Don’t let the bitter winter temps keep you stuck at home! We set out to find some great activities and destinations that will help get you and your kiddos out of your winter funk.
Here’s seven ways to cure the winter blues in Des Moines:
1. Enjoy a Day at the Spa
Escape a dreary day and chase away the winter blues with a day at the spa. Cupcake Addict in Johnston hosts “Kids Spa Nights”. Kids ages 6-12 are welcome and will be pampered with DIY face masks, manicures and pedicures. They’ll also get to make their own lip gloss, slushy drink and will decorate a cupcake to take home. The cost is $35.00 per person and you can register on-line or by calling (515) 278-5207 during business hours. Pre-Registration required.
2. Take a Cooking Class
For the child who has an interest in cooking or the one who has yet to discover their way around a kitchen, a hands-on cooking class is a great way to expose your little chef to new tastes and flavors. So, go ahead and celebrate winter and learn how to make “Hot Chocolate and Biscotti” with Cooking with Alessandra.
Classes are offered regularly and are $45 per person. You can also take private cooking classes, which would make a fun family outing.
3. Go Wild
Often considered a summer outing, the Blank Park Zoo is, in fact, open year-round. Enjoy the indoor exhibits in the Discovery Center, including birds, red pandas, dwarf caiman, fruit bats, Amazon rainforest, a water fall and a 15,000-gallon salt water aquarium. You can also see several animals like the otters, penguins, rhinos and seals in their outside exhibits.
Tip: The cafes and attractions like the train and carousel are CLOSED in the winter. Click here to find out which exhibits/experiences are open in the fall & winter.
4. Get Creative
There’s nothing better to kickstart your littles’ imaginations than a fun creative project and Painting with a Twist in Urbandale is a good place to start. This winter and throughout the year, kids 7+ up can discover their inner artist. Kids will paint along with an instructor to create their own work of art that they get to take home at the end of class.
Visit their calendar to find upcoming class options.
5. Enjoy the Outdoors
Take in Mother Nature as you cross-country ski, snowshoe or sled among 2,200 different types of trees and shrubs at Brenton Arboretum. Yes, it’s a workout, but it makes for a fun family outing and the ideal place to try out these winter sports for the first time. Visitors are welcome every day, 9:00 am until sunset. Find maps and guides inside the main gate at the Visitor Information Kiosk.
6. Discover Dinosaurs
Little paleontologists will be happy to discover that Des Moines is filled with several fun dinosaur themed events and activities this winter.
The Iowa State Fairgrounds will be hosting Discover the Dinosaurs – Time Trek Shark Edition on January 27-28. Kids will love the larger-than-life creatures, and activities like Design-a-Dino, Prehistoric Poop, or the Race Through Time Labyrinth.
Then on February 23-25, Jurassic Quest – Out of Extinction makes its way to the Iowa Events Center, where they’ll be able to see over 80 life-size animatronic dinosaurs.
The Science Center of Iowa also has several dino-centric events happening like the Tyrannosaurs: Meet the Family exhibit and IMAX documentary: Dinosaurs Alive!
7. Go Parent-Less or Kid-Less
“Everybody needs a little time away…. Far away…. From each other ….” If you’ve been cooped up for too long this winter a night out might just be the prescription you need to cure your winter blues. Several area gymnastic facilities offer Kid and Parents Night Out events. Parents enjoy the night out while kids have their own night out of fun. Upcoming events include:
Share in the Comments below how your family manages to cure the winter blues in Des Moines!