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35 Best Things to Do in Des Moines IA You Shouldn’t Miss

People tend to think of Des Moines as a cold, remote place, but the truth is that it’s teeming with life and buzzing with activity.

For every icy rock in the middle of nowhere, there are also bars, restaurants, malls, museums, and movie theaters.

To be fair, the Des Moines wilderness is a sight to behold.

Whether you’re interested in chasing nature or visiting museums, the wide-open spaces will call to your sense of adventure.

It’s just important to know that the city isn’t only a place for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

You can go drinking and dancing, or hit up world-class art museums and music festivals; you can even learn more about the indigenous tribes that carved petroglyphs into the foundations of modern society.

This beautiful city isn’t just a winter destination, either.

summer offers everything from parasailing on the lakes to hiking across mountain passes filled with wildflowers!

Long story short, there’s more to “The Land of the Midnight Sun” than what meets the eye.

Let’s talk about some amazing things to do in this Iowa’s beautiful city!

Things To Do In Des Moines

1. Des Moines Art Center

Things to do in Des Moines

Nhandler / Wikimedia Commons

This Art Center is a nonprofit Art Center that engages diverse local and international audiences with its beautiful art through its museum and school.

Thus, this wonderful location added to the cultural record through these collections and exhibitions.

This amazing Art Center is an encompassing art museum with a beautiful collection of paintings, sculptures, modern art, and mixed media.

What an incredible place to visit!

Although, it was initially established in 1948.

Notwithstanding, its uniqueness is still sacrosanct to the extent that some paintings in their collection are well-known artists with particular reference to the movement they represent.

Some of the artists included in the collection are Edward Hopper, Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Henri Matisse, Claude Monet, Francis Bacon, Georgia O’Keeffe, Gerhard Richter, and a host of other amazing ones.

In addition to the wonderful art on display, this art center has wonderful amenities like a delightful gift shop, an on-site restaurant named Tangerine that serves up sandwiches, small bites, cocktails, and art classes for all skill levels.

Even if you are not coming to see the artwork, this building architecture itself is amazing.

Moreso, the grounds are lovely with sculptures and a rose garden.

All these itself worth a stop in this beautiful place!

Incredibly, visitors can come in without paying anything, yet have access to these beautiful things this place has to offer.

Absolutely, it’s free! No admission fee!

Above all, they have the friendliest staff you would ever imagine!

The staff are professional and know their duty, you will love them!

If you plan to come to Des Moines, remember to add this place to your itinerary.

Address: 4700 Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50312, United States

2. Iowa State Capitol

Things to do in Des Moines

Cburnett / Wikimedia Commons

Another incredible place to visit for fun in Des Moines is The Capitol.

This wonderful location dates back to 1886.

Regardless of that, it is an excellent example of 19th-century architecture with carvings, marble, and fine works of art.

Although, some inhabitants commonly call this place Iowa Statehouse due to the fact that it is the seat of the Iowa General Assembly, the Iowa House of Representatives, the Office of the Governor, and several other government officials.

This is a place in Des Moines where you’d not have to spend much time before you’d be able to explore its amazing features.

The tour will only last for one hour!

In fact, the tour in this incredible place will begin on the ground floor of the rotunda where there is a gift shop that offers items related to Iowa and to the Iowa State Capitol to visitors at a reasonable price.

Tour in this wonderful place is absolutely free.

Even if you are interested in formal guided tours, their amazing staff will take care of that for you.

Have you seen a building with entirely stone elaborate columns and handsomely designed cornices?

If you care to see such, come to this ancient building in Iowa.

There are so many things to do here!

Are you planning a visit to Des Moines alone or with your kids or spouse?

Why not include this amazing place in the list of places to visit?

This will create an unforgettable memory!

Address: 1007 E Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50319, United States

3. Des Moines’ Downtown Farmers’ Market

Things to do in Des Moines

Dsmspence / Wikimedia Commons

Are you looking for a place to get fresh farm produce?

If what you want is fresh farm produce, Downtown Farmers’ Market should be the right place you should visit.

This beautiful market is held along Court Avenue in the Downtown Historic Court District of Iowa.

This market has been an incredible channel connecting rural and urban communities for several years.

Interestingly, farmers from 58 counties in Iowa are represented at this market and some of the products offered include fresh fruit and vegetables, eggs and cheese, flowers and herbs, and much more.

Besides, beef, chicken, goat, lamb, pork, and turkey are some of the meats that are sold at the market.

What an incredible location that has so many things to offer to visitors of all ages!

Incredibly, vendors are friendly and will even assist to make necessary suggestions regarding their goods.

You will be glad you patronize them! Above all, goods prices are absolutely okay.

You get the best even while paying less!

If you are in Iowa Des Moines and you are not sure of what to do over the weekend, this might be a good couple’s activity.

You will be happy with the level of fun here!

Aside from this place being an area where you can get fresh farm produce, this most visited market also hosts special events like entertainers and festivals.

Apparently, even if you are not after getting their fresh vegetables or meats, you can come on a sunny day to relax by getting entertained by their several performers.

There are so many things to do for fun here!

Address: 300 Court Ave, Des Moines, IA 50309, United States

4. Des Moines Pappajohn Sculpture Park

Things to do in Des Moines

Credit: Pappajohn Sculpture Park

Pappajohn Sculpture Park is another beautiful location to visit for fun.

This amazing park consists of the 4.4-acre park that opened in 2009.

The park is home to over 20 sculptures by well-known artists.

What an incredible park in this ancient city!

