Stay Connected Through Events with Iowa Family Support Network


The Iowa Family Support Network would like to keep you posted on upcoming events in your area. Whether you are a parent or a provider, we will do our best to post any workshops, conferences, classes, and kid friendly events that are close to you!

  1. Story time with DART

    12/11/2019 @ 10:15am
    Forest Avenue Library 1326 Forest Ave Des Moines, IA 50314

    Event Details

    The wheels on the bus go 'round and 'round during this special edition of storytime! We'll meet a DART (Des Moines Area Regional Transit) staff member who will read the Caldecott and Newbery winning book Last Stop on Market Street, learn about bus safety, and see a city bus up close as we take a ride around the neighborhood!

    Contact Info

    Contact Phone Number:(515) 283-4152

  2. Holiday fun at the Community Recreation Centers

    12/12/2019 @ 06:00pm
    Pioneer Columbus Community Recreation Center: 2100 SE Fifth St. Des Moines, IA

    Ring in the holidays at the 2019 Jingle Bell Parties on December 12th from 6-7:30PM! These events are for children 14 and under and their families, are free and full of fun activities. Participants can enjoy a visit with Santa, treats from Hy-Vee and Target, and a Toys for Tots gift. This event is free, but registration is required by December 12/3/2019.

  3. Santa at the Zoo

    12/14/2019 @ 10:00am
    Blank Park Zoo

    Saturday, December 14 and Sunday, December 15 from 10 AM to 2 PM

    Ho, ho, ho! Santa is making a special stop at Blank Park Zoo December 14 and 15 this year from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM! Enjoy a day filled with holiday cheer, hot cocoa, crafts and holiday-themed enrichment for the animals

    Santa at the Zoo is free with the price of regular Zoo admission and free for members. Santa is waiting for guests in front of the aquarium inside the Discovery Center, so that guests have the opportunity to see the Discovery Center animals, while you wait to meet the man himself!

    Santa at the Zoo 2019 Enrichment Schedule

    Aquarium – 10:30

    Lion – 10:30

    Aldabra Tortoise – 11:00

    Seal/Sea Lion – 11:30

    Rhino – 12:00

    Macaques – 1:00

    For more information, please call 515-285-4722 or contact events@blankparkzoo.org.

  4. Parent’s Café!

    12/14/2019 @ 10:30am
    Forest Avenue Library Meeting Room,

    WHAT YOU WILL DO: Meet other parents and babies. Enjoy refreshments, and take recipes home. Pick up tips on helping your baby’s development. Talk about how to lower stress for yourself and your baby during the holidays. Take home useful free gifts, such as diapers and baby books. Ask questions, laugh, make friends, learn, have fun!

    RSVP: Please call the Polk County Extension office at 515-957-5760 8am to 5pm on weekdays, or e-mail sstrock@iastate.edu or kaowens@iastate.edu at any time. We need you to register so that we’ll know how much food to serve and so that we’ll have diapers on hand in your baby’s size.

    Supported by: Nutrition 4 Young Children, Polk County, Polk County Early Childhood Iowa, Primary Health Care, Des Moines Public Library, EveryStep, City of Des Moines Housing Services, Lutheran Services in Iowa, ISU Extension and Outreach of Polk County, and other people who understand that the work you do as a parent is very important.

  5. Mobile Pantry

    12/14/2019 @ 11:00am
    Cowboy Cafe, Sidney Elementary

    A mobile pantry is a traveling food pantry that delivers food directly to families in need for a one-day distribution.

    The goal is to provide food where there is a high need but limited resources.

    The mobile pantry is available to you free of charge!

    Please bring boxes or bags to carry food.

    Call: 712-374-2647

  6. Furry Tales

    12/14/2019 @ 01:00pm
    Forest Avenue Library 1326 Forest Ave Des Moines, IA 50314

    Kids! Stop by Rosie's Forest at Forest Avenue Library and read a book to a reading therapy dog! Reading to a dog is a great way to build reading/language skills while making a furry friend!

