Sober Living Fun on the Fourth of July

June 24, 2019

Celebrating Independence Day in recovery can be a challenge. Here is a list of activities and events that provide opportunities for celebration that can be focused on fun. Please note, there may be alcohol sold at some of these events. Remember your recovery goals and attend with a sober recovery friend for support, if needed.

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Prairie Meadows Race Track and Casino - A free outdoor concert featuring the band Spam at 8 p.m. Stick around for the fireworks at dusk. 

Adventureland is always open on the Fourth of July. After riding every roller coaster and splashing around at Adventure Bay, kick back and relax for fireworks starting around 9:45 p.m.


Carlisle starts its Independence Day celebration July 3 with rides, games, concessions and more at 5 p.m. in North Park. Join the kiddie parade at 6 p.m. Head to the early morning pancake breakfast July 4 and stick around for the Fourth of July parade, starting at 9:30 a.m. Then, it's back to North Park for train rides, miniature golf, yard games, bingo, giant bubble ball soccer and a petting zoo. Fireworks begin around 10 p.m. at North Park.

Des Moines

Des Moines Symphony's Annual Yankee Doodle Pops returns July 3 for its 26th year on the West Terrace of the state Capitol. The free family-friendly concert at 8:30 p.m. concludes with a fireworks display over downtown Des Moines. Bring blankets and lawn chairs and purchase food from various vendors while enjoying the show.


Kickoff the morning of July 4 at theDes Moines Firecracker 5K in the historic East Village. Wear your red, white and blue best for the run benefiting Team RWB, a group that works to connect veterans with their communities through physical and social activities. Sign up online at meet at Peace Tree Brewing, 317 E. Court Ave.


The Iowa Cubs kick off a four-day stretch at home against the Memphis Redbirds on July 4. Games start at 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. Stick around after the games on July 4 and 5 for fireworks. 


4th of July by the River is back for a second year of DJs spinning rock 'n' roll and hip-hop at Brenton Skating Plaza, 520 Robert D. Ray Drive. Enjoy music, dancing, food, drinks and games. The all ages event is from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 the day of the event.


The Grimes Home Base Iowa fireworks show begins at dusk at the South Sports Complex, 600 S. James St. Head over to St. Peter Lutheran Church a little early to check out fire trucks and enjoy free popcorn and ice-pops.


The Norwalk Fourth of July parade starts at 10 a.m. Find games and food at City Park. Fireworks start around 9 p.m. at the McAninch Sports Complex, 200 Wright Road.


Urbandale hosts the metro's biggest Fourth of July celebration each year. There are dozens of things to do over the three-day celebration, July 2-4, including street dances, games, kids' activities and a massive carnival at Lion's Park. The parade starts at 10 a.m. on the Fourth at Old City Hall on 70th Street north to Aurora Avenue and ends at 82nd and Aurora. Fireworks begin at 10 p.m. on the Fourth.


Waukee expands its Fourth of July festivities to two days this year. The carnival opens at 5 p.m. July 3 at Centennial Park. Stick around to watch "We Bought a Zoo" on the outdoor screen at 8:45 p.m. The carnival and food vendors open at noon on the Fourth. The parade starts at 3 p.m. Grab a viewing spot on Waukee's Downtown Triangle, then head back to the park for live music from 4ontheFloor followed by fireworks.

West Des Moines

Valley Junction hosts the All Iowa Bash on July 3, featuring food and drink from local Iowa vendors, crafts from Iowa makers, and music from — you guessed it — Iowa bands. All the Iowa fun starts at 3 p.m. The Independence Day parade starts at 6:30 p.m. July 3 with a brand-new route starting at Valley West Drive and Ashworth Road and ending at Maple Street. 

On July 4, join the horseshoe tournament at Holiday Park during the day or bring a lawn chair and enjoy an evening community band concert at the Coneflower Shelter in Raccoon River Park. Following the concert, watch fireworks over Blue Heron Lake at dusk.

Windsor Heights

Windsor Heights hosts a Fourth of July parade at 4 p.m. July 4. After the parade, make your way to Colby Park for "Nights in the Heights" starting at 6 p.m. for live music and food truck followed by fireworks at dusk.