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Best things to do in Des Moines

Discover the city according to locals. Find the best things to do, places to eat, and get priceless advice from the people who live here.

Art Museum
“The Des Moines Art Center is an art museum with an extensive collection of paintings, sculpture, modern art and mixed media.”
26local recommendations
Sculpture Garden
“This Sculpture Park is a lovely (free) walk around a nice area in downtown.”
28local recommendations
Burger Joint
$$
“This is a local staple. Out-of-towners, as well as locals, love to stop here for a bite.”
14local recommendations
Neighbourhood
“East Village of DSM is a quaint area full of shopping, night life, and restaurants.”
19local recommendations
Café
$$
“Well - if you're cutting carbs - you may need to take a holiday and enjoy all the fresh baked deliciousness that La Mie has to offer! This place has great metropolitan energy - excellent breakfast, lunch and brunch menu items, outstanding coffees and all the French breads your heart could ever desire. They are open from Mon-Sat from 7a-4p, the kitchen shuts down at 3p daily - closed on Sunday. Don't miss this one!! ”
17local recommendations
Pizza Place
$$
“This place is another Des Moines staple. They just opened a second location in Ankeny. Unique pizzas at a great price. Famous for their Crab Rangoon pizza!”
21local recommendations
Food
“May-October, court avenue in downtown Des Moines hosts a huge farmer's market every Saturday morning, 7am-12pm.”
17local recommendations
Local Government Office
“This is a beautiful building and you can schedule a free tour or just walk in and look around for free! The Capitol grounds are also very nice.”
8local recommendations
Park
“If you love plants from around the world, then this is the place for you! Open all year round in the big dome!”
11local recommendations
Cinema
“Science Center of Iowa is a 2 minute walk from our loft and is great for families.”
15local recommendations
Neighbourhood
“Historic Valley Junction is a great place to walk around to local shops. They also host a farmer's market with live music, May-October, every Thursday evening 4-8pm!”
12local recommendations
Zoo
“Enjoy our local Zoo! Sometimes they hold evening events for adults such as Zoo Brew.”
8local recommendations
Performing Arts Venue
“The DES MOINES SOCIAL CLUB is an innovative arts and entertainment venue located in a renovated, historic art deco Firehouse in downtown Des Moines. It spans two buildings, multiple floors, an outdoor courtyard and features an art gallery, gift shop, black-box theater, music venue, restaurant, and coffee shop, as well as numerous performance spaces, classrooms, and non-profit office space.”
9local recommendations
Bar
“If you like drinks + arcades, check out this fun little bar in the East Village!”
13local recommendations
Coffee Shop
$
“A great place for breakfast, lunch, coffee, tea, or a snack. It has a nice atmosphere and a good place to do some work on the laptop!”
12local recommendations
Cinema
$$
“Flix Brewhouse is America’s only first-run Cinema Brewery. Stop and think about that for a minute -- the best blockbuster movies, amazing on-site brewed beer and delectable hand-made food all crafted by serious movie-beer-food folks. For those who believe that movie going should be so much more than just staring at a screen, Flix Brewhouse is a game-changer.”
15local recommendations