The Pappajohns donated these works of art and represent the largest donation of art made to the Des Moines Art Center.

All these ancient monuments are available for inspection to visitors at no cost!

Although guided tours are offered from April to October, anyone can visit the park and view the sculptures while the park is open.

Besides, school tours are also welcome, and it is possible to rent the park for special events.

Not only that, this incredible location is highly secured, and the ambiance is what every visitor and guest will appreciate.

If you are planning to visit Des Moines, why not consider adding Pappajohn Sculpture Park to the list of places you’d visit?

We are sure you’d not regret doing so.

This park is worth a visit, whether you have small kids or teens or just want to stop and walk your dog.

There is something for everyone here!

There is a playground where your kids can play and associate with their counterparts. All these at no cost!

In fact, they would be offered goodies and gifts while playing in this amazing playground.

Address: 1330 Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50309, United States

5. Des Moines Performing Arts

Things to do in Des Moines

Credit: Des Moines Performing Arts

The Des Moines Performing Arts is a non-profit arts organization that owns and operates the 2,735-seat.

This beautiful place that has been operating for over four decades was established by local business leaders in 1979.

This noble organization presents the Willis Broadway Series and other world-class productions such as The Dance Series and the Wellmark Blue Cross and several others.

Interestingly, This Civic Center was a part of the revitalization of the downtown area of the city, and past performers include Victor Borge, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Sarah Vaughan, and many more.

In addition to the Des Moines Civic Center, the organization also operates Cowles Commons, the Stoner Theater, and the Temple Theater.

What a place with so many things for travelers!

Above all, the staff here are so wonderful, they understand the nature of their work and will do everything to make sure that every visitor is satisfied and well attended to.

Their friendly look itself speaks a volume!

Are you are looking for date night ideas in Des Moines or a place to watch a performance?

This unique location is the tight spot for that!

You will not be disappointed!

From comedy lovers to theatergoers and music enthusiasts, this Performing Arts truly offers something for the whole family.

Are you looking for a wonderful location to enjoy the holiday with your entire family while in Des Moines?

Look no further, come to Des Moines Performing Arts.

You will leave with the motive of coming over and over again!

Address: 221 Walnut St, Des Moines, IA 50309, United States

Looking for more thrill around Iowa? Check out these top attractions in Ames, and Cedar Rapids, and don’t forget to stop by some of these top places to visit in Ankeny, Dubuque, and Sioux City!

6. Des Moines Salisbury House & Gardens

Things to do in Des Moines

Jmaxschwerd / Wikimedia Commons

Salisbury House & Gardens is yet another fun place to visit in Des Moines.

It is a historic stone mansion that was built several years ago.

Regardless, that does not remove its uniqueness as one of the top-visited gardens in Des Moines.

This all-encompassing beautiful location contains an art museum, a concert venue, and a library.

Not only that, it is one of the top romantic attractions in Des Moines.

What a location you need to visit if you are in Des Moines.

The art museum in this amazing location in Des Moines houses the Weeks’ collections of books, decorative art, and fine art, as well as musical instruments.

Equally, The Salisbury House, in this incredible location, hosts special events such as yoga in the gardens, book clubs, concerts, dinners, and several other beautiful events.

Interestingly, the house and gardens that can be rented for private functions require just a few dollars!

You’d prefer not getting other places for your events in Des Moines other than this amazing location!

Moreover, The Weeks Family amassed extensive collections of fine art, decorative art, rare books, musical instruments, historic documents, weapons, and sculpture, and most of their holdings remain in Salisbury House to this day.

Are you a historian looking for ancient archeological remains within Des Moines?

We recommend you check out this location, the artifacts will be of great importance!

Even if you are not a historian, this place is a gem, and a reserved location you need to explore while in Des Moines

Address: 4025 Tonawanda Dr, Des Moines, IA 50312, United States

7. World Food Prize Hall of Laureates

Things to do in Des Moines

Bohao Zhao / Wikimedia Commons

The uniqueness of the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates makes it on our list of beautiful places to visit for fun in Des Moines.

If you are near or in Des Moines, don’t miss this wonderful place.

World Food Prize Hall of Laureates is a location that comprises the museum, active educational center, state and national gathering place to honor the World Food Prize Laureates and the creators of all that honor agriculture!

Amazingly, the interior of the old Des Moines Library in this beautiful location has been transformed and remodeled into a great building you need to come and see if you are in Des Moines.

In this Iowa’s most spectacular venues, the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates offers a magnificent setting for any occasion.

If you are contemplating where to bring your events while in Des Moines, think no further. World Food Prize Hall of Laureates will give your events all you wanted!

The event hall in this amazing place has a variety of options for your occasions. Whether you want a ceremony, reception, or both, the Hall of Laureates is the venue that offers it all.

Interestingly, you can even choose to get married in the magnificent Rotunda, one of the ballrooms, or even outside.

Whatever your vision is, they can create it!

Not only is this place the location of an event, but it is also a historic site in the heart of Des Moines, which radiates the rich history of Des Moines with every modern amenity.

Their staff and security personnel are amazing and up to do with their respective tasks.

They will also be present behind the scenes to ensure a seamless event.

Address: 100 Locust St, Des Moines, IA 50309, United States

8. Blank Park Zoo

Things to do in Des Moines

Lawrence Lansing / Wikimedia Commons

Are you looking for the perfect zoo to spend some leisure time in Des Moines?

The Blank Park Zoo should be the perfect option for you.

This zoological park in the heart of Des Moines is located on 9th Street south of downtown Des Moines, close to historic Fort Des Moines.

