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Des Moines, IA

Aerial View of Pappajohn Sculpture Park, Located in Des Moines Iowa

Below is a list of the best places I would visit on a trip to this location. My picks fit my personality and interest. Everyone has a different interest so you may not like everything I listed which is fine.  If you like a place, I recommend saving it to Google Maps for a future trip down the road. I made sure to include the address or GPS to make it easier to find.  You can find out more about me in the "About Me" section to see if we share common interests.


Breakfast Croissant Sandwich from Waveland Cafe Located In Des Moines Iowa

Waveland Cafe

4708 University Ave, Des Moines, IA 50311

Sample Menu of What I Would Order

Egg Sandwich: Two Eggs with Cheese and Choice of Meat on Bread/Toast $8.75

Breakfast Momoa Style: Full Order of Hashbrowns Topped with a Full Order of Biscuits & Gravy Along with Two Eggs with a Side of Bacon $26.50

Cinnamon French Toast: Two Slices of Cinnamon French Toast Served with Two Eggs & Meat $12.00 or Upgrade $14.00

Biscuits & Gravy: Two Fluffy Biscuits Covered with Special Sausage Gravy $9.00

Breakfast Burger: Topped with Fried Egg, Hashbrowns, Bacon, and Cheese $14.00


Mon to Sat 6 am - 2 pm

Sunday 8 am - 2 pm

Order Online: No

Jan. Highlight: Try the Breakfast Burrito ~ Ham, Sausage, Green Pepper, Onion, Scrambled Eggs, Hashbrowns, and Cheddar Cheese

Donut from Hurts Donut Located West Des Moines Iowa

Hurts Donut Co.

5513 Mills Civic Pkwy, West Des Moines, IA 50266

Sample of the Donut Flavors

  • Mint Oreo

  • Butterfinger

  • Cotton Candy

  • Grape Balls of Fire

  • Tang

  • Caramel Apple

  • Red Velvet with Vanilla

  • Blueberry Steusel


Always Open

Order Online: Yes


Adventureland Park

Adventureland Park is an amusement park located in Altoona, Iowa, USA. It opened in 1974 and has since become a popular destination for families and thrill-seekers in the Midwest.

The park covers over 180 acres and offers a wide range of attractions and rides. It features over 100 rides, shows, and attractions, including roller coasters, water rides, and family-friendly rides. Some of the park's notable roller coasters include the Tornado, Outlaw, and the Dragon.

In addition to its thrilling rides, Adventureland Park also has live entertainment shows, games, and dining options throughout the park. There are also areas specifically designed for younger children, with age-appropriate rides and attractions.

Adventureland Park is known for its well-maintained grounds and friendly staff. The park aims to provide a fun and safe environment for visitors of all ages. It is a popular summer destination and has become an integral part of the local community's entertainment scene in Iowa.

The Top Five Rides I Would Get In Line For

  • Monster

  • Outlaw

  • Dragon Slayer

  • Tornado

  • Saw Mill Splash


Any Day Ticket: $69.99

Single Ticket (date selected) $44.99

Parking: $16.00

A POV from a Rollercoaster at Adventureland Park Located Outside Des Moines Iowa

305 34th Ave NW, Altoona, IA 50009

Hours (June)

Mon to Thurs 10 am - 7 pm

Fri & Sun 10 am - 8 pm

Saturday 10 am - 9 pm

2024 Season: It will be their 50th Anniversary

Blank Park Zoo

The zoo covers an area of 49 acres and houses over 1,000 animals from around the world.  Blank Park Zoo focuses on creating habitats that closely resemble the natural environments of the animals, ensuring their well-being and allowing visitors to observe them in a more authentic setting. Some of the notable exhibits include the Discovery Center, the African Boardwalk, the Australian Adventure, and the Sea Lion Cove.

Visitors can attend animal feedings, behind-the-scenes tours, and interactive exhibits that provide a hands-on learning experience.

Featured Animals

  • Red Panda

  • African Lion

  • Sea Lion

  • Wallaby

  • Eastern Black Rhinos

  • Red River Hogs

  • Amur Tigers


Adult Price $18.00

Child (2-12) Price $12.00

Senior (65+) Price $16.00

Red Panda from Blank Park Zoo Located in Des Moines Iowa

7401 SW 9th St, Des Moines, IA 50315

Hours (5.26.23)

Daily 10 am - 4 pm

Summer Hours (May 27 - Labor Day)

9 am - 5 pm

Pappajohn Sculpture Park

The John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park is a renowned outdoor art museum located in Des Moines, Iowa. It was established in 2009 and covers an area of 4.4 acres. The sculpture park is a result of the collaboration between the Des Moines Art Center and John and Mary Pappajohn, prominent philanthropists and art enthusiasts.

