Catch family-friendly fun, right outside your door! Explore the sights and sounds of Greater Des Moines with the whole family. Whether you enjoy exploring the great outdoors or prefer to learn inside, our curated itinerary is designed to give you the best Greater Des Moines experience for the whole family.
If your kids love pizza and Chinese food (and who doesn't?), then you're going to love this local pizza joint! A favorite stop of celebrity chef Alton Brown, Fong's Pizza, is known for its far eastern flair on the Italian classic. Order the famous Crab Rangoon pizza with a side of the Chinese cheese sticks – a Fongolian specialty of hand-cut mozzarella fried in egg roll wrappers.
Catch a fly ball at the Iowa Cubs! Principal Park is a great place to feel like a kid again. Little ones will enjoy taking a selfie with Cubbie, catching a snack from the hot dog cannon and stretching during the 7th inning. On Friday nights, you can enjoy fireworks after the game!
Spend the night at this Greater Des Moines boutique hotel. Hotel Renovo is a polished, rustic-chic hotel that takes on a Midwest farmhouse aesthetic with a modern twist. Tire the kids out with an evening swim in the pool before getting a good night's sleep in one of the beautifully appointed rooms. As an added bonus, this hotel is neighbors with the popular attraction Living History Farms – a real working farm that teaches visitors about rural Midwestern life from the past three centuries.
Rise with the roosters or sleep in a little bit – it's fine either way because the Machine Shed is next door to your hotel. Kids will ooh and aww over the giant cinnamon rolls and love picking out their breakfast from the impressive buffet. Don't miss the essential photo ops in front of the restaurant on the tractor and maybe grab a souvenir from the Iowa-themed gift shop.
Enjoy fresh air and marvel at blooming flowers and exotic plants through seven distinct gardens. The Greater Des Moines Botanical Gardens is the perfect place to explore the outdoors while learning about the wonderful world of plants. If you're feeling hungry, stop into Trellis Café for lunch featuring a plant-inspired menu and take in the beautiful view of the indoor greenhouse dome while you dine.
The kids will love walking through Des Moines' Blank Park Zoo (and you will too)! See animals from giraffes, lions, red pandas, and more. Check their event calendar for daily sea lion shows, afternoon zookeeper activities, and workshops to learn about the animal kingdom. Make sure to plan for a train or camel ride during your visit!
If you're a Walking Dead fan, or maybe just enjoy the fright of zombies, head over to Zombie Burger for an out-of-body experience in food and atmosphere. From mouth-watering burgers stacked high with daring toppings to indulgent cereal milkshakes, this restaurant is fun for everyone.
Check into the Ramada Tropics Resort for the night and let the kids loose at the indoor water park! The pirate-themed water park features multiple slides, a snack bar, a children's play area, and a tiki bar. After getting tuckered out from swimming, you'll have plenty of room to rest in the oversized family rooms.
Funky doesn't even begin to describe the atmosphere at Eggs and Jam. This local breakfast spot is colorful and alternative, with 90's rap on heavy rotation, Eggs and Jam is the perfect place to order a plate of Bad Boy Biscuits or try one of their many unique breakfast platters, and don't sleep on house-made jams on special each week! For kiddos with, with shall we say *particular* tastes, the kid's menu features plenty of classic breakfast options.
Let the little ones explore the wonders of science and technology at the Science Center of Iowa. The star theater teaches visitors about the planets and constellations, and with interactive exhibits and workshops, everyone can look forward to learning about biology, physics, and more!