Summer of 2016 Outdoor Concerts 4 Kids and Families in Des Moines

Summer of 2016 Outdoor Concerts 4 Kids and Families in Des Moines

Find a list of 2019 Outdoor Summer Concerts here.

Des Moines has a stellar lineup of outdoor summer concerts that are either FREE or at budget prices. If you feel like bustin’ some moves with your kiddos this summer, mark your calendars for these popular family friendly concert series in Des Moines.


Summer Sounds Concert Series

Ankeny’s Summer Sounds Concert Series is held on Thursday nights 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.
June 16: Nice Bangs
June 23: Randy Burk and the Prisoners
July 14: Faculty Lounge
July 21: Ankeny Community Chorus and Band

Ankeny Unplugged

Ankeny Unplugged is back for its eleventh year of summertime entertainment on Saturday, July 30th. Join the Ankeny Jaycees for an all-day outdoor music festival at the Ankeny Bandshell. Cost is $12.00 (advanced purchase) 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

People of all ages are welcome to mingle in Altoona and enjoy some FREE music on Friday nights from 6:00 to 9:00 pm. The concerts are at the Civic Plaza next to Hy-Vee. Bring lawn chairs and blankets to sit on.   Food and drink items are available for purchase from several local vendors.
May 27: Jordan Beem
June 3: Drive 35
June 10: Hearts of Hedon
June 24: Fret Noise
July 15: The Sheet
July 22: TBD
July 29: TBD
Saturday, August 6: Creole Bash w/ Sarah Darling

Des Moines

First Fridays 

Part of Summer on the Hill at the Art Center, you can hear live music during First Fridays 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.
July 1: Soul Searchers
August 5: John Krantz Quartet
September 5: Gabriel Espinosa and Ashanti

Music Under the Stars

In its 70th season, Music Under the Stars is held at 7:00 pm on Sunday nights 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.
June 12: Des Moines Metro Band/Metro Big Band
June 19: Des Moines Metro Band/Metro Big Band
June 26: Des Moines Metro Band/Metro Big Band
July 3: Des Moines Metro Band/Metro Big Band
July 10: Metro Dixie Land Combo
July 17: Iowa Veteran’s Band


Friday Night Live

Enjoy live music, food, drink and fun for all ages during the month of June at Memorial Park in Indianola.  The concerts start at 6:00 pm and there is a $5 admission.  Kids 10 and under are FREE.
June 3: Joshua Sinclair and Hollywood Burnout
June 10: Rebyl Road
June 24: Final Mix


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.
May 26: Jason Walsmith and Friends
June 2: The Blue Band
June 9: Brother Trucker
June 23: Abby Normal Band
June 30: Sidewinder


Friday Fest

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 $5.00 and includes a cup, wristband, and 2 drink tickets.  Children 12 and under are FREE.   Concessions are available.
May 20: POW
May 27: Faculty Lounge
June 3: Gimikk
June 10: Storm Warning
June 17: After Shock
June 24: Standing Hampton
July 1: Faculty Lounge
July 8: Left for Dead
July 15: The Sons of Gladys Kravitz
July 22: Flipside
July 29: Burnin’ Sensations
August 5: Final Mix Show Band


Sundays in Centennial

The Waukee Arts Council 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.
July 10: The Maytags
July 24: Randy Burk and the Prisoners
July 31: Jimmy the Weasel

West Des Moines

Fridays at the Fountain

Fridays 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.
June 10: King of Tramps
June 24: Ryne Doughty
July 8: Chad Elliott
July 22: Chad Elliott Blues Show
August 12: The Pale Moons
August 26: Chad Elliott w/ Tommy Lewis

Live at the Creek

Enjoy FREE live music at the Jordan Creek Town Center Amphitheater on Sundays July 3rd  through August 28th from 5:00 – 8:00 pm.
July 3: Decoy
July 10: Final Mix
July 17: Tony Bohnekamp Band
July 24: Boomerang
July 31: Tony Valdez Large Band
August 7: Tony Valdez Retro Rockets
August 14: Mason’s Basement
August 21: Pianopalooza featuring Tony Bohnekamp & Jerry Lorenson
August 28: Flipside

Music in the Junction

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 farmers’ market.
May 19: North of Grand
May 26: Toaster
June 2: Decoy
June 9: Sumpin’ Doo
June 16: Monday Mourners
June 23: Tony Valdez Large Band
June 30: Brother Trucker
July 7: Comfort Zone
July 14: Bob Dorr and the Blue Band
July 21: Abby Normal
July 28: Final Mix
August 4: Randy Burk and the Prisoners
August 11: Flipside
August 18: Gimikk
August 25: Plastic Apartment
September 1: The Tighten Up

Windsor Heights

Music in the Park

The Windsor Heights Foundation hosts a Windsor Heights summer tradition, Music in the Park.  The FREE concert series in Colby Park is on Tuesdays at 7:00 pm.  In addition to the FREE concert, FREE beverages and snow cones are served and door prizes are awarded.
June 7:  Jason Walsmith
June 14: Broken Keys
June 21: Free Style
June 28: Max Wellman
July 12:  Jimmy the Weasel
July 19:   The Pelicans
July 26:   Hold On
August 2: Des Moines Community Band  (National Night Out)

Multiple Locations

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.
July 4: Soya Vista Jazz Orchestra at Urbandale Lion’s Park, Urbandale
July 7: Tanner Taylor Trio at Principal Park/Iowa Cubs, Des Moines
July 8: The Jazz Page at the Bondurant Trailhead, Bondurant
July 9: Jeff Miguel Quartet at Evelyn K. Davis Park, Des Moines
July 10: Blake Shaw Quintet at City Park, Norwalk
July 14: John Morgan Orchestra at Wesley Acres, Des Moines
July 15: Parranderos Latin Combo at La Placita on East Grand and E. 15th, Des Moines
July 16: Rose Colella ‘Cocktail’ at Waveland Golf Course, Des Moines
July 17: Freddy Gazzo Band at Des Moines Public Library – Central, Des Moines
July 21:  Christopher’s Very Happy.Band. at DMACC West Campus, West Des
July 22:  Bryan Shumacker Quartet at Jester Park, Granger
July 23: The Tighten Up at 6th Avenue and Washington, Des Moines
July 24: Damani Phillips with Strings at Johnston Commons, Johnston
July 28: Tina Haase Findlay w/ the Alex Murphy Jazz Trio of Chicago at Copper Creek Lake Park, Pleasant Hill
July 29: High Society Big Band at Grand View University, Des Moines
July 30: Whitney Marchelle; The Nola Jazz Band at Valley Junction, West Des Moines



Did we miss your favorite summer concert series? Let us know in the Comments below and we’ll add it to our list.

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