East Village with Kids in Des Moines, Iowa 

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East Village with Kids in Des Moines, Iowa 

The Historic East Village is a popular spot in central Iowa. The East Village is located on the East side of the Des Moines River in Downtown Des Moines. It is loaded with fun things to see and do for all ages including kids! If you are looking to kill time or go on an adventure, the East Village should be on your list. I love how everything is walkable and connected with walking paths. Take a look at some of our favorite things to do in the East Village with kids in Des Moines. 

Bookmark these other fun guides of fun things to do in Des Moines, Iowa:

Coffee Date Storytimes at Storyhouse Bookpub 

Address: 505 E Grand Avenue in Des Moines, IA

If there is just one day you can make it to the East Village, make it a Friday morning! Every Friday at 10:30 a.m. Storythouse Bookpub has teamed up with two other local, amazing businesses Daisy Chain and Raygun. Check out this fun itinerary for the morning. 

  • 10 a.m. at Daisy Chain: Mention storytime for $1 off your coffee and a free honey stick for the kids.
  • 10:30 a.m. Head to Storyhouse Bookpub. Sit and chat or have a leisurely browse in the bookstore while the kiddos read stories, practice fine motor skills, and sing along with Tiffany. They will have the space all set up for grownups to relax while kids read. Perfect for small kids! Geared toward 0 to 3 year olds. 
  • 11 a.m. Head over to Raygun to make fun art at their craft table and play in Tiny Raygun!

Can’t make it for Friday story time? Check out Storyhouse Bookpub’s monthly Saturday morning storytimes. Stay up to date with events and more on their social media pages

coffee date storytimes

Brenton Skating Plaza

Address: 520 Robert D. Ray Drive in Des Moines, IA

Not open all year round, but a great place to get some movement in during the wintertime! Brenton Skating Plaza offers special events and skates during the season including skating with a princess, Valentine skate, homeschool skate, and many more. 

Ephemera Design

Address: 505 E Locust Street in Des Moines, IA

Make a stop at Ephemera Design to check out the latest kid-friendly arts and crafts supplies.

First Fridays in the East Village

First Fridays in the East Village is similar to the Holiday Promenade but held during the Spring and Summer months. This is another great opportunity to explore the diverse district as a family. Each evening there are fun events planned, special deals at stores, and more. 

Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden

Address: 909 Robert D. Ray Drive in Des Moines, IA

The Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden is a great place to explore all year round. Search for the gnomes, play outside in their fun natural playscape, wander and smell the flowers, or take a look at their event calendar for fun programs they offer throughout the year. 

Nature Play Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, natural playground, Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, Des Moines, Iowa

Holiday Promenade

The annual Holiday Promenade is a staple for the East Village of Des Moines. Thursday evenings during the holiday season the East Village lights up with twinkly lights and businesses offer fun events, pop-up shops, deals, live music, offerings, and more. The evenings are filled with family-friendly fun including a chance to visit Santa and Mrs. Claus, and trolley rides. 

State Historical Museum of Iowa

Address: 600 East Locust Street in Des Moines, IA

The State Historical Museum of Iowa is a hidden gem in the Des Moines area and they offer FREE admission! The whole family will love wandering the museum filled with many exhibits with history about Des Moines and Iowa. Our favorite area at the museum is the Hands-On History which has play areas with LEGOs, train and car sets, a reading nook, and more. 

Tiny Raygun

Address: 505 East Grand Avenue in Des Moines, IA

Did you know there is a tiny play place in Raygun? This is a super fun place for kids to play and use their imaginations. It’s a little hidden fort near the children’s area. Let the kids play while you browse “The Greatest Store In The Universe”. 

Downtown Des Moines, East Village, RAYGUN

Iowa State Capitol

Address: 1007 E Grand Avenue in Des Moines, IA

Did you know that the Iowa State Capitol is the only five-domed state capitol in the United States? Tours at the Iowa State Capitol are free. Schedule a tour, learn some history, and climb the famous spiral staircase. It is also super fun to run up and down the stairs in front of the capitol which gives beautiful views of downtown Des Moines. A great way to let young kids burn off some energy! 

Molly’s Cupcakes

Address: 215 E 3rd Street in Des Moines, IA

Looking for a sweet treat? Look no further than Molly’s Cupcakes located next door to the Iowa Taproom (lunch spot?) The perfect place for dessert! They also offer an array of events such as Kids’ Cupcake Decorating Class or you can host a birthday party! Interested in some ice cream? Molly’s Frozen is located just around the corner and offers tasty ice cream! 

Vibrant Coffeehouse and Kitchen

Address: 520 E Grand Avenue in Des Moines, IA

Another fun spot to stop for a drink, breakfast, and/or lunch in the East Village. We love the fun feel at Vibrant Coffeehouse. They have a seating area with a fireplace where you can play games. Keep an eye on their social media channels because they always have some fun things scheduled! 

Witmer Park

Address: 1610 34th Street in Des Moines

Whitmer Park is not far from the East Village and was recently updated. A great place for kids to play with fun elements throughout the park. Witmer Park is a nature getaway in the middle of the city. The 19 acres are a wonderful place to explore. The stocked pond features a floating fishing pier. The large paved loops around the park are the perfect place to get steps in and also to bird watch.  

Witmer Park, Des Moines parks, Des Moines, Iowa

Zombie Burger + Drink Lab 

Address: 300 E Grand Avenue in Des Moines, IA

Zombie Burger has always been a family favorite. We love to stop here for lunch or dinner. Delicious burgers, yummy shakes, and fun decor inside! You can’t go wrong eating with Zombies! 

Family friendly, dinner, lunch, Des Moines, eat out, restaurants

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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