What’s Going on Downtown in 2021?

We are on the cusp of many events kicking off not only for the spring and summer seasons but after a year of postponements due to COVID-19. Last year, many of the downtown Des Moines staples were put on hold and delayed until 2021.

Now, with the turn of the season, we are all looking ahead to some of our favorites debuting in a matter of moments. From a modified Downtown Des Moines Farmers Market, the welcoming back of DSM Arts Festival or the return of in-person concerts, the sounds, sights, and smells of downtown events are back. Check out some of the upcoming events on the calendar near Gray’s Station or see our personal highlights below:

  • May 1: Downtown Des Moines Farmers Market returns in a limited capacity with 100 vendors spread throughout the Court Avenue District. Pick up flowers, breakfast and so much more.
  • -A reason to run: The Women’s Half Marathon cuts through the heart of Gray’s Station on our bike trail, looping past LINC apartments on MLK and wraps up with wine and a concert at Jasper Winery within Water Works Park! In June, the Ironman Triathlon takes over Gray’s Lake park with triathletes from all over the world. The EMC Dam to DSM returns in August with a route that’s sure to wow.
  • Gray’s Station Summer Concert Series: We welcome all of our Gray’s Station residents to enjoy free music in our paseo one Friday a month from May until August. Bring your own chair, picnic, drinks and snacks or enjoy a few of the items we have available (hint: Craft Bru goodies and possible other partnerships to be announced)!
  • Water Works Park Event Series: Throughout the summer, check the schedule as concerts, lantern festivals, races and more events are announced at the newly opened Lauridsen Ampitheater and Killinger Family Stage.
  • Gray’s Lake Park: Gray’s Lake is welcoming back more recreational water users for kayak, canoe and paddleboard lessons and rentals. Learn how to row, go for a run or just enjoy the outdoors (and the Chris and Marcie Coleman Bridge)!
  • Catch a game at the ballpark – Principal Park that is – starting in May! The Iowa Cubs return for their home opener on May 4.
  • Iowa Events Center have lined up a handful of concerts throughout summer but most remain on the calendar into fall. Big names like Alan Jackson and Michael Buble will be in DSM before we know it!

If all else fails, grab your bike, and lace up your running shoes to hit a few of our 500-plus miles of trails that connect to Gray’s Station. The infamous Cumming Tap to the south, Raccoon River Bike trails to the west and the notorious lookout point at the High Trestle Trail and bridge lies to the north.

If relaxing is more your speed, take a look at some of Des Moines’ best hidden gems – many that are walking distance from our apartments and townhomes at Gray’s Station. We’re looking ahead to welcoming Craft Bru, a 60-handle taproom that will call LINC home, in July.

From local art galleries to downtown restaurants and bars, there is no shortage of things to do in downtown this summer. Get out there and experience them all!