Basically, this beautiful zoo consists of 25 acres, and it is strictly dedicated to conservation and education.

What more would you want from a modern zoo other than this?

Absolutely, Blank Park Zoo is top-notch!

It is important to state that this zoo is equally shaded, with a short walking distance between exhibits.

Many animals are quite close to human observers.

What a zoo with several things to offer visitors!

Incredibly, in the whole of Des Moines, this is the only accredited zoo, and it incredibly features several large exhibits such as the Discovery Center, which consists of several sections like the Cave, the Free Range Aviary, and the Meredith Alpine Exhibit.

Equally, other exhibits in this amazing zoo include the African Boardwalk, the Aquarium of the Discovery Center, and the David Kruidenier Australia Adventure.

One interesting thing about this zoo is that the admission fee is reasonable.

With less than 20 dollars, you can explore all the fun things this wonderful place has to offer!

If you are reflecting on what to see in Des Moines with kids, the Blank Park Zoo is a fun place to visit on a family vacation.

Your kids will be happy with what they’d see!

Address: 7401 SW 9th St, Des Moines, IA 50315, United States

9. Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden

Things to do in Des Moines

Iowahwyman / Wikimedia Commons

The Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden is a 14-acre botanical garden located on Robert D. Ray Drive on the east bank of the Des Moines River.

This garden began in 1939 as a city greenhouse and is one of the must-see attractions in Des Moines because it has more than 1,200 different kinds of plants that are on display, and the mission of the conservatory is to celebrate and explain the world of plants.

Their plant collections in this amazing place include Amaryllis, Bonsai, and Orchid, among others.

Do you care to know more about the word plant?

Why not check out this place?

We are optimistic a visit will convince you of these descriptions!

Interestingly, the plants are well labeled. You wouldn’t be stranded locating a plant; the description will make the entire voyage of discovery so easy!

Although there isn’t a whole lot to see during the winter however, we recommend you go to these gardens in Des Moines in the summer when the outside gardens are in full bloom.

Differing from the fact that this wonderful place exposes visitors to the world of plants, the garden is equally an avenue where events such as Fall Gardening, Garden Growers – An Apple a Day, Story Sprouts, and Yoga are being held!

Above all, the admission fee is reasonable and even at that, a lot of goodies and gifts will be given to you.

What an incredible place to visit if you are in Des Moines.

Address: 909 Robert D. Ray Dr, Des Moines, IA 50309, United States

10. Proof in Des Moines

Things to do in Des Moines

JoshWest / Wikimedia Commons

Do you want to satisfy your cravings with good food?

We highly recommend you visit Proof in Des Moines if all you want is delicious American or Mediterranean food while Des Moines.

Behind a simple and unassuming facade, Proof hides a secret: highly acclaimed chef Sean Wilson.

Chef Wilson creates world-class dishes that combine local, seasonally grown produce with North African/Mediterranean influence superimposed on classic American comfort food.

Although this place is considerably small notwithstanding, the results are provocative and delicious.

Is it Watermelon tartar, mushroom ragu, or roasted bone marrow?

These are a few of some delights you can expect from the ever-changing menu!

If you are in Des Moines and want to be entertained by Chef Sean’s latest imaginative ventures at “proof”, book one of his “every second Saturday” events.

It is a fixed price six-course meal, and anything goes!

Proof has an excellent wine list with vintages mostly from Mediterranean countries.

The proof is a place to visit if you can!

Besides, the interior is a piece of artwork that makes the place more addictive for visitors.

Aside from that, staff conduct is excellent and highly professional in nature.

The staff are knowledgeable and can make recommendations.

Do the tasting menu and just let it happen!

If you are in Des Moines or planned to come to Des Moines alone or with family and friends, remember to have a stop here and enjoy all they have to offer.

Address: 1301 Locust St C, Des Moines, IA 50309, United States

11. Better Homes and Gardens Test Garden

Things to do in Des Moines

Liam Quinn / Wikimedia Commons

Do you love to see beautiful gardens while in Des Moines?

If you are enthusiastic about seeing beautiful gardens while you are in Des Moines, come to Better Homes and Gardens Test Garden.

It is a beautiful place in Des Moines located on Locust Street next to the Meredith Corporation.

The Better Homes and Gardens Test Garden is a display garden, outdoor photography studio, and test garden for the Better Homes and Gardens magazine and website.

Without any admission fee, visitors can view the 22 different garden spaces, including the Path Garden with its perennials and flagstone path, the Prairie Garden that contains large perennials like goldenrod, and the Shade Garden, a woodland garden, and other ground plants.

What a garden world you need to see!

Interestingly, the garden spaces are frequently replanted for visitors’ enjoyment.

Also, the garden can be rented for special events such as corporate meetings.

Moreover, if you are looking for a quiet and beautiful place to read, eat lunch, and stroll. Come to the Better Homes and Gardens Test Garden.

You will be glad you oblige to this recommendation!

Above all, this incredible location engages the services of experts to answer questions coming from visitors and show them around.

Although they do not open all days except for a couple of hours on Fridays (12-2) in the summer it’s well worth the trip over!

Address: 1716 Locust St, Des Moines, IA 50309, United States

12. Fong’s Pizza

Things to do in Des Moines

Credit: Fong’s Pizza

Are you looking for a Chinese restaurant while in Des Moines?

Look no further! Come to Fong’s Pizza bar and pizzeria, it defies categorization! Have you ever tried to imagine a Chinese restaurant with tiki drinks, fabulous pizzas, craft beers, and ongoing karaoke?

