Nestled in the heartland of America, West Des Moines, Iowa, offers a blend of Midwestern charm and modern amenities. From picturesque parks to cultural attractions, this city has something for everyone. Whether you’re a local looking for new adventures or a visitor exploring the Midwest, here’s a curated list of things to do in West Des Moines.
- Explore Historic Valley Junction: Begin your journey in West Des Moines by strolling through Historic Valley Junction. This charming district is brimming with boutiques, galleries, and local eateries. Discover unique shops, indulge in delicious treats, and soak in the historic ambiance that makes Valley Junction a must-visit destination.
- Wander Through Raccoon River Park: For outdoor enthusiasts, Raccoon River Park is a haven of natural beauty. With expansive green spaces, walking trails, and a serene lake, the park provides a perfect setting for picnics, hiking, and bird-watching. Rent a paddleboat or kayak to explore Blue Heron Lake, and don’t forget to capture the breathtaking views.
- Experience the Arts at the West Des Moines Public Art Foundation: Immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant art scene by visiting the West Des Moines Public Art Foundation. The foundation showcases a diverse range of public art installations, fostering creativity and cultural appreciation. Take a self-guided tour to encounter sculptures and murals that enrich the cityscape.
- Indulge in Culinary Delights: West Des Moines boasts a thriving culinary scene with restaurants that cater to diverse tastes. From cozy cafes to upscale dining establishments, the city offers a plethora of options. Try locally inspired dishes and explore the farm-to-table movement, which is a hallmark of the region’s culinary culture.
- Visit the Jordan House: Step back in time by visiting the Jordan House, an iconic landmark with a rich history. This Victorian-era mansion serves as a museum, offering guided tours that provide insight into West Des Moines’ past. Learn about the city’s heritage and the pivotal role the Jordan House played in shaping its development.
- Shop at Jordan Creek Town Center: If you’re in the mood for shopping, head to Jordan Creek Town Center. This premier shopping destination features a wide array of retailers, from well-known brands to local boutiques. Take advantage of the diverse shopping options and enjoy the entertainment and dining choices within the center.
- Attend Events at the Val Air Ballroom: Check out the event calendar for the Val Air Ballroom, a historic venue that hosts concerts, dance parties, and community gatherings. Experience the lively atmosphere and catch a live performance, making for a memorable night out in West Des Moines.
- Attend a Farmers’ Market: Immerse yourself in the local community and flavors by visiting one of West Des Moines’ farmers’ markets. These markets, held regularly, showcase fresh produce, handmade crafts, and artisanal goods. It’s an excellent opportunity to support local businesses and connect with the community.
- Discover Nature at Walnut Woods State Park: Nature enthusiasts will appreciate Walnut Woods State Park, where hiking trails wind through lush woodlands and along the Raccoon River. Pack a picnic and spend a day exploring the scenic beauty, birdwatching, and enjoying the tranquility of this natural oasis.
- Family Fun at Glow Golf: For a unique and family-friendly experience, try Glow Golf at Glowgolf Mini Golf. With fluorescent colors and glowing obstacles, this indoor mini-golf course provides a fun and challenging activity for all ages, making it an ideal spot for a lively and entertaining evening.
- Learn at the Science Center of Iowa: Engage your mind and spark curiosity at the Science Center of Iowa. With interactive exhibits, planetarium shows, and science demonstrations, this center caters to both children and adults. It’s an educational and entertaining destination for those interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
- Explore Historic Homes: Take a self-guided tour through some of West Des Moines’ historic homes. The city boasts beautifully preserved residences that showcase various architectural styles. Check local event listings, as some historic homes may host open houses or special events throughout the year.
- Golf at Des Moines Golf and Country Club: Golf enthusiasts can tee off at the Des Moines Golf and Country Club. Enjoy a round of golf on well-maintained courses surrounded by scenic landscapes. The club often hosts tournaments and events, providing an opportunity to witness or participate in the local golfing community.
- Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino: For those seeking a bit of excitement, Prairie Meadows offers a combination of horse racing and casino entertainment. Watch live horse races, try your luck at the casino, and enjoy dining options for a thrilling and lively experience.
- Attend Festivals and Events: Keep an eye on the local events calendar for festivals and gatherings throughout the year. West Des Moines hosts various events, including cultural festivals, music concerts, and community celebrations. Join in the festivities to experience the city’s dynamic and inclusive spirit.
- Relax at Clive Greenbelt Trail: Enjoy a leisurely stroll or bike ride along the Clive Greenbelt Trail. This scenic trail winds through parks, green spaces, and along water features, providing a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
West Des Moines, Iowa, is a city that seamlessly combines the allure of its history with the vibrancy of contemporary life. Whether you’re captivated by art, nature, or culinary delights, this Midwestern gem has an abundance of activities to satisfy your interests. So, lace up your walking shoes, embrace the warmth of the community, and embark on a journey of discovery in West Des Moines.