We might be missing some of our favorite summer traditions this year, but that doesn’t mean the season is canceled. As local attractions begin to reopen, there are plenty of summer activities to keep families entertained. We’ve listed a few of our favorite things to do with kids while social distancing in the Des Moines metro.
[Editor’s Note: Due to COVID-19 precautions, some of the following venues and events may have adjusted their hours or programming. Please check with your destinations in advance to confirm your activity. Know of a free or cheap movie that is not included here? Send us an email and we’ll include it!]
1. See a movie in the great outdoors.
Drive-in movie theaters are making a comeback and new pop-up drive-in theaters are also appearing like Drive-In Clive and Free Flicks: Drive-In Edition in Des Moines. Several local communities and churches are also hosting Movies in the Park and family movie nights outside.
2. Take a hike or go for a walk.
After being cooped up inside our house for months, summer is a great time to enjoy the outdoors. Polk County Conservation and Brenton Arboretum are hosting night hikes. Here are some tips for making family walks more fun.
3. Pick up a sweet treat.
4. Hunt for outdoor murals.
5. Play mini golf.
Grab your clubs and hit as many of these outdoor mini golf courses as you can this summer.
6. Go camping.
7. Go on a bike ride.
8. Go stargazing.
9. Visit a nature center.
Nature centers like the Annett Nature Center and Prairie Learning and Visitor Center are perfect for families. While indoor facilities are closed until further notice, you can still take advantage of their outdoor trails and amenities to get some fresh air.
10. Pick delicious berries.
Berry picking season usually begins in mid-June and continues through the end of August. We’re so lucky that many berry picking farms have adjusted their guidelines to keep families safe for this summer tradition.
11. Drive to weird roadside attractions.
Up for a road trip? Track down these quirky roadside attractions such as Albert the Bull in Audobon and the Giant Volkswagen Beetle Spider in Avoca, IA.
12. Get out on the water.
Explore local water ways this summer as boat rental facilities are operating again. Stand up paddle boarding and kayaking are both excellent ways to get some exercise and be outside while social distancing.
13. Eat outdoors.
14. Go fishing.
Fishing is a sport that lends itself to social distancing for sure. We’ve got some tips and great places for you to take the kids fishing.
15. See a waterfall.
If your family is obsessed with hiking, you can spot the most amazing cascades on a tour of Iowa waterfalls.
What summer activities has your family been doing while social distancing?