You can only find this combination at Fong’s.

Besides, something they take very seriously at Fong’s is their pizzas, which are of Chinese make.

Interestingly, you can have your pizza with Moo Shu Pork, Teriyaki Beef, Crab Rangoon, and dozens of other fantastic combinations.

Each one is more unexpected and delicious than the next!

Moreover, word has gotten out about the tasty fare and the fun atmosphere, and people can’t stay away.

Dining at Fong’s Pizza in Des Moines is an unforgettable experience.

You are missing a lot if you haven’t visited this amazing Chinese-owned restaurant!

Even if you are not a big fan of thin-crust pizza, Fong has some pretty tasty servings! Come for the Polynesian pizza.

Very good if you like pineapple, it would make it more sweater!

Address:223 4th St, Des Moines, IA 50309, United States

13. Science Center of Iowa

Things to do in Des Moines

Jonathan Chen / Wikimedia Commons

The Science Center of Iowa is a hands-on science facility in Des Moines with a planetarium and an IMAX theater, all located on West Martin Luther King Jr.

This ancient location has amazing science-based interactive galleries.

Also, it has education labs housed in the 110,000 square foot Science Center in the downtown area.

Just like what you would expect as a visitor who is curious, the six-story IMAX theater is dome-shaped and seats 216 people.

Des Moines is a wonderful city full of done many attractions!

The Science Center in Des Moines offers many educational outreach programs, including camps, preschool visits, school visits, overnight adventures, and more.

It is such a wonderful location that has something for everyone!

In fact, the center in Des Moines also hosts many special events, such as classes, family nights, IMAX events, and workshops, among others.

This is not your average Science Center! They provide areas here to really get the older kids thinking.

Multiple levels to explore! You can come here to learn to code, explored the lego areas, built an arch, made paper rockets to shoot, and make your own robots to take home!

Do you want to go to a place where kids can spend their time doing hands-on activities?

This is a great choice! There is activity after activity to be involved in!

The Science Center of Iowa is well worth your time to visit.

It has great exhibits that change regularly. So Impressive!

Address: 401 W Martin Luther King Jr Pkwy, Des Moines, IA 50309, United States

14. Splash Seafood Bar & Grill

Things to do in Des Moines

Credit: Splash Seafood Bar & Grill

Splash Seafood Bar & Grill is yet another beautiful place to go in order to have fun in Des Moines.

It is located in a renovated historic Homestead Building in Des Moines.

This beautiful place is an upscale oyster bar and seafood restaurant with artistic, colorful decor and heavenly food.

Don’t let the magnificent murals and huge aquariums distract you from what really matters here.

They have everything beautiful to keep your stay!

Besides, if you are looking for fresh fish from all corners of the world and six kinds of oysters.

It is right here! A visit to Splash Seafood Bar & Grill in Des Moines will suffice!

Incredibly, their fish arrives daily from places such as Boston, Key Largo, Seattle, and Honolulu.

Even if you are not craving a fresh fish, you will change your mind if you get here in Des Moines!

Equally, their Oyster Bar has the freshest live oysters from the cold waters of the Pacific Northwest and New England bays.

Their Chef will prepare it like beer before. It will be worth a stop if you are in Des Moines.

Will you be in Des Moines soon?

Remember to add this incredible location to your itinerary and come and enjoy their excellent seafood options and upscale food that is flavorful and filling!

Address: 303 Locust St, Des Moines, IA 50309, United States

15. RoCA

Things to do in Des Moines

Dsmspence / Wikimedia Commons

RoCA which simply means Restaurant on Court Avenue, is located in the Historic Court Avenue District in downtown Des Moines.

This is a charming establishment with exposed brick walls and an eye-catching sculpture made of bottles.

Visitors can conveniently eat in their lounge, at the bar, or in the main dining room; each has its own distinct atmosphere. So incredible!

In this part of Des Moines, the menu is extensive and features chef that know what they are doing!

You will find delectable American cuisine with subtle French and Italian touches.

Interestingly, at an extremely low price, you can come to try Ribeye skewers marinated in hoisin sauce or pork chops stuffed with provolone, prosciutto, and served with green beans, shallots, apple caponata, and whipped potatoes. Yummy!!!

Not only is this wonderful location in Des Moines all about food, Roca has a respectable wine list and a selection of craft beers to go with your food.

Everything at Roca is amazing!

Besides, they have great staff and absolutely outstanding entrees.

You will be received like a king even with the token you will be charged!

Above all, the atmosphere in this great location in Des Moines is great with dimmed lighting and high-top seating.

Address: 208 Court Ave, Des Moines, IA 50309, United States

16. State Historical Building

Things to do in Des Moines

Billwhittaker / Wikimedia Commons

State Historical Building equally comes on our list of places to visit for fun in Des Moines. It is located on East Locust Street.

Apparently, the State Historical Museum in Des Moines displays exhibits that show the growth of the state of Iowa.

Basically, these collections include historical documents and artifacts and so many historical documents.

Without any cost, visitors can view exhibits like the Rand McNally Globe and Wings over Iowa.

Do you care to know more about Iowa as a visitor, researcher, or inhabitant?

This should be the right place you should visit in Des Moines!

It is pertinent to note that they also have beautiful and resourceful educational programs that are available for students and other groups.

Not just a historical building! So many things to be done here! Come with your kids so they broaden their horizons!

This tour does not really take time.

The collection tour guide will only take one hour to show visitors how the museum takes care of its large collection of artifacts and how it stores them.

