I grew up in Central Iowa not very far from the Des Moines metro. And when I was growing up it was always just sort of understood that Des Moines was boring and didn’t have much to do. That’s the mindset I had for years, but it has quickly changed to the complete opposite.
The Des Moines you see today is a far cry from what it was 20 years ago, and in a VERY positive way. There is a lot of new life in the city and it is improving every year. These days there is plenty to do in DSM and it has many attractions for people of all ages.
If you are looking for things to do in Des Moines, Iowa here are some popular attractions, entertainment locations, tourist destinations, local nightlife, clubs, groups, culture, sports, and other fun hot spots around the area…
- Iowa State Fair
- Iowa Events Center
- Botanical Center
- Science Center
- Blank Park Zoo
- Court Avenue District
- East Village
- West Glen Town Center
- Jordan Creek Town Center
- Sleepy Hollow Sports Park
- 80/35 Music Festival
- Des Moines Arts Festival
- Simon Estes Riverfront Amphitheater
- Iowa Energy, NBA Development League
- Iowa Barnstormers, Arena Football League
- Des Moines Buccaneers, United States Hockey League
- Des Moines Menace Soccer, USL Premier Development League
- Iowa Cubs, Minor league baseball team of the Chicago Cubs
- Drake University
- Iowa State University (not in DSM but a short drive away)
- The Principal Riverwalk
- Grays Lake
- Golf Courses (many of them in the area)
- Pappajohn Sculpture Park
- State Historical Museum
- Downtown Farmers Market
- Capitol Building
- Living History Farms
- Des Moines Symphony
- Historic Valley Junction
- Brenton Skating Plaza
- Des Moines Metro Opera
- Iowa Speedway (just down the road from DSM)
- Prairie Meadows Racetrack, Casino, and Hotel
- Skywalk System
- Water Works Park
- Iowa Wild (Hockey)
…And so much more!
They also have an overall revitalized downtown area with a lot more to do and see. The bars, restaurants, architecture, and social scene is much better than it ever has been before. And there are plans to continue making it better in the coming years.
A blossoming fine dining scene, artistic culture rivaling those of large cities, upscale retail destinations, and many family oriented attractions have converted the Des Moines metro into a fun place to live or just spend a weekend away from home.
In addition to that, our fine city has been ranked highly on numerous “best of” lists in recent years by publications such as Forbes, CNN, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, CNBC, Time, the Today Show (and several more) in categories such as; best places to start a business, best cities for young professionals, best places to live, best city for families, wealthiest city in America, and many others!
It’s safe to say that Des Moines is not boring anymore! There’s something for everyone in this fine city. Come check it out today!