Top Places for Workday Play in Downtown Des Moines
Break out of the break room! These 10 places in Downtown Des Moines (DSM) are awesome spots to take a recess away from the office for a brain break, to garner some physical activity or to just have some fun.
Climb Iowa East Village
Test your climbing abilities with bouldering at Climb Iowa’s Historic East Village location. A fitness area also offers strength training and cardio exercise.
Take advantage of the swimming pool, racquetball courts, basketball courts, fitness classes and exercise equipment. Visitor passes are available for non-members to use by the day.
B-Cycle Bike Rentals
With 18 B-cycle stations available in Downtown DSM, rent a bicycle for a few hours to take a break outdoors, or even commute by bike to your next meeting!
Hop on your skateboard or scooter and go for a ride! If you prefer, you could also watch as a spectator. This skateboarding park in Downtown DSM is where the action is at.
Ideal for walking, running, biking, roller skating/rollerblading, scootering and skateboarding. Make your way to Lauridsen Skatepark or stop at the Rotary Riverwalk Park and spend a few minutes reliving your childhood enjoying the swings.
Take your pick in renting watercraft including kayaks, canoes, stand up paddle boards, pedal boats and row boats! Gray’s Lake also provides bike rentals, a walking/running/biking path, playground, beach, concession stand and shade trees for a few moments of Zen.
Water Works Park
With winding paved paths ideal for walking, running, biking (both road biking and mountain biking) or other recreation such as boarding or blading, Water Works Park in Downtown DSM is a great little getaway. Stop by the natural play areas to test your balance and garner sensory input. Bring your laptop and a hammock, lawn chair or picnic blanket and make it an afternoon of work away from your desk!
John & Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park
Explore arts and culture with a leisurely stroll through the Sculpture Park’s 24 sculptures located in Western Gateway Park, Downtown DSM.
Allow yourself some quiet solitude. Browse the bookshelves at the Des Moines Public Library’s Downtown location and fill up your weekend reading list by taking home a few books. E-book, audiobook, movie and magazine rentals are also available.
Yoga on Cowles Commons
Although the official programming takes place Sundays, June through September, you can still pack your yoga mat during the work week and get your downward dog on at Cowles Commons to find a little break from your cubicle! Cool off by dipping your toes in the zero-depth Lauridsen Fountain (re-opening in July 2022).
These Downtown Des Moines attractions are open for fun during the workday and serve as a great place to catch a break!
Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden
Enjoy the gardens both indoors and outdoors, sprinkled with artful sculptures and Downtown DSM skyline views. Stay for lunch at Trellis Café.
Iowa State Capitol
With free tours of the Capitol available including the Iowa Law Library, plus several artful sculptures scattered around the Capitol grounds and an unmatched view of Downtown Des Moines, you’re sure to find a nice little getaway here.
State Historical Museum of Iowa
Spend an hour or an afternoon perusing the Iowa-centric collections jam-packed with history, art and culture celebrating the state.
Downtown Breweries or Bars with Activities On-site
Play is the name of the game at these Downtown Des Moines brewery and bar locations open during the workday. A bite to eat and a board game make for a fun outing!
Confluence Brewing Company
Grab yourself a pint and play cards indoors or on their outdoor patio, with live music and food trucks also occasionally on the menu.
Peace Tree Brewing Co.
Try your hand at a board game. Patio seating available. Check their events calendar for trivia and live music.
Ricochet Des Moines
With its new location in 2022, this Downtown Des Moines gaming spot offers skee ball, darts, bags/cornhole, foosball, bubble hockey and board games.
And coming soon...
Explore the new park adjacent to EMC Insurance Companies on the former Younkers Building site where bags, pickleball, chess and other outdoor games are planned.