Plan Your Visit

We’re excited to have you join us and experience the music… LIVE! 
Our performances are held at the Des Moines Civic Center.


Des Moines Civic Center
221 Walnut Street Des Moines, IA 50309
(515) 246-2300

Where can I park?

Due to the Grand Avenue bridge closure, we recommend arriving early to find parking. Click here to view the Greater Des Moines Partnership Map containing detailed information, location and cost of available parking in downtown Des Moines.

On-street metered parking is free on Saturdays and Sundays in Downtown Des Moines. Parking structures are located at 3rd & Court, 4th & Grand, and 5th & Walnut. These parking garages are connected to the Des Moines Civic Center via skywalk. Parking fees are charged at most downtown ramps. Special event pricing may be implemented at the discretion of the City of Des Moines or Keck Parking.

Valet parking is available for all Des Moines Symphony performances at the Civic Center. The cost is $15 per event if pre-ordered through the Civic Center Ticket Office (221 Walnut Street, 9am-5pm Mon-Fri; 515.246-2300), or $20 if purchased at the event.

How long is a typical concert?

Des Moines Symphony performances are usually just over two hours long, which includes a 20-minute intermission.

Can I use my cell phone?

For the consideration of the musicians and your fellow audience members, please turn off your phone or other mobile devices during the concert.

Can I take photos and videos?

Because of our contractual agreement with the American Federation of Musicians, unauthorized photographic, audio recording and video equipment may not be used during this performance.

What should I wear?

While some our guests enjoy dressing up for the evening, you don’t have to wear anything formal to enjoy a Des Moines Symphony concert!  Most of our patrons wear business casual or cocktail attire.

When should I arrive?

Doors to the Civic Center generally open one hour before performance time. Our concerts start on time and we recommend allowing extra time for parking, so we invite you to arrive early and enjoy a drink in our lobby prior to the performance. Even better, if you arrive 45 minutes before any Masterworks concert, you can attend a free Concert Prelude Talk in the Civic Center’s Stoner Theater and learn more about the pieces you’ll hear!

What if I arrive late or need to leave early?

In order not to disturb other audience members who have already begun listening to the music, latecomers will be seated by ushers at designated times throughout the performance or during intermission. If you arrive after the concert begins, you will be asked to wait outside of the hall doors in the lobby until a break in the program occurs. If you have to leave a concert before its end, please do so between pieces.

What am I listening to?

Learn about the pieces you’re enjoying today and the musicians performing them by clicking on each concert page and reading the program notes (you’ll receive a hard copy of this program book at our concerts). Our 30 Second Notes provide a brief overview, and the program notes that follow provide historical context, analysis and performance history. Learn more about our Orchestra musicians here.

When should I clap?

We ask that you applaud to show your appreciation when each piece is fully complete. Some pieces contain several smaller sections, called movements, which often have a pause between them. If a piece has four movements, for example, we ask that you clap only after the last movement. You’ll receive a program book at the concert which will tell you the number of movements in each piece. You can also take your cue from the conductor – he’ll turn around when the piece is over!

What if I need to cough?

Do you have a tickle in your throat or are you anticipating a coughing attack? Please visit the Guest Services Counter or see a Civic Center usher for a lozenge.

Is the Orchestra amplified?

At Masterworks concerts – no. The microphones you see suspended above the Orchestra and in front are solely for recording the Orchestra for later broadcast on IPR Classical, The Radio Home of the Des Moines Symphony. View the 2016-2017 IPR rebroadcast schedule here.