    Contact Info

    Contact Phone Number:(515)283-4152

  7. Single Moms Christmas Dinner

    12/14/2019 @ 05:00pm
    Community Choice Credit Unition Convention Center at the Iowa Events center in downtown Des Moines, 833 5th Ave

    Single mothers throughout central Iowa are invited to attend a special Christmas dinner being held in their honor. With the help of many community supporters, Single Parent Provision would like to treat single mothers to a special evening including a catered dinner, program, laughter, and love all in the great company of other single moms. Programming and activities for children and youth age 0-18 provided, so while moms enjoy this memorable, uplifting evening, their children will enjoy a fun evening complete with activities, games, and a meal of their own.

    When: 5PM, Saturday, December 14 2019

    Check-in begins at 5:00; program begins at 5:30.

    Location: Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center at the Iowa Events Center in downtown Des Moines-833 5th Ave in Des Moines. Free parking provided exclusively for the single mothers attending- details provided upon registering.

    Registration: This event is FREE, but registration is required. To do so, visit singleparentprovision.org. Registration deadline is December 4th, however those registered by November 4th will be entered to win one of three $100 gift cards given during the program.

    For more event information or table sponsor inquiries, please contact us: www.singleparentprovision.org, info@singleparentprovision.org, 515-868-9252.

  8. ART SPECTRUMS

    12/15/2019
    Des Moines Art Center

    Art Spectrums is a free program for children and teens (ages 11-16 years old) on the autism spectrum. Art Spectrums students are introduced to the unique environments of the museum and art studio. Participants look at artwork and discuss observations. Museum artwork serves as the inspiration for a related activity in the studio. These sensory experiences can aid in the development of cognition, communication, and motor skills.

    UPCOMING ART SPECTRUMS DATES: SESSION I

    Sunday, October 20

    Sunday, November 17

    Sunday, December 15

    UPCOMING ART SPECTRUMS DATES: SESSION II

    Sunday, October 20

    Sunday, November 17

    Sunday, December 15

    Questions? Contact the Studio Education department via email or by phone at 515.271.0316.

  9. Family Storytime: Clay Snowmen

    12/17/2019 @ 06:30pm
    Central Library 1000 Grand Avenue Des Moines, IA 50309

    Listen to snow-themed stories as we build our own clay snowmen to take home!

    Contact Info

    Contact Phone Number:(515) 283-4152

  10. Sensory Saturday with an ARL Therapet

    12/21/2019 @ 09:00am
    East Side Library 2559 Hubbell Avenue Des Moines, IA 50317

    Join us for a special visitor, a dog named Brody, from the Animal Rescue League's Therapets program today at 9:30 AM! Between 9:00 AM-10:00 AM, the East Side Library invites families and children with special needs to borrow materials and enjoy the library. We will reduce the lighting and have areas set up to encourage activity or provide calming spaces. Our friendly staff will be on hand to answer questions and help you find materials that are perfect for your family!

    Contact Info

    Contact Phone Number:(515) 283-4152

  11. Stories, Songs, and Stretches!® (Yoga de Cuentos y Canciones Bilingüe)

    12/26/2019 @ 04:00pm
    East Side Library 2559 Hubbell Avenue Des Moines, IA 50317

    Registration for this event will close on December 26, 2019 @ 4:00pm.

    There are 10 seats remaining.

    Event Details

    Join us for a fun bilingual program that is inspired by Yoga, and informed by science. We will focus on basic Yoga poses, as well as yoga-inspired movement and stillness to support your child’s early learning.

    Please wear comfortable clothing and bring a water bottle. Yoga mats will be provided. Registration required!

    Acompáñennos para un programa bilingüe divertido que es inspirado por yoga, e informado por ciencia. Nos enfocaremos en posiciones de Yoga básicas, tanto como movimiento y quietad inspirado por Yoga para apoyar el desarrollo de su hijx.

    Favor de ponerse ropa cómoda y traer una botella de agua. Colchonetas de Yoga serán proveídas. ¡Se requiere registración!

