The Blank Park Zoo is a 25-acre zoological park on the south side of Des Moines. It is one of the only accredited zoos in Iowa including multiple animal and educational exhibits. Visit the zoo anytime throughout the year and indulge in some of their seasonal events like Santa at the zoo, zoo brew and more! A must stop for the entire family. Fort Des Moines Park is a beautiful gem right in the Polk county area. The 117-acre park rests in a portion of the former Calvary post, established on army post road in 1903. It’s centerpiece is a deep 14-acre park, but the park also features a children’s playground, picnic shelters and an arboretum. You can also boat, fish, geocache and enjoy some trails all at the Fort Des Moines Park! Baratta’s is a dining experience you’re not going to want to miss out on in Polk County. When you come to Baratta’s you really are home. In fact, the Baratta family once lived in the rooms where diners now gather for meals and special occasions. Baratta’s serves lunch and dinner and they offer a wide array of wines as well.