Des Moines is where the old and new meets. There are a lot of exciting and unexpected attractions and amenities you can find here, from the parks to the historical landmarks. The state of Iowa is abundant with historic mansions and museums and is rich in activities that both the young and old can enjoy.
Let’s wander and explore what Des Moines has to offer:
Blank Park Zoo
This vast zoo boasts of 25-acres of land in the downtown area of Des Moines. Blank Park Zoo’s mission is to preserve and teach people about environmental issues and their conservation. It is divided into different sections that feature the Free Range Aviary and the Meredith Alpine Exhibit. The featured animals are from different countries of the world, from aquatic animals to land animals.
Des Moines Art Center
The Des Moines Art Center was founded in 1948. If you have an interest in art, particularly modern art, you would appreciate the permanent collections featured in the center. You can see several paintings around the center as well as sculptures. You will find artworks done by Matisse, Rodin, and other world-renown artists among the permanent collections.
Salisbury House and Gardens
This glamorous house and gardens were constructed in the 1920s. It features a beautiful botanical garden and a grand mansion that has an art museum. You can also find a library and a concert hall when you explore the mansion. It was designed after the famous Kings House in the 15th century. If you get inside the museum, you will find historical documents, musical instruments, and a lot of art pieces.
Downtown Farmers’ Market
This is the place to go if you want fresh harvests from the local farmers. The farmers’ market is situated in the Downtown Historic Court District, and you can find more than 300 local farmers and vendors selling their products in one place. The market was established 40 years ago, so you can be sure that the vendors who sell their goods here are trustworthy. You will also enjoy live music and other entertainment throughout the day.
State Historical Museum
If you come to the State Historical Museum, you will learn everything you need to know about the origins of Des Moines and the entire state of Iowa. The galleries showcase antiques and period documents and other memorabilia that would give you a window to the past. You can arrange for a guided tour that lasts an hour where you can learn the story of the city as well as the history of the museum.
Pappajohn Sculpture Park
Pappajohn Sculpture Park opened in 2009 and featured sculptures by great local artists. John and Mary Pappajohn own this 4-acre land. The featured sculptures are all from the personal collection of the Pappajohn’s. Des Moines Art Center manages and operates the park and its collections. It is possible to go on a guided tour of the park, but if you prefer to explore the sculptures alone, you can also do so.