37 Best Things to Do in Des Moines at Night | 2024 (with Photos)

Natalija Marković

Natalija Marković - Travel Writer

Published: August 29, 2023

Hey there! I'm Natalija, and as a seasoned traveler, I'm here to share my top recommendations for an unforgettable night in Des Moines. Get ready to explore the city's vibrant nightlife with my list of the 37 best things to do, complete with stunning photos.

aerial view of city at night with lots of buildings

Welcome to Des Moines, a vibrant city that comes alive at night with a multitude of unique and exciting activities.

Whether you're a local looking for new experiences or a visitor seeking memorable adventures, Des Moines has something for everyone after the sun sets.

From exploring the city's vibrant downtown scene to indulging in delicious cuisine and enjoying live entertainment, there's no shortage of options to keep you entertained.

Join us as we uncover the best things to do in Des Moines. Get ready to immerse yourself in the energy and charm of this bustling Midwestern city after dark.

Most Recommended Thing to Do

Willis Tower

Top Choice Hotel

The Langham, Chicago.

Our Top Choice Restaurant


Our Top Choice Bar for Nightlife

The Hangge-Uppe

Best Time to Visit

Spring and fall offer ideal weather conditions.

Average Temperature

The average temperature in Illinois is temperate.

Transportation Options

Trains, buses, cars, bikes - lots of options!

Average Cost ($, $$, $$$)


My Top Recommendation

When it comes to exploring the bustling city of Chicago in Illinois, there's no shortage of incredible experiences to have. One must-visit spot is Millennium Park, located in the heart of the city. This vibrant urban oasis not only offers stunning architecture and beautiful landscaping, but it's also home to several iconic landmarks, including the famous Cloud Gate sculpture, affectionately known as "The Bean". Take a leisurely stroll through the park, soak in the breathtaking views of the city's skyline, and if you're lucky, catch a free outdoor concert or performance. Whether you're a culture enthusiast, nature lover, or simply seeking a charming escape, Millennium Park is a must-see destination that embodies the spirit and energy of Chicago.

For a more offbeat and eclectic experience in Illinois, head down to Urbana-Champaign, a vibrant college town brimming with youthful energy and creativity. One of the highlights of this charming city is the Krannert Art Museum, situated on the University of Illinois campus. Explore the impressive collection of contemporary and classical art, including works by renowned artists, as well as engaging exhibitions that delve into thought-provoking themes. After immersing yourself in art, take a stroll through the lively downtown area, where you'll find unique boutiques, cozy cafes, and an array of international cuisine options. Urbana-Champaign offers a refreshing blend of intellectual stimulation and vibrant community, making it the perfect destination for those seeking a more personal and enriching travel experience in Illinois.

What You'll Need to Bring

  1. Weather-appropriate clothing
  2. Comfortable walking shoes
  3. Travel guidebook or map
  4. Reusable water bottle
  5. Camera or smartphone for taking photos
  6. Charger for your electronic devices
  7. Travel insurance information
  8. Money or credit cards for expenses
  9. Any necessary medications or medical supplies
  10. Personal toiletries and hygiene products.

Things You'll Need To Bring for Outdoor Activities:

  1. Sunscreen
  2. Insect repellent
  3. Hat or cap for sun protection
  4. Lightweight and breathable clothing
  5. Outdoor gear such as hiking boots or swimwear
  6. Snacks and water for day trips
  7. Backpack to carry essentials
  8. Portable charger or extra batteries for electronic devices
  9. Outdoor equipment like a tent or camping gear if needed
  10. Maps or GPS device for navigating wilderness areas.

What Not to Miss

  1. Millennium Park - Features iconic landmarks like Cloud Gate (The Bean) and Crown Fountain.
  2. Navy Pier - Offers rides, attractions, and stunning views of Lake Michigan.
  3. The Art Institute of Chicago - Houses a vast collection of art from around the world.
  4. Willis Tower Skydeck - Provides breathtaking views of the city from the iconic glass ledge.
  5. Wrigley Field - The historic home of the Chicago Cubs baseball team.
  6. Magnificent Mile - A shopper's paradise with high-end stores and luxury boutiques.
  7. Shedd Aquarium - Explore a variety of aquatic species in an impressive marine environment.
  8. Chicago Riverwalk - A scenic spot for strolling, dining, and enjoying architectural views.
  9. Museum of Science and Industry - Offers interactive exhibits and educational displays.
  10. Grant Park - A large park with beautiful gardens and hosting events like Lollapalooza.

One Hidden Gem in CITY.

What to Avoid

Crowded tourist attractions, traffic congestions, expensive restaurants, tourist traps, unsafe neighborhoods, public transportation during rush hours

1. Explore Downtown Des Moines

a large church with a tower

Immerse yourself in the vibrant energy of downtown Des Moines. Take a stroll along the charming streets lined with shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues.

