Bass Pro Shop Altoona – A Kid Destination?

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Bass Pro Shop Altoona probably isn’t the first destination that pops into your head when you think of entertaining the kiddos, but if you haven’t been there yet, add it to your list of places to go. You’ll be surprised by all the kid-friendly things there are to do!

What is Bass Pro Shops Known For?

Bass Pro Shops is a nationwide chain that specializes in hunting, fishing, camping, and other related outdoor recreation merchandise.

Why would I take the kids to a hunting and fishing store?  Don’t let the name fool you, there’s more to Bass Pro Shops than just hunting and fishing gear.  Yes, they do have plenty of that, but you will be amazed by some of the other cool things you will see. 

The first thing you need to check out at Bass Pro Des Moines (located in Altoona, IA) is the 30,000-gallon freshwater aquarium stocked with over 400 fish native to the Midwest. Kids love it and it’s a fantastic educational tool too! 

If you go at the right time, you can watch the fish being fed. Those times were Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 3 p.m., but check with the store to confirm before you go. 

In the same area as the aquarium (and all throughout the store), you will find wildlife mounts such as deer, bears, and mountain lions that give your children a chance to see these animals up close in a safe environment.

Now it’s time to check out the boats and ATVs. The kids can climb up on them and pretend they are driving or sailing around the world. Believe me, I know from personal experience that you might have to pry them off because they won’t want to leave.  

You could always tell them that it’s time to go look at the toys!  Yes, Bass Pro has a cool section of toys for the kids.  You will find many outdoor-themed toys that you don’t normally see at other local toy shops.

Is There Food at Bass Pro Altoona?

Getting a little tired or hungry after wandering the huge store? Oh look, they have their own restaurant right there. A nautical-themed grill, Uncle Buck’s Fish Bowl and Grill serves burgers, seafood, and sandwiches (yes, they have mac and cheese for those picky eaters).

And don’t miss the Bass Pro Shop bowling! There are 12 glow-in-the-dark bowling lanes right inside the restaurant.

Fish-themed bowling alley at Bass Pro Shop.

On your way out, grab a piece of fudge, or one of the many other candy options, by the main entrance. 

Bass Pro Shop Altoona is a low-cost, kid-friendly place to take the family for a really unique day out. If you visit around the holidays they may have a carousel, pictures with Santa or the Easter Bunny, and free kids crafts.

Does all this sound pretty good?  What are you waiting for?  Here are driving directions – head there today!


Thomas Brogan

Thomas Brogan, a native of Des Moines, was the original founder of Des Moines Parent and is a father to a 12 & 14-year-old. In his free time, he likes to explore nature, try new local restaurants, and enjoy life as best as he can.

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