Outdoor concerts are the best. You can’t beat great entertainment while sipping your favorite beverage on a warm summer day. The good news is, there’s never a shortage of outdoor concerts in Des Moines!
If you’re looking for outdoor entertainment in the area, we’ve got you covered. Below is our guide to the best venues for outdoor concerts in the area. New entertainment often gets added to line-ups—so click over to the venue websites to see what’s coming up!
The Best Venues for Outdoor Concerts in Des Moines
Lauridsen Amphitheater at Water Works Park
2201 George Flagg Pkwy | Des Moines, IA 50321
What could be better than a great concert, surrounded by nature with the city skyline as a backdrop? Lauridsen Amphitheater is at Des Moines Water Works Park near downtown. Bring your blanket or lawn chair and enjoy. This venue accommodates crowds of up to 25,000 and hosts several summer concerts!
Prairie Meadows Riviera Stage at Riverview Park
710 Corning Avenue | Des Moines, IA 50313
As the newest addition to outdoor venues, the Riverview Park amphitheater will not disappoint. Named after the historical 1940s ballroom, Riviera Stage is designed to look like the roller coasters that used to be there. A paved trail surrounds the stage. And nearby is a new Amusement Park-themed inclusive playground the kids will love! The amphitheater accommodates up to 6000 people, and concerts started in 2021.
Des Moines Botanical Garden
909 Robert D. Ray Dr | Des Moines, IA 50309
Each summer, the Des Moines Botanical Garden hosts its Music in the Garden Summer Concert Series. What could be better than sitting in the gardens listening to great music? Plus, you can buy food, craft beer, and play crochet! Bring a chair or blanket and plan on having a great time.
- Music in the Garden
- Learn more about the Des Moines Botanical Garden
Jamie Hurd Amphitheater in West Des Moines
4100 Mills Civic Pkwy | West Des Moines, IA 50265
Jamie Hurd Amphitheater is a newer venue with lots of green space overlooking a picturesque pond at the West Des Moines City Campus. Local bands headline the summer concert series there. And you won’t want to miss the free outdoor movie series (and the food truck!). Lawn seating accommodates up to 2000 people.
The Simon Estes Riverfront Amphitheater in Downtown Des Moines
75 E. Locust Street | Des Moines, IA 50309
This venue is along the Des Moines River, in the historic East Village in downtown Des Moines. It’s the perfect spot to take in a concert and enjoy a night out downtown! And it’s featured some famous artists over the years. Simon Estes Amphitheater holds up to 2000 people and often hosts summer concerts and other events. It’s right next door to the Embassy Suites Hotel.
Brenton Skating Plaza
520 Robert D. Ray Drive | Des Moines, IA 50309
In the winter, Brenton is the perfect place to go ice skating! But in the summer, a 160-foot canopy goes up, and Brenton hosts concerts and private events for up to 1800 people. You’ll love its beautiful views of the Des Moines River and the city skyline. Add in its proximity to restaurants and nightlife, and it’s the perfect place to see an outdoor concert.
2400 George Flagg Pkwy | Des Moines, IA 50321
This fantastic winery is near Water Works Park in the heart of Des Moines. And it’s host to a summer concert series! So here you can get the best of all worlds. Sip on some great local wine and listen to a great concert. And, of course, you can’t skip the food trucks! Plus, the shows are FREE.
Adventureland Resort in Altoona
3200 Adventureland Dr | Altoona, IA 50009
The Sunset on the Boulevard concert series features Friday night concerts throughout the summer at Adventureland Resort. The shows are free with regular admission to Adventureland (and season pass holders get free access).
Middlebrook Farm in Cumming
4300 Cumming Ave | Cumming, IA 50061
This community farm is in the heart of Cumming, Iowa, just a few minutes from Des Moines. During the warmer months, they host Friday at the Farm, featuring terrific live music and great food (including fresh produce)! And admission is free!
4603 Dakota St | Norwalk, IA 50211
Carper Winery is just south of Des Moines in Norwalk. Their Wine Down Wednesdays are a great mid-week break. Experience live music, food trucks, and, of course, wine (and more). Bring a blanket or lawn chair and enjoy the free concerts.
15101 Fairfax St | Indianola, IA 50125
Spend your Sundays at Summerset Winery, a few minutes south of Des Moines! Their Sunday Tunes is a family-friendly summer concert series. Adults tickets are $5, and kids get in free. Take in the great concerts while enjoying a glass of Iowa wine. You can also bring a picnic and take a little time out to play a yard game too.
City of Ankeny Bandshell at Wagner Park
410 W 1st St | Ankeny, IA 50023
The Bandshell at Wagner Park is a venue in Ankeny that hosts a summer concert series and free movies too!
Annual Events With Outdoor Concerts in Des Moines
As you can see, there are some fantastic venues for outdoor concerts in Des Moines. But it’s also home to some super popular annual outdoor events and music festivals! Below are a few of the bigger events you can check out.
Of course, there’s the Iowa State Fair! There’s something for everyone here, from the big Grandstand concerts to the free music on stages throughout the grounds.
The 80/35 Music Festival takes place each year at the Western Gateway Park in downtown Des Moines. It’s not your ordinary music festival—it promotes and supports local organizations too!
The three-day Des Moines Arts Festival features two stages with free music throughout the event. The festival spotlights 180 well-known artists and has the best fest food too! Over 200,000 people attend the Arts Festival each year.
The Hinterland Music Festival is an annual music festival in St. Charles, Iowa, 30 minutes south of Des Moines. The famous festival draws thousands each year!
More festivals and events to check out
If we missed an outdoor concert venue or event, please let us know, and we’ll add it to the list! 🙂