors and children’s activities. Grab your lawn chairs and blankets and head out to one of the concert sites.



What’s your favorite, free, summer concert venue for kids?

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