Archives For Travel

Travel opportunities for Des Moines families.

9 Kid-Friendly Spring Day Trip Ideas for DSM Families – dsm4kids.com

By the time it’s spring, my family has reached its limits of winter-induced stir-craziness, especially after this winter.  Despite all that our fair city has to offer, we feel the need to get away from Des Moines, even if it’s just for a day. Having this list of 9 spring-inspired day trips at our fingertips gives us something to look forward to, especially with spring break on the horizon. From biking to visiting museums to smelling the blooms to strolling college campuses, there is something on this list for everyone.

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25 Perfect Fall Family Day Trips from Des Moines - dsm4kids.com

With fall upon us, we’re craving more than just a change of seasons. Sometimes, fresh scenery—even just for a day—can do wonders to reboot and re-energize the whole family. Whether fall in your house means an afternoon harvesting nature’s bounty at local farms, heading out for a hike, or staying close to home to explore a new-to-you corner of the City, we’ve got daycations sure to satisfy any mood. Read on for 25 picks sure to inspire your love of the season. Continue Reading…

Lost Island: Family-Friendly Water Park in Waterloo – dsm4kids.com

A water park is hard to beat on a hot summer day! With summer’s heat on the horizon, I’m re-living the fun my family had at Lost Island Water Park in Waterloo last summer. We hardly noticed the blazing July temps as we floated along the lazy river and enjoyed the waterslides and other thrill rides.  Lost Island offers all the fun of much larger water parks, with a solid family-friendly vibe and fun rides for all ages. It was also named the second-best outdoor water park in the country for 2017, according to a reader poll from a list of 20 possibilities in USA Today. Continue Reading…

Maquoketa Caves: Iowa’s Best Kept Secret - dsm4kids.com

By Natalie Maughan

Maquoketa Caves is a vast cavern of nature’s best playground found 40 minutes from Dubuque in eastern Iowa. This place is perfect for young toddlers as well as high school kids. My husband and I recently took our kids to the caves for three days of “spelunking”. We’d never been but it has been near the top of my “to do” list for quite some time now. It was totally worth the drive and we can’t wait to go back again next year. Continue Reading…

Family Fun at the County Fair in Central Iowa - dsm4kids.com

As we reach mid-summer, county fairs across Central Iowa will be taking place. Most people know county fairs have livestock like cows, pigs, horses, chickens and turkeys.  But they also have carnival rides, concessions, games and entertainment…packing a whole lot of family entertainment in one spot!  And, the best part is that admission is FREE.  Here’s your guide to county fairs happening this summer in Central Iowa. Continue Reading…

American Gothic House and Visitor Center - dsm4kids.com

By Natalie Maughan

The American Gothic painting by Grant Wood is an American icon when it comes to artistic paintings. The world famous portrait of a farmer holding a pitchfork and his daughter looking sullen behind him as they stand in front of their small farmhouse is one of those poses that people try to recreate again and again. The Farmer looks as though he’s trying to ward off any potential suitors for his daughter and she does not appear to appreciate the gesture.  If you’ve been to the Iowa State Fair it’s hard to miss the 25-foot replica of the father and daughter. There is usually a cardboard cutout of the duo somewhere at the fair as well. Don’t we all love the Iowa State Fair? But that’s for another day… Continue Reading…

Road Trip Tips and Activities 4 Kids - dsm4kids.com

We will be packing up the family roadster and heading out on a week long road trip later this month.  We will be covering four states and about 2900 miles! Yes, we’re CRAZZZY! So… I’ve been looking for activities and games to keep the kiddos busy and engaged while the miles are whizzing by and I thought I would share what I came up with. Here’s your list of family road trip must-haves to keep you and your young travelers entertained on your next family road trip. Continue Reading…

Tips 4 a Family Fun Day at Center Grove Orchard - dsm4kids.com

It’s a bit of a drive from Des Moines, but the trip to Center Gove Orchard along Iowa’s backroads is well worth setting aside the day for. Kiddos and families will enjoy picking apples and the many farm related fall activities that await.  Read on for tips for a family fun day at Center Grove Orchard in Cambridge.  Continue Reading…

Book Nook: Audio Books 4 Family Road Trips - dsm4kids.com

If you’re like many families heading out on the highway for their annual summer vacay, you’re in need of some in-car entertainment.  Nothing will make the miles tick by like a great audiobook. When I was a “road warrior” in my past life, I developed a bit of an audiobook addiction.  Because of that we now take audio books along on our family trips too.  With the right narrator, listening to a great audiobook can make that windshield time fly. One minute you’re in gridlock, the next you’re hoping for a few more minutes (or hours) to get through the next chapter. Audio books today come in many shapes and forms.  You can purchase them, download them or find them at your local library.  So when everyone starts to drive each other crazy, load up an audiobook, sit back and relax.  Here are a few of our favorite titles. Continue Reading…

Family Fun at the County Fair - dsm4kids.com

County fairs aren’t just for 4-Hers & FFAers. These carnival-ride-filled festivals are a great way to introduce your kids to the sights and sounds of your childhood. While our urban diversions draw us away from country livin’ most of the year, summertime is the perfect season to revisit the sweet farm animals, pies, projects, Bill Riley Talent Shows, fair queens and more. Plan ahead, as this fair-goodness is jam–packed into just a few short weeks. Continue Reading…

3 Summer Day Trips 4 Kids from Des Moines – dsm4kids.com

Summer is stunning in Iowa. Flowers bloom, skies are blue and fields are lush and green. It’s a beautiful time of year to enjoy the outdoors and a bit of needed time away on a one-of-a-kind road trip. Whether you’re looking for an afternoon getaway or a weekend adventure, these are a few of our favorite Iowa day trips to take with the kids from Des Moines in the summer. Continue Reading…