    Disclaimer(s)

    Accompanying Adults

    This program is designed for children and accompanying adults. Please plan to attend and be engaged with your child for this program. Drop offs will not be permitted.

    Contact Info

    mcabarca@dmpl.org

  12. Learn & PlayGroup

    01/03/2020 @ 09:30am
    Waukee Public Library

    Learn & Playgroup is a parent/child playgroup designed for parents and their children ages birth – five. Through stories and structured activities, both you and your child will learn as you play! You will also have the opportunity to meet other parents and learn about community resources. Our fall sessions (Sept-Dec 2019) will have the theme of COLORS and our spring sessions (Jan-May 2020) will have the theme of ANIMALS. Did we mention. . . this event series is FREE?

  13. Spectrum Stories at the DSM Community Playhouse (Winter Session)

    01/04/2020 @ 09:00am
    831 42nd St, Des Moines, IA 50312

    Join us for an fun hour of drama! Come to one session or come to all! Open to any student, Spectrum Stories is a theatre class experience designed for the unique interests and needs of students on the autism spectrum. Through storytelling, creative play, social interaction and non-verbal communication, your student can work on social skills, flexible thinking, self-expression, empathy for others and self-confidence. Siblings and friends are welcome as well. Pre-registration online at www.dmplayhouse.com is encouraged but drop-ins are also welcome!

    An additional emergency contact form is available at the door specifically for those who tend to elope. Parents are asked to remain in the building during class time and may accompany their child into class if they wish.

    • Cost: $5.00 per session (payable by check or cash at the door each session)

    • When: Sat Jan 4, 2020 to Feb 29, 2020 from 9am – 10am

    • Where: Des Moines Community Playhouse, 831 42nd St, Des Moines, IA 50312

  14. Iowa Family Leadership Training Institute

    01/17/2020 @ 04:30pm

    Parents and primary caregiver of children ages 3 to 19 with special health care needs are invited to participate in a special leadership training. The cost is $100 dollars and there are scholarships available. Applications are due January 17th 2020. For more information visit chsciowa.org/iflti. For the application https://uiowa.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_e8z1cOx3Y2Lnqfj

  15. Single Parents, Need More Time?

    01/17/2020 @ 06:00pm
    Fellowship Comm. Church: 225 North Ave in Norwalk

    Parents are best equipped to pour into their children when they themselves have a full tank; which is why Single Parent Provision began Break Time- a program providing single parents several hours of uninterrupted time to run errands, study, or simply have some down time. While parents take some intentional time to recharge, their kids enjoy a fun evening of activities, games, a meal, and crafts. Break Times are possible because of the generous support of extraordinary volunteers, all of whom undergo background checks and are well equipped and enthusiastic about engaging with the children who attend.

    Registration is required for this free program and happens at singleparentprovision.org. for more information, please visit the website or call 515-868-9252.

    Break Time starts at 6PM and ends at 9PM.

  16. Infant Massage Certification Training

    01/20/2020
    Drake University: Occupational Therapy Department: 3003 Forest Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50311

    About the Training

    This program presented by Infant Massage USAbrings research into practice. It is the only infant massage program in the US that is recognized by health and child development experts as the highest quality program of its kind (Underdown & Barlow 2011).

    Certified Educators of Infant Massage (CEIM), help parents use nurturing touch to feel closer to their babies, reduce their gas and fussing, help them become healthier, happier and help parents become more confident. Teaching parents infant massage is a great way to help them recognize and understand their babies’ cues and cycles, reduce parental depression, help babies learn, improve sleep patterns, and increase resistance to illness. Infant Massage is an easy, fun tool to bring to families in their homes or community that will reinforce the work being done to increase parental sensitivity and resilience.

    Certification Process

    This four day training, followed by a take home exam and practicum, leads to becoming a Certified Educator of Infant Massage (CEIM).

    The program is approved to provide continuing education for; Massage Therapist, OT’s, Nurses, PT’s, Social Workers, and Lactation Consultants. Our training is also recognized by DONA, CAPPA, the Child Life Council and holds an Infant Mental Health Endorsement.

