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Courtesy the Science Center of Iowa

Key Info

401 W Martin Luther King Jr Pkwy.

Price & Hours

$7 per person
Sat-Sun 9-11 a.m.; 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.; 2-4 p.m.

Details

Museums Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend

scorecard

  • 4.0Value
  • 3.5Facilities
  • 3.0Atmosphere

According to past visitors, the Science Center of Iowa is a great place to bring curious kids. Along with an Imax theater, the center is home to a variety of hands-on exhibits that explore everything from physical science to zoology, meteorology and geology. "Brick by Brick," which challenges kids to build and design structures using Legos, is a particular favorite among recent visitors.

Though reviewers offered plaudits for the science center, they also cautioned that it's best suited to little kids 10 and younger.

The science center is located in downtown Des Moines. It can be reached via the D-Line shuttle or by car. Parking is available at a covered garage across the street from the center. It costs $3 for the first hour and $1 for each additional hour after that. Tickets to the Science Center of Iowa cost $7 per person. Due to the coronavirus, the center is only open on Saturdays and Sundays during three time slots (9 to 11 a.m., 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 2 to 4 p.m.). Tickets for time slots must be purchased in advance on the science center's website.

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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.

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