Things to do in Des Moines: A Guide for Fun and Adventure

things to do in des moines

Des Moines is the capital city of Iowa and a vibrant destination for visitors of all ages and interests. Whether you are looking for cultural, historical, natural, or recreational experiences, you will find something to enjoy in Des Moines. In this article, we will explore some of the best things to do in Des Moines on this weekend, today, or any day of the year. We will also cover some fun things to do in Des Moines for adults, as well as some free things to do in Des Moines today. So, let’s get started!

Things to do in Des Moines on this weekend

If you are planning to visit Des Moines on a weekend, you will have plenty of options to choose from. Here are some of the most popular things to do in Des Moines on this weekend:

  1. Visit the Iowa State Capitol: This is one of the most iconic landmarks in Des Moines and a symbol of the state’s government and history. You can take a guided tour of the building, which features a stunning dome, a grand staircase, a rotunda, and various artworks and exhibits. You can also climb to the observation deck, which offers panoramic views of the city and the river. The capitol is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays, and admission is free.

  2. Explore the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden: This is one of the most beautiful and serene places in Des Moines, and it features 14 acres of outdoor gardens and a tropical conservatory. You can see various plants, flowers, trees, and sculptures from different regions and climates, such as roses, orchids, bonsai, water lilies, and more. You can also enjoy events and programs throughout the year, such as concerts, workshops, and festivals. The garden is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (except major holidays), and admission is $10 for adults and $7 for children.

  3. Enjoy the Blank Park Zoo: This zoo is home to over 800 animals from around the world, such as lions, tigers, giraffes, zebras, penguins, monkeys, and more. You can see them in their naturalistic habitats, learn about their conservation efforts, and participate in animal encounters and feedings. The zoo also has a carousel, a train ride, a playground, and a gift shop. The zoo is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily (except Thanksgiving Day), and admission is $14 for adults and $8 for children.

  4. Experience the Science Center of Iowa: This center is a great place to learn about science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) through hands-on exhibits, demonstrations, and shows. You can explore topics such as space, dinosaurs, weather, health, and more. You can also visit the IMAX theater, which shows giant-screen films on various subjects. The center is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays (except major holidays), and admission is $13 for adults and $9 for children.

Things to do in Des Moines today

If you are looking for some things to do in Des Moines today, you will not be disappointed either. Here are some of the best things to do in Des Moines today:

  • Visit the Pappajohn Sculpture Park: This park is one of the most unique and artistic places in Des Moines, and it features over 30 sculptures by renowned artists such as Jaume Plensa, Keith Haring, Mark di Suvero, and Louise Bourgeois. You can see them in their outdoor setting, and enjoy their beauty and meaning. You can also join a guided tour or an audio tour, which offer more information and insights about the sculptures. The park is open from sunrise to midnight daily, and access is free.

  • Explore the Living History Farms: This farm is a living museum that showcases the history and culture of Iowa’s agriculture and rural life. You can see various farms from different eras, such as an Ioway Indian farm, a pioneer farm, a horse-powered farm, and a modern crop farm. You can also see various animals, buildings, tools, and crafts that represent each farm’s lifestyle. You can also enjoy activities such as wagon rides, cooking demonstrations, and games. The farm is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday (except major holidays), and admission is $16 for adults and $9.50 for children.

  • Enjoy the Downtown Farmers’ Market: This market is one of the largest and most diverse farmers’ markets in the country, and it offers a variety of fresh produce, baked goods, meats, cheeses, flowers, crafts, and more. You can shop, eat, listen to live music, and mingle with the locals at this vibrant spot. The market is open from 7 a.m. to noon on Saturdays from May to October, and access is free.

Read more:- Things to do in Akron Ohio

Fun things to do in Des Moines for adults

If you are looking for some fun things to do in Des Moines for adults, you will have plenty of options as well. Here are some of the most fun things to do in Des Moines for adults:

  • Taste the Des Moines Beer Scene: Des Moines is a great destination for beer lovers, as it has a rich brewing history and a thriving craft beer scene. You can visit some of the local breweries, such as Exile Brewing, Confluence Brewing, 515 Brewing, and Madhouse Brewing, and sample their beers, tours, and food. You can also join a Des Moines Brew Bus tour, which takes you to three breweries and offers tastings, snacks, and trivia.

  • Experience the Adventureland Park: This park is one of the most fun and exciting places in Des Moines, and it offers over 100 rides, attractions, and shows for all ages and thrill levels. You can enjoy roller coasters, water slides, bumper cars, ferris wheels, and more. You can also visit the Adventure Bay water park, which features a wave pool, a lazy river, and a swim-up bar. The park is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily from May to September (except major holidays), and admission is $50 for adults and $40 for children.