Unlike what is obtainable elsewhere, at State Historical Building, it is possible to rent several spaces in the museum: the atrium for parties and receptions, classrooms for meetings, and the auditorium for lectures.

Address: 600 E Locust St, Des Moines, IA 50319, United States

17. Iowa Hall of Pride

Things to do in Des Moines

Credit: Iowa Hall of Pride

Iowa Hall of Pride is not just a hall! No wonder it kept attracting visitors to Des Moines on a daily basis.

This incredible hall is dedicated to showcasing the accomplishments of all Iowans.

Thus, this Iowa Hall of Pride has 47 interactive exhibits which celebrate the achievements of Iowa’s athletic, science, and art stars.

Unlike what visitors are likely to see in a hall like this, a visit to the Hall of Pride will kick off with a short orientation program by the staff.

Thus, after this, visitors will move on to watch a short (12 minute) introduction video in the Iowa Experience Theatre.

Such a place to be if you are available!

However, after that introduction, visitors can then visit each of the 47 exhibits and learn more about many of Iowa’s heroes.

The Hall of Pride is ideal for school field trips and each group visiting will also get to join in a fun scavenger hunt.

There is something for every visitor!

Did you know that Iowa is the only state to have a Hall of Pride!?

The Iowa Hall of Pride is an outstanding experience full of exhibits that recognize and honor many great Iowans.

If you are in Des Moines, ensure you visit the Iowa Hall of Pride.

Address: 330 Park St, Des Moines, IA 50309, United States

18. Jordan House

Things to do in Des Moines

Goddesshanna / Wikimedia Commons

Do you want to see antiques while on a voyage?

If you live to see beautiful antiques during your visit to Iowa, come to The Jordan House/

It is a historic building located in West Des Moines, Iowa, United States. It was built by abolitionist James C.

In this wonderful location, there are 16-period rooms that provide the ideal backdrop to an amazing collection of antiques and other historical treasures.

Besides, the Underground Railroad Exhibit is particularly interesting and contains records of Jordan’s role in both the Underground Railroad and the establishment of the regular railroad.

What an amazing place you should be in Des Moines if you are enthusiastic about Iowa’s history!

Jordan’s house in Des Moines is a beautiful house that is fun to see, especially, by getting ideas of how things have happened through the years.

Visitors can come from any part of the world for a self-tour in these Des Moines attractions.

However, guided tours of the house are only offered on Fridays and Sundays

An amazing hidden gem right in the metro! Without question, a must-visit when in Des Moines.

Great for families of all ages.

Address:2001 Fuller Rd, West Des Moines, IA 50265, United States

19. Jasper Winery

Things to do in Des Moines

Credit: Jasper Winery

Jasper Winery is not long-established, but it is still a wonderful place to visit for fun in Des Moines.

It began in the year 2000 when Jean and Paul Groben started planting grapevines outside of Newton.

However, as the business grew, the winery moved to its current location on George Flagg Parkway in downtown Des Moines in 2008.

Interestingly, in the tasting rooms, visitors are able to sample some of the wines made from vineyards all across the state of Iowa.

What a cheap opportunity for visitors to explore!

Amazingly, the winery offers several tasting experiences such as a 90-minute educational VIP Tasting and Tour, a wine and cheese pairing, and a wine and chocolate pairing.

Jasper Winery is just a wow!

Looking for a nice facility and grounds to sample typical Midwestern wines?

Come to Des Moines, Jasper fits that description!

Besides, Jasper Winery in Des Moines hosts special events like a summer concert series, jewelry classes, and more.

Obviously, if you are here, there wouldn’t be any boring moments for you!

This all-encompassing location is also a great place to have a work seminar.

Even if you are not interested in any of their drinks, it could be a perfect location for your seminar!

Address: 2400 George Flagg Pkwy, Des Moines, IA 50321, United States

20. Terrace Hill Historic Site

Terrace Hill Historic Site

Facebook / Terrace Hill Historic Site

Terrace Hill Historic Site is not just a historic site but equally the official residence of the governor of Iowa, United States.

The building that keeps visitors trooping here is an example of Second Empire architecture.

This amazing home measures 18,000 square feet (1,600 m2).

It sits on a tower that offers a commanding view of the city.

What an ancient house you should explore if you can!

Generally, Terrace Hill is open for guided tours at 10:30 a.m and 12:00 p.m, Tuesday through Saturday, March through December, and the tour usually lasts approximately 1 hour.

If you planned to visit Des Moines during their opening months, Terrace Hill is a lovely and very interesting place you should check at.

Interestingly, the video in their carriage house is informative and will provide a great background for the tour.

Besides, their staff and tour guide are knowledgeable and will definitely answer all questions coming from visitors.

What an incredible location!

Are you willing to come to Des Moines for vacation?

We recommend you visit this great historical site in Des Moines in order to see amazing architectural and craftsmanship qualities throughout the building and the property

Address: 2300 Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50312, United States

21. Raccoon River Park

Raccoon River Park

Tim Kiser / Wikimedia Commons

Raccoon River Park is located in the southeastern part of Des Moines.

This amazing park is one of the most attractive and popular recreational facilities in Des Moines.

Besides, this large lake in Des Moines offers an assortment of facilities for visitors’ enjoyment.

These include boat access for fishing enthusiasts and paddlers.

This incredible place has tons of things you’d never have imagined!

Moreover, there is a 500-foot long beach area and a roped-off designated swimming area.

If you are a good swimmer, this would be a perfect location for you in Des Moines.

