Splash Down: Fun Events at Des Moines Area Pools and Aquatic Centers

Splash Down: Fun Events at Des Moines Area Pools and Aquatic Centers

Find 2019 events hosted by Des Moines area pools and aquatic centers here.

Most people know that pools and aquatic centers are great places to cool down, but did you know that they also host several fun events and activities geared towards kids and families throughout the summer?  Princess and superhero meet and greets, cardboard boat races, teen nights and more! So, when the temps start rising, here’s where you can splash down this summer in Des Moines.


The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson

Are you a mom or dad looking for a fun, memorable way to teach your kids about being safer in and around the water? Well, we have the perfect event for you and your family — The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™ event set for June 22, 2017 at the Altoona Aquatics Park.


Splash with a Princess

Kids ages 2-9 years old join their favorite characters for a special evening on June 11 and August 8, 2017 at the Prairie Ridge Aquatic Center in Ankeny. Wear your best prince or princess costume over your swimsuit, as you enter a world of make believe. Pre-registration required and the fee is $20 for Residents and $25 for non-residents. Each paying participant must be accompanied by one adult 18+. Daily admission of $4 required for any additional adults 18+.

SummerFest Splash Dance

This is a fun event for middle school students entering grades 6th to 9th at the Cascade Falls Aquatic Center in Ankeny.  The dance is on July 7, 2017 from 7:15 to 9:15 pm.  Admission is $8.


Mermaid Princess Party

Kids ages 3 – 8 can swim with the royal mermaids on Sunday, June 25th and August 13th, 2017! The Clive Aquatic Center has invited Ariel and her friends to join them for a swim at the pool. The leisure “kiddie” pool will be open for hanging out with the mermaids. Crafts and treats will also be available at the event. Come in your favorite royal attire over your swimsuit for activities before you swim. Parents are free and encouraged to swim with the kids for safety (sorry no unregistered siblings). Fee: $25.

Teen Splash Parties

An after-hours private party for just teens in Grades 7 – 12 for 2017– 18 school year! Snacks, prizes, music, and games provided by the Aquatic Center staff. Fee: $5, at the door; Clive pool passes accepted. Monday, June 12; June 26; July 10; Thursday, July 20 (Clive Festival) and Monday, July 31 at 8:45 to 10:00 pm.

Clive Aquatic Cardboard Boat Races

Clive’s second annual “create your own” cardboard boat race will be on Friday, July 21 from 8:00 to 10:00 pm. Participants register within their age division (six teams per division) in teams of two or four. Boats must be assembled offsite and brought to the aquatic center for the event. Lifejackets are required for all participants. Fee: 2-person team $20 or 4-person team $40.

Des Moines

Teen Night

A night for teens ages 13-17 to enjoy swimming with friends on June 23, 2017 at Ashworth, Birdland, Nahas, Northwest, and Teachout. Everyone attending must be in the water swimming from 7:00 to 9:00 pm.  No loitering in or around the pools.  Concessions will be open and food will be available for purchase.  Outside food and beverages NOT permitted inside the gates.  Regular Admission Rates

Family Swim Night

A night of swimming for Des Moines families on July 22, 2017 from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. All children under 18 years of age are required to be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Concessions will be open and food will be available for purchase.  Outside food and beverages NOT permitted inside the gates. Admission is $5 per family.

Doggie Dive

An opportunity for dogs and their owners to celebrate the last day of the pool season. August 20, 2017 from 3:00 to 5:00 pm at Ashworth, Birdland, Northwest and Teachout.  September 4, 2017 at 4:30 to 6:30 pm at Nahas. Dogs must be accompanied by their owner at all times.  Dogs must be on a leash at all times while they are visiting the pools.  $4 per dog; regular admission fees apply for dog owners and family members.


Mermaid, Princess & Super Hero Pool Party

Come dressed as your favorite princess, mermaid, or superhero on June 9, 2017 at 6:30 pm. This event is for both girls and boys! Just put your dress or costume over your swimsuit! Princesses and Superheroes will be on the pool deck!  Adults will need to be in water within arm’s reach of child. Parents are strongly encouraged to bring your swimsuit and swim with the kids for safety. Registration required, $15 per child.

Cardboard Boat Races

Build your boat using only cardboard and duct tape, then arrive at the pool ready for the race of your life on June 9, 2017 at 7:15 pm.  Plan on getting wet, so wear your swimsuit! Paddles will be provided. Spectators invited. Admission is free w/ non-perishable food item per person or $2.00 per person.

Doggie Dive

On the last day of the pool season (August 20, 20917 at 2:00 pm) Veteran’s Memorial Aquatic Center throws a party for the dogs! Dogs will follow their owners’ rules, must have current vaccinations, and will remain leashed until inside the facility. Inside, they will be accompanied by their family at all times. Slides will be closed. $10/dog at the gate.


Summer Carnival

The Urbandale Public Pool will have an inflatable water slide, carnival games and prizes on
June 16, 2017 at 1:00 to 4:00 pm and 7:00 to 8:30 pm. Cost is $5 per person or $1.00 for Annual Pass Holders.

West Des Moines

Princess and Pirate Splash Bash

Hear Ye! Hear Ye! and Yo Ho Ho! All princesses across the land and pirates of the sea are invited to kick off summer with a spectacular Splash Bash at Valley View Aquatic Center on June 10, 2017!!  The Little Mermaid will be there for photo ops, there will be a scavenger hunt and Caribbean steel drum music, provided by Tropical Steel.



What’s your family’s favorite pool or aquatic center event in the Des Moines area? Give it a shout out below!

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