Experience the warm hospitality of this friendly Midwestern city as you explore its diverse culinary scene, lively nightlife, and unique local businesses.

Whether you're looking for live music, art galleries, or simply a pleasant atmosphere to unwind, downtown Des Moines has it all.

Indulge in the bustling ambiance and discover why this Midwest gem is known for its welcoming charm.

2. See Greater Des Moines

the city skyline at night

Venture beyond downtown and explore the Greater Des Moines area. This thriving region offers a plethora of attractions and activities to suit all interests.

From catching a live performance at one of the many theaters and concert venues to enjoying the vibrant nightlife in trendy neighborhoods, there is always something happening in Greater Des Moines after dark.

Experience the dynamic energy of the city as you navigate its diverse neighborhoods, each with its unique character and offerings.

Whether you're seeking cultural experiences, live entertainment, or a lively social scene, Greater Des Moines has you covered.

3. Visit West Des Moines

house with lights on that relfects in the water

Located just a short drive from downtown, West Des Moines offers a delightful array of nighttime activities. 

Explore the charming streets lined with upscale shops and boutiques, where you can indulge in some late-night shopping.

Unwind at one of the cozy cafes or bars, savoring a refreshing beverage while enjoying the lively atmosphere.

West Des Moines also boasts a variety of dining options, ranging from fine dining establishments to casual eateries, where you can savor delicious cuisine prepared by talented local chefs.

Experience the warm hospitality and relaxed ambiance of West Des Moines as you explore its nighttime offerings.

4. Catch a Performance at Des Moines Civic Center

a large crowd of people in a Civic Center

Immerse yourself in the vibrant arts scene of Des Moines by catching a performance at the renowned Des Moines Civic Center.

This state-of-the-art venue hosts a diverse range of shows, including Broadway musicals, theater productions, concerts, and dance performances.

From the moment you step into the beautifully designed theater, you'll be captivated by the ambiance and the talent on stage. Enjoy captivating performances, stunning sets, and unforgettable moments.

Whether you're a fan of theater, music, or dance, the Civic Center promises an extraordinary cultural experience.

5. Discover Historic East Village

a city skyline at night with a river in front

Step back in time and explore the East Village neighborhood of Des Moines. This charming district is known for its beautifully preserved architecture, boutique shops, art galleries, and cozy cafes.

Take a stroll along the cobblestone streets, immersing yourself in the unique ambiance and eclectic charm of the area. 

Browse through the galleries showcasing the works of local artists, and perhaps even find a one-of-a-kind piece to take home.

Indulge in the culinary delights offered by the neighborhood's diverse eateries, ranging from farm-to-table restaurants to international cuisine.

The East Village is the perfect destination for a memorable eve of culture, shopping, and culinary delights.

6. Have a Date Night at one of the Des Moines Hotels

a restaurant with wooden tables and chairs

Elevate your outing with a romantic date night at one of Des Moines' charming hotels. Enjoy a candlelit dinner at a rooftop restaurant, offering breathtaking views of the city skyline.

Indulge in luxurious accommodations and pamper yourselves with spa treatments or couples' massages.

Take a stroll through the hotel's elegant lobby and cozy up in the hotel lounge for a nightcap.

With their stylish ambiance and impeccable service, Des Moines hotels provide the perfect setting for a memorable and romantic date night out.

7. Try out Peace Tree Brewing

a room with several wooden barrels and tables

On a Friday night, join the lively atmosphere at Peace Tree Brewing, where craft beer enthusiasts gather to sample an impressive selection of locally brewed beers.

With its laid-back vibe and friendly staff, this brewery is the ideal spot to unwind after a long week.

Sip on a pint of their signature brews or try one of their seasonal creations, all made with a passion for quality and flavor.

The relaxed atmosphere, live music, and a menu of delicious pub fare make Peace Tree a must-visit destination for lovers of this drink.

8. Catch a game of Iowa Wild

a hockey player is making a save on the ice

Immerse yourself in the excitement of professional ice hockey by catching a game of the Iowa Wild, the American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL's Minnesota Wild.

Cheer on the team as they compete against rivals on the ice, surrounded by the energy and enthusiasm of fellow fans.

The state-of-the-art Wells Fargo Arena sets the stage for thrilling matchups, with its modern amenities and impressive acoustics ensuring an unforgettable sports experience.

Whether you're a die-hard hockey fan or simply looking for a fun outing, an Iowa Wild game is a fantastic way to enjoy the thrilling atmosphere of live sports.

9. Explore Pappajohn Sculpture Park

a sculpture in the middle of a park

Step into the enchanting world of art and nature at the Pappajohn Sculpture Park, a stunning outdoor exhibit featuring captivating sculptures by renowned artists.

