Skip to content

Best things to do in Des Moines

Art Museum
“The Des Moines Art Center is an art museum with an extensive collection of paintings, sculpture, modern art and mixed media.”
26local recommendations
Sculpture Garden
“This Sculpture Park is a lovely (free) walk around a nice area in downtown.”
27local recommendations
Burger Joint
“This is a local staple. Out-of-towners, as well as locals, love to stop here for a bite.”
14local recommendations
Pizza Place
“This place is another Des Moines staple. They just opened a second location in Ankeny. Unique pizzas at a great price. Famous for their Crab Rangoon pizza!”
21local recommendations
“Well - if you're cutting carbs - you may need to take a holiday and enjoy all the fresh baked deliciousness that La Mie has to offer! This place has great metropolitan energy - excellent breakfast, lunch and brunch menu items, outstanding coffees and all the French breads your heart could ever desire. They are open from Mon-Sat from 7a-4p, the kitchen shuts down at 3p daily - closed on Sunday. Don't miss this one!! ”
17local recommendations
Local Government Office
“This is a beautiful building and you can schedule a free tour or just walk in and look around for free! The Capitol grounds are also very nice.”
8local recommendations
“May-October, court avenue in downtown Des Moines hosts a huge farmer's market every Saturday morning, 7am-12pm.”
17local recommendations
“The East Village at the foot of the gold-domed capital is becoming a mecca for artists and foodies. Dozens of funky shops, great bars, galleries, and restaurants give this neighborhood unique charm. Make sure you stop in for a Zombie Burger or check out the Iowa Historical Society.”
17local recommendations
“This is a great place to visit if you're a plant lover! During the spring and summer, the outdoor portion of this venue is very lovely as well!”
10local recommendations
Movie Theater
“The Science center is fun and educational, right in the center of downtown!”
14local recommendations
“Enjoy our local Zoo! Sometimes they hold evening events for adults such as Zoo Brew.”
8local recommendations
“If you like drinks + arcades, check out this fun little bar in the East Village!”
13local recommendations
Performing Arts Venue
“The DES MOINES SOCIAL CLUB is an innovative arts and entertainment venue located in a renovated, historic art deco Firehouse in downtown Des Moines. It spans two buildings, multiple floors, an outdoor courtyard and features an art gallery, gift shop, black-box theater, music venue, restaurant, and coffee shop, as well as numerous performance spaces, classrooms, and non-profit office space.”
9local recommendations
Coffee Shop
“A great place for breakfast, lunch, coffee, tea, or a snack. It has a nice atmosphere and a good place to do some work on the laptop!”
12local recommendations
“Historic Valley Junction is a great place to walk around to local shops. They also host a farmer's market with live music, May-October, every Thursday evening 4-8pm!”
11local recommendations
Movie Theater
“Flix Brewhouse is America’s only first-run Cinema Brewery. Stop and think about that for a minute -- the best blockbuster movies, amazing on-site brewed beer and delectable hand-made food all crafted by serious movie-beer-food folks. For those who believe that movie going should be so much more than just staring at a screen, Flix Brewhouse is a game-changer.”
14local recommendations