Summer Camp 2020: Art Camps for Des Moines Kids

Summer Camp 2020: Art Camps for Des Moines Kids

***With the fluidity of COVID-19 pandemic, summer camp officials are cautiously making plans to welcome campers come June, while also admitting those plans could change at any time.

Some camps may either alter their programming, postpone start dates or cancel altogether. Please use caution and be sure to check out the camp’s cancellation policy before registering.

Do you have a kid that likes to paint, sculpt, sing or perform? There is an amazing wealth of exceptional art classes and camps available for them in Des Moines. We’ve rounded up a list of visual arts camps, dance and theater camps and music camps that have programs that run all summer as well as week-long intensives. No matter their age, if your child is ready to dive into a summer of artistic expression, read on to find the perfect camp.

If you need even more ideas, check out our Summer Camp Guide for dozens more great camps.

Note: This is a working list, so check back often for new listings.  If you know of a summer camp or class that you would like to have included to this guide, please email the listing information to or leave a comment below.

dsm4kids does NOT host any summer camps. Please contact the specific venue or organization hosting the camp for additional information and to register.

Summer Arts Camps in Des Moines:

Culinary Arts Camps in Des Moines

Happiness in the Kitchen with Holly

Happiness in the Kitchen with Holly is excited to offer three cooking camps again this summer! Camps will be held July 13-16 and July 20-23, 2020 at Des Moines Christian Schools for kids in 2nd through 6th grade.  Campers will learn a variety of cooking skills and will get to experience new foods in a fun hand on atmosphere. 

Real Food 4 Kids

Real Food 4 Kids will be hosting three exciting cooking camps this summer. These classes are all hands on and campers will make several recipes as a group and will enjoy a meal together at the end of class. Each camp runs four consecutive days, Monday thru Thursday. There are multiple sessions for each camp. Camps are open to ages six and up. Camps start the week of June 13, 2020. Fewer kids per session and extra measures are in place to keep everyone healthy.

Dance Camps in Des Moines

Betty Hill Dance Camp

Betty Hill Dance Camp is for boys and girls ages four through 18.  Half-day and full-day camps are a week filled with dance classes, tumbling, showmanship training, microphone training, dramatics, and more.  Summer camps are set to start the week of July 8, 2020. 

Gateway Dance Theatre

Students in Gateway Dance Theatre’s “Summer Arts & Science Intensive” (SASI) learn and perform a number of performing arts from around the world. Visiting artists lead students in dance, storytelling, and cultural performances in celebration of Iowa’s cultural diversity.  They are offering online classes in June. 

Music Camps in Des Moines

Central Iowa Music Lab

Be honest. Who among us hasn’t dreamed of playing or belting out hardcore rock songs to a sold-out crowd? Set your mini rocker on the path to stardom with summer music lessons at Central Iowa Music Lab. They offer lessons year-round to all ages and levels; kids can also participate in Rock Band group lessons.  CIML will also be offering summer day camp opportunities again this year.

Des Moines Symphony

The Symphony Academy’s Summer Camps and Workshops are geared to providing a challenging, yet nurturing music learning environment for young musicians at various levels of their musical development. Musicians will gather to make music, improve musicianship and listening skills and work with professional musicians; all while creating lasting friendships. 

Heartland Youth Choir

Heartland Youth Choir provides a performance-based program for youth, emphasizing musical literacy and character development. They are offering SummerSongs and SummerTunes Camp.  Activities will include choir rehearsal, musicianship training, folk games and movement activities.  2020 registration is open, visit their website or contact them for additional information. Heartland Youth Choir has made the difficult decision to cancel their choir camps for the summer of 2020.

Show Choir 4 Kids

A full inclusion program where all kiddos fully participate with the group. Show Choir 4 Kids is a wonderful experience for any young performer. Singers in grades K-8 participate in this choir where they always have the opportunity to sing solos, dance, act and strut their stuff. Students in grades K-8, of any experience, can enroll in their one-week summer camp that takes place each August.  Summer Camp 2020: Art Camps for Des Moines Kids –

Theater Camps in Des Moines

Class Act Productions

Youth and young adults entering grades K-12 are invited to CAP in Altoona during their three weeks of Summer CAmP in 2020. Take center stage and find your light with Class Act Productions. Oh, the places you will go exploring games, dance, activities, projects and design which are specially programmed just for you. Virtual camps will be held in July. 

Curtain Call Kids

Curtain Call Kids provides a fun, safe, disciplined, supportive environment to encourage the imagination and give kids a strong foundation in acting.  By building their acting skills kids obtain self-confidence, increase focus, develop cooperative skills, and most of all they learn about themselves while having fun in a creative way!  Watch their Facebook page for upcoming summer camp information. They will NOT be holding any camps or classes this summer.

Des Moines Performing Arts

Des Moines Performing Arts provides high quality summer theater camps for young artists between the ages of six and 19. Each camp opportunity is designed to allow young people to explore their talents and build confidence while working with theater professionals.  All in-person camps for summer of 2020 have been CANCELED due to COVID-19. They will be offering virtual classes. 

Des Moines Playhouse

Summer camp and classes at the Des Moines Playhouse are for kids aged four to eighteen+.  Summer classes at the Playhouse are a great way for your little thespian to explore the world of theater. Campers experience the joy of expression with a wide variety of exciting theater styles ranging from comedy, improvisation to classical theater. Actors can hone their craft through scene study, cold reading, comedy, drama, creative movement and more. Summer Class schedule is subject to change. Registration is now open to June 2020 Virtual Classes.

Visual Art Camps in Des Moines

Ankeny Art Center

Summer vacation is just around the corner and the Ankeny Art Center has several creative art camps for your child. Plan an awesome summer and introduce your child to the exciting world of art. Classes are taught by experienced and certified teachers that are equipped to accommodate all levels of skill and interests. Classes are designed to challenge students of varying artistic abilities ages 5-15. Due to COVID-19, they will be making some adjustments to our classes to ensure the safety of our students. There will be a cap of 10 students for each class and classrooms and materials will be sanitized between classes.

Des Moines Art Center

The Des Moines Art Center offers a number of camps and classes throughout the summer for kids ages two to eighteen. They also offer family workshops. The Art Center’s classes are a great way to introduce kids to art techniques, art media and all the Art Center has to offer in a fun way.  Registration is required for all classes. One-week and six-week VIRTUAL camps for youth ages 3–15 will begin June 22 and run through August 20. Camp classes include drawing, painting, sculpture, and mixed media featuring cartooning, manga, and fantasy art themes.

Kids Create

Kids in Kindergarten through 6th grade can enroll in Kids Create’s Summer Camp. Campers will explore several art mediums and will take inspiration from famous artists and create awesome artworks. Students will also enjoy great music, snacks, and games. Send your child for a fun-filled week of exploring their creative potential! In person camps for June have been canceled and July and August camps are TBD.  They will potentially offer a few virtual camps. 

Additional Places to Find Arts-Based Camps in Des Moines

Local High Schools, Community Education Departments and Parks & Recreation Departments all offer arts related camps, clinics and classes throughout the summer.  Be sure to check out what summer camps and classes that they offer.



Got a favorite summer art camp for kids in Des Moines? Share it with us in the comments!

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