Even if you are not, the tour guide will assist and train you.

The park is also home to a soccer complex and a softball complex as well as 4 open-air picnic shelters and a large playground for both children and adults.

What more would you want in a modern park other than these?

Absolutely nothing!

There is something for all ages here!

Other facilities in this awesome park of Des Moines include a multi-use trail, a seasonal outdoor ice rink, an archery facility, and a dog park.

Obviously, coming here with your dogs wouldn’t be an issue! You are covered!

Will you rather come and enjoy all these than keep reading these beautiful descriptions that are mere excerpts?

We recommend you visit Raccoon River Park in Des Moines and enjoy these tons of amazing features.

Address:2500 Grand Ave, West Des Moines, IA 50265, United States

22. Gray’s Lake Park

Gray's Lake Park in Iowa

Tony Webster / Wikimedia Commons

So you want an amazing place to take some exercise?.

Gray’s Lake Park is an amazing place in Des Moines where visitors can have access to unrestricted facilities to take some exercise or take a stroll with the family, or even host a party.

The beautiful trail bridge gives visitors an exotic view of the park and its beauty.

It is just a wonderful place to chill outdoors, either with friends, family, or alone.

Incredibly, this park in Des Moines is on both sides of fleur drive.

Obviously, visitors can choose to visit both sides.

The lakeside, or the flower garden with luxurious fountains.

You wouldn’t leave without taking pictures! Such a beautiful location in Des Moines!

There is also a playground for kids and toddlers to play with and associate with other kids.

This will create beautiful memories for kids if they can come to this amazing location in Des Moines.

In fact, kids can even have access to some of the local bike trails as well.

If you are in Des Moines or coming to form other states, come to Gray’s Lake in Des Moines.

It is always having an awesome view that every visitor will want.

Address: 2101 Fleur Dr, Des Moines, IA 50315, United States

23. Sleepy Hollow Sports Park

Sleepy Hollow Sports Park in Iowa

Crordiway / Wikimedia Commons

Sleepy Hollow Sports Park is an awesome place for fun all year long!

It is in the heart of Des Moines and requires no admission fee before visitors can be allowed in.

Their indoor and outdoor facilities can be rented out for company picnics, weddings, or birthday parties.

With fun games, Go Carts, Laser Tag, and so much more boring events are a thing of the past.

Do you have upcoming events and are not sure of the location to choose?

Come to Des Moines, particularly Sleepy Hollow Sports Park.

You bring the people, and they provide the fun!

Interestingly, during the winter, visitors and their guests can enjoy sledding and Snow tubing on slopes.

They are equally the perfect location of the Renaissance Park, where the annual Renaissance Faire at Sleepy Hollow takes place the first three weekends in September.

The renaissance festival is a great experience, with a lot to offer for kids and adults.

Food and drinks are delicious and only slightly pricey at $5 a drink and $9 for a Turkey leg.

So much to see and do you can’t fit it all into a single day! So, plan to spend several days here!

Overall, this place has some potential!

The staff you will engage with are extremely nice.

You will be glad you engage in their services!

Address: 4051 Dean Ave, Des Moines, IA 50317, United States

24. Des Moines State Library of Iowa

State Library of Iowa

Credit: State Library of Iowa

Are you in search of legal texts or related documents while in Des Moines?

If that is so, we suggest you head to the State Library of Iowa in Des Moines.

It is a wonderful library with collections that are mostly State Documents, legal texts, library science books, and several other books

Besides, if you are working on a project and need assistance locating books or primary sources about a certain subject, this incredible library in Des Moines is the right place for you.

Even if you are not on any voyage to discover any books, this place is a perfect place to read and interact with colleagues of like minds.

However, you don’t have to pay a dime to gain access to this wonderful library.

All you have to do is to identify yourself and you are in.

Even if you are a visitor, you will be allowed in without discrimination.

Are you visiting Des Moines soon with colleagues at school or alone?

Are you working on any academic research?

We recommend you check out the State Library of Iowa. It’s absolutely free!

Address: Ola Babcock Miller Building, Ola Babcock Miller Bldg, 1112 E Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50319, United States

25. Des Moines St. Ambrose Cathedral

St. Ambrose Cathedral in Iowa

James Steakley / Wikimedia Commons

St. Ambrose Cathedral is a historic building located in downtown Des Moines, Iowa, United States.

The Cathedral serves as a parish church and as the seat of the Diocese of Des Moines in the Catholic Church.

Amazingly, the cathedral, along with the adjoining rectory, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

Ever since then, it has been attracting visitors even beyond Iowa.

One unique thing about this ancient church is that it was designed in the Romanesque Revival style that is similar to the historic churches found in southern France.

What an ancient monument you need to see if you are in Des Moines!

The interior of this amazing place in Des Moines itself is a large open expanse that is free of pillars, which was a hallmark of Egan’s style.

What an incredible structure!

Besides, this beautiful location is a perfect place to host your weddings or other related events at no cost whatsoever.

Even if you have no upcoming events, you can simply come for mass.

It is spiritually filled and you wouldn’t want to miss it if you are in Des Moines!

Amazingly, the beautiful building, altar, stained glass windows, and more will give you the feeling that you are truly in church when you are there for mass.

Are you coming to Des Moines for a vacation?

Remember to add St. Ambrose Cathedral to your itinerary!

Address: 607 High St, Des Moines, IA 50309, United States

26. Des Moines Bennett School

Bennett School in Iowa

Wallstreethotrod / Wikimedia Commons

The Bennett School is another place to visit for fun in Des Moines.

