1. Love the outdoors? Check out Brenton Skating Plaza! Located along the Des Moines River, Brenton Skating Plaza is Des Moines’ only outdoor ice-skating rink. Brenton provides skyline views and easy access to downtown restaurants including Malo, Zombie Burger, Americana and more. Whether you’re an old pro or a beginner, Brenton is the perfect place to enjoy a few laps around the ice.
2. Great Escape is another must stop in Greater Des Moines. Great Escape has activities for the most daring of individuals. Test your aiming skills and jump into a game of laser tag, grab a friend and play a round of cosmic bowling or play classic arcade games. With a full-service, on-site restaurant, Great Escape can’t be missed!
3. Greater Des Moines is also a shopping destination to suit any fashion trend. From factory discounts at the Outlets of Des Moines, a versatile stretch of spas and shops at the District at Prairie Trail, antique stores and art galleries at Historic Valley Junction and an array of boutiques at Historic East Village, the shopping possibilities in Greater Des Moines are endless. To see all the shopping districts, click HERE.
4. Find your happy place at Smash Park! Smash Park offers many indoor and outdoor activities for everyone. Indoor activities include pickleball, shuffleboard, ping pong, cornhole and more! While you’re there make sure to grab some “nacho average nachos” or a “full court” snack plate.
5. The dining options in Greater Des Moines can please the wildest of taste buds. If you’re feeling adventurous, head over to Fong’s and order some of their crazy-but-delicious pizzas, including Crab Rangoon or the 4th Street Special. Farm-to-table dining is also something to try in Greater Des Moines. The Machine Shed’s “Dedicated to the American Farmer” mission makes for some of the best Midwest comforts. Serving up a cinnamon roll as big as your head or a classic chicken pot pie, The Machine Shed offers a home-cooked dining experience. For more dining options, click HERE.
6. If you love to learn or enjoy science, head over to Science Center of Iowa. The Science Center offers exhibits for any science enthusiasts. Make sure to check out their new exhibit, Brick by Brick. Pairing Lego-built structures with hands-on learning, Brick by Brick showcases how architects and engineers push the limits of design to make the seemingly impossible, possible. Offering exhibits for all ages, check out the life cycle of a star, the arrow dynamics of a paper rocket or an interactive news studio!
7. If you’re looking to test new heights, head over to Climb Iowa! Climb Iowa is Iowa’s largest indoor climbing and training facility, with more than 10,000 square feet of climbing, 200 routes, a fitness room and a yoga studio. Climb Iowa offers a wide variety of services from beginner climber to the experienced climbing veteran.
8. If live action is more your speed, Check out Drake Men’s Basketball. Closing out their home game season on Feb. 27 against Indiana State, this game will be packed with energy the whole family can enjoy. Make sure to keep an eye out for Drake’s live mascot, Griff, and grab a picture with him before the season ends.
9. Live theatre is also a can’t miss in Greater Des Moines. “The Lion in the Winter” takes the stage at the Des Moines Social Club Feb. 22 – March 1. This modern-day classic is comedic in tone and dramatic in action, showing the ups and downs every family goes through.
10. Looking to get a glimpse of spring before it starts? Check out the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden! The Garden offers visitors a chance to cultivate nature’s beauty all year round. This tropical conservancy is a one-of-a-kind stop for your wintery Des Moines weekend. When you’re finished at the garden, visit Trellis Café, serving a locally sourced, plant-based menu that changes monthly. The café overlooks the Botanical Garden’s water garden and beyond!