Plan Your Vacation as a Staycation in Downtown Des Moines
This summer, make your vacation a staycation with these fun things to do in Downtown Des Moines (DSM). These weekend itineraries are for a 48-hour getaway without the hassle of travel or long-distance driving.
Couple’s Getaway in Downtown Des Moines
Hotel Pick: The Surety
Activities in Downtown Des Moines can be romantic, adventurous, relaxing or all of the above — whatever you need for a weekend getaway with your special someone.
Friends’ Weekend in Downtown Des Moines
Hotel Pick: The AC Hotel by Marriott
Your bestie reunion is a great chance to impress your crew with the coolest attractions and fun things to do in Downtown Des Moines. You’ll be the hero of the weekend with these places in mind:
Family Thing to Do in Downtown Des Moines
Hotel Pick: The Residence Inn by Marriott
It’s not to late to squeeze in a summer vacation! These Downtown Des Moines hotspots are perfect for your family-friendly adventure.
- Start the weekend right with an epic Iowa Cubs game, where every Friday night home game ends with fireworks!
- Saturday morning, treat your family to a special vacation breakfast in Downtown Des Moines: Cinnaholic cinnamon rolls or ChuChu Donuts.
- Families also love Des Moines' Downtown Farmers’ Market, which is conveniently located steps from the Residence Inn. Pick up some snacks or treats, take in music and just enjoy the sights and sounds of The Market together.
- Spend the afternoon launching paper rockets, racing Lego cars, learning about space and seeing Iowa’s native creatures first-hand at the Science Center of Iowa.
- Kids will love dinner at a family-friendly Downtown Des Moines restaurant like Zombie Burger or Buzzard Billy’s.
- Sunday morning, swing by Lauridsen Skatepark. Either pack your skateboards or scooters to get in on the action or sit on the sidelines as a spectator — both equally fun for kids and parents, too!
- Be sure to snag a souvenir at Raygun, and a snack for the road from Almost Famous Popcorn Company or Molly’s Cupcakes.
(P.S. – We have even more family-friendly adventure ideas for you! Learn more.)
Solo Trip in Downtown Des Moines
Hotel Pick: Des Lux
Spending a weekend flying solo can be incredibly invigorating and refreshing. Here’s a fun way to spend your much-needed alone time in Downtown Des Moines.
- Friday night means the Downtown Des Moines skyline views are lit up and looking lovely! Snag a photo from an iconic Downtown Des Moines viewpoint and post it on your favorite social media account. (Bonus: Use hashtag #downtownDSM when you post!)
- Saturday morning, explore something off the beaten path or try something outside of your comfort zone: Wander through the American Dream Machines display room, try bouldering at Climb Iowa, take an art class at Mainframe Studios or attend a plant workshop at Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden.
- Then spend an hour or two shopping! A few favorite stores include Reclaimed DSM, AllSpice Culinarium, Kitchen Collage, Fontenelle Supply Co. and Aimee.
- Treat yo’self to dinner at a nice restaurant in Downtown Des Moines, such as 801 Chophouse, Lucca, Tupelo Honey, Splash Seafood Bar and Grill or Proudfoot & Bird.
- Sunday morning, wrap up your weekend with rejuvenation by participating in Yoga at Cowles Commons.
To fully enjoy your staycation in Downtown Des Moines, find additional information on hotels and places to stay, restaurants and nightlife, shops, festivals, attractions and more.
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