One thing that is unique about this location is that, inside the school, it has a beautiful museum that showcases the history of Iowa and neighboring states.

The school was incredibly one of the last one-room schools to be built in West Des Moines and was in use until at least 1941.

Ever since then, this amazing school has been receiving visitors from all over the world.

Although, it is an ancient building with a little renovation notwithstanding, the uniqueness of this place is still intact!

Visitors can experience a docent-led classroom experience and a host of other historical documentation can be seen in their museum.

Besides, this school building in Des Moines may also be rented for special events, micro-weddings, parties, classes, meetings, and several other events.

There is so much to do here!

Interestingly, the tour fee is just $5 per person.

What an amazing place with a cheap admission fee.

With $5, you can explore everything this wonderful place has to offer!

Above all, you can also come with your kids in order to take a few spelling tests.

There is something for all ages, young or old! Bennett School in Des Moines is an awesome place to be!

Address: 4001 Fuller Rd, West Des Moines, IA 50265, United States

27. Iowa State Fair

Iowa State Fair

Carol VanHook / Wikimedia Commons

Another fun thing to do in Iowa is to visit the Iowa State Fair.

It is a beautiful location in Des Moines that requires no description due to its popularity.

Be sure to plan your trip wisely because the fair only comes to town once per year.

It is a ten-day event that takes place annually in August as a celebration of Iowa agriculture.

What an amazing location!

Notably, the Iowa State Fair is a place for entertainment, competition, and wholesome family fun.

With rides, food, contests, and loads more, it’s no wonder folks travel from near and far each year for the fair.

But the Iowa State Fair isn’t all that happens at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.

In fact, the fairgrounds are home to a variety of buildings that serve a multitude of purposes.

Of note, there are varied industry buildings, animal care centers, 4-H exhibits, several barns, an outdoor arena, and so much more.

So truly, no matter the time of year you’re planning to visit Des Moines, you’re sure to find a delightful way to enjoy the Iowa State Fairground

Address: 3000 E Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50317, United States

28. Des Moines Hoyt Sherman Place

Des Moines Hoyt Sherman Place

C. A. Tucker / Wikimedia Commons

Hoyt Sherman Place is another wonderful place to visit for fun in Des Moines.

It was built in 1877 and is situated in the heart of Des Moines, Iowa.

This wonderful place is the home of a former postmaster and Abraham Lincoln-appointed Army Paymaster, Hoyt Sherman, was a beloved Iowan.

In addition to his honorable appointments, Sherman was a consummate do-gooder who donated to Iowa schools, a waterworks system, and many other important facilities

Today, the Hoyt Sherman Place serves as a reminder to visitors of the great man that built the home and supported the city and its important program.

Such a fun spot in Des Moines to see a show!

The theater itself has beautiful architectural detail sprinkled all around.

The seating is a little tight but always have had a great view of the stage.

Be sure to take a stroll through the art collection after grabbing a drink from the bar area before a show.

Come for the rich history, stay for the entertainment, but definitely don’t miss out on one of the coolest places to go in the city.

Address: 1501 Woodland Ave, Des Moines, IA 50314, United States

29. Des Moines Chocolate Storybook

Des Moines Chocolate Storybook

Facebook / Chocolate Storybook

For several years, Chocolate Storybook has been a chosen destination for inhabitants and visitors to Des Moines.

Moreover, the Chocolate Storybook owners believe that the namesake’s sweet convection has the ability to bring people together.

Of note, all chocolate is made on-site to decadent perfection.

What an incredible place to be if you are in Des Moines!

Besides, chocolate Storybook is known for delicious, shareable treats, lavish gift baskets, chocolate towers, custom logo chocolates, and more.

In essence, Chocolate Storybooks are purveyors of thoughtful and tasty treats for all occasions!

With specialty options like decadent holiday-themed candies, mouth-watering chocolate or caramel apples, truffles, popcorn varieties, nuts, and so much more, visiting this Des Moines institution is a must!

In addition to all the wonderful chocolate treats, Chocolate Storybook is also known for their gourmet cotton candy, of which they offer more than 50 varieties.

Whether visiting alone or with children, your inner child will go wild for all of the beautiful, aromatic and tasty treats.

Be sure to visit if you are in Des Moines!

Address: 1000 Grand Ave, West Des Moines, IA 50265, United States

30. Des Moines Yellow Banks Park

Des Moines Yellow Banks Park

Credit: Yellow Banks Park

We can’t but talk Yellow Banks Park inasmuch as the discussion is about things to do and places to visit for fun in Des Moines.

This park is a very nice campground with trails, playgrounds, river access, a fishing pond with a dock, and many photograph opportunities.

Wondering how all these could be in a park? Yeah, it is!!

Although, the park is just 17 minutes drive to Des Moines, despite that, it is worth a visit if you can!

Besides, there is a large playground for kids and the staff are friendly and smart. You can’t feel alone while in this wonderful park.

Not only that, there are a lot of gifts that would be served on your kids while they’re playing.

What an incredible location to bring your kids.

Above all, the admission fee is reasonable, with just less than 10 dollars, you can enjoy these amazing fun things!

We recommend you visit with your kids if you arrive in Des Moines.

Address: 6801 SE 32nd Ave, Pleasant Hill, IA 50327, United States

31. Prairie Meadows Casino, Racetrack, & Hotel

Prairie Meadows Casino, Racetrack, & Hotel

Credit: Prairie Meadows Casino, Racetrack, & Hotel

Prairie Meadows Casino, Racetrack, & Hotel is yet another beautiful and amazing place you can visit for fun in Des Moines.

