When you have some time off, do you find yourself visiting the same events and attractions around Des Moines? The city has a number of entertainment options that you may not have discovered yet. To get you started, here is a list of some of our favorite low-profile activities.
Enjoy biking, swimming, fishing and boating without leaving the city. The 1.9-mile trail that encircles the lake is equipped with lighting and emergency phones for the safety of visitors. Life jackets are available free of charge at the designated beach area. Bring your own boat or rent canoes, kayaks, sailboats, stand-up paddle boards and pedal boats at the concession stand. Make a point to visit the park at least once during evening hours to walk the colorfully-lit pedestrian bridge.
This festival is filled with so much entertainment that it had to be expanded to two full days. 2015 marks the 13th year of the event, taking place on August 7 and 8. Atlanta rapper Wacka Flocka Flame headlines the schedule that features dozens of acts performing on multiple stages. Don't miss the Iowa Hip-Hop Showcase starring the best of up-and-coming local talents. Two-day passes are only $40, but follow them on Facebook for weekly chances to win free tickets.
During winter, this one-of-a-kind outdoor venue offers open skating and lessons to visitors of all ages. During summer it's home to concerts, yoga classes and other community events. In June 2014 a stunning canopy was added to the facility, providing protection from the elements while still affording panoramic downtown views.
Des Moines gets a head start on this popular international holiday by holding the festivities in September. The two-day event scheduled for September 26 and 27 includes live music, polka lessons, the Bier Maiden contest and a stein-holding competition. Enjoy authentic German dishes like wienerschnitzel, dumplings, strudel, and of course, lots and lots of beer. Discount tickets can be purchased in advance on the website. Price includes a commemorative Oktoberfest mug.
Do you have any special attractions included in your plans for the summer? Tell us about them in the comments!