16 Fun Things to do in Des Moines, Iowa

Des Moines, Iowa is a vibrant metropolis stuffed with surprises and has loads of enjoyable actions to maintain you entertained. From outside 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 residing in Des Moines is like or serious about shopping for a home or renting an condominium in Des Moines, preserve studying to see the very best of what this Midwestern gem has to supply.

1. Go to the Iowa State Fairgrounds

In case you occur to be in Des Moines through the state honest, you’re in for a deal with. However even in the event you’re not, the fairgrounds are price a go to. You possibly can see the well-known butter cow sculpture, take a look at the classic automobile museum, or catch a horse race.

2. Discover the Pappajohn Sculpture Park

Positioned 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 measurement and elegance, 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 concerning 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 will not be solely a powerful architectural feat, nevertheless it’s additionally stuffed with historical past. Take a guided tour to study concerning the constructing’s development and the state’s political historical past.

Des Moines, Iowa State Capitol

4. Get pleasure from a beer at Confluence Brewing Firm

Des Moines has a thriving craft beer scene, and Confluence Brewing Firm is among the metropolis’s greatest breweries. Pattern a few of their distinctive brews of their taproom or on their outside 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 preferred 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 an effective way to discover town and get some train on the similar time.

6. Catch a recreation at Principal Park

On the lookout for enjoyable issues to do in Des Moines for sports activities lovers? Principal Park has you coated. Positioned on the Des Moines Riverwalk, Principal Park is house to the Iowa Cubs, a minor league baseball workforce affiliated with the Chicago Cubs. Seize a sizzling canine and a beer and revel in a recreation on this stunning 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 fashionable 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 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 Fortress. 

Guests can take guided excursions of the home to find out about its historical past and structure, in addition to discover the gardens, which function fountains, sculptures, and quite a lot of vegetation and timber. Salisbury Home and Gardens additionally hosts particular occasions and academic applications all year long.

9. Buy groceries on the East Village

The East Village is a classy neighborhood in downtown Des Moines that has quite a lot of retailers, eating places, and galleries. Browse the boutiques for distinctive clothes and niknaks, seize a cup of espresso or a chew to eat at one of many many cafes and eating places, or take a look at 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 Competition

10. Discover the Clean Park Zoo

Spending a day on the Clean Park Zoo is among the many enjoyable issues to do in Des Moines for individuals of all ages. The zoo is house to over 800 animals from all over the world, together with lions, tigers, giraffes, and zebras. Visitors can stroll via the reveals and see the animals up shut, in addition to attend instructional applications and particular occasions. The zoo additionally includes a carousel, a prepare experience, and a playground for youths.


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 concerning 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 through the winter months and presents ice skating for guests of all ages and talent ranges. The rink is located on the Des Moines River and presents stunning 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 firms, together with the Des Moines Symphony, the Des Moines Metro Opera, and the Ballet Des Moines. The Civic Heart hosts quite a lot of performances all year long, together with Broadway reveals, comedy acts, and concert events. 

The middle additionally options quite a lot of areas for conferences and occasions, in addition to a restaurant and bar. Examine 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 superb place to study concerning the state’s historical past, from its earliest inhabitants to the current day. The museum options interactive reveals, artifacts, and academic applications.

15. Take a scenic drive via the Loess Hills

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

16. Discover the Neal Smith Nationwide Wildlife Refuge

The Neal Smith Nationwide Wildlife Refuge is a superb 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 an area 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 an area brewery, there’s one thing for everybody on this vibrant metropolis.