A road trip to Des Moines is the perfect way to spend a weekend exploring our state capital. From award-winning attractions and restaurants to scenic bike trails and state parks, there's no limit to what you can discover. Grab the kids and pack up for an exciting experience for the whole family.
Where to Go
Discover the world's animals right here in Iowa! This 49-acre zoo on the south side of Des Moines includes exhibits such as tigers, seals, lions and giraffes that you can feed. Add-ons like train rides, face painting, a carousel and camel rides make this even more of a worthwhile visit.
If you're tired of virtual learning, the Science Center of Iowa offers a refreshing education opportunity. Located in the heart of downtown, the museum includes permanent interactive exhibits like Why the Sky?, Brick by Brick and What on Earth along with a host of unique traveling exhibits that make every visit a new experience.
Travel back in time with a visit to Living History Farms in Urbandale. This interactive 500-acre outdoor museum has four different farms that tell the story of Iowa's 300-year-old history. You'll find everyday old town activities from milking cows to a blacksmith shop to old-timey baseball games. Each site is hosted and worked by historical interpreters for an informative and hands-on experience.
Where to Eat
1. Smash Park
Stop by Smash Park for a smashing good time. Home to Iowa's largest outdoor patio, you can enjoy the outdoors by challenging your friends and family to a game of pickleball, bocce ball, cornhole, yard dice and more. Inside, you'll find even more games alongside large-screen TVs and an underrated food and drink menu.
2. Fong's Pizza
This nationally-known restaurant will shock your taste buds, even if you're a celebrity chef like Alton Brown, who called it, "the best thing I ever ate." Try their infamous Crab Rangoon pizza along with a tasty tiki drink.