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Experiencing Downtown 

Fun things to do in Downtown Des Moines (DSM) are easy to come by! Whether you're visiting for the first time or here for a lifetime, you can count on a good time. From boutique shopping in the Historic East Village and the Historic Court District to memorable meals at amazing restaurants near Western Gateway, every block is an adventure!

Experience a city where sculptures are easily found and miles of biking trails run right next door. With internationally ranked events, nationally renowned local chefs and family friendly tours, parks and museums, there is something fun for everyone. 

The Holidays in Downtown Des Moines

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Celebrate in Downtown DSM! Whether you’re searching for gifts for everyone on your list, seeking a memorable holiday experience or looking to explore the great outdoors, you can celebrate and support local in Downtown DSM. Here are just a few of the can’t-miss ways to experience the season here: 

  • Special events: Experience Holiday Promenade (every Friday, Nov. 15 – Dec. 15), the Downtown Winter Farmers’ Market presented by UnityPoint Health – Des Moines(Nov. 17– 19) and any number of other seasonal happenings in Downtown DSM. (Check out the events calendar to find out what’s coming up next).  
  • Shop: Dozens of locally owned retailers dot Downtown DSM neighborhoods and you can find everything from books to clothing to jewelry, home decor, food gifts, beauty products and more. Find recommendations on the Downtown DSM blog
  • Winter Fun: After the snow flies and the temperatures cool, go sledding and even snowshoeing in the parks and recreation areas around Downtown DSM. Or lace up some skates and enjoy Brenton Skating Plaza

Downtown Des Moines Activities

What’s on the itinerary? Start planning your next adventure here:

For information about where to park, visit the Getting Around & Parking page.

Visiting Downtown DSM

Whether you're here for work or play, there are plenty of options for places to stay. From hotels to short-term rentals, you can feel at home here in the heart of Greater Des Moines (DSM).

For more information about Downtown DSM, visit Catch Des Moines.