The park showcases a remarkable collection of contemporary sculptures created by internationally acclaimed artists. The artworks on display encompass a wide range of styles, materials, and themes, providing visitors with a diverse and engaging experience. Some notable sculptures include Jaume Plensa's iconic "Nomade," Louise Bourgeois' striking "Spider," and Ai Weiwei's thought-provoking "Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads."

The park's design incorporates landscaped gardens, pathways, and open spaces, creating an inviting and accessible environment for visitors to explore and appreciate the artworks. The sculptures are strategically placed throughout the park, allowing for different perspectives and interactions with the surrounding natural beauty.

The John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park has become a cultural landmark in Des Moines, attracting art enthusiasts, locals, and tourists alike. It serves as a platform for artistic expression, fostering dialogue, and promoting the appreciation of contemporary art. The park regularly hosts educational programs, guided tours, and special events, further enhancing the visitor experience and facilitating a deeper understanding of the sculptures and their significance.

Aerial View of Pappajohn Sculpture Park, Located in Des Moines Iowa

1330 Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50309

Hours (5.26.23)

Sunrise to Midnight

Make Sure To Take a Look at the Guide Online

Science Center of Iowa

The Science Center of Iowa features hands-on exhibits that cover various scientific disciplines, including physics, biology, chemistry, and astronomy. Visitors can engage in interactive experiments, explore the principles of energy and motion, learn about the human body, and discover the wonders of the universe. The exhibits are designed to be educational, entertaining, and encourage active participation, allowing visitors to learn through experimentation and discovery.

Current Exhibition

Small Discoveries - Create Giant Bubbles in Bubble Bay & More

What On Earth? - Observe the Inner Workings of a Live Beehive & More

When Things Get Moving -  Move a Ball Through a Giant Wall of Pulleys, Levers, and Gears & More

Why the Sky? - Explore the Planets of Our Solar System Through a Digital Video Globe and More

Makers Studio - Design Your Own Stop-Motion Movie at the Animation Station & More

Brick By Brick - LEGO Structures of Famous Places & More

A Touchy Subject (interactive): Effects of Human Touch on a Variety of Car Materials.

Road Surfaces - Past and Present (interactive)

Admission Cost

Adult (13-69) $15.00

Seniors (70+) $13.00

Children (2-12)  $15.00

Some Dino Bones from Science Center of Iowa Located in Des Moines Iowa

401 W Martin Luther King Jr Pkwy, Des Moines, IA 50309

Hours (1.23.24)

Mon to Wed Closed

Thurs to Sunday 9 am - 4 pm

Star Theater - the largest and most advanced planetarium in the state of Iowa


The Zombie of Bourbon County Burger  Along with Pineapple Upside Down Cake Shake, Best Burger in Iowa

Zombie Burger + Drink Lab

300 E Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50309


Sun to Thurs 11 am - 9 pm

Fri & Sat 11 am - 10 pm

Order Online: Yes

Sample Menu of What I Would Order

Dr.Heiter's Poutine Basket (for the group): Cheese Fries, Chili Fries, and Poutine Fries $9.50

Trailer Trash Zombie Burger: American Cheese, Fried Pickle, Chicken Fried Bacon, Cheese Curds, and Ranch Dressing $9.25

Undead Elvis Burger: Peanut Butter, Fried Bananas, Bacon, American Cheese, Egg, and Mayo $9.25

Helldorado: Hot Honey BBQ-Dipped Chicken, Jack Cheese, Bacon, and Hot Honey Mayo $11.50

Zombie Unicorn Shake: Vanilla Ice Cream, Marshmallow Cream, and Fruity Pebbles $6.49

Zombie Theme Menu

Best Pizza in Des Moines, Go To Fong's Pizza

Fong's Pizza

223 4th St, Des Moines, IA 50309

Sample Menu of What I Would Order

Pizza Rolls (app): Four Handmade Egg Roll Wrappers Filled with Pepperoni, Graziano Sausage, and Mozzarella. Served with Marinara $9.99

Orange Chicken Pizza: Fried Vegetable Rice, Breaded Chicken, Mozzarella, and Asiago with Housemade Spicy Orange Sauce - 10" $16.49 or 16" $24.49

Kung Pao Chicken Pizza: Housemade Spicy Kung Pao Sauce, Chicken, Green Pepper, Red Pepper, Mirepoix, Mozzarella, Asiago, and Topped with Green Onion and Crushed Peanuts - 10" $15.49 or 16" $23.49

Iowan Pizza: BBQ Sauce, Canadian Bacon, Bacon, Pulled Pork, Corn, and Mozzarella - 10" $16.99 or 16" $24.99

Raspberry Cheesecake Egg Rolls: Two Raspberry Cheesecake Egg Rolls that are Fried, Drizzled with Chocolate, and Sprinkled with Powdered Sugar $5.99


