April Rainy Day Activities in Des Moines

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April Rainy Day Activities in Des Moines

By April in the Midwest, we have seen a few glimpses of spring and summer. We have probably done all of the things there are to do indoors over winter. But we know April rainy days or arctic wind chills are bound to happen. Here is a list of a few places you can go to escape those dreary days in Des Moines, Iowa.

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Fleet Farm

My 3.5-year-old loves Fleet Farm! We test out the bikes, pretend to drive the tractors, and explore the off-road vehicles. I am not sure if my husband or son has more fun with this one! 

  • Fleet Farm Waukee: 1300 SE Kettlestone Blvd, Waukee, IA 50263
  • Fleet Farm Ankeny: 3875 SE Delaware Ave, Ankeny, IA 50021

Bass Pro Shop

We have spent many rainy days exploring Bass Pro Shop. There are several boats to admire and they usually don’t mind you climbing onto them. They have a large aquarium to look at and stuffed animals too. We have not gone bowling there yet, but that is an option as well. 

  • 1000 Bass Pro Dr NW, Altoona, IA 50009

Barnes and Noble

Your kids will love a ride up the escalator to the children’s area. There are plenty of books to browse and a staging area to play on too. Finish off with a hot drink and a treat at the Starbucks on the first floor. We went to the University Ave location. 

  • The Shoppes at Three Fountains 4550, University Ave, West Des Moines, IA 50266
  • Jordan Creek Town Center, 101 Jordan Creek Pkwy Unit 12170, West Des Moines, IA 50266

YMCA Waukee Open Swim

The YMCA in Waukee has a zero-depth entry into the pool. They offer several open swims throughout the week. You do not have to be a member to swim. Register to swim at the YMCA!

  • Day passes are $15 for an adult, and $5 for each child or you can also purchase a family day pass for $30.00
  • 210 N Warrior Ln, Waukee, IA 50263

Scenic Drives

These have become a family favorite. They started as a way to get our first child to sleep since car naps were the only naps. Then during the start of the pandemic, it was one of the only things to do.  And now we just enjoy doing them. Here are a few of our go-to’s. 

  • Covered Bridges of Madison County: Start with a stop by The Cellar for a to-go lunch, treat, or hot drink in Winterset. Then make your way over the rolling hills for a beautiful scenic drive. Winterset is such a fun place to explore!
  • Saylorville Lake: Start in Jester Park for a chance to see some wildlife. Then make your way across the mile-long bridge and take a break in Polk City at Rising Sun Cafe for a warm drink. Finish off with a drive over the southern bridge to see the Saylorville Dam.
  • Pella: Take Highway 5 south, crossing over the bridge at Lake Red Rock. Drive around Pella and take in the Dutch Architecture. Stop by one of the local bakeries for a treat.  

Summer will eventually get here and we can enjoy the outdoors once again. Until then, enjoy these rainy-day adventures!

Jackie Fioritto

Jackie Fioritto

Hi, I’m Jackie. I am a teacher who recently became a stay-at-home mother of two. My husband and I moved to Des Moines from Green Bay, Wisconsin a few years ago. Originally, I am from Chicago, Illinois. My family has loved exploring Des Moines and all that it has to offer!

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