Explore Des Moines Favorites Virtually
I do not know about you, but our family sure does miss some of our favorite Des Moines businesses and organizations! Did you know that there several different ways you can connect with your Des Moines favorites virtually? I am grateful for the magic of technology that allows us to be close and support different Des Moines businesses and organizations from the comfort of our homes.
We have done some research and gathered a list of some ways you can explore Des Moines favorites virtually. Are we missing one? Let us know so we can get them added to this resource for families.
Blank Park Zoo
Do the zoo. Do the zoo virtually! The Blank Park Zoo is offering tons of great Facebook Lives and a live camera view of their coral reef aquarium. Check out their age-appropriate offline at-home activities too!
Looking for a way to support the Blank Park Zoo? You can purchase a family membership! During this time of uncertainty, the money will go to help support the animals and their caregivers during this time.
Des Moines Art Center
The Des Moines Art Center is offering a ton of virtual fun for families. Experience the John & Mary PappaJohn Sculpture Park by downloading, coloring and cutting out these adorable finger puppets. Explore everything the Des Moines Art Center has to offer from the comfort of your home through their virtual tours. This is a beautiful way to introduce art and culture to your little ones at home.
You can also support the Des Moines Art Center by becoming a member or even giving a membership. Take a look at all the options!
Des Moines Symphony
Des Moines Symphony has launched a new ‘DMSO at Home’ series. The home series is an innovative new series of videos and streaming content aimed at creating a connection with the community during this period of closures and concert postponements. Starting Sunday, April 5, musicians will stream concerts from their homes on the Des Moines Symphony’s Facebook page.
Goldfish Swim School
Missing the water? Goldfish Swim School has created some fun coloring and activity sheets so you can stay connected to Goldie and Goldfish Swim School.
Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden
The Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden may be closed to the public, but make sure you are following their Facebook page with daily glimpses of the beautiful garden. You will not want to miss their ‘Mindful Meditation’ series as well. Perfect for parents and kids! Do not miss their incredible online resource filled with activities including ‘Germination Station’, ‘Lead Discovery Packet’, and more.
The Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden is a Des Moines favorite all year round and as a non-profit, they rely on admissions. Looking for a great way to support them? Purchasing a membership is a great idea! There are many wonderful benefits to a Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden membership.
Iowa PBS offers some of my children’s favorite shows, but they are also offering a virtual camp for families too! Join families from across Iowa as we keep our skills sharp through a guided online learning camp with weekly challenges and educational apps from PBS KIDS and Iowa PBS Education. This guided camp is ideal for little ones 5-8 to spend a little time each week practicing their literacy and math skills.
Don’t miss Abby Brown every Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. She will share a story each week on Facebook Live. Set your alarms!
All of our local libraries are getting creative and offering books, music, classes and more virtually. Each library may vary in what they offer, so head to your local library’s website and take full advantage of all the virtual fun!
- Altoona Public Library
- Ankeny Public Library
- Clive Public Library
- Des Moines Public Library
- Grimes Public Library
- Johnston Public Library
- Urbandale Public Library
- West Des Moines Public Library
Living History Farms
Living History Farms is offering fun kids activities that they can do at home. The LHF Kids section included recipes, crafts, word search puzzles, coloring sheets and much more.
You can also take a look at the ‘Learning Fields’ to learn about crops, livestock, farm power, and people. There are also lesson plans, videos and more!
Polk County Conservation
Polk County Conservation is bringing their amazing programs to you digitally! Make sure you are following Jester Park Nature Center and the Polk County Conservation on Facebook. They will be going live on Facebook and have set up their events on the page. Tune in each morning at 10 a.m. for things like storytime, Toddler Tales, Live Animal feeding and more.
Science Center of Iowa
The Science Center of Iowa is full of hands-on learning and it is a struggle not being able to visit one of our Des Moines favorites to explore. They are working hard behind the scenes to take you ‘Beyond with SCI’ by offering Facebook Lives on their Facebook page. Learn about lycopodium and combustion and much more to come.
State Historical Society of Iowa
Carve out some time to learn about the history of Iowa. The State Historical Society of Iowa offers up a ton of great facts and links on their Facebook page regularly. Their website is full of awesome links and resources too!
Have you seen Goldie? Goldie is the State Historical Society of Iowa’s cute little mascot and is always filled with tons of fun for children. They are offering free, downloadable activities to do right now including an activity book, museum exhibit guide, and a scavenger hunt.
TigerLily STEM is a Des Moines favorite for fun STEM activities. No worries, they are offering weekly STEM @ Home activities. So far they have shared All About Birds and Buoyant Boats. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for the weekly theme!