50 Ideas Under $5 4 Winter Fun in Des Moines - dsm4kids.com

50 Ideas Under $5 4 Winter Fun in Des Moines

Now that it’s beginning to look (and feel) a lot like winter. And since we know the cold, dark days of winter can be challenging with little ones, we’ve put together 50 fun winter activities to keep you and your crew from going stir-crazy. Psst! We even kept budget in mind, and all 50 activities cost $5 or less (per person). If you’re lucky, by the time you’re finished with this list, spring will be knocking on the door!

  1. See a FREE SNEAK PREVIEW of the Des Moines Community Playhouse production of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe on January 9th at the Franklin Avenue Library.
  2. Gaze up at the winter night sky during CONSTELLATIONS & COCOA at the Brenton Arboretum on January 11th.  Cost is $5.00 per person.
  3. Winter = snow! Join Warren County Conservation and go on a FREE SNOWSHOE Hike. They have several classes scheduled in January and February.
  4. A perfect indoor activity on a cold winter Iowa evening is watching a MOVIE! UCAN is sponsoring a Winter Movies series in partnership with local Urbandale Churches.  The next FREE movie is scheduled for Friday, January 15th.
  5. WARM UP with a bowl of SÚP RAU CẢI – vegetable soup at A-Dong.
  6. When It Snows, they will Ski in Dallas County!  A Dallas County Conservation naturalist will host a CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING program on winter weekends.  The cost is $3 per person for those who need ski equipment.
  7. Your kids can cook up some fun at a FREE JUNIOR CHEF CLASS at Williams-Sonoma.
  8. CELEBRATE the Urbandale Indoor Public Pool’s 40th year. All general admissions will be only 40 cents on January 16!
  9. Cozy up with a good book at a local STORY TIME at a public library near you.
  10. Eat a piece of pie on January 23rd, National PIE DAY.  Check out our list of local eateries serving it up.
  11. Weather permitting – take the family SLEDDING! Check out our list of sledding hills in Des Moines.
  12. Go ICE SKATING at Brenton Skating Plaza, where kids skate for just $3.50 Monday – Thursday.
  13. Watch the fish in the main AQUARIUM at Bass Pro Shops, bonus you can watch them get fed on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 3:00 pm.
  14. TREAT your crew to a chocolatey cup of goodness at one of Des Moines’ best hot chocolate shops.
  15. Love hiking? Got kids? Take a FREE HIKING class with Hike it Baby Des Moines at REI on January 30th.
  16. Go on a MUSEUM TREK every Saturday from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm at the State Historical Museum of Iowa. FREE for visitors of all ages!
  17. If you plan on attending a Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Family Series show at the Civic Center this winter make sure to go early and attend a FREE DISCOVERY PARTY!
  18. Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean your little ones can’t PLAYlocal malls provide play areas that are warm on the coldest days.
  19. PAY-for-PLAY at Rainbow Play Systems on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Enjoy indoor play on Rainbow’s play equipment for $5.00 per child.
  20. Join CASH’s CREW with the Iowa Wild – the Green Membership is FREE and includes tickets to four Kid’s Club Games.
  21. INDULGE with a strip of chocolate covered bacon from Chocolate Story Book.
  22. Take little ones for affordable INDOOR PLAY at Valley Community Center. Children run and play during activity classes, which cost $3.00.
  23. Let kids get their CRAFT on at a Michael’s Kid’s Club Class for just $2.00 on Saturday mornings.
  24. LEARN about Iowa’s military history at the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum at Camp Dodge.  Admission is FREE!
  25. If you’re hitting the slopes in Boone, why not take a FREE SKI LESSON at Seven Oaks Recreation Center?
  26. Head to the East Village and EXPLORE the enclave’s cool shops and attractions and nosh at one of the many local eateries.
  27. CLIMB and TUMBLE during Imagination Playschool on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at Pioneer Columbus Community Center.  $2.50 for kids seven and under.
  28. January 19th is National POPCORN DAY! Inhale 60 flavors of sweet, savory and traditional popcorn flavors at Popcorn Heaven on Douglas.  Prices start at $1.00 for the small size.
  29. VISIT the Iowa Hall of Pride, which is open on select Saturday’s each month. Kids ages 2-12 get in for FREE.
  30. Enjoy POP-UP BALLET presented by Ballet Des Moines at the State Historical Building on February 26 at 6:00 pm.  The performance is FREE and open to the public.
  31. DISCOVER and play at the Science Center of Iowa – $5 Family Night is on the second Friday of each month from 5:00-8:00 pm.
  32. Get ready for spring and PRACTICE your swing at The Batter’s Box.  You can purchase one token for $1.50 and it will get you 20 pitches.
  33. Get out of your house and learn about HISTORY at the Jordan House.  They conduct tours every Friday starting at 11:00 am and the first Sunday of each month starting at 1:00 pm. Children 6 to 12 years old cost $3.00 and Children five and under are FREE.
  34. Take the LAZER MAZE CHALLENGE at Glow Golf in West Des Moines. One game is $3.00, two games is $5.00.
  35. LOOK at ART for FREE at Ankeny Art Center, Des Moines Art Center, and the Polk County Heritage Gallery.
  36. CHOW DOWN at Mama Lacona’s on Thursdays when kids eat FREE!
  37. Go on an OWL PROWLWarren County Conservation and Polk County Conservation are both hosting FREE events.
  38. ATTEND a Drake Men’s or Women’s basketball game. General Admission Tickets are just $5.00 for kids.
  39. ICE SKATE indoors during Public Skate at Metro Ice Sports.  Kids 12 and under can skate for $5.00.
  40. BURN OFF ENERGY during open gym at Sapphire Gymnastics on Saturday mornings.  $5 per child for members.
  41. SATISFY your sweet tooth with a cupcake from Scratch Cupcakery in West Des Moines.
  42. Go ROLLER SKATING (most local rinks offer a discounted family night).
  43. PRETEND Iowa is in the tropics at the Des Moines Botanical Garden. Kids admission November through March is $4.00.
  44. TAKE IN the winter landscape at Neal Smith Wildlife Refuge in Prairie City. The Prairie Learning and Visitor Center FREE to tour and are open year-round.  Winter hours are Monday to Saturday 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.
  45. GET INSPIRED at the Celebrate! Innovation Exhibition at DMACC’s West Campus.  Admission to the general exhibition is FREE.
  46. SEARCH for bald eagles during Des Moines Bald Eagle Days, February 12th and 13th.  The event is hosted by Iowa DNR and Des Moines Parks and Rec. There will be children’s activities and the event is FREE and open to the public.
  47. BUY some Girl Scout cookies.  If you’re looking for a Thin Mint fix, they cost $4 a box and will be on sale February 1 – March 20.
  48. Head to Old School Arcade in Grimes where you can play ARCADE GAMES on a winter’s day.
  49. Have the kids CLEAN out their rooms and donate their old toys to a local charity in Des Moines.
  50. And REMEMBER to search for FREE events on our Calendar, where there are free (and cheap) things to enjoy every day.


What are your suggestions for things to do this winter under $5 (with kids) in Des Moines?

Be the first to start the conversation.

Leave a Reply

Text formatting is available via select .

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>