No doubt parents need to spend time in a kid-free zone every once in a while, and date nights were invented for just that reason. But sometimes it’s fun (or necessary) to skip the sitter and have the littles crash the party. Here are five family date night ideas that are fun for the whole gang in Des Moines.
Artistic Summer Outing in Des Moines
1330 Grand Avenue • Des Moines, Iowa 50309 • (515) 277-4405
As one of the most popular parks in the city, the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park features unique statues, fascinating artwork and plenty of green space to enjoy a family picnic. You can always walk around and enjoy the artwork on your own, but did you know you can take a guided tour or a FREE audio tour of the Sculpture Park? Guided tours are available April 1 through October 31. You can schedule a tour here. If you’re more of a DIYer you can listen to an audio tour by dialing (515) 657-8264 on your mobile phone.
Hours: Open during city park hours, which are sunrise to midnight.
Cost: FREE. Guided tours for students (preschool through college) are FREE, tours for adults are $2 per person or a minimum fee of $20.
Dinner & A Movie at Merle Hay Mall
3800 Merle Hay Road #1300 • Des Moines, IA 50310 • (515) 612-9200
Movie night at Flix Brewhouse marks the end of corralling your kiddos to your seat while juggling drinks, popcorn and candy. The waitstaff takes food and drink orders, and each seat has an individual table. Just sit back, relax and let the food come to you. Watch their Events page for throwback and sing along movies that both kids and grown-ups will enjoy.
Hours: Earliest Show Time is 10:30 am; Latest Show Time is 11:30 pm.
Cost: Matinee; Adult $8.25 & Child $7.50.
Out-of-this World Family Fun in Des Moines
Ewing Park 5300 Indianola Avenue • Des Moines, IA 50320 • (515) 237-1386
Look to the sky and be mesmerized by the stars this summer during a Star Party. Hosted by Des Moines Park and Recreation in Ewing Park, telescopes are set up by the Des Moines Astronomical Society at a couple of locations in the park. There’s also a number of activities planned and small snacks are available for hungry star-gazers. Want to hang-out for the evening? Sign up to camp in the park for $25. Please note Star Parties are weather dependent and are subject to cancellation. Check Des Moines Park and Recreation’s website and Facebook page for updates on the event.
Dates: July 9 and August 13, 2016.
Have a Ball + Dinner in Altoona
1000 Bass Pro Drive NW • Altoona, IA 50009 • (515) 957-5400
Bowling alleys have really upped their game over the years – and Uncle Buck’s Fish Bowl and Grill in Altoona is no exception. 12 full lanes of bowling that offer a unique underwater ocean experience plus casual family dining where you can select from a menu featuring a variety of appetizers, sandwiches, salads and burgers equals a great night of family fun!
Hours: See below for bowling hours. The restaurant is open Monday – Thursday 11:00 am to 9:00 pm; Friday and Saturday 11:00 am to 10:00 pm; and Sunday 11:00 am to 8:00 pm.
Bowling Rates: Monday – Friday 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, $14.99 an hour; Sunday – Thursday 5:00 to 9:00 pm, $19.99 an hour; Weekend Hours: Friday 5:00 pm to Sunday 5:00 pm, $24.99 an hour. Price is per lane not per person. No more than 8 people per lane. $3.25 for every pair of shoes rented.
Restaurant Prices: Appetizers start at $4.00; Soup of the Day is $3.50; Entrees are $9.00 to $15.00.
Splish n’ Splash All Over the Metro
Kick around in the water and enjoy summer while it lasts, at one of Des Moines’ aquatic centers or public pools. Several of the area’s aquatic centers offer family swim times, usually on weekdays after 6:00 pm. They also offer full service concession stands, where you can grab some grub with your hungry little guppies. In addition to family swim nights, many pools also offer family friendly activities like cardboard boat races and movie nights.
Hours: Vary by aquatic facility, but most are typically open during the summer Sunday – Saturday 11:00 am to 7:00 pm.
Cost: Varies by aquatic facility, but typically General Admission is $8.00 Adult and $5 Child (3 -12).
What does your family like to do for a summertime date night? Let us know in the Comments!