With schools closed and many parents working from home, we bet you're looking for ideas to educate and keep kids busy at home. Read on for virtual activities hosted by your favorite Greater Des Moines attractions to entertain the whole family!
Architectural Tour of Downtown DSM
Turn those family walks into an educational experience with the Iowa Architectural Foundation. Download the IAF Walking Tour App and choose from five different self-guided walking tours to explore the intricate detailing of Downtown Des Moines buildings. For more information, check out this article all about the app, tour stops, and more.
Blank Park Zoo
Join the Blank Park Zoo online! The Zoo's virtual programming features educators conducting presentations, zookeeper chats, and live webcams of the animals. Check out the 15,000-gallon saltwater reef aquarium and at-home educational activities on the Zoo's website.
Des Moines Art Center
The Des Moines Art Center has launched seven virtual tours of their permanent collections and special exhibitions allowing visitors to click through the extensive collections as if you’re at the museum.
Des Moines Performing Arts
DMPA has launched #projectjoy, an initiative to share and demonstrate the happiness that arts and culture bring to our lives. Every week DMPA will also be adding performances for kids and families to enjoy.
The Des Moines Symphony
Visit the Des Moines Symphony's Facebook page, where they've shared access to the Berlin Philharmonic's digital concert hall.
Started by a group of local musicians, DSMTV Live is a virtual performance venue for Greater Des Moines musicians to perform while the community practices social distancing. Check out the Facebook page for performance schedules.
Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden
The Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden is offering free downloadable activities on its website. There are also presentations on the Facebook page, including garden tours, behind-the-scenes, meditation, blues concerts, and more!
Iowa Public Radio
Learn about Iowa wildlife and history with 'Talk Of Iowa' For Kids! Iowa Public Radio will be hosting wildlife biologist Jim Pease and others every Tuesday to teach listeners about Iowa’s wild creatures and wild places, while on Thursday’s, Iowa historians will join Charity Nebbe to talk about Iowa history. During the live broadcast of Talk of Iowa from 10 - 11 a.m. CT on Tuesdays and Thursdays, listeners of all ages are encouraged to call in and ask questions and share their observations.
The Iowa Wild has moved Crash's Kids Club online! Check out the Iowa Wild website for free kids' activities, including coloring pages, design your own jersey, and a digital school day workbook.
Living History Farms
Living History Farms has several activities on the LHF Kids section of their website, including recipes, crafts, coloring sheets, and more. Perfect for those now unexpectedly homeschooling, LHF also offers a resource designed for teachers called Learning Fields, which includes lesson plans, vocabulary, videos and information about crops, livestock, farm power and people.
Noce is hosting virtual jazz shows on its Facebook page - follow Noce on social media for show updates.
Polk County Conservation
In the time of social distancing, Polk County Conservation reminds us to rely on nature. Our parks, trails, and open spaces can continue to be used in a safe manner that allows people to enjoy the mental and physical health benefits these spaces provide. Check out their blog post and facebook page for ideas on how and where to safely recreate outside.
Science Center of Iowa
Follow the Science Center of Iowa on Facebook for experiments you can conduct at home with materials you probably already have on hand.
Smash Park is offering virtual activities, including wellness yoga and pickleball clinics, via Facebook Live. Visit their page to check the virtual events schedule.
Travel Iowa – Visit Virtually
Explore Iowa from Home! There are plenty of ways to explore and discover new things from the comfort of your couch. From online museum tours to family-friendly educational materials to explore the outdoors, here are fun ways to visit Iowa virtually.
West End Salvage
West End Salvage is offering a virtual tour of their store – browse for home décor and furnishing inspiration from your kitchen table!
Check out "At Home with the Y" for a multitude of virtual health and wellness resources, including workout classes, mindfulness and meditation guides, tips for managing stress and anxiety, and age group-specific resources from pre-k to adult.
Bonus take-home activities!
AR Workshop is offering DIY-To-Go kits – easy and fun custom crafts for all ages!
Bozz Prints is offering free color pages for kids. Share your masterpiece online!
Pinot's Palette Des Moines is offering grab-and-go paint kits for kids and adults.
Crème Cupcake is offering DIY cupcake kits with 12 cupcakes and everything needed to decorate your own edible creations.