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What's Happening in the Big White Tent?

Don't miss the presentations happening in the big white tent! From monarchs to reptiles, owls to prairies - there's so much to learn about the world around us.

Saturday, September 22
10:00 a.m. "Monarch Tagging", Joel Van Roekel, Naturalist Des Moines Parks & Recreation
11:00 a.m. “The Adventure of Volkssporting”, Susan Pinneke, Greater Des Moines Volkssport Association, Iowa’s Walking Club
12:00 p.m. "Pony Tales", Molly Mellinger, Jester Park Equestrian Center
1:00 p.m. "Forget Recycling Often, Start Recycling Right!” Ammon Taylor, Municipal Marketing Manager, Waste Management
2:00 p.m. “Art n’ Nature”, Courtney Grove, Naturalist, Polk County Conservation
3:00 p.m. “Live Ambassador Animals”, Blank Park Zoo
4:00 p.m. “Art n’ Nature 2”, Courtney Grove, Naturalist, PCC

Sunday, September 23
11:00 a.m. “Fishing Frenzy”, Brendan Kelly, Naturalist, Polk County Conservation
12:00 p.m. "Pony Tales", Molly Mellinger, Jester Park Equestrian Center
1:00 p.m. "Reptiles Alive", Kelsey Longnecker, Naturalist, Warren County Conservation
2:00 p.m. "Reptiles Alive 2", Kelsey Longnecker, Naturalist, Warren County Conservation
3:00 p.m. "Honey Bee Basics", Carly Raye, Honey Queen, Friendly Beekeepers of Iowa

Download the schedule

Join us for hands on fun!

Celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Day by bringing the entire family out for a fun weekend discovering new and exciting ways to enjoy Iowa's outdoors. With over 50 free hands-on activities and daily family presentations, visitor's are able to learn, observe and experience recreation opportunities in the great outdoors.

Hands-on activities include (but are not limited to):

Reel Fishing, Bow Fishing, Casting games, Fish ID tank, Fish Printing, Fish Cleaning & Cooking

Water Sports
Canoeing, Kayaking, Paddleboarding, Life Jacket Safety, Knot Tying

Kid's Corner
Fossil & Treasure Dig, Live Animals, Minnow Races, Build a Bird Feeder, Fish Cleaning

Tent Demonstrations, Dutch Oven and Game Cooking

Buckskinners Encampment
Traditional encampment, Blacksmith Shop, Tomahawk Range, Atl Atl

Beginners Foam Range, Traditional Range (9 and over), 3D Range, Aerial Range, Tree Stand Safety

Shooting Sports
Trap Shooting (height requirement), Sling Shot, BB Gun Range, Air Gun Range

Wildlife & Hunting
Furharvesting and Trapping in Iowa, Waterfowl Hunting, Turn In Poachers (TIP), Wild Game Care/Food Safety, Turkey Hunting

Conservation - Urban Garden Program, Polk County Soil & Water Conservation, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, Sierra Club, Urban Pollinator Program, Outdoor Health

Raptor Release - SOAR (release times available at the Registration Tent)

Live Game Field Dressing - Milo Locker

10th Anniversary

Sept 22nd & 23rd, 2018

Saturday: 9am - 6pm
Sunday: 10am - 4pm

Des Moines Izaak Walton League
and Water Works Park

4343 George Flagg Parkway
Des Moines, Iowa

Iowa Outdoors Expo Map




More Information:

Volunteer Sign Up Link

Any questions about volunteering? Please email: 

2018 Expo Sponsors

The Iowa Outdoor Expo would not happen without the generous support from our partners and sponsors and the dedication of over two hundred volunteers.  A special thanks to the following sponsors: 



Iowa Department of Natural Resources


Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation logo

Northern Lights Pizza National Rifle Association Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

IWLA Endowment - logo colored-enhanced