As the sun sets and the park illuminates, the sculptures come alive, creating a mesmerizing ambiance. Take a stroll along the meandering paths of smaller sculpture parks, allowing the artwork to captivate your imagination.

Each sculpture tells a unique story, blending seamlessly with the surrounding greenery and cityscape.

Whether you're an art enthusiast or simply seeking a serene and contemplative experience, this sculpture park offers a peaceful and inspiring setting to enjoy Des Moines' cultural scene.

10. Taste the Confluence Brewing Company

a glass of beer next to the cans of beer

Embark on a flavorful journey by visiting the Confluence Brewing Company, a local gem that specializes in crafting unique and delicious beers.

Situated in a spacious and inviting taproom, this brewery offers an impressive selection of handcrafted brews to satisfy every palate.

Take a seat at the pub and engage in lively conversations with fellow beer enthusiasts or relax in the outdoor seating area, enjoying the cool air.

From hoppy IPAs to rich stouts, Confluence Brewing showcases the artistry and passion of the Des Moines craft beer scene, providing a delightful destination for beer connoisseurs and curious newcomers alike.

11. Stargaze at one of the Botanical Gardens

a large display of plants and plants in a greenhouse

Experience the captivating beauty of the starlit sky at one of Des Moines' botanical gardens.

As darkness falls, these tranquil havens come alive with the twinkling stars above. Find a cozy spot amidst the lush greenery, away from the city lights, and marvel at the celestial wonders overhead.

Whether you're a seasoned astronomer or simply appreciate the awe-inspiring vastness of the universe, stargazing in the serene setting of a botanical garden is a peaceful and enchanting activity that allows you to connect with the natural world and indulge in the wonders of the cosmos.

12. Enjoy at District 36 Wine Bar and Grill

restaurant with a large dining area with tables and chairs

Indulge in a sophisticated and relaxed dinner at District 36 Wine Bar and Grill

This elegant establishment offers a curated selection of wines from around the world, allowing you to explore different varieties and savor their unique flavors.

Pair your chosen wine with delectable dishes from their menu, featuring an array of regional specialties prepared with finesse.

The cozy ambiance, attentive service, and live performance on select nights create a delightful atmosphere for unwinding and enjoying the company of friends or loved ones.

Discover new wines, savor delicious food, and create lasting memories at District 36 Wine, one of the best wine bars in Des Moines.

13. Enjoy the Sweets at The Creme Dessert Lounge

two plates with desserts on them on a table

Indulge your sweet tooth at The Creme Dessert Lounge, a haven for dessert enthusiasts in Des Moines. 

This charming establishment offers a delectable array of sweet treats, from decadent cakes and pastries to artisanal ice cream and gourmet chocolates.

Step into a world of confectionery delights as you sample their exquisite creations, each crafted with meticulous attention to detail.

The Creme Dessert Lounge also offers a vibrant and cozy atmosphere and happy hour offerings making it the perfect spot to unwind with friends or enjoy a date night.

Treat yourself to a delightful dessert experience that will leave your taste buds craving for more.

14. Discover Kinship Brewing Company

Outdoor view of Kinship Brewing Company

Immerse yourself in the thriving craft beer scene of Des Moines at Kinship Brewing Company

This local brewery is dedicated to producing exceptional beers that showcase unique flavors and quality craftsmanship.

Step into their inviting taproom, adorned with rustic charm, and sample a variety of their expertly brewed beers. From hoppy IPAs to rich stouts, there's something to satisfy every beer lover's palate.

Engage in conversations with the friendly staff and fellow enthusiasts as you enjoy the vibrant atmosphere.

Whether you're a seasoned beer connoisseur or simply looking to explore the world of great beer, Kinship Brewing Company offers a memorable and flavorful experience.

15. See a Game of Iowa Cubs

a baseball player swinging at a ball during a game

Immerse yourself in the excitement of America's favorite pastime by attending a game of the Iowa Cubs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs.

Join the spirited crowd as they cheer on the home team at Principal Park, a state-of-the-art baseball stadium nestled along the banks of the Des Moines River.

Indulge in classic ballpark fare, from hot dogs to peanuts, as you witness the thrilling action on the field.

Whether you're a die-hard baseball fan or simply looking for a fun outing with friends and family, this game promises an unforgettable experience of sports entertainment.

16. Catch a Performance at the Stoner Theater

People surroung the stage of Stoner Theater

Immerse yourself in the vibrant performing arts scene of Des Moines by attending a captivating show at the Stoner Theater.

This state-of-the-art venue hosts a diverse range of performances, from plays and musicals to dance recitals and concerts.

Step into the elegant theater, adorned with modern aesthetics and impeccable acoustics, and prepare to be enthralled by the talent and creativity on display.

Whether you're a fan of theater, music, or dance, the Stoner Theater offers an immersive and enriching experience that showcases the cultural richness of Des Moines' artistic community.

