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Staying in the gem of a city that is Des Moines is a popular choice for tourists looking for a rich mixture of old and new, as well as urban and rural. Iowa’s capital city is home to some exciting activities, events, and landmarks, all of which can make for a fun and unforgettable experience. This city has become a hotspot for tourists and Iowan locals alike. To give you an idea as to why we’ve listed ten fun activities you should add to your itinerary when visiting this beautiful midwestern city.

Watch A Show
Our first suggestion is for you to swing by one of the many entertainment complexes around the city. First up, we have the Flix Brewhouse, a movie theater that makes its own beer. The atmosphere is truly fantastic here and can make for a great night out. If you’re looking for something a bit more traditional, you should visit Hoyt Sherman Place, a cultural hub for those looking to appreciate arts and culture. This old Victorian-era theater has a rich backstory starting in the 1870s and is the perfect place for those who have an affinity for history.

Go For A Meal
The city of Des Moines has become something of a melting pot of culture, especially when it comes to cuisine. There are some amazing restaurants around the city showcasing many of the amazing cultures from around the world and local cuisines. The land around this agricultural powerhouse of a state keeps these restaurants well-stocked with farm-fresh foods daily. 

Grab A Drink Or Two
Alongside the many restaurants around the city, you’ll also find some fantastic bars and other drinks establishments, from humble Irish pubs to contemporary and classy places for you and your friends to hang out. Having a drink or two at Shorty’s Somewhat Fancy Bar or The Rooftop Bar will be a great experience for you and your friends before you move on to some of the other great nightlife that Des Moines has to offer.

Dance The Night Away
A popular choice after having a few drinks is to then move on to one of the nightclubs around the city, and there are plenty to choose from. You can take your pick from places such as Miss Kitty’s Country Nightclub, where you can enjoy the rural midwestern vibes, to places like The Garden Nightclub and The Voodoo Lounge. There are also a number of amazing live music venues around the city to suit every musical taste, from country to rock and everything in between. 

Hit The Casino
An alternative option for your night out is to consider visiting one of the casinos around the city if you’re feeling a bit lucky. A popular choice for those looking for a casino of a higher caliber than many others is the Prairie Meadows Casino in the northeastern part of the city. However, it may be worth practicing before you visit the casino if you’re a beginner, as it can be somewhat overwhelming if you don’t know what you’re doing. Do some research on games and find the newest online casino sites this year to practice online beforehand. That way, you’ll be ready to jump straight into the fun and feel confident doing so.

Check Out The State Fair
Once every year, the state of Iowa holds its famous state fair during the month of August. The Iowa State Fair is a place for everyone to come and enjoy the many competitions, family games, and entertainment events for some wholesome fun. Fairground rides, delectable street food, local crafts, and much more are on offer around this time, and you’d be a fool to miss the opportunity to take part if your trip coincides with this great event.  

Visit A Brewery Or Winery
Des Moines is home to a number of different breweries and wineries producing some fantastic drinks. Many of these also open their doors to the public, providing guests with a relaxing time to enjoy some of their best beers and wines. Some will also provide you with a tour in which you can find out all about the process of making these products. Don’t forget to visit the gift shop afterward so that you can choose your favorites to take home.

Visit The Farmers’ Market
Access to all of this agricultural land makes for a bountiful selection of fresh food, not just for restaurants but also for the public. You’ll find a perfect example of this food at the Des Moines Farmers’ Market. The market is open every weekend between May and October and supports roughly 300 different vendors. The place is often teeming with visitors and vendors, and you’ll be hard-pressed to look at every stall, not to mention try every sample.

Explore The Botanical Gardens
If you’re somewhat of a nature lover, visiting the amazing botanical garden of Greater Des Moines is an ideal choice. There are 14 acres of beautiful foliage to explore, perfect for those who love to learn about different plant species and simply be surrounded by nature. The botanical gardens were established in 1920 and welcomes many visitors all year round. The gardens are separated into different biomes and collections, so each area you visit will present you with something much different from the last.

Check Out Some Museums
As with most cities, there are a number of amazing museums and art galleries that visitors can sink their teeth into. The Des Moines Art Center is one such place, displaying beautiful and fascinating artwork as well as historical manuscripts, books, and textiles that the center has curated. As well as this, you’ll find The Science Center of Iowa, dedicated to learning and displaying some amazing discoveries from around the world. And lastly, if you’d like a genuine look into the rural past of the state, you could visit Living History Farms, where you’ll be able to experience Iowa from different times throughout history. You’ll find engaging demonstrations and fun activities to show you just what life has been like for Iowans throughout the past three to four centuries.

Author: Jodie James


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