Des Moines' Downtown Farmers' Market

#8 in Best Things To Do in Des Moines
Courtesy of Catch Des Moines

Key Info

1007 E Grand Ave.

Price & Hours

Hours vary seasonally


Free, Shopping Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend


  • 5.0Value
  • 2.0Facilities
  • 3.5Atmosphere

It started in 1976 with just 15 vendors and has since grown to nearly 300 vendors and an average of 25,000 visitors each Saturday. The Downtown Farmers' Market is the place to go to sample local produce, pastries, cheese and more.

Past visitors raved about the market and advised looking for long lines at vendors to determine which ones are the best. They also suggested coming hungry to make the most of the market's smorgasbord of food.

The market runs every Saturday from May through October. It is free to visit and can be found near the Iowa State Capitol. The free D-Line drops riders off within walking distance of the market's entrance. You can park at any of the spots along the D-Line's route and hop on the bus. This may be the best option as parking is limited near the market. For more information, visit the 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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Courtesy of Catch Des Moines
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