Downtown Des Moines is a hub of winter activity. Go on a couple's getaway to Iowa's capital city and experience history, fantastic food and fun activities.

Things To Do

Pappajohn Sculpture Park, Des Moines, Iowa
Pappajohn Sculpture Park

Brenton Skating Plaza

Strap on your skates and make the rounds at Brenton Skating Plaza. The rink is located along the Des Moines River and a short walk from the vibrant shops and restaurants of Des Moines' East Village.

Iowa State Capitol Building

You don't have to be into politics to enjoy a visit to the beautiful Iowa State Capitol building. Free tours are offered each hour Monday through Saturday, but you can also choose to wander the halls on your own. The art and architecture are stunning and make sure to stop in the amazing law library. Visitors can also sit in and watch legislative debates and votes during session (begins in mid-January).

State Historical Museum of Iowa

Just down the street from the Capitol is the State Historical Museum of Iowa, offering free admission to several historical exhibits. Learn about Iowa's role in the Civil War, Iowa's Hollywood presence and learn stories of Iowans' impact on the world.

Pappajohn Sculpture Park

For a dose of fresh air, wander among the 20+ giant works of art from internationally acclaimed artists at the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park on the west side of downtown. The park is free and open from sunrise to sunset.

Where to Eat

Fong's Pizza, Des Moines, Iowa
Fong's Pizza

Court Avenue Brewing Co.

Besides selecting a handcrafted brew, choose from standard pub fare or kick it up a notch and order fresh fish, seafood or juicy steak at Court Avenue Brewing Company.

Fong's Pizza

Fong's Pizza has a reputation of serving some of the best and most creative pizza in the metro - try the best-selling Crab Rangoon pizza for a tasty treat. If you want to become a true Fongolian, strap on a kamikaze helmet and try a tiki drink (trust us, it's a thing).

Zombie Burger

No trip to Des Moines is complete without stopping at Zombie Burger. At the original location in the East Village, diners can try unique burger combinations like the Walking Chedd in the zombie-themed restaurant. Also on the menu are delicious ice cream shakes mixed with cereal, cake and more.


If you don’t mind a little noise from the open-kitchen, Centro delivers solid Italian food. They’re known for coal-fired pizza like you’d find in New York City. Sunday brunch brings a Bloody Mary bar.

Where to Stay

Des Moines Marriott Downtown, Des Moines, Iowa
Des Moines Marriott Downtown

Des Moines Marriott Downtown

There are lots of options downtown, but the Des Moines Marriott Downtown is centrally located and recently renovated. The connection to the downtown skywalk system is a great perk for getting around downtown in comfort.