Thursday 11 am - 2 am

Fri & Sat 11 am - 3 am

Sun to Wed 11 am - Midnight

Order Online: Yes

Jan. Highlight: Try the Sweet & Sassy Pizza ~ Goat Cheese Base Topped with Hickory Bacon Chunks, Roasted Red Peppers, Sliced Peppadew Peppers, Mozzarella, Chopped Basil and Drizzled Hot Honey

Monarca Paletas is the Best Place for a Cold Treat in Clive Iowa

Monarca Gourmet Paletas

9901 University Ave Suite 150, Clive, IA 50325

Sample of the Paleta Flavors

  • Dulce De Leche

  • Reeses Peanut Butter

  • Banana Filled with Nutella

  • Strawberry Cheesecake

  • Pineapple Mint

  • Watermelon


Mon to Fri 1 pm - 9 pm

Saturday 1 pm - 9 pm

Sunday 1 pm - 8 pm

Order Online: No

Places to Stay

FYI: The hotel prices are estimated and will most likely fluctuate since I looked them up on their website.  I will keep them updated the best I can every three months.  I look for the cheapest available room, usually a queen bed. I typically look at book rates two months in advance and in the middle of the month to get average rates. Reminder: It is an ESTIMATE

Surety Hotel

  • Located within Walking Distance of the Des Moines Civic Center, Science Center of Iowa, and West End Architectural Salvage

  • From their Website: "We combine modern elegance with nods to our roots as the Savings & Loan building in every room. Each detail and amenity has been thoughtfully considered for your comfort and delight."

  • Food/Drinks Options: Mulberry Street Tavern (shareable tavern fare & burgers ), Fong's Pizza (nearby), and Potbelly (nearby)

  • Who is this for: Science Nerds, Concert Goers, Downtown Explorers, & Salvage Hunters

The Room View of Surety Hotel Located in Des Moines Iowa

206 6th Ave, Des Moines, IA 50309

Estimated Cost for Weekend Night (without tax/fee)

King in June 23' - $196.00

King in June 24' - $221.00

Des Lux Hotel

  • Located within Walking Distance of the The John and Mary PappaJohn Sculpture Park, Science Center of Iowa, and Principal Riverwalk

  • From their Website: "These are no ordinary accommodations. The largest in Des Moines and among the most welcoming anywhere, many Des Lux rooms and suites indulge with fireplaces and whirlpools."

  • Food/Drinks Options: Main Street Cafe & Bakery (nearby ), Local Bites (nearby), and Bubba (nearby)

  • Who is this for: Science Nerds, Art Enthusiast, Downtown Explorers, & River Watchers

The Room View of Des Lux Hotel Located in Des Moines Iowa

800 Locust St, Des Moines, IA 50309

Estimated Cost for Weekend Night (without tax/fee)

King Room in June 23' - $222.33

King Room in June 24' - $235.00

21 and up fun

The Light & Squeezy by Confluence Brewing Company Located in Des Moines Iowa

Confluence Brewing Company

1235 Thomas Beck Rd, Des Moines, IA 50315


Light & Squeezy: Lemon Raspberry Radler | 4.5% ABV

Strawberry South Side: Double Dry Hopped Citra Blonde Ale | 5.6% ABV

Batch 1761 Hazy Double IPA: IPA - Imperial | 9.0% ABV

The Wizard: Sour - Traditional Gose | 3.9% ABV

Sleepover S'mores: Stout with Vanilla, Cacao, & Graham | 9.7% ABV


Mon to Wed 4 pm - 10 pm

Thursday Noon - 10 pm

Friday Noon - 11 pm

Saturday 11 am - 11 pm

Sunday 11 am - 8 pm

Jan. Highlight: New Release on Jan 26th ~ Imogene Red Irish Ale

Food Menu: No, BYOF

Wipa Snapa White IPA from Firetrucker Brewery Located in Ankeny Iowa

Firetrucker Brewery

716 SW 3rd St, Ankeny, IA 50023


Brigade Ale: Golden Ale | 5.2% ABV | IBU 26

Tropical Burn: Mango Double IPA | 8.5% ABV | IBU 90

WIPA SNAPA: White IPA | 5.0% ABV | IBU 40

Day at the Peach: Hazy, Juicy, Peachy | 5.5% ABV | IBU 21

Arson: Toasty, Oats, Chocolate | 5.7% ABV | IBU 33


Monday Closed

Tues to Thurs 3 pm - 10 pm

Fri & Sat Noon - 11 pm

Sunday Noon - 8 pm

Food Menu: Yes

 Again these are just few of my picks that fit my personality and interest. If you feel that I left one-off that may interest me or other people, message me on Facebook about the location.  I value a person's opinion and never just discard the information.  Always looking forward to learning about new places to add to my Google Map. ~ Shawn

The Summary in Activities Uses OpenAI. (2024). ChatGPT (3.5) [Large language model].

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