The first day of spring is just around the corner on March 19, which means the weather is about to (🤞) get a whole lot warmer, buds and maybe even some flowers will start to appear, and everyone will be shaking off those winter blues. We’ve rounded up the best ways to kick off spring in Des Moines with a little family fun.
Please verify information before heading to an event or activity since information may change.
Here’s your list of family friendly spring activities in Des Moines:
1. Take a splash at an indoor water park.
It might not feel like summer yet, but it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some water! Luckily, there are plenty indoor water park options just a short drive from Des Moines. Plan a weekend trip or spend a day at one of these indoor water parks.
2. Book a camp.
If you’re working during Spring Break, your child can still have a blast on their own. Sign up for a Spring Break camp filled with activities to keep them occupied all week long. Spring is also a good time to explore options for Summer Camps.
3. Spend some time outside.
We’ve had plenty of “cabin fever” this winter, so there’s no better way to welcome spring than by getting out in nature. Area parks are great places to go on a family walk, hit the playground or shoot some hoops. Plus, it gives everyone a chance to get some fresh air!
4. Exercise with your kids.
It’s hard to find time to work out, so why not make it a family activity instead? You’ll be surprised to learn how many gyms and studios are family friendly in Des Moines.
5. Shop around the city.
We love exploring city neighborhoods especially when they have great boutiques. Some fun shopping areas that boast a lot of local businesses include: Beaverdale, The East Village, The Shoppes at Roosevelt and Valley Junction. Many of these communities even host family friendly special events throughout the spring.
6. Play ball.
Baseball season returns to Des Moines on April 14th! Taking in a baseball game is always a great family friendly springtime outing option. To really hit it out of the park, check out our tips for family fun at and Iowa Cubs Game.
7. Go to a museum.
Now’s the time to revisit some of your favorite children’s museums! Spring weather can be a bit spotty, so it’s always good to have a few indoor options. Here’s 10 Children’s Museums in (or Near) Iowa.
8. Fly a kite.
There’s nothing more quintessentially spring than flying a kite. Of course, you can do this in your own backyard or a local park, but why not do it with a bunch of your closest kite enthusiasts at Johnston’s Kites on the Green?
9. Ditch the electronics.
Do you think your family can go a week without using electronics? Spring is a great excuse to turn off and put away your Smart Phones, Tablets, TVs and Laptops.
10. Head to an indoor play place.
There’s no denying that we’re a big fan of indoor play places. It’s the best place for kids to let out their energy and let’s be honest, Des Moines still sees some dreary days in the spring.
11. Go on a Picnic.
There is something special about having a picnic and springtime is a great time to gather the fam and have one. To keep it easy breezy, pick up the main course at one of these 5 Family Friendly Sandwich Shops in Des Moines.
12. Visit the library.
This one sounds like a no-brainer, but libraries offer some excellent programs that will keep you entertained all season long. Find out about all the FREE Perks That Come with Your Public Library Card in Central Iowa.
13. Satisfy your sweet tooth.
Sure, maybe ice cream is technically a summer sweet, but the cold, tasty dessert is also the perfect way to break into spring! There are so many great ice cream shops around Des Moines, find some of our favorites here, here, here and here.
14. Take a class with your child.
Spring is a great time to learn something new! Whether it’s cooking or dancing, find a parent-child class for some bonding. Try Pickleball if you’re looking for something unique to do.
15. Attend a few events.
Our calendar holds numerous events across the Des Moines area! Take a peek and mark down any events that catch your eye.
16. Watch a movie.
There are several new family movies we are excited to see in 2020. Take a trip to a local movie theatre in Des Moines with your kiddos.
17. Start a new hobby.
It can be fun to find new and interesting ways to enjoy family time. The first step to getting out of the same boring routine is exploring all the options available. These hobby stores in Des Moines will help get you started.
18. Eat alfresco.
As the temps start to rise this spring take dinner outside. There’s several restaurants in Des Moines that have great patios for just such an occasion.
19. Plan a road trip.
Dust off the family wagon and hit the road. We’ve rounded up 9 Kid-Friendly Spring Day Trip Ideas for DSM Families.
20. Prepare for severe weather.
Spring can bring some turbulent weather to Des Moines. It’s best to be prepared for it. Here’s a few tips to prepare for spring weather hazards like flash floods, tornadoes and severe thunderstorms.
21. Smell the flowers.
22. See a show.
There are so many local theaters in Des Moines that present excellent family-friendly shows. Plan ahead to see what will be hitting their stages this spring.
23. Stop at the zoo.
Go wild this spring! Make a day of it to see your favorite animals with a visit to the Blank Park Zoo.
24. Do some spring cleaning.
While the kids might groan at the idea of chores, it’s something they need to learn. Here are some ideas to help you get all the kid clutter out of your house.
25. Visit some Instagram-worthy murals.
If you’re looking to explore more of the city with your littles, plan a mural tour! Find out the best kid-friendly outdoor murals in the city. We’ve highlighted colorful and whimsical art installations throughout the metro.
26. Play some outdoor games.
Now that it’s warming up, take family game night outside. Feel like a kid again with these classic outdoor games.
27. Take a bike ride.
Dust off those wheels and head out on a ride with the entire family. Before heading out on the trail, check out our tips for a successful family bike ride.
28. Eat a free meal.
Go out to eat this spring without breaking the bank. Check out our guide to where kids eat free in the Des Moines area.
29. Prep the garden.
Start planning your family garden this spring. Let the kids decide what to plant, pick out seeds or plants and gather up the tools.
What’s on your family’s spring bucket list in Des Moines!