    Please visit, www.infantmassageusa.org for complete details.

    Core Curriculum

    The course core curriculum is an agreed upon structure and mandated by Infant Massage USA Trainers. The purpose is to provide a standard of education and unity within the International Association.

    The 15 core curriculum points are:

    -History of Infant Massage and Infant Massage USA

    -Demonstration of strokes and gentle activities

    -Three day practicum class with parents and babies

    -Teaching the benefits of Infant Massage

    -Infant crying

    -Infant behavioral states, cues and reflexes

    -Bonding and attachment

    -Self awareness of emotional elements and support

    -Communication skills

    -Group facilitation skills

    -The growing child

    -Special situations and adaptations

    -Touch and massage research

    -Public relations and marketing

    -Teaching skills

    Registration Fee - $650 ($585, for all Drake University students, staff and community partners, or teams of 3 or more, registering from the same agency).

    Price includes: 4-day training, all books and training materials, exam review and certification, plus a one year membership with Infant Massage USA.

    To register:

    Send contact information and a short essay (one paragraph) explaining, “Why you would like to become a CEIM?” to:

    donna.anderson@infantmassageusa.org

    For more information, contact Donna at:

    Phone (715)-459-1159 donna.anderson@infantmassageusa.org

  17. Infant Massage Class for Parents and Babies

    01/23/2020 @ 11:00am
    Drake University: Occupational Therapy Department: 3003 Forest Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50311

    Learn to nurture your baby with Infant Massage.

    Benefits:

    -Bonding- enhances communication as it encourages positive interaction.

    -Relief-from stress and for baby discomforts of teething, congestion, and gas.

    -Relaxation-helps baby sleep deeper and longer.

    -Empowers-helps parents feel more competent and confident in their parenting role.

    Date: January 21, 22, 23, 2020

    Time: 11:00 AM-12:00 PM

    Location: Infant Massage USA-Educator Training. Drake University-Occupational Therapy Department: 3003 Forest Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50311

    Cost: Free.

    For more information and to register, Please contact Kelsey Finn at, Kelsey.finn@drake.edu.

    Parents/primary caregivers with their infants (age 8 weeks- pre crawling) are welcome to join us for, one, two, or all three sessions. You will receive illustrated descriptions of the infant massage processes and ideas for continuing nurturing touch as your children grow.

    Class is based on the work of Vimala McClure, founder of the International Association of Infant Massage and author of Infant Massage; A Handbook for loving Parents.

    Infant Massage... Communicating Love through touch.

  18. FREE Thursday Family Activity at the Center for Disabilities and Development

    01/30/2020 @ 05:00pm
    The Center for Disabilities and Development 100 Hawkins Dr. Iowa City IA 52242

    Every Thursday of the month, the Center for Disabilities and Developmenthosts a FREE family activity! Please join us from 5-7pm to participate. These events are open to the public.

    1st Thursday: Game Day

    2nd Thursday Arts and Craft Day

    3rd Thursday Lego Day

    4th Thursday Special Event

    5th Thursday Free Activity Day

    For questions, please contact Mitchell Defauw at mitchell-defauw@uiowa.edu or 319-356-1315.

  19. Learn & PlayGroup

    02/07/2020 @ 09:30am
    Waukee Public Library

    Learn & Playgroup is a parent/child playgroup designed for parents and their children ages birth – five. Through stories and structured activities, both you and your child will learn as you play! You will also have the opportunity to meet other parents and learn about community resources. Our fall sessions (Sept-Dec 2019) will have the theme of COLORS and our spring sessions (Jan-May 2020) will have the theme of ANIMALS. Did we mention. . . this event series is FREE?

  20. Family Fun Nights

    02/21/2020 @ 05:00pm
    Pioneer Columbus Community Recreation Center: 2100 SE Fifth St

    Family Fun Night occurs every third Friday of the month November - February and great for the entire family. It cost $1 for adults aged 18-59 and is free for all other ages.

