Welcome to the WDMCS Virtual Backpack!

The West Des Moines Community Schools and our community partners are happy to welcome you to our Virtual Backpack! In our Virtual Backpack, you will find information about activities from the WDMCS, WDMCS Community Education, district- or school-affiliated groups, and nonprofit community organizations. Please enjoy exploring these district and community opportunities for learning, enrichment, engagement, and fun!

The flyers and events presented here are not school publications, nor are they in any way endorsed or sponsored by any school district. The Virtual Backpack is being provided only to inform WDMCS students, families, and staff of other available community activities and opportunities.

Harmony Explosion

Date
September 21 (all day)
Location
Staplin Performing Arts Center
Event For
Students, parents and the general public
Cost
Adults $20 (general public) and Students are free. Parents of the students are free as well.
Organization
Harmony Delegation Chorus
Contact
Mike Hamilton
Phone
515-577-4966
Information
Harmony Explosion 2019. This is the 11th year where approximately 150 area high school students (to include West Des Moines schools) attend a day-long workshop and then perform a show at 7 p.m. on Sept. 21. Heather Nail is the host music director for the event.

Des Moines Art Center Programming

Date
December 13 (all day)
Location
Des Moines Art Center 4700 Grand Ave, Des Moines IA 50312
Event For
ages 5-16
Organization
Des Moines Art Center
Contact
Mia Farrell
Phone
515-619-2058
Information
Enroll the entire family in fall classes at the Art Center this year! Gain skills, meet friends, and explore art making in our studio programs, family events, and free museum. Check out our #entirelyunexpected course offerings.

Day Camps, Overnights, Horse Riding, and more with Camp Fire!

Date
November 27 (all day)
Location
Drop-off location: 5615 Hickman Rd Des Moines, IA 50310
Event For
grades K-9
Cost
$37/day for School Day Off programs (other prices vary)
Organization
Camp Fire Heart of Iowa
Contact
Marilyn Bagley
Phone
515-274-1501
Information
Join us for "Out of School" Days this fall! Drop your child off at one of our convenient drop locations and let them experience a day of excitement and learning at Camp Hantesa! Under the supervision of our trained staff, campers make new friends and interact with old ones through engaging programs!

Harmony Explosion

Date
September 21 (all day)
Location
Staplin Performing Arts Center
Event For
Students, parents and the general public
Cost
Adults $20 (general public) and Students are free. Parents of the students are free as well.
Organization
Harmony Delegation Chorus
Contact
Mike Hamilton
Phone
515-577-4966
Information
Harmony Explosion 2019. This is the 11th year where approximately 150 area high school students (to include West Des Moines schools) attend a day-long workshop and then perform a show at 7 p.m. on Sept. 21. Heather Nail is the host music director for the event.

National Portfolio Day

Date
September 22 - 10:00 a.m.
Location
715 Bissell Road, Ames, IA 50011
Event For
grades 9-12
Cost
Free
Organization
Iowa State University College of Design
Contact
Jennifer Anderson
Phone
515-294-7415
Information
Have your high school portfolio reviewed by representatives from the Midwest’s best art & design colleges including Iowa State University, Minneapolis College of Art & Design, University of South Dakota, and the Kansas City Art Institute. Open to the public.

Heartland Youth Choir Open Rehearsals

Date
September 24 (all day)
Location
Windsor Heights Lutheran Church
Event For
ages 4-18
Organization
Heartland Youth Choir
Contact
Kim Novy
Phone
515-221-3922
Information
Heartland Youth Choir is holding open rehearsals for singers in grades PK-12. This is a great opportunity for students who are interested in exploring their love of music beyond the school setting. Please see the attached flyer for dates and times!

West Des Moines Girls Softball Fall Rec League

Date
September 27 (all day)
Location
Holiday Park
Event For
Girls Pre-K thru 4th Grade
Organization
West Des Moines Girls Softball
Contact
Holly Buchholz
Phone
515-971-1362
Information
Fall recreation softball league for girls entering Pre-K through 4th Grade. Practices will start August 5th. Games will be on weeknights and will start mid- to late August through the end of September. Early bird registration discount through June 15th.

Children & Families of Iowa (CFI) Princess Party

Date
September 28 - 8:00 a.m.
Location
Jordan Creek Town Center
Event For
all ages
Cost
$15
Organization
Children & Families of Iowa
Contact
Heather Lee
Phone
515-697-7968
Information
The Foundation for Children & Families of Iowa (CFI) invites princesses, princes, and their chaperones to join us for a fun-filled morning at Jordan Creek Town Center. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet and take photos with princesses, enjoy breakfast, and meet the princesses from the stories you love!

Show Choir Clinic: Grades 4-6

Date
September 28 - 9:00 a.m.
Location
Performing Arts Center, Valley High School
Event For
4th, 5th, and 6th grade students
Cost
$40.00
Organization
Valley Voices
Contact
Haley Gibbons
Phone
608-317-4157
Information
Learn to sing and dance with Valley Show Choir Members! This unique, half-day clinic provides 4th to 6th graders the opportunity to perform with high school show choir students. They will be taught by a professional choreographer and vocal music director! Attendees will all receive a t-shirt!

