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4 Mega Kid-Friendly Spring Break Ideas in Downtown Des Moines

DSM Spring Break Ideas

It’s here, it’s here! The much-awaited spring break is finally here in Downtown Des Moines (DSM). As you look to create a week full of fun memories and family time, take a look at this mega list of ideas to maximize spring break to the fullest in Downtown DSM.

IDEA #1: Go shopping in Downtown Des Moines!

Take advantage of the spring season and wander the streets of Downtown DSM’s local shops and boutiques. Here are several ideas on places to visit for a downtown shopping spree that kids will love, too:

Aha! Store at the Science Center – Shop kid-friendly science kits and building sets, telescopes and microscopes and many more fun and unique STEM items.

Eden – There’s more than beauty and skin care products here! Shop an adorable curation of things for little ones.Ephemera

Ephemera – Explore a unique selection of games, toys and more items for kids and babies.

Janes – Family Shop – Apparel for babes, kiddos and mamas, too!

Jett & Monkey’s Dog Shoppe – Here’s your sign to snag a sweet treat or fun springy gift for your furry friend!

Garden Shop at the Botanical Garden – Plants, jewelry, books and more (lots more!).

Plain Talk Books & Coffee – Shop an extensive selection of secondhand books.

RAYGUN – Find tchotchkes and souvenir items including stickers, magnets, postcards, coasters and quirky screen-printed clothing for the whole family.

The Salvation Army – You never know what treasures will be found at this Downtown DSM thrift store. The selection is different from one day to the next!

Storyhouse Bookpub – Find something for the kiddos to read, so you can kick your feet up and relax.

West End Architectural Salvage – Traipse four floors of unique finds ranging from reclaimed, vintage, antique and salvaged items. (Pro Tip: This could be a great spot for an indoor scavenger hunt on a cloudy day!)

IDEA #2: Hit up a Downtown DSM attraction.

No need to travel far and wide to get that perfect spring break experience. Get your palm tree fix while you wander the luscious foliage inside the tropical oasis of the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden. Explore the Botanical Garden’s events calendar for interactive classes and family-friendly workshops, while you’re at it.Ice Skating at Brenton

Some like to relax during downtime, and others rejuvenate through physical activity! If the latter sounds like your family’s vibe, give Climb Iowa’s bouldering wall a try or make ice skating at Brenton Skating Plaza (open weather-permitting through Wednesday, March 15) your spring break destination.

Visit the hands-on exhibits and displays at the State Historical Museum of Iowa or the Science Center of Iowa. Kids of all ages and stages (plus their parents and grandparents, too!) will love exploring and learning something new at both of these venues.

IDEA #3: Treat yo’self in Downtown Des Moines …

To breakfast or brunch: Somewhere like Fresko, the Breakfast Club or Railroad Bill’s should do the trick! Order an OJ for the kids and a mimosa for yourself — cheers!

To lunch or dinner: If the weather is sunny, snag a patio seat at Mullet’s or Buzzard Billy’s (be sure to call ahead to enquire about patio seating). Grab a slice of pizza at Mad Meatball or Franka Pizzeria. Or try something that feels fun and unique for break, yet still kid-friendly, such as Big Grove Brewery, Spaghetti Works or Zombie Burger.Cinnaholic Treat

To dessert: Hey, spring break is a vacation — right? Don’t skimp on the sweet stuff! Stop in for something decadent from Cinnaholic, Insomnia Cookies or Dough Crazy. You certainly won’t regret it.

IDEA #4: Don’t miss these Downtown Des Moines events!

NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball – 1st and 2nd Rounds

Thursday, March 16 & Saturday, March 18 | Wells Fargo Arena
This year, March Madness® is making a stop in Des Moines. General public access is sold out, but don’t fret! You can still participate in several ways. Learn more about Open Practice Day and the NCAA® Fan Fest, plus find a list of watch locations.

Hoops and Hops

Hoops & Hops

Thursday, March 16 – Saturday, March 18 | Cowles Commons
This festival atmosphere is a top-notch destination for your family’s spring break staycation in Downtown DSM. You’ll find bracket-busting basketball action, food, drink and loads of fun here. Admission is free!

 St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Friday, March 17 | Western Gateway
This DSM staple event and free celebration of St. Patty’s Day begins at Noon, winding its way around the streets of Downtown’s Western Gateway neighborhood. Be sure to pack a lawn chair or blanket to sit on, and don’t forget to don your green garb (or you just might get a pinch!).

P.S. — Find even more ideas of things to do during Spring Break week around Downtown DSM, and make it a true staycation with these easy ways to create a Downtown DSM tropical getaway (without travel!).

Plan your visit to Downtown Des Moines (DSM) with these tips for parking and navigation and follow @downtownDSMUSA on Instagram for more epic, things-you-just-can’t-miss happening around Downtown.

Greater Des Moines Partnership

DSM USA is the regional identifier for Greater Des Moines (DSM). DSM USA is a bold statement to the world: This is a welcoming, diverse and vibrant community with affordable and accessible amenities for residents and businesses. This regional identifier is the result of significant quantitative and qualitative research. The Partnership will champion the DSM USA message, and encourages its Investors, its more than 6,500 Regional Business Members and DSM USA Ambassadors to help share the region's story with One Voice.