Greater Des Moines is chock full of attractions and fun things to do – many of them catering to children, but why should kids have all the fun? Read on for special events and adults-only access to popular attractions.
For kids at heart, once a month on Friday night, you can explore the Science Center of Iowa and participate in interactive activities just for adults! Learn about topics such as the science of a hangover, the science of brewing, and crime scene science. For a more immersive experience, add on the monthly Mixology Workshop to learn the art and science of mixing a craft cocktail tailored to the monthly theme.
On Wednesday nights all summer long (and few dates in the fall, too!), you can tour Blank Park Zoo with a cold beverage in hand. Zoobrew is strictly reserved for the 21+ crowd and features live music from favorite local bands. Beverage vendors throughout the park offer free samples to visitors, but be sure to get there early! As a super popular event, the free samples go quickly!
Every fall, Adventureland closes to kids for one day to let the adults play! Enjoy live music on several stages throughout the park featuring national headlining acts, dine on giant pretzels and bratwurst, ride the Monster (or the teacups) - whatever floats your boat! Feel like a kid again while enjoying an adult beverage – or two! In case you’re planning on having a LOT of fun, you can reserve space at the neighboring campground or treat yourself to a hotel stay at Adventureland Resort, complete with an indoor water park!
History Happy Hour
On select dates throughout the year, Living History Farms invites adults to learn and explore historic sites around the town of Walnut Hill. Challenge your friends to 19th-century lawn games, meet a farm animal, try your hand at ax throwing, sample Iowa wines and craft brews, and pose for a photo op in the Model T. Themes vary at each event from historical games and bluegrass, to vaudeville and circus. In case that isn’t enough excitement, your dog can join the fun too!
Fair After Dark
On a couple of evenings during the Iowa State Fair, fair enthusiasts 21 and over can stay on the fairgrounds after dark for fun activities such as cooking with wine or DIY wood crafts paired with Iowa craft beers. Tickets to Fair After Dark include VIP access, food and drink samples, and an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at popular fair attractions.
Bonus: Adult stuff for kids!
Picnic at the winery
On Thursday evenings throughout the summer, join Jasper Winery for the city’s largest weekly outdoor party with live music from local favorite bands such as the Nadas and the Maytags. Bring your own picnic or purchase food from the featured food truck each week, play lawn games, and sip on Jasper Winery’s famous sangria. All ages welcome!
Kids at the racetrack
When accompanied by an adult, children under 18 are always welcome on the track apron at Prairie Meadows. A few special events throughout the racing season are especially exciting for kiddos! The annual Zebra and Ostrich Races are a hilarious spectacle, and the July 3rd fireworks display is famed as one of the best Impendence Day celebrations in Iowa! Be sure to get there early, as both events attract visitors from across the state.