Student-Worthy Activities For All

Not aiming to have another boring weekend just sitting in your dorm room? Here are just a few student-worthy activities that you can try out. These activities will have you bursting with joy. You will be able to have fun with your friends every weekend and make long-lasting memories.

Botanical Gardens

The first student-worthy activity, we suggest is going to the Botanical Gardens. The Botanical Garden in Des Moines is located on Robert D. Ray Drive. The cost of admission is twelve dollars.

Students who have gone say it is a beautiful location. Many enjoy just looking at all the colorful flowers. It has a very calming atmosphere. You and your friends can talk, walk through these flowers, and take beautiful photos here.

Des Moines Theater Scene

Another student-worthy activity, we suggest is student rushing a show at the Des Moines Civic Center. The arts are alive in Des Moines and nowhere is that more apparent than at the Civic Center in downtown Des Moines. Broadway shows regularly come through the city and perform at the Civic Center.

Students have the opportunity to see these shows at an affordable price due to the student rush tickets. If the show isn’t sold out, then Drake students can buy the unsold tickets two hours before the show at half the cost. This is an affordable and fun option for Drake students who love theater. Drake students can also catch one of the numerous on-campus shows throughout the year.

Blank Park Zoo and More Student-Worthy Activities

Lastly, a student-worthy activity we suggest is going to the Blank Park Zoo. The Blank Park Zoo has a bunch of adorable animals for all to enjoy. A baby giraffe was even born last year. Students can go with their friends and enjoy an afternoon in the animal kingdom. Animal lovers will enjoy getting to see the lovely creatures. There are even some peacocks that run free, students can make friends with them.

            Never have a boring weekend again, enjoy these student-worthy activities and more. Des Moines is a vibrant city with lots of student-worthy activities for all to enjoy. Artsy, sporty, and nature lovers alike will find a student-worthy activity perfect for them and their friends.

Des Moines Outdoors

Des Moines Outdoors - a photo of a pond at Yellow Banks Park
Yellow Banks Park

Des Moines Outdoors: Heartland Hiking

Living in the city doesn’t mean you can’t get your shoes muddy every now and then. The Des Moines has an abundance of parks and trails to hit this spring. We’ve already mentioned some popular trails around town; let’s take a look at three often overlooked but worthwhile parks and conservation areas with hiking trails along the edges of Des Moines.

  • Fort Des Moines Park – 1.9 miles

Fort Des Moines Park lies on the southernmost part of Polk County, about three miles southeast of the Des Moines International Airport. The park’s loop trail guides visitors around a fishing pond and through native Iowa prairie, making this hidden gem a must-see in summer months. The 1.9 mile-long trail can be modified to be about 1 mile if desired–check posted trail maps at the park for details.

  • Brown’s Woods – 3.2 miles

Brown’s Woods is a quick drive west of the airport, and has shorter loops for those who might not have the time for a 3 mile hike. Sloping hillsides lead the way through some of the most heavily-forested areas managed by Polk County Conservation.

  • Yellow Banks Park – 3.1 miles

Yellow Banks Park is about a 15-minute drive from downtown Des Moines, but you would never guess by the amount of wildlife and quiet sounds. The park’s trail cuts around two ponds, grassy and forested hillsides, and has recreation areas for baseball, camping, and fishing.

Hiking Essentials

These paths might be close to Des Moines, but you should still prepare before embarking on a hike, especially on a new trail. Be sure to stay hydrated before heading out for your adventure, and bring plenty of water with you to drink during and after your hike. Putting sunscreen on before leaving the house is always a good idea, even on cloudy days, and wearing a hat to protect your face from the sun can also prevent surprise sunburns. It’s always helpful to review trail routes before you get to the park or hiking area just in case you lose cell service and need to exit on a whim.

Above all, remember to have fun and soak up the sights and sounds of nature as you head to the great Des Moines Outdoors!

Is Dance a Sport?

Image free to use through CCL.

Many have the assumption that all dance requires is the ability to be graceful, to stand on your toes with ease, to leap through the air and land without making a sound, the ability to make everything look effortless. There is this misconception that dance isn’t a sport. That is simply an easy art form. While it is an art form, it can also be a sport. When compared to football, many think it looks easy. Research shows that dancers have as much strength as football players or even possibly more.

“Kinesiologist Dr. Jill McNitt-Gray has observed many dancers throughout the years and has noticed that they can move their feet up to fifteen miles per hour and turn over one hundred times per minute.”

(Dachowski, Kylie).

Many athletes of different sports engage in dance and Pilates classes to strengthen their own muscles and increase flexibility. Dance is officially recognized as a sport by the Olympic Committee, yet we fail to see it year after year as an event.

What makes something a sport?

  • Athletic activity
  • Competitive
  • Judges or referees
  • Social participation
  • Formal rules
  • Exists through organizations

It meets all the requirements of being a sport. It is competitive, physically engaging, and requires skill, and determination. Many associate dancing with being such a feminine sport, limiting its exposure to social circles. This often happens in America, the thought of a little girl doing ballet is cute. But the thought of many, when a boy says he wants to dance, is repulsive. We only have society to blame for these stereotypes. The truth is dance is meant for anyone, and in other countries being a male dancer is highly praised and rewarded.

Dance is not only a physical sport but a mental one. Students often remember hours’ worth of choreography, terminology, and corrections. No other sport can also be as mentally detrimental to young athletes. Dancers often spend upwards of 15-25 hours a week alone staring at themselves in the mirror. This can have serious side effects such as eating disorders, body dysmorphia, and perfectionism.

Nonetheless, all that time dancers spend in front of the mirror only makes them stronger. “Dancers tended to have more aerobic capacity, higher muscular endurance because of their ability to jump very high, a higher endurance for spending longer periods of time working their muscles, higher flexibility, and better agility. Therefore, dancers are right up their ability-wise with football and baseball players, but much less attention,” (Dachowski, Kylie). It is time our world recognizes that dance is a sport. Made for any gender, race, age, and ethnicity. It is never too late to join the sport.

Blog Citations: Dachowski, Kylie, et al. “SIOWFA15: Science in Our World: Certainty and Controversy.” SiOWfa15 Science in Our World Certainty and Controversy, 17 Sept. 2015,