Valley Junction was settled in 1846, incorporated in 1893, and renamed West Des Moines in 1938. This quaint shopping enclave is now home to over 150 specialty shops, restaurants and is the single largest collection of independent businesses in the Des Moines area. With a large collection of art galleries and antique shops, a trip to Valley Junction now is like a journey back in time, making it a quaint family day trip.
Family Friendly Shopping & Services in Valley Junction:
- Heart of Iowa Marketplace – This shop features decorative items, collectibles, and souvenirs with an Iowa twist. Wanting to send someone a chocolate cow pie or looking for a children’s book about Iowa? This is your place.
- Le Gourmet Kitchenware and Specialty Foods – This specialty kitchenware store carries gourmet food products, kitchen gadgets, cookbooks, cookware, and an assortment of supplies and kits. It’s great browsing for kids who love to cook.
- Outstamping Designs – This shop specializes in rubber stamps and scrapbooking supplies. You’ll find over 7,500 square feet of scrapbooks, scrapbooking stickers and decorative papers. They also offer classes. Kids will love looking through this treasure trove of crafting supplies.
- Wayback Records – Wayback Records is a cool little record shop selling used vinyl records, CDs, posters and music memorabilia. Kids that are into music will love checking it out and parents will love reminiscing and finding an old fav.
- We Fix it Cellular Repair – The family owned business provides cell phone repair services. Ever had a toddler throw your phone down and break your screen? This is a great shop to know about! My husband has had them replace his iPhone screen twice.
Family Friendly Dining in Valley Junction:
- Café Su – Café Su serves fresh, high-quality Chinese and Thai food that is handcrafted using locally sourced products and traditional family recipes. If you want to try a little bit of everything, their Dim Sum and Sushi offerings are a great way for the fam to share a few bites.
- Inspired Grounds – This isn’t your typical neighborhood coffee shop. Yes, they serve a number of coffee drink concoctions…just as you’d expect, but there’s more….they also serve up family friendly entertainment. Check out their Facebook page to find what’s coming next.
- La Michoacana Mexican Groceries – A small, family-run Mexican grocery, La Michoacana, also has a food counter in the back serving up tacos, burritos, tortas and tamales. If you’re a fan of authentic Mexican food give this place a try!
- Tavern Pizza – A Valley Junction institution, Tavern Pizza has been in business since 1945. They’re known for their famous pizza, grinders and Italian-American cuisine. Your kids probably won’t let you leave without a sampling of their gelato or sorbetto.
Annual Events in Valley Junction:
- Cinco De Mayo Festival – Each May Travel south of the border at the Annual Festival Cinco de Mayo. Visitors are invited to enjoy Mexican foods, artwork, live music, dancing and family activities.
- Valley Junction Farmers’ Market – The Farmers’ Market is held in conjunction with Music in the Junction and is home to over 100 vendors selling fresh produce, baked goods, plants and flowers, arts and crafts and prepared foods.
- Pumpkin Walk – Get into the Halloween spirit as children show off their costumes and Trick-or-Treat through Historic Valley Junction.
- Small Business Saturday – Small Business Saturday was started in 2010 as a counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday as a way to encourage shoppers to patronize local businesses. What better way to celebrate this holiday than by shopping in Historic Valley Junction!
- Jingle in the Junction – The businesses in Historic Valley Junction and the streets are decked out with 150,000 twinkling lights. Many festivities are planned for Thursday evenings during the holiday season. Enjoy FREE horse and trolley rides, visit Santa, and listen to carolers sing to get you into the holiday spirit.
This is just a small sampling of what Valley Junction has to offer. For a complete list of shops, services and restaurants please visit Valley Junction’s website.
What are your tips for a day trip to Valley Junction?