The Science Center, Blank Park Zoo and Adventureland are three of Des Moines’ most popular attractions. But if you’re looking for something a little different to try, mix up your routine with these fun (and a little off the wall) activities that you might not have heard about. Here’s five unique things to do with your family this summer in Des Moines.
Rent a bike or paddle board at the beach.
Surprise, surprise, there are more exciting (and healthier!) things to do at the beach than just soaking up the sun. Consider renting a bike and riding around Gray’s Lake with your whole family. Or, if you’re looking for something a little bit more daring, rent a paddleboard and try to keep your balance.
Catch a movie in the park.
We all love the movie theater experience, but the prices? Not so much. Des Moines Parks and Recreation presents FREE Flicks at various parks all summer long. With family favorites like “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and kid picks like “Moana,” movie night is sure to be an event for the whole family to enjoy.
Take a tour of Des Moines.
The Des Moines Bike Collective has put together a Walk and Bike Guide to help you experience Greater Des Moines by bicycle or by foot. The tours have some great themes for all kinds of interest. Catch a glimpse of downtown architecture, shopping areas, public gardens, art and more. No bike? You can rent one from Des Moines’ Bike Share program Des Moines BCycle.
Visit the Iowa State Fairgrounds.
Of course, most people know about the Iowa State Fair. But did you know that when the fair is not in session, you can visit the Fairgrounds for FREE? Take the kids and go for a walk, visit the gardens, play on the play equipment in the Children’s area. You can also camp at the Iowa State Fair campgrounds during the off-season.
Hike through Keuhn Nature Preserve.
Managed by Dallas County Conservation Keuhn Nature Preserve north of Earlham is a quiet oasis, and a great place to spend a morning or afternoon together as a family. The preserve serves as a refuge for prairie lands and wildlife, and features many walking trails and the Bear Creek Nature Center. Be sure to pick up a trail map and challenge your kids to see how many different types of flowers, plants, birds and wildlife they can spot.
What hidden gems do you like to visit around town? Let us know in the comments!