Courtesy of Catch Des Moines

Key Info

4700 Grand Ave.

Price & Hours

Tues-Wed, Fri 11 a.m.-7 p.m. | Thurs 11 a.m.-7 p.m. | Sat-Sun 10 a.m.-4 p.m.


Museums, Free Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend


  • 5.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 3.5Atmosphere

A companion site to the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park, the Des Moines Art Center features a collection of 19th-, 20th- and 21st-century works of modern and contemporary art. Other artistic styles, including Renaissance, impressionism and post-impressionism, are also on display here. Artists featured in the center's 5,000-work collection include Georgia O'Keeffe, Henri Matisse and Edward Hopper, among others.

Past travelers enjoyed visiting the Des Moines Art Center, though a few were unimpressed with its size. Some recommended opting for a guided tour to make the most of your visit. If you aren't able to arrange one, you can also access an audio tour at any time via your mobile phone.

You'll find the Des Moines Art Center a little less than 5 miles west of downtown Des Moines. Admission to the Des Moines Art Center is free. The museum welcomes visitors Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A gift shop, parking lot and cafe are also located on-site. For more information, visit the art center's official website.

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#1 Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden

Despite chilly Midwestern winters, the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden remains a year-round top attraction thanks to the site's domed conservatory, which is kept consistently balmy to nurture the tropical plants housed within. Along with palm trees and a waterfall, the conservatory houses a variety of bright flowers, cactuses and succulents, among other plants. Outside the conservatory, there are numerous themed gardens interspersed with sculptures, including a rose garden and a water garden. In total, the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden spans 7 acres.

According to recent visitors, the garden is a worthwhile stop year-round. Many who visited during winter referred to the conservatory as an oasis. Reviewers frequently used words like "beautiful" and "relaxing" to describe the garden.

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