The Des Moines Arts Festival® is a multi-day Festival that adds vibrancy to Central Iowa by creating opportunities for people of all ages, cultures and backgrounds to celebrate the arts.
Interrobang Film Festival
Interactive arts activities are one of the four main pillars of the arts featured each year at the Des Moines Arts Festival®. Throughout the Festival, guests of all ages have the opportunity to get creative and hands-on with art, music, dance and more! These activities can be found throughout the Festival at sponsor booths, the Creative Kid’s Zone and even electronically though texts.
Balloons Stop by the WHO-HD Des Moines booth on the Meredith Corporation Lawn to meet on-air personalities and get a balloon.
Spin Art Children will have a great time at the Prairie Meadows booth spinning their own art creation.
Reusable Bags Join Hy-Vee associates to design and decorate your own reusable bag.
Paper Bag Puppets Create paper bag puppets that reflect intergenerational relationships at play.
Canvas Painting Show off your inner Picasso and create a masterpiece on canvas using many different drawing tools and art techniques.
Paper Cup Pets & “Pin the ID” Play “Pin the ID” on the cat or dog, and learn about why pets should have a collar and ID tags. Guests can also create pets using paper cup.
Customizable Wearable Art Join Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa to decorate a t-shirt and headband.
African Rain Stick Celebrate the newest expansion to the Blank Park Zoo, the Jaama Kwa 'Connection to Africa exhibits, by making an African rain stick!
Help Decorate a Kid-Sized Cardboard House Central Iowa Shelter & Services will help you decorate a kid-sized cardboard house while learning about homelessness in Iowa and across the country.
“Magic” Masks Make a “magic” mask by scraping and revealing colors that lie underneath your mask.
Concert Wristband Stop by the Des Moines Music Coalition's booth to make and decorate your own 80/35 wristband!
Marble Painting Join GiGi's Playhouse Des Moines for fun with magic marble painting.
Memory Books Create your own memory book with HCI Care Services and decorate it with favorite memories. Then, take your memory book home with you to continue to add to with more and more memories!
Gyotaku Iowa Environmental Council invites you to participate in the ancient Japanese art of Gyotaku-style fish printing, of a native Iowa fish.
Bead Jewelry ‘Bead a Bracelet’ to help end youth homelessness in Iowa. Show your support of Iowa Homeless Youth Centers and learn how you can help make a difference in a life of a youth.
Lexigram Bookmark Create Lexigram book markers with Iowa Primate Learning Sanctuary. Lexigrams are the symbols that the apes use to communicate to humans on their keyboards.
Farm Animal Art Color a picture of a farm animal and have it made into a button to wear with Living History Farms.
Blow-Ink Guests will receive a straw and a paper plate which will have 2 drops of food coloring on it. They will blow air through the straw and watch the food coloring magically create unique forms of art.
Get Your Dance On! Festival-goers of all ages will have the opportunity to watch and learn Latin dances that include: Salsa, merengue, cha cha, bachata, and more with Salsa Des Moines.
Coffee Filter Butterfly Create a beautiful monarch butterfly out of coffee filters.
Toy Decorating Woodturners will use a lathe--machine used to work and shape wood--to demonstrate the turning of spinning tops and other assorted, small wooden objects from recycled wood products.
Shaving Cream Art Guests will enjoy engaging in musical activities with shakers, guitars and harps with professional VSA Iowa teaching artists. Shaving cream art will also be available! Guests will use food coloring to create a beautiful tie-dye effect on cardstock.
Mosaic Create a colorful mosaic using tissue paper and light glue.
Create Your Own Sunshine! Decorate a sun using paper plates, beads and pipe cleaners to take home and hang in your window as a reminder of the fun you had at the Des Moines Arts Festival.
Celery & Lettuce Stamps Explore original artwork from the beautiful World Food Prize Hall of Laureates. Children can use fruits and vegetables to create stamp designs with paint, and can color and decorate black and white versions of agricultural artwork.
The City of Des Moines invites you to be part of the award-winning Des Moines Arts Festival®. The Des Moines Arts Festival (DMAF) is one of the nation’s most respected arts events hosting 185 of the nation’s top artists in a beautiful urban street setting surrounding the 4.4 acre John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park. The outdoor Festival of arts and culture attracts more than 200,000 people each year to its downtown location in Iowa’s capital city and largest metropolitan area. DMAF is a show dedicated to the highest standards and works diligently to maintain a positive environment for artists and their clients. DMAF is a non-profit organization founded by the Des Moines Art Center. The Festival contributes more than $50,000 annually from its proceeds to support the Des Moines Art Center, numerous area non-profit organizations and the continuation of the DMAF.