Bookstores are a wonderful way to keep the magic of reading alive in kids. Yes, it may be easier to just download a digital book to your kiddo’s tablet, but there’s just something about wandering through rows of book shelves and discovering a new title or author. Plus, many of the stores listed below sell other fun and unique reading related merchandise and host story times and special events. From independent neighborhood gems to discount books to classic comics, here are a few of my family’s favorite book stores in Des Moines.
The Shoppes at Three Fountains • 4550 University Avenue • West Des Moines, IA 50266 • (515) 221-9171
Jordan Creek Town Center • 101 Jordan Creek Pkwy #12170 • West Des Moines, IA 50266 • (515) 453-2980
Why bookmark it: This isn’t a book store to breeze in and out of – plan a trip to Barnes & Noble when you have time to really browse and let your children explore all of their cool books. We love their Children’s Section, regular appearances by best-selling authors, children’s story times and special events. We also like to grab a snack at their café.
2629 Beaver Avenue #1 • Des Moines, IA 50310 • (515) 279-5400
Why bookmark it: Once you’re inside, you’ll immediately feel life slow down a bit… even with the littlest booklovers in tow. Personalized recommendations from the friendly book-loving staff and a cozy neighborhood vibe. They regularly host book signings and author events and a several book clubs.
Westridge Shopping Center • 10201 University Avenue • Clive, IA 50325 • (515) 224-4429
Why bookmark it: A wide variety of very gently used and new books, CDs, LPs, magazines, nostalgia and more at deeply discounted prices. My daughter has earned a number of gift certificates at school to purchase books at Half Price Books. The inventory moves quickly and they’re always restocking. We’ve spotted everything from classic Little Golden Books to the most recent Harry Potter and the Cursed Child book.
7500 University Avenue • Clive, IA 50325 • (515) 271-8104
Why bookmark it: Marvel, Zenescope, DC, Action Lab and many more classic favorites, plus graphic novels, cards, board games and collectibles. They also purchase gently used comics. This is by far one of my son’s favorite stores in all of Des Moines. If you have a kiddo that is into comics and graphic novels this is the place for them. They also host several events for gamers weekly.
602 E Grand Avenue • Des Moines, IA 50309 • (515) 243-0815
Why bookmark it: This gem of a bookstore in the East Village boasts exactly what the name promises – books and coffee – and so much more. Special events including, appearances by local authors, open mic nights, book club meetings, art shows and live music. An eclectic used and new bookstore, featuring fair-trade and organic coffees.
502 N Ankeny Blvd, Ankeny, IA 50023 (515) 964-8410
Why bookmark it: This fun, well-stocked locally owned bookstore is totally worth a trip to Ankeny. With a jam-packed schedule of author events, story times and book clubs, you and your crew will be happy to come back for repeat visits. In addition, they’ve recently updated their children’s area and also sell gifts, greeting cards and toys, as well as, books.
Let us know about your family’s favorite bookstore in Des Moines, by using the comments section below.