Although a metropolis that is experiencing a surge in popularity, Des Moines Iowa has many activities that won’t make a dent in your wallet. A city nestled in the center of Iowa and surrounded by rolling hills, your Des Moines dentist, Dr. Stephen Burds, suggests spending some time enjoying Des Moines on a penny.
What: The historic East Village district
A commercial and residential neighborhood in downtown Des Moines, the East Village district encompasses blocks of restaurants and businesses at the base of the gold-domed state Capitol building. Consisting of a variety of restaurants and unique, quaint, and quirky shops, it’s a great place to peruse without spending a penny. The Capitol, which was opened in 1886, stands upon a hilltop that offers views of the East Village and downtown below. The State Historical Museum features free exhibits regarding Iowa history, and the Capitol is open to visitors and offers regular tours.
What: Sculpture Park
Open: Sunrise to Midnight
On the west end of downtown is located the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park. A 4.4-acre park on the west end of downtown with more than two dozen installed art pieces on display year-round each with a range of height, size and theme. Opened in 2009, the park is a representation of the city’s revitalization as a destination for out-of-state visitors. Use your cellphone to listen to a free audio tour, simply by dialing the numbers listed with each work of art. Guided tours are available from April 1st to October 1st but must be scheduled three or more weeks in advance. Guided tours are not needed to view the sculptures.
- Smoking in the park is prohibited
- The park is a collaborative effort of the Pappajohns,
the City of Des Moines, the Des Moines Art Center, and numerous corporate and private funders.
- Please respect the sculptures.