Iowa State University College of Design Open House

Date
October 4 - 1:00 p.m.
Location
715 Bissell Road, Ames, IA 50011
Event For
grades 9-12
Cost
Free
Organization
Iowa State University College of Design
Contact
Jennifer Anderson
Phone
515-294-7415
Information
Learn why Iowa State’s College of Design is consistently ranked among the best in the nation. Explore our programs, tour of facilities, and meet current students and faculty in your major. Event is open to the public.

Girls in Aviation

Date
October 5 - 9:00 a.m.
Location
Aviation Academy School, 205 County Line Road, Des Moines, IA
Event For
ages 8-18
Cost
$10 for kids (adults are free)
Organization
Women in Aviation
Contact
Sara Arnold
Information
Women in Aviation is hosting a special event for kids: Girls in Aviation! We will have aircraft to look at, crafts, booths with people to talk with, and a panel of professionals for a Q&A. Each kid that registers will get a drawstring bag with goodies. We welcome all children, and adults get free admission.

2019 Valley High School Cheer Clinic

Date
October 5 - 9:15 a.m.
Location
Hillside Elementary
Event For
Grades PK-6
Cost
$35
Organization
Valley Cheerleading
Contact
Katherine Coady
Information
Students will learn cheers, chants, jumps, and dance, and should wear shorts, T-shirt, socks, and tennis shoes. Near the end of the clinic, families are invited to watch participants demonstrate what they’ve learned. Additionally, families can also purchase a 5×7 keepsake photo for $7 and cheer bow for $10 as add-ons for their student.

Girls in Science: PJ Party (Grades 2-5)

Date
October 5 - 6:00 p.m.
Location
Science Center of Iowa & Blank IMAX Dome Theater
Event For
girls in grades 2-5
Cost
$7/participant
Organization
Science Center of Iowa & Blank IMAX Dome Theater
Contact
Hannah Little
Phone
515-274-6868
Information
Girls grade 2-5 are invited to a fun, late-night adventure at SCI! This evening event features hands-on activities, team challenges, a pizza party, and the chance to meet local women from STEM fields. By the time they go home to bed, they'll be dreaming about how science can be a part of their future.

Living History Farms Summer Barnyard Readers

Date
October 12 - 10:30 a.m.
Location
Living History Farms
Event For
ages 3-5
Cost
$22
Organization
Living History Farms
Contact
Abby Hoffman-Carlson
Phone
515-278-5286
Information
Together with your 3-, 4-, or 5-year-old, listen to a story or two about a farm animal and participate in a special activity in the Visitor Center. Then, take a ride on our tractor-drawn cart out to the farm to see the animal of the day, and take a look around the barnyard!

Junior Menace

Date
October 14 - 5:30 p.m.
Location
Waukee/WDM, Grimes, Des Moines
Event For
ages 3-9
Cost
$50 (ages 3-4), $100 (ages 5-9)
Organization
Des Moines Menace Foundation
Contact
Maddie Carver
Phone
515-689-9559
Information
Junior Menace is a soccer program held once a week for seven weeks starting in September for kids ages 3-9. Ages 3-4 have 30 minute sessions, and ages 5-9 have 60 min sessions. This is a chance for kids of all skill levels to improve at the sport of soccer in a fun atmosphere!

STEM Princess Ball

Date
October 19 - 9:30 a.m.
Location
710 NE 36th St., Ankeny, IA
Event For
PK-3rd
Cost
$35
Organization
PEO
Contact
Carrie Weber
Phone
612-759-4595
Information
Join us for an exciting day learning about Building and Biology with your favorite princesses! Learn about your bones, why we get hiccups, how your heart pumps, and design buildings for earthquakes and floods.

Girls in Science: PJ Party (Grades 6-8)

Date
October 19 - 6:00 p.m.
Location
401 W Martin Luther King Jr Pkwy, Des Moines, IA 50309
Event For
girls in grades 6-8
Cost
$7/participant
Organization
Science Center of Iowa & Blank IMAX Dome Theater
Contact
Hannah Little
Phone
515-274-6868
Information
Girls in grades 6-8 are invited to a fun, late-night adventure at SCI! This evening event features hands-on activities, team challenges, a pizza party, and the chance to meet local women from STEM fields. By the time they go home to bed, they'll be dreaming about how science can be a part of their future.

Spooky Science

Date
October 26 - 10:00 a.m.
Location
Science Center of Iowa & Blank IMAX Dome Theater
Event For
all ages
Cost
$7/participant
Organization
https://www.sciowa.org/programs-and-events/special-events/spooky-science/
Contact
Hannah Little
Phone
515-274-6868
Information
Hair-raising experiments, bubbling potions, and visual illusions abound during Spooky Science at the Science Center of Iowa! Grab your costume and join us on Oct. 26 to trick-or-treat your way throughout the building and experience themed programming! Wear a costume and get $1 admission.

