Des Moines Art Center is “the Place to Be!”

Des Moines Art Center is “the Place to Be!”

Des Moines Art Center

The Des Moines Art Center has so much to offer.  I have been going continuously for as long as I can remember, more frequently since having a child 5 ½ years ago. I had been thinking that the art work definitely needed mixed up. Much to my delight that wish came true.  Last week when I went to the Art Center I noticed so many pieces that I hadn’t seen before, my five year old also noticed new pieces.  The Des Moines Art Center has about 5600 pieces to choose from in their vault or on loan, as well as additional art work at the John and Mary Pappahohn Sculpture Park and many sculptures amongst the Rose Gardens to the south of the Art Center.

Des Moines, Iowa, Des Moines Art Center

As you enter the DM Art Center, what awaits you are friendly humans eager to help guide you in the best direction.  For children and maybe adults too there are interactive boards to play with.  The boards show different works of art to identify.  The art center has now added a small book to their repertoire.  The book has activities and pictures of art as well as helpful hints on how to act in a museum.  The art center also encourages pictures and the sharing of such pictures using the hashtag  #EntirelyUnexpected.  Another way to use the museum and its resources would be to go into the Museum Shop, buy postcards of art work within the museum and have your child search for the art work viewed on the post cards.  You also have an opportunity to use the audio guide to help you through the museum.

Des Moines, Iowa, Des Moines Art Center

If you decide to go straight into the Anna K. Meredith Gallery the transformation from the Drawing in Space exhibit to the Wanderlust exhibit is amazing, vibrant, and enlightening.  There are three videos exhibits in the first gallery, then scattered throughout in the Meier Building are several more, which will keep the kids busy.

Des Moines, Iowa, Des Moines Art Center

There are three different buildings that make up the art center, Eliel Saarinen Building, I.M. Pei Building and the Richard Meier Building.  Each building is easy to navigate.  The Meier Building has stairs as well as a giant elevator.  Choosing the stairs gives you an opportunity to gaze out the windows or see an entire art installation above.    On the lower level are two gender neutral bathrooms that are clean and handicap accessible.  If anyone needs help there are many docents to help guide.

Des Moines, Iowa, Des Moines Art Center

You might also want to grab a bite at the Chef’s Palette.  The Café has small bites as well as handmade desserts.  The menu changes weekly there is also a kids menu.  The Café is open Tuesday – Saturday 11-2.

There is so much more the Des Moines Art Center has to offer.   The Art Center offers classes, camps, and one day workshops throughout the year.  Summer art camps are available for kids and adults.  The camps offer extended care.  You are able to get a discount of 20% if you become a member. Becoming a member is super easy.  Members get a discount at the Museum shop as well as many other  perks.  Prices start at $30 for students  to $55 for household/grandparent.  The membership yearly.

Yoga, Documentaries, Workshops, Performances, Drop in Baby & Me Tours, and Mother’s Books & Blankets are all offered at the Des Moines Art Center.  All things art can be found by visiting their website or by simply visiting the art center itself to see all the beautiful, amazing things they have for all ages!

Des Moines, Iowa, Des Moines Art Center

If you didn’t make it to the Drawing in Space exhibit don’t fret the Art Center has an equally wonderful exhibit in Wanderlust: Action, Traces, and Journeys (through May 13).  Go see the Des Moines Art Center it’s AMAZING!

Admission: Free


Closed Monday

Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. ,

Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ,

Sunday  Noon to 4 p.m.

Summer Camp: 515.271.0316; Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.




About the Author

Michele Krage is a funny human who lives with individuals for laughter and smiles. One husband is in the mix as well as one 5 ½ year old who acts 75.  I love art and eating out anytime of the day other than morning.

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