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Layover Ideas

Des Moines Airport DSM

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Top Recommended Layover Activities:

1. Fort Des Moines Museum
225 S.E. Army Post Road
Des Moines, Iowa
Phone: 515-284-6005
Explore the history of the Women's Army Auxilliary Corps when it was stationed in Des Moines from 1942-46. Fort Des Moines also housed the first black officer training center in 1917.

2. Terrace Hill Historic Site
2300 Grand Ave.
Des Moines, Iowa
Phone: 515-281-3604
Please call ahead for hours of operation
On the highest hill in Des Moines, this is the home of Iowa's governor. It is known as the "palace of the prairie." It was first built in 1869 for B.F. Allen, the state's first millionaire. The heirs of the next owner, Frederick M. Hubbell donated the estate to the state of Iowa for use as the governor's residence.

3. State of Iowa Historical Museum
600 E. Locust St.
Des Moines, Iowa
Phone: 515-281-5111
Open: 9-4:30 Tue.-Sat.; noon-4:30 Sun. Closed Mon. and state holidays.
Just west of the Capitol building, this museum has hands-on exhibits that bring Iowa history to life. Many other interesting and varied exhibits are available for visiting.

4. State Capitol
East Ninth and Grand Ave.
Des Moines, Iowa
Phone: 515-281-5591
Open: 8-4:30 Mon.-Fri., 8-4 weekends and holidays. Please call to confirm hours of operation.

5. Des Moines Botanical Center
909 E. River Drive
Des Moines Iowa
Open: 10-6 Mon.-Thu., 10-9 Fri., 10-5 Sat.-Sun., year-round.
Spectacular seasonal displays of plants, flowers and free-flying birds. Reputed for its huge collection of the Midwest's ornamental and native plants, this 14-acre center bordering the Des Moines River features a domed conservatory that houses over 1000 varieties of exotic plants from throughout the world. The center also has an impressive herb garden, tropical and desert plants, and one of the best bonsai collections in the U.S.

Top Weekend Getaways And Day Trip Excursions:

1. Iowa State Fair
30th and University Ave.
Des Moines, Iowa
Phones: 515-262-3111 or 800-545-FAIR (June-Aug.)
Sometimes billed as America's Classic State Fair, with its traditional competitions, agricultural exhibits and food displays, this August event - the hottest draw in town - also features one of the world's largest livestock shows. The 400-acre fairgrounds hosts events year-round with three outdoor stages, show rings, baseball fields and a multimedia center, and also houses a 160-acre campground.

2. Blank Park Zoo
7401 SW Ninth St.
Des Moines, Iowa
Open: 10-5 daily, May 1-Oct. 15.
A wide variety of animals are housed in natural settings at this 22-acre, relatively small zoo, dedicated to caring for the over 800 animals, educating the public about different species, and generating fun experiences for children, such as crawling through simulated prairie dog tunnels and feeding, petting and riding animals.

3. Des Moines Art Center
4700 Grand Ave.
Des Moines, Iowa 50312
Phone: 515-277-4405
Fax: 515-271-0357
Museum Hours:
Open 11 am - 4 pm; Thursdays until 9 pm; First Friday of each month 11 am - 9 pm; Sunday - noon - 4 pm; Closed Monday. Thursday and the first Friday of each month extended hours are for Art After Hours. Noon-4 Sundays. Free Admission. Please call ahead for details and to confirm hours of operation. This internationally acclaimed museum houses impressive works by artists of the 19th and 20th centuries, including Edward Hopper, Georgia O'Keefe and Henri Matisse. The center, which also offers art classes, consists of three buildings, each designed by a celebrated architect: Eliel Saarinen, I.M. Pei and Richard Meier.

4. Amana Colonies National Historic Landmark
Amana, Iowa
United States
Tel: 800-579-2294
URL: http://www.amanacolonies.com
This village, founded by 18th-century German immigrants, was the foundation for modern Amana.

5. University of Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa
United States
This Big 10 school's 1,900 acres are centered in downtown Iowa City.