16 Fun Things to do in Des Moines, Iowa

Des Moines, Iowa is a vibrant metropolis filled with surprises and has loads of enjoyable actions to maintain you entertained. From out of doors adventures to cultural experiences, there’s no scarcity of enjoyable issues to do in Des Moines. 

So whether or not you’re curious to study what dwelling in Des Moines is like or fascinated with shopping for a home or renting an condominium in Des Moines, hold studying to see the perfect of what this Midwestern gem has to supply.

1. Go to the Iowa State Fairgrounds

In the event you occur to be in Des Moines throughout the state honest, you’re in for a deal with. However even when you’re not, the fairgrounds are value a go to. You may see the well-known butter cow sculpture, try the classic automotive museum, or catch a horse race.

2. Discover the Pappajohn Sculpture Park

Situated in downtown Des Moines, this park options over 30 artworks by world-renowned sculptors, together with Louise Bourgeois, Jaume Plensa, and Richard Serra. The sculptures vary in dimension and magnificence, from summary items to extra representational works. 

Guests can stroll via the park on their very own or take a guided tour to study extra in regards to the artwork and the artists behind it. The park is free and open to the general public year-round.

3. Find out about Iowa historical past on the State Capitol

The Iowa State Capitol constructing isn’t solely a powerful architectural feat, however it’s additionally filled with historical past. Take a guided tour to study in regards to the constructing’s development and the state’s political historical past.

Des Moines, Iowa State Capitol

4. Take pleasure in a beer at Confluence Brewing Firm

Des Moines has a thriving craft beer scene, and Confluence Brewing Firm is likely one of the metropolis’s greatest breweries. Pattern a few of their distinctive brews of their taproom or on their out of doors patio.

5. Take a stroll alongside the Des Moines Riverwalk

The Des Moines Riverwalk is a 1.2-mile path that winds alongside the Des Moines River. It’s a well-liked spot for locals and guests alike to stroll, run, bike, or just benefit from the views of the river and town skyline. 

Alongside the path, you’ll discover public artwork installations, gardens, and a number of other eating places and retailers. The Riverwalk is accessible year-round and is a good way to discover town and get some train on the similar time.

6. Catch a sport at Principal Park

In search of enjoyable issues to do in Des Moines for sports activities lovers? Principal Park has you lined. Situated on the Des Moines Riverwalk, Principal Park is house to the Iowa Cubs, a minor league baseball crew affiliated with the Chicago Cubs. Seize a sizzling canine and a beer and revel in a sport on this lovely stadium.

Principal Park

7. Go to the Des Moines Artwork Heart

The Des Moines Artwork Heart is house to a powerful assortment of latest and trendy artwork, together with works by Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, and Georgia O’Keeffe. The museum additionally hosts particular exhibitions and occasions all year long.

8. Take a tour of the Salisbury Home and Gardens

This mansion turned museum was constructed within the Nineteen Twenties by cosmetics magnate Carl Weeks and options spectacular structure, together with a Tudor-style Nice Corridor and a library modeled after one in England’s Warwick Citadel. 

Guests can take guided excursions of the home to study its historical past and structure, in addition to discover the gardens, which characteristic fountains, sculptures, and a wide range of vegetation and bushes. Salisbury Home and Gardens additionally hosts particular occasions and academic packages all year long.

9. Buy groceries on the East Village

The East Village is a classy neighborhood in downtown Des Moines that has a wide range of retailers, eating places, and galleries. Browse the boutiques for distinctive clothes and accessories, seize a cup of espresso or a chew to eat at one of many many cafes and eating places, or try the native artwork galleries. 

East Village can be house to a number of festivals and occasions all year long, together with the Des Moines Farmers’ Market and the 80/35 Music Pageant

10. Discover the Clean Park Zoo

Spending a day on the Clean Park Zoo is likely one of the many enjoyable issues to do in Des Moines for individuals of all ages. The zoo is house to over 800 animals from world wide, together with lions, tigers, giraffes, and zebras. Visitors can stroll via the reveals and see the animals up shut, in addition to attend academic packages and particular occasions. The zoo additionally incorporates a carousel, a practice experience, and a playground for teenagers.


11. Tour the World Meals Prize Corridor of Laureates

The World Meals Prize Corridor of Laureates is a museum and occasion area devoted to the science of meals and agricultural analysis. Take a guided tour to study in regards to the work of the World Meals Prize laureates and discover the numerous fascinating reveals.

12. Go ice skating at Brenton Skating Plaza

Brenton Skating Plaza is open throughout the winter months and provides ice skating for guests of all ages and talent ranges. The rink is located on the Des Moines River and provides lovely views of town skyline. 

Brenton Skating Plaza additionally hosts a number of particular occasions all through the winter, together with music performances and themed skating nights. In the summertime months, the rink transforms right into a curler rink. 

13. See a present on the Des Moines Civic Heart

The Des Moines Civic Heart is house to a number of resident corporations, together with the Des Moines Symphony, the Des Moines Metro Opera, and the Ballet Des Moines. The Civic Heart hosts a wide range of performances all year long, together with Broadway reveals, comedy acts, and live shows. 

The middle additionally options a wide range of areas for conferences and occasions, in addition to a restaurant and bar. Verify the schedule and seize tickets for an evening out in town.

14. Go to the Iowa State Historic Museum

The Iowa State Historic Museum is a good place to study in regards to the state’s historical past, from its earliest inhabitants to the current day. The museum options interactive reveals, artifacts, and academic packages.

15. Take a scenic drive via the Loess Hills

The Loess Hills are a novel geological formation situated simply outdoors of Des Moines. Take a stroll or a scenic drive via the hills and benefit from the lovely views of the countryside.
Loess Hills

16. Discover the Neal Smith Nationwide Wildlife Refuge

The Neal Smith Nationwide Wildlife Refuge is a good place to expertise Iowa’s pure magnificence. Take a hike via the prairie or go to the bison and elk herds that roam the refuge.

Whether or not you’re a neighborhood or a customer, there are many enjoyable issues to do in Des Moines. From exploring artwork within the sculpture park to having fun with a chilly beer at a neighborhood brewery, there’s one thing for everybody on this vibrant metropolis.