    November 15th-There will be three clowns making balloons animals, face painting, open gym and imagination toys.

    December 20th-Make and Take

    January 17th-Game Night, you will have the opportunity to win a free game or puzzle

    February 28th-Experiments

    For more information call: 515-248-6316

  21. Learn & PlayGroup

    03/06/2020 @ 09:30am
    Waukee Public Library

    Learn & Playgroup is a parent/child playgroup designed for parents and their children ages birth – five. Through stories and structured activities, both you and your child will learn as you play! You will also have the opportunity to meet other parents and learn about community resources. Our fall sessions (Sept-Dec 2019) will have the theme of COLORS and our spring sessions (Jan-May 2020) will have the theme of ANIMALS. Did we mention. . . this event series is FREE?

  22. CORRIDOR AUTISM RESOURCE EXPO

    03/22/2020 @ 09:00am
    Mount Mercy University Graduate Center 1650 Matterhorn Dr NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402

    The next Corridor Autism Resource Expo will be held Saturday, March 21, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Mount Mercy University Graduate Center, 1650 Matterhorn Dr. NE in Cedar Rapids.

    Dozens of autism-related exhibitors!

  23. Spectrum Stories at the DSM Community Playhouse (Spring Session)

    03/28/2020 @ 09:00am
    831 42nd St, Des Moines, IA 50312

    Join us for an fun hour of drama! Come to one session or come to all! Open to any student, Spectrum Stories is a theatre class experience designed for the unique interests and needs of students on the autism spectrum. Through storytelling, creative play, social interaction and non-verbal communication, your student can work on social skills, flexible thinking, self-expression, empathy for others and self-confidence. Siblings and friends are welcome as well. Pre-registration online at www.dmplayhouse.com is encouraged but drop-ins are also welcome!

    An additional emergency contact form is available at the door specifically for those who tend to elope. Parents are asked to remain in the building during class time and may accompany their child into class if they wish.

    • Cost: $5.00 per session (payable by check or cash at the door each session)

    • When: Sat March 28, 2020 to April 25, 2020 from 9am – 10am

    • Where: Des Moines Community Playhouse, 831 42nd St, Des Moines, IA 50312

  24. Learn & PlayGroup

    04/03/2020 @ 09:30am
    Waukee Public Library

    Learn & Playgroup is a parent/child playgroup designed for parents and their children ages birth – five. Through stories and structured activities, both you and your child will learn as you play! You will also have the opportunity to meet other parents and learn about community resources. Our fall sessions (Sept-Dec 2019) will have the theme of COLORS and our spring sessions (Jan-May 2020) will have the theme of ANIMALS. Did we mention. . . this event series is FREE?

  25. Learn & PlayGroup

    05/01/2020 @ 09:30am
    Waukee Public Library

    Learn & Playgroup is a parent/child playgroup designed for parents and their children ages birth – five. Through stories and structured activities, both you and your child will learn as you play! You will also have the opportunity to meet other parents and learn about community resources. Our fall sessions (Sept-Dec 2019) will have the theme of COLORS and our spring sessions (Jan-May 2020) will have the theme of ANIMALS. Did we mention. . . this event series is FREE?

  26. Sensory-Friendly Hours

    05/02/2020 @ 08:30am
    Science Center of Iowa, Des Moines

    Sensory-Friendly Hours provide a quieter, less crowded SCI experience for families with children on the autism spectrum.

    The Science Center of Iowa is an exciting place, bustling with sights and sounds... but one Saturday morning each month, we provide a quieter, less crowded visit for Sensory-Friendly Hours!

    Families with children on the autism spectrum or children with sensory processing disorders will enjoy exploring the Science Center of Iowa with the help of Sensory Guide signage, which indicates audio, visual and activity stimuli.

    Sensory-Friendly Hours are the first Saturday of the month from 8:30–10:00 am, October through May. Admission is free, and no advance tickets are required. Simply check in at the Box Office when you arrive!