Tire Rack Street Survival

Date
October 27 - 8:30 a.m.
Location
DMACC. 2006 S. Ankeny Blvd, Ankeny, Iowa
Event For
High School Students
Cost
$95.00
Organization
BMW Car Club of America Foundation
Contact
Kathleen Talbot
Phone
515-490-5833
Information
Street Survival is a teen safe-driving program designed to go beyond drivers' education and give teens the hands-on experience and tools to become smarter, safer drivers.

Meals with Mentors

Date
November 1 - 6:00 p.m.
Location
Science Center of Iowa & Blank IMAX Dome Theater
Event For
girls in grades 7-12
Cost
Free with registration
Organization
Science Center of Iowa & Blank IMAX Dome Theater
Contact
Hannah Little
Phone
515-274-6868
Information
Girls in grades 7–12 can apply for this unique event where they will meet female undergraduates studying for a degree in a STEM field as well as working female scientists. The dinner will feature a keynote speaker as well as group challenges that give girls the opportunity to interact.

Des Moines Community Playhouse School Year Classes and Camps

Date
November 2 (all day)
Location
Des Moines Community Playhouse, 831 42nd St., Des Moines, IA 50312
Event For
grades PK-8
Organization
Des Moines Community Playhouse
Contact
Robin Heldt Spahr
Phone
515-974-5365
Information
The Playhouse Education Department encourages self-development through the dramatic arts, explores the skills of the theater, fosters an appreciation of the theater, and acquaints students with technical theater knowledge. Check out this year's offerings!

2019-20 Recreational Valley Tigers 5-Week Session Winter Soccer Clinics

Date
November 2 - 1:00 p.m.
Location
Crossroads Park Gym
Event For
7-12 (boys and girls)
Cost
$70
Organization
Valley Tigers Boys' Soccer
Contact
Aziz Haffar
Phone
515-975-2727
Information
This clinic will focus on the basics and foundations of the game. Session 1: Saturdays, Nov. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 Session 2: Saturdays, Dec. 7, 14, 21 & Jan. 4, 11 Session 3: Saturdays, Jan. 18, 25 & Feb. 1, 8, 15 Session 4: Saturdays, Feb. 22, 29 & March 7, 14, 21

Lifeguard Certification Courses

Date
November 15 (all day)
Location
YMCA of Greater Des Moines
Event For
High School
Cost
$200
Organization
YMCA of Greater Des Moines
Contact
Ann Peterson
Phone
515-471-8509
Information
Looking to lifeguard next summer? Skip the spring rush and get certified today! You will be qualified to apply for positions when they opening putting you one step ahead of the other applicants.

Courage League Sports Saturday Leagues

Date
November 23 - 8:00 a.m.
Location
Various community buildings
Event For
ages 7 and older
Cost
$45 for four-week session
Organization
Courage League Sports
Contact
Porshia Perkins
Phone
515-421-4021
Information
Summer is over and Team Sports and ChAAMPS are BACK! This fall, we will be offering our popular soccer programs in Ankeny, Urbandale, West Des Moines, and Indianola. We are excited to announce our brand new flag football program for our ChAAMPS league only hoping to expand to Team Sports in the future.

Day Camps, Overnights, Horse Riding, and more with Camp Fire!

Date
November 27 (all day)
Location
Drop-off location: 5615 Hickman Rd Des Moines, IA 50310
Event For
grades K-9
Cost
$37/day for School Day Off programs (other prices vary)
Organization
Camp Fire Heart of Iowa
Contact
Marilyn Bagley
Phone
515-274-1501
Information
Join us for "Out of School" Days this fall! Drop your child off at one of our convenient drop locations and let them experience a day of excitement and learning at Camp Hantesa! Under the supervision of our trained staff, campers make new friends and interact with old ones through engaging programs!

Courage League Sports Fall Programming

Date
November 29 (all day)
Event For
all students
Cost
$45 for four-week session
Organization
Courage League Sports
Contact
Porshia Perkins
Phone
515-421-4021
Information
Our fall program guide is ready and available online! Registrations are now open for all programs! We are excited about our fall lineup... including our programming opportunities across Greater Des Moines! New this fall: Flag Football, five different soccer programs, Teen Night, & Teen Water Aerobics!

Des Moines Art Center Programming

Date
December 13 (all day)
Location
Des Moines Art Center 4700 Grand Ave, Des Moines IA 50312
Event For
ages 5-16
Organization
Des Moines Art Center
Contact
Mia Farrell
Phone
515-619-2058
Information
Enroll the entire family in fall classes at the Art Center this year! Gain skills, meet friends, and explore art making in our studio programs, family events, and free museum. Check out our #entirelyunexpected course offerings.

$5 Family Night at Science Center

Date
December 13 - 5:00 p.m.
Location
401 W Martin Luther King Jr Pkwy, Des Moines, IA 50309
Event For
all ages
Cost
$5/person
Organization
Science Center of Iowa & Blank IMAX Dome Theater
Contact
Hannah Little
Phone
515-274-6868
Information
The second Friday of each month from 5-8 p.m., explore SCI with your family. Admission is just $5 per person! No need to grab dinner first... our Food Chain Cafe is open until 7:30 p.m.