Things to do in Des Moines in the Winter

By: Malynn Pavey & Ryley Roudabush

“In the bleak midwinter”… Iowa winters suck and we all know it. Thankfully, Des Moines has a lot of outdoor and indoor adventures for you and those close to you to get rid of the winter blues. From Ice Skating outdoors to indoor education trips for the kids, Des Moines offers a wide variety of activities and adventures for anyone of any age! Here are a few things to do in Des Moines in the winter.

Brenton Skating Plaza

Ice Skating is one fun and classic way to spend a cold evening with your friends or loved ones. Located right on the Des Moines River is Brenton Skating Plaza which creates a memorable skating experience. The plaza is open most nights with the hours varying depending on the brisk cold temperatures Iowa blesses us with. With this festive night make sure to pack a nice warm hot chocolate and of course your skates. No skates? Fret not! The Brenton Skating Plaza has plenty of skates for all ages to rent for the evening! Visit their website for more information.  

Greater Des Moines Botanical Gardens

After enjoying a few rounds around the Brenton Skating Plaza, you’ll need a nice place to warm up! Just up the street on Robert D. Ray Drive is the Greater Des Moines Botanical Gardens. This indoor tropical oasis is kept at 70°F year-round with an indoor garden and showroom. With admission only $12 a person, this is an affordable and colorful trip for visitors of all ages. Want to come back? There are special events planned throughout the year such as “Dome after Dark” and special kids and adult activities.

Science Center of Iowa

Interested in a fun day full of learning? Visit the Science Center of Iowa, fun for people of all ages! It’s a great way to get your children excited to learn or even great date ideas with your friends or a significant other. The Science Center of Iowa is open Thursday-Sunday from 9 am-4 pm. They offer endless opportunities for learning and having fun with science. Tickets are $15 for adults and children and $13 for seniors. Visit their website to buy your tickets today and learn more about their exhibits.

Iowa State Capitol tours

Want a less active but still just as educational day? The Iowa State Capitol gives regular tours for free Monday through Saturday! All you have to do is call ahead to schedule a tour and your tour guide will help you out. Want to tour on your own? Video and Audio tours are available for your convenience as well. It is encouraged that you call ahead if you have a group coming to tour whether it is a large or a small group so that guides can make sure you have the best touring experience possible.

No matter the weather, Des Moines is full of endless opportunities to have fun. Des Moines hosts many opportunities for people of all ages with different interests. Know of other places to visit this winter? Reach out to us, we would love to hear from you!