Iowa State Capitol
E. 9th and Grand
Tours scheduled between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. Saturday tours are every half hour from 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Groups must schedule in advance.
The Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines, signifies the prodigious spirit of Iowa. Built between 1871 and 1886, this magnificent building’s golden dome can be seen for miles, symbolizing representative government for the citizens of the state.
State Historical Building
600 E. Locust, (515) 281-5111
Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Sunday, noon-4:30 p.m.
The State Historical Building serves as an exciting place where Iowans and other visitors can experience the past. Housed within the building are the historical museum, historical library and archives, historic preservation offices, and administrative offices of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, the State Historical Society of Iowa, the Historical Foundation, and the Iowa Arts Council. Browse in the Museum Store or dine at Cafe Baratta’s.
Des Moines Botanical Center
909 Robert D. Ray Drive
Daily, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Adults $4; Students (6-17) $2; Seniors (65+) $2; children under 5 free
Located on 14 acres along the east bank of the Des Moines River, the Des Moines Botanical Center provides botanical displays and educational services for its visitors. Visit The Garden Gate Gift Shop or the Riverwalk Cafe during your visit.
Iowa Genealogical Society
628 E. Grand Ave.
M, W, F, S, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Tues., Thurs., 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
Throughout the year, the Iowa Genealogical Society (IGS) is active in promoting family history, education, and the preservation of records vital in the search for your ancestors. IGS’s state-of-the-art facility integrates technology with traditional research. The facility provides a wireless network, high speed Internet access, a bank of computers, and a reader-printer that scans microfilm images direct to CD-ROM. There are 20,000 volumes and 15,000 microforms, including: vital records, histories, federal and state census records, military records, and more.
Simon Estes Riverfront Amphitheater
The Simon Estes Riverfront Amphitheater is located downtown just south of City Hall at East First between Locust and Walnut. This beautiful location has been used for fun runs and walks, bike rides, political campaigns, concerts, class reunions, and weddings. In summer, the amphitheater is home to Nitefall on the River, a series of concerts featuring a mix of music such as jazz, blues, folk, and more.
The Principal Riverwalk connects the east and west sides of downtown Des Moines through a 1.2 mile loop of paths and bridges. The Long Look Garden and Hansen Triangle plazas feature significant sculptures from world-renowned artists. Two new pedestrian bridges cross the river – the Union Railroad Bridge on the south and the Court Avenue Bridge on the north.
Brenton Skating Plaza
520 Robert D. Ray Drive
Brenton Skating Plaza is Des Moines’ outdoor ice skating attraction and year-round event center. Enjoy a day of figure eights, hot cocoa, and unforgettable moments season after season! Birthday parties, broomball games, music events, company get-togethers. Plus, skating lessons for all ages.