  • Have Fun at The Escape Chambers: This is a fun and challenging activity that tests your wits and teamwork skills. You and your friends are locked in a themed room, such as a prison cell, a casino heist, or a zombie apocalypse, and you have 60 minutes to find clues, solve puzzles, and escape. You can also enjoy drinks and snacks at the lounge before or after your game. The Escape Chambers are open from noon to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday (except major holidays), and admission is $28 per person.

Free things to do in Des Moines today

If you are looking for some free things to do in Des Moines today, you will not be disappointed either. Here are some of the best free things to do in Des Moines today:

  • Visit the Iowa State Historical Museum: This museum is a great place to learn about the history and culture of Iowa and its people. You can see various exhibits, artifacts, and stories that showcase the state’s heritage, diversity, and achievements. You can also enjoy events and programs throughout the year, such as lectures, workshops, and festivals. The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday (except major holidays), and admission is free.

  • Explore the East Village: This is one of the most trendy and eclectic neighborhoods in Des Moines, and it features various shops, cafes, restaurants, bars, and galleries that offer something for everyone. You can also enjoy street art, architecture, and festivals that take place throughout the year. The East Village is open from dawn to dusk daily, and access is free.
  • Enjoy the Gray’s Lake Park: This park is one of the most scenic and relaxing places in Des Moines, and it features a 167-acre lake surrounded by trails, bridges, parks, and beaches. You can swim, boat, fish, or kayak on the lake, or enjoy the views from the shore or the piers. You can also visit the Kruidenier Trail Bridge, which offers stunning views of the city skyline and the lake. The park is open from 6 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. daily (except major holidays), and access is free.

Conclusion

Des Moines is a city that has something for everyone, whether you are looking for culture, history, nature, or fun. You can find many things to do in Des Moines on this weekend, today, or any day of the year. You can also find some fun things to do in Des Moines for adults, as well as some free things to do in Des Moines today. So, what are you waiting for? Plan your trip to Des Moines today and discover all that this city has to offer!

FAQs Things to do in Des Moines today

What are some of the best restaurants in Des Moines?

Some of the best restaurants in Des Moines include Centro Restaurant & Lounge, Django Restaurant & Bar, Zombie Burger + Drink Lab, Fong’s Pizza & Tiki Bar, Flying Mango Restaurant

What are some of the best things to do in Des Moines on this weekend?

Some of the best things to do in Des Moines on this weekend are visiting the Iowa State Capitol, exploring the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, enjoying the Blank Park Zoo, and experiencing the Science Center of Iowa.

What are some of the best things to do in Des Moines today?

Some of the best things to do in Des Moines today are visiting the Pappajohn Sculpture Park, exploring the Living History Farms, enjoying the Downtown Farmers’ Market, and visiting the Iowa State Historical Museum.

What are some of the fun things to do in Des Moines?

Some of the fun things to do in Des Moines are tasting the Des Moines Beer Scene, experiencing the Adventureland Park, having fun at The Escape Chambers, and enjoying the Gray’s Lake Park.

What are some of the things to do in Des Moines for adults?

Some of the things to do in Des Moines for adults are tasting the Des Moines Beer Scene, experiencing the Overture Center for the Arts, having fun at The Escape Chambers, and visiting the Chazen Museum of Art.

What are some of the free things to do in Des Moines today?

Some of the free things to do in Des Moines today are visiting the Iowa State Capitol, exploring the East Village, enjoying the Gray’s Lake Park, and visiting the Iowa State Historical Museum.

How can I get around Des Moines?

You can get around Des Moines by car, bus, bike, or walk. You can also use rideshare services such as Uber or Lyft. If you want to explore downtown Des Moines, you can use the free D-Line shuttle bus that runs every 10 minutes from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.

Where can I stay in Des Moines?

You can stay in various hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, or Airbnb rentals in Des Moines. Some of the best hotels in Des Moines include Hilton Des Moines Downtown, Embassy Suites by Hilton Des Moines Downtown, Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel, and Hyatt Place Des Moines Downtown.

Where can I eat in Des Moines?

You can eat in various restaurants, cafes, bars, and food trucks in Des Moines. Some of the best restaurants in Des Moines include Centro Restaurant & Lounge, Django Restaurant & Bar, Zombie Burger + Drink Lab, Fong’s Pizza & Tiki Bar, Flying Mango Restaurant & Catering.

What is the weather like in Des Moines?

The weather in Des Moines is variable and seasonal. The average temperature in Des Moines is 50°F (10°C). The warmest month is July with an average temperature of 76°F (24°C), and the coldest month is January with an average temperature of 23°F (-5°C). The wettest month is June with an average rainfall of 5 inches (127 mm), and the driest month is January with an average rainfall of 1 inch (25 mm).

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