It is a location that provides visitors with unrestricted access to unlimited casino games.

This beautiful location can also accommodate you if you are just coming to Des Moines for the first time.

Interestingly, their prices for rooms are not so expensive considering the care visitors are given.

Aside from that, this amazing place is highly secured and has everything that will make visitors happy.

Although, this place is just about 10 minutes drive; however, if you want a perfect location to sleep over while in Des Moines, we strongly recommend you come to Prairie Meadows Casino, Racetrack, & Hotel.

You will be glad you do so!

Address: 1 Prairie Meadows Dr, Altoona, IA 50009, United States

32. Jester Park

Jester Park

Credit: Jester Park

If you are in Des Moines and want a place to enjoy some sporting activities, Jester Park is the right place.

It is a great little family park that is located just 15 minutes away from Des Moines.

The park has basically 2 different categories of things; a walking path and a play area for kids.

Apparently, so much of things for every category of visitors!

Besides, this lovely park has a pretty nice basketball court that serves as a bonus to every visitor.

In essence, if you’re in this park in Des Moines, you are only required to pay a token for the admission fee and enjoy playing basketball until you get tired.

So amazing, it is worth a visit if you are in Des Moines.

If you are coming to this incredible location with your kids, be sure there is something for them.

Everybody has something to enjoy for fun here!

It is just an overall pleasant place for kids and adults to play Frisbee, ultimate Frisbee, volleyball, or kick a soccer ball around.

They have three fields, and that’s so amazing!

We recommend you visit this place if you are in Des Moines, you will definitely appreciate doing so.

Even if you don’t have an interest in any of these sports mentioned above, you can also come here for a walk, hike, snowshoe, walking trails along the river, picnic, or even play.

Definitely, there is something for you here!

This will give you a vantage opportunity to spend your free time, either for recreation or to practice sports.

What more would you have wanted?

Address: 11121 NW Jester Park Dr, Granger, IA 50109, United States

33. Center Grove Orchard

Center Grove Orchard

Credit: Center Grove Orchard

You can literally spend a whole day at Center Grove Orchard because you will not remember to check the time because there are so many fun things to do here

This beautiful area that is just 17 minutes drive from Des Moines has so many things to offer visitors ranging from playgrounds for kids and so many events for adults.

Although this place is not large, as would be expected, regardless of this, visitors can still come here to enjoy free sporting activities and a host of other fun things.

The environment is clean and well maintained.

Not only that, Staff are very friendly and would do everything to make visitors feel conformable while in Des Moines.

There are equally enough parking spaces in this wonderful location.

These parking spaces are secured, and visitors need not worry about the safety of their cars.

Are you coming to Des Moines alone or with kids?

Remember to add this wonderful location to your itinerary and explore the fun parts of this area.

You will be glad you do!

Address: 32835 610th Ave, Cambridge, IA 50046, United States

34. Des Moines Big Creek State Park

Big Creek State Park

Credit: Big Creek State Park

Are you looking for a place to relax and get some fresh air?

If what you are looking for is not far from a place to relax and enjoy the best of nature, come to Big Creek State Park in Des Moines.

This wonderful place is a nice slice of solitude in this area’s historic falls district.

Even at that, the secluded green park is excellent for a walk and escaping the urban center, though it isn’t that large.

The path winds along a dry canal for a quarter-mile and then turns and runs uphill into the woods.

It’s a nice place to relax and get some fresh air and nature.

This tiny but fantastic place is just a place to go if you want to stay happy and forget your problems.

The beautiful atmosphere will allow you to forget all your worries and concerns about life.

Yeah, they equally have a modern pool! Amazing, right?

Definitely! The collection is an excellent place to spend time with family and friends if you don’t have an interest in nature or wish to add more delicacies to the enjoyment.

If you are in Des Moines or planning to be in Des Moines soonest, visiting Big Creek State Park is highly essential.

It is a small but wonderful place to share with family and friends.

Incredibly, everything here is free!

The admission fee is absolutely free, and it is just about 20 minutes’ drive to Des Moines!

Address: 8794 NW 125th Ave, Polk City, IA 50226, United States

35. Des Moines Living History Farms

Living History Farms

Dennis Bratland / Wikimedia Commons

Living History Farms is another wonderful location to visit for fun if you are in Des Moines.

It is an interactive outdoor museum that educates, entertains, and connects people of all ages to Midwestern rural life experiences.

This beautiful place shares more than 300 years of Iowan history from how Midwestern prairie lands were transformed into some of the most productive farmlands in the country.

Significantly, Living History Farms is a 500-acre open-air museum where visitors can travel through different periods in Iowan history.

Notably, interpreters guide visitors through an unconventional learning environment, exciting activities, and engaging demonstrations.

Some of the unique periods that you’ll experience during your visit to the farm include an 1850s pioneer farm, a 1700s Indian farm, a 1900s horse-powered farm, and a recreation of Walnut Hill in 1876.

The farm also hosts special programs such as historic dinners and teas, historic skills classes, and historic baseball.

What a location with so many things for visitors to enjoy!

This history-rich, engaging attraction is one of many things the whole family can enjoy and learn from, so be sure to give it a go when you’re in Iowa.

Final Remarks

Before reading this, your main idea of Des Moines might have been that it was a small city in Iowa with few places to visit for fun.

That kind of mindset is understandable, but we hope we’ve helped you to break through some of those barriers.

This is a city with so much going on and so much diversity.