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Downtown DSM Attractions

Whether you’re currently living here, relocating or just planning to visit Des Moines, check out the great activities and attractions in Downtown Des Moines!

Arts & Culture in Downtown Des Moines

Downtown DSM is center stage for arts and culture in Greater Des Moines (DSM). From the Des Moines Civic Center, host to nationally-acclaimed Broadway shows, to the Pappajohn Sculpture Park, home to some of the world's most celebrated artwork, the streets will take you to the heart of art, literally – follow Art Route DSM, a 6-mile path showcasing nearly 100 pieces of art from both local and international artists, to see for yourself!

For more information about other venues and events for arts and culture, visit the Greater Des Moines Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Music & Entertainment in Downtown Des Moines

Downtown Des Moines is also a hotspot for music and entertainment, with various concert venues dotting the city and several different music festivals hosted Downtown annually.

When the sun goes down, venues in the Historic East Village, Historic Court District and Western Gateway ramp up with live music acts in all genres. Wooly’s and Vaudeville Mews are just a few local favorites. Throughout the summer, Brenton Skating Plaza and Simon Estes Amphitheater transform to also welcome a lineup of shows held each summer at Nitefall on the River. And if you're lucky, you're in town for one of the many nationally-renowned and world-class music festivals that take place in the heart of Downtown DSM.

Need ideas for where to eat or grab a drink before a show? There are many places for that! Check out some of Des Moines’ famous Downtown restaurants located just around the corner from your evening’s entertainment.

Fun for the Whole Family: Things to Do in Downtown Des Moines with Kids

The whole family can enjoy family-friendly stops in Downtown DSM. From the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park to the Brenton Skating Plaza, there's something fun to do for all ages! Some other local family things to do in Downtown Des Moines with kids include:

Downtown Des Moines Museums

Downtown Des Moines Bike Trails and Outdoor Attractions

Many Des Moines bike trails run through Downtown DSM, and there are many other activities and attractions available for outdoor family fun:

More Fun Things to Do with Kids in Des Moines

Sightseeing on a Budget: Free Things to Do in Des Moines

It can be difficult for a family to enjoy a city without breaking the bank. Fortunately, Downtown Des Moines offers plenty of free options for those who want to explore or visit Des Moines on a budget. Many of the sites listed above are free or inexpensive, but we’ll highlight a few of our favorites: