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Things To Do in Des Moines, Iowa

Des Moines Attractions / Des Moines Iowa Local Attractions / Entertainment in Des Moines / Things to Do and See in Des Moines / Des Moines including Attractions, Museums, Nightlife, Sights, Events, History, Arts, Theatre, Landmarks in the Des Moines Area

Des Moines Art Center

This internationally acclaimed museum houses impressive works by artists of the 19th and 20th centuries, including Edward Hopper, Georgia O'Keefe and Henri Matisse. The center, which also offers art classes, consists of three buildings, each designed by a celebrated architect: Eliel Saarinen, I.M. Pei and Richard Meier.

Iowa State Fairgrounds

This is America's Classic State Fair, with its traditional competitions, agricultural exhibits and food displays, it also features one of the world's largest livestock shows. The 400-acre fairgrounds hosts events year-round with three outdoor stages, show rings, baseball fields and a multimedia center, and also houses a 160-acre campground.

The Royal Mile

The Royal Mile is a new addition to downtown, a traditional English pub with more than 100 beers, 22 on tap.

Des Moines Botanical Center

Known for its huge collection of the Midwest's ornamental and native plants, this 14-acre center bordering the Des Moines River features a domed conservatory that houses over 1000 varieties of exotic plants from throughout the world. The center also has an impressive herb garden, tropical and desert plants, and one of the best bonsai collections in the U.S.

Blank Park Zoo

A wide variety of animals are housed in natural settings at this 22-acre, relatively small zoo, dedicated to caring for the over 800 animals, educating the public about different species, and generating fun experiences for children, such as crawling through simulated prairie dog tunnels and feeding, petting and riding animals.

Tournament Club of Iowa

An Arnold Palmer Signature Course which has recently been selected to host the Allianz SR PGA TOUR Championship and is noted for its bold elevation changes and magnificent vistas.

Salisbury House

The King's House in Salisbury, England, was the inspiration for this Tudor mansion.

Des Moines Symphony

The symphony began performing in the Civic Center in 1979, the year the auditorium was finished, and continues to perform all of its indoor full-orchestra concerts there today. The full-service professional orchestra performs seven pairs of classical concerts throughout the season, as well as a three-concert pops series, family concerts and in-school ensemble performances


Adventureland has three water rides, three roller coasters and 100 other rides in the park, which also has live entertainment.

Sleepy Hollow Sports Park

Considered an excellent golf facility for intermediate players, this complex offers a nine-hole par 3 course with narrow fairways and water hazards that demand accuracy off the tees.

Better Homes and Gardens Test Garden

Right in the heart of the city is a half-block long blaze of beauty - Better Homes and Gardens' testing ground for various landscape designs that the company documents and photographs. The area is one large area made of many mini-backyards, complete with annuals, perennials, bulbs and typical backyard structures like fences and gates.

Terrace Hill

Historic Governor's mansion.

Willow Creek Golf Course

An excellent three-course facility that offers 36-holes of golf featuring broad fairways and medium-sized, undulating greens.

A. H. Blank Golf Course

This challenging course is dominated by tree-lined fairways and water hazards that come into play on many of the eighteen holes.

Vaudeville Mews

The new club opened last year in an 1875 brownstone. Entertainment ranges from independent film showings to alternative bands to a local production of "Hedwig and the Angry Inch."

Beaver Creek Golf Club

Renowned for excellent playing conditions, this 18-hole bent grass course offers large, fast greens and fairways that are heavily lined with pines.

Copper Creek Golf Course

Contrasting front and back nines challenge a golfer's ability to adapt: the first round offers broad fairways and rolling hills; the second features narrow links carved through dense woodland.

Waveland Municipal Golf Course

Originally founded in 1894 and listed by the USGA as one of the first 100 clubs established in the U.S., this course continues to pose a challenge to golfers of all abilities due to its bold elevation changes and well-guarded greens.

Woodland Hills Golf Course

This club consists of two challenging courses: the North, which extends 5550 yards from the tees and features a difficult back nine; and the South, which has wide fairways and small greens.

Otter Creek Golf Course

This relatively flat course is perfect for seniors who like to walk and golfers who are new to the game.

Ponderosa Public Golf Course

Bunkers do not come into play on this Bermuda-grass course, yet water hazards are present on several holes and fairways tend to vary in width

Shady Oaks Golf Course

Don't let the scenic country vistas distract you from the task at hand: tree-lined fairways and water hazards demand shot accuracy at this difficult course.

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