If your kids are anything like mine, the first thing they say when you get somewhere is, “I’m hungry.” Quickly followed by, “I have to go to the bathroom.” Let’s focus on the first. Here are three locations where food = entertainment.


  1. Williams Sonoma at Jordan Creek Mall offers weekly Junior Chefs Classes. They are held every Saturday morning from 9:30a.m.-10a.m. before the store opens. You must register but classes are free and recommended for ages five and up. I tested this by bringing my four year old and six year old and they both did great. The class we attended was “Valentine’s Cookies.” The cookies were pre-baked but the kids did the decorating. Our instructor, Elana, explained the steps and then let the kids have their fun. There were about 10 kids in the class we attended and they used a variety of frosting, sprinkles and candy.

    The kids got to eat their cookie at the end, but for me, the best part was you get 10% off in the store after the class! I didn’t go too crazy but felt obligated to add a few (completely necessary of course) kitchen gadgets to my collection.

    The other classes in February were, “Homemade Cinnamon Rolls,” “Freshly Squeezed—All About Citrus” and “Kid-Friendly Kebabs.” You can go here for more details:

  2. Have you been to an Iowa Wild hockey game yet? Even for the non-hockey fan, these games are tons of fun and very family-friendly. They even have a handful of games that offer Subway Family 4-Packs, which means you get four tickets, four hot dogs and four sodas for the game. You also get four Subway coupons for a BOGO six-inch to use at area Subways. The Wild didn’t win the game we were at, but only one hot dog ended up on the floor, which I equate to a successful outing.

  3. There are lots of kid-friendly restaurants in Des Moines. Many of them involve pizza. But if you are looking for one that isn’t specifically geared towards kids—but is family-friendly, try CJ’s Bagels in Ankeny. My kids LOVE CJ’s. They have the best bagels, which can be made into ‘bagelwiches’ or breakfast bagels. For lunch there are three soup options (mmmm…chicken and wild rice) and salads. They also have yummy extras like bagel bites, which are mini bagels with cream cheese frosting on top! CJ’s is open for breakfast and lunch, and closed on Sunday, and you order at the counter for dine in or carry out. As an added bonus, Topped Donuts is housed inside CJ’s Bagels. So even if your kids aren’t crazy about bagels, I’m sure they like donuts. And these aren’t just any donuts, but gourmet donuts! Topped has the regular cake and glazed donuts, but specializes in fun flavors like Snickers Bar and Red Velvet Cake and Maple Bacon.





Of course these aren’t the only places in Des Moines where food = entertainment with kids. What are some of your favorite activities that involve food?

-- TF