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Top Attractions and Activities in Des Moines, IA: Discovering the Gems of the City

Posted on 02 Jun, 2023 at 09:50 am - by Sarah Johnson

Attractions and Activities

Des Moines, IA, offers a diverse range of attractions and activities that cater to every interest. Whether you're a history buff, an art enthusiast, an outdoor adventurer, or a family looking for fun, Des Moines has something for everyone. Let's explore some of the top attractions that make Des Moines a must-visit destination.


Iowa State Capitol

The Iowa State Capitol is an architectural marvel and a symbol of the city's rich history. Take a guided tour of the capitol building and marvel at its stunning interior, including the beautiful rotunda and legislative chambers. The capitol's grounds offer scenic views and are perfect for a leisurely stroll.


Pappajohn Sculpture Park

The Pappajohn Sculpture Park, located in the heart of downtown Des Moines, showcases a captivating collection of modern and contemporary sculptures by renowned artists. Explore the park and admire works by artists such as Jaume Plensa, Louise Bourgeois, and Ai Weiwei. The park's open-air setting provides a unique and immersive art experience.


Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden

Escape into a world of natural beauty at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden. Wander through the stunning gardens, featuring an impressive collection of plant species from around the world. Discover exotic plants in the tropical conservatory, stroll through the outdoor gardens, and learn about sustainable gardening practices.


Blank Park Zoo

The Blank Park Zoo offers a memorable experience for animal lovers of all ages. Explore the exhibits and get up close with a variety of animals, including giraffes, lions, rhinos, and red pandas. The zoo also offers interactive experiences, educational programs, and conservation initiatives.


Science Center of Iowa

The Science Center of Iowa provides a hands-on learning experience that combines education and entertainment. Discover interactive exhibits that explore science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The center also features a planetarium, an IMAX theater, and engaging programming for visitors of all ages.


Gray's Lake Park

Gray's Lake Park is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Rent a paddleboat or kayak and explore the lake's calm waters, or take a leisurely walk or bike ride along the scenic trails that surround the lake. The park also offers picnic areas, playgrounds, and beautiful views of the Des Moines skyline.


Living History Farms

Step back in time at Living History Farms and experience Iowa's agricultural heritage. Explore the historic farms, interact with costumed interpreters, and learn about the daily life of early Iowans. The living history museum offers hands-on activities, including corn husking, blacksmithing, and horse-drawn wagon rides.


Adventureland Park

For a day of thrilling fun, head to Adventureland Park. This amusement park features a variety of rides, including roller coasters, water rides, and family-friendly attractions. Enjoy live entertainment, indulge in delicious treats, and create lasting memories with your family and friends.



Des Moines, IA, is a city full of hidden gems and exciting attractions. Whether you're exploring the iconic landmarks, immersing yourself in the local culture, embarking on outdoor adventures, or enjoying family-friendly activities, Des Moines offers a diverse range of experiences for visitors of all ages. Plan your trip to Des Moines and discover the vibrant and captivating attractions that await you.

About Author
  • Sarah Johnson

    Sarah produces creative and informative content based on her travel experience. She keeps her blogs up-to-date with the latest information. 

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