Des Moines Children’s Museum Details and New Programming

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Des Moines Children’s Museum Details and New Programming

The Des Moines Children’s Museum’s focus is on building the foundation of lifelong learning through the power of play. It started with a dream by two local moms a few years ago with a traveling exhibit, which quickly blossomed into a physical location in Des Moines, Iowa. While the majority who come to play are young children, older children have had just as much fun too.


The children’s museum is located in West Des Moines, Iowa on the lower level of Valley West Mall similar to the Iowa Children’s Museum located in Coral Ridge Mall. The actual address is 1551 Valley West Dr. Suite 108.

What are the Des Moines Children’s Museum hours?

The regular museum hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 9:30 to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday they are open a bit later from 9:30 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday they are open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and are closed Sundays for private parties.

How much does it cost to visit the children’s museum?

To visit the Des Moines Children’s Museum is reasonably priced at $6 for ages 1 to 10 years old. Ages under 1 year are free admission, but a donation is appreciated. The museum also participates in the Museums for All Admission program. If you show your EBT or WIC card admission is $2.

They also offer punch cards for $25 for 5 visits or an Annual Membership which is $125 for unlimited visits for up to 6 members of the same household, and 50% off admission to museums participating in the Association of Children’s Museums reciprocal network.

In addition, the Des Moines Children’s Museum participates in the Adventure Pass Programs. Visit your local library to check out a free admission pass to visit the museum for free!

Can we celebrate a birthday at the museum?

Yes, you can! The museum offers a private party room you can rent out to celebrate a birthday or any other celebration. Book it on a Sunday for a chance to enjoy the museum exhibits, interactive exhibits, play area, and more privately with friends and family.

What is the best way to contact the Des Moines Children’s Museum?

The best way to contact the staff and volunteers at the museum for additional information is via email or phone.

Email address – dsmchildren@gmail.com

Phone number – (515) 218-8344

Free Programming

Des Moines Children’s Museum is excited to be offering some new FREE programs outside their regular open hours this summer. Summer is a little bit slower season at the museum, so they are using their time to try out some new things, see what works best, and keep their favorites going in the fall.

Museum Babies

Museum Babies is a free program for babies and their grown-ups every Thursday morning from 9 to 9:30 a.m. before the museum opens. Having a baby is hard and wonderful, but it can be lonely, so the Des Moines Children’s Museum wants to help facilitate parents finding other parents with little ones close to the same age. This is a judgment free, all are welcome, time for parents with babies from newborn to 18 months old. They will open the doors a half hour early on Thursday mornings for babies to do lovely baby things like gurgle and roll during a calmer time at the museum while parents connect and chat. Older siblings are welcome to tag along too! There is no charge for older siblings to attend museum babies, anyone wishing to stay and play at the museum when we open can pay regular admission for the day at 9:30 a.m.

Find Your Village

One of the topics the museum staff sees come up all the time in local parent Facebook groups is “I need to make some friends with kids, help!” They want to help, so they are trying out Find Your Village events this summer. Every Thursday from 5 to 6 p.m. the museum will be open free of charge for parents and caregivers looking for an opportunity to socialize with other adults while the kids play. Expect nametags and some corny icebreaker questions to get people talking, and hopefully find a new friend or two!   


Messy Labs

Messy Labs is a place where you can get a lot messier without all the hassle! Join Ms. Kenzie for a small group activity every other Saturday where something is new, messy, and wacky every time! They will be trying out some new messy sensory activities to see which ones are the most fun, which ones work best as a small group, and which ones will make a great week-long activity in their Messy Zone at the museum! Their first Messy Lab will be testing out Fizzy Play Dough from 9:30 to10:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 9th. Smush it, cut it, listen to it sizzle! This dough is fun to touch and hear! We will have different fun containers, utensils, and play mats for all the play dough fun!

Messy Labs is a free program, but space is limited so please register here if you would like to join them.

Des Moines Children's Museum, Des Moines, Iowa, Valley West Mall, kids museums, children's museum, programming

Erin Huiatt

Erin is a reliable resource and stepping stone for women and families to find support and make connections within our community. She wants families to feel confident to reach out and ask for help and advice to get pointed in the right direction. She enjoys traveling and exploring with her two children in tow!

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