With 49 acres (20 hectares) of land inhabited by 104 different animal species and 1,484 animal specimens, Blank Park Zoo is the only accredited zoo in the state of Iowa. It also boasts the widest range of botanical collections in the state. The zoo aims to inspire an appreciation for nature, particularly among its younger visitors. It's open between November and February, so make sure you don't miss out on the opportunity to see all the exciting animals at Blank Park Zoo when you have the chance. For further booking details please visit the website.
The Iowa Hall of Pride chronicles the achievements of Iowans across a myriad of vocations, from academics and art to athletics and cinema. Its multi-media exhibitions are an interesting and fun way to learn about the history of the community. Shoot baskets, play football, watch videos, take science lessons, or sing with the state choir for a unique museum experience. The Iowa Hall of Pride is a must visit for families looking to combine entertainment and education.
Built by the richest man in Iowa during the 19th Century, Terrace Hill sits majestically atop a hill, overlooking the city. It is a splendid example of the Victorian Second Empire style of architecture and is not only a National Historic Landmark but also the official home of the governor. As you stroll through its first two levels and gardens, you will be amazed by its splendor and the posh lifestyle of the wealthy of a bygone era. Guided tours are available from March through December.
Opened in 2009, John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park is a popular landmark in the downtown area. Named after the couple who donated most of the artwork showcased in the park, it is spread across 4.4 acres (1.78 hectares). Get amazed by the interesting and intricate sculptures laid out beautifully throughout this park. Many are created by renowned artists from across the globe. Guided tours can be availed from April through October however there is no need for one. Click photos, enjoy picnicking or just admire these artistic creations at this sculpture park.
A prime entertainment and performing arts center in the city, Des Moines Civic Center is known to dish out a plethora of impeccable shows throughout the year. Featuring a busy lineup of a variety of, plays, musicals, concerts, dances and other stage performances, there's no lack of quality in the shows at this venue. Playing host to numerous travelling theater groups, musicians and dance troupes, as well as talented local performers, this theater never fails to inspire and its audience. With a capacity to seat 2,744 people, it is also one of the biggest theaters in the city, and is also known to have some of the best acoustics.
Although the Brenton Skating Plaza is a seasonal attraction, nothing can stop the undulating surge of families, students, and tourists who visit when it is open between November and March. Lessons are a big hit with kids and adults alike, and romantic starlight skating is popular among couples. Enjoying a superb location by the riverfront, this skating plaza has become something of a Des Moines institution. In the summer, it witnesses a flurry of activity in the form of community events, making the Brenton Skating Plaza a year round attraction. Head here for a winter sports fix or simply to get in on the local scene.