17. Laugh at the Comedy Xperiment

a group of people on the stage with red backdrop

Get ready for laughter and entertainment at the Comedy Xperiment, a comedy club that showcases both seasoned and up-and-coming comedians.

Sit back and relax as talented stand-up performers take the stage, delivering hilarious jokes and witty observations that will have you roaring with laughs.

The intimate setting of the comedy club creates an engaging and interactive experience, allowing you to connect with the comedians and fellow audience members, especially on a Friday.

Whether you're in the mood for some lighthearted humor or in need of a good laugh, the Comedy Xperiment is the perfect spot to unwind and enjoy a couple of hours of comedic brilliance.

18. Drive Down the Ray Drive

a bridge that is lit up at night

Embark on a scenic drive down Ray Drive, a picturesque route that winds along the Des Moines River on a Sunday, when there is no traffic.

As the day ends, the city lights reflect on the tranquil waters, creating a mesmerizing ambiance.

Take in the stunning views of the illuminated skyline and the river's gentle flow as you cruise along this scenic roadway.

With its serene surroundings and captivating vistas, driving down the drive offers a peaceful and enchanting experience that allows you to appreciate the beauty of Des Moines.

19. Drink Whiskey at Ken's Bar

a bar with wooden tables and chairs

For whiskey enthusiasts, a visit to Ken's Bar is a must. This upscale establishment boasts an extensive selection of high-end scotch, bourbons, and other fine whiskeys from around the world all weekend long.

Step into the elegant and sophisticated atmosphere of the bar, where knowledgeable bartenders can guide you in choosing the perfect whiskey to suit your taste preferences.

Savor the smooth and complex flavors of these exquisite spirits as you engage in conversations with fellow whiskey connoisseurs.

Whether you're a seasoned whiskey enthusiast or simply looking to expand your palate, Ken's Bar provides a refined and welcoming setting to indulge in the world of premium whiskeys.

20. Eat at Skip's

plate of food on a table with wine and glasses

Treat your taste buds to a memorable culinary experience at Skip's, a renowned restaurant that offers a delectable menu of elevated dishes prepared with passion and creativity.

Settle into the warm and inviting ambiance of the dining room as you peruse the menu, which features a variety of mouthwatering options. 

From expertly grilled steaks to fresh seafood and innovative vegetarian creations, Skip's caters to every palate with its diverse and flavorful offerings.

Pair your food with carefully selected wines from their extensive list, enhancing the dining experience which is perfect for a Sunday.

Whether you're celebrating a special occasion or simply looking for an exceptional dining experience, Skip's delivers a culinary journey that will leave you satisfied and impressed.

21. Meet a Friend at Flying Mango

a group of people sitting at tables in a restaurant

Gather with friends for a memorable outing at Flying Mango, a vibrant restaurant known for its mouthwatering barbecue and eclectic menu.

Whether you're craving smoky ribs, juicy pulled pork, or flavorful vegetarian options, Flying Mango has something to satisfy every palate.

The welcoming atmosphere and live music on a Friday create a lively and enjoyable dining experience.

Share dinner with a friend, savor the bold flavors, and immerse yourself in the relaxed ambiance that Flying Mango offers.

22. Enjoy a Meal at the Centro Restaurant

a restaurant with people eating and drinking

Treat yourself to a delightful dining experience at Centro Restaurant, a beloved establishment in Des Moines.

Indulge in a scrumptious brunch, where you can savor a variety of delectable dishes, from classic breakfast favorites to creative culinary creations.

The warm and inviting atmosphere of the restaurant sets the stage for a meal with family or loved ones.

Whether you're in the mood for fluffy pancakes, eggs benedict, or a refreshing mimosa, Centro Restaurant promises a memorable brunch experience that will satisfy your taste buds and leave you feeling energized for the day ahead.

23. Bike down Chichaqua Valley Trail

a group of people riding bikes down a path

Embark on a thrilling biking adventure along the scenic Chichaqua Valley Trail.

As the sun sets and the weekend, explore the beauty of nature of the Midwest while pedaling through the trail's picturesque landscapes.

The well-maintained path takes you through lush forests, rolling hills, and serene meadows, providing a peaceful and immersive experience.

Whether you're a seasoned cyclist or just starting out, the Chichaqua Valley Trail offers a refreshing escape from the bustling city and allows you to reconnect with the great outdoors for free.

24. Dance at Los Caporales Club

a crowd of people at a concert

Let loose and dance the weekend away at Los Caporales Club, a lively venue that caters to those seeking a vibrant and energetic scene, especially on a Friday.

With a pulsating atmosphere, infectious music, and a diverse crowd, this nightclub is one of the best places to show off your dance moves and enjoy a memorable going out.

Whether you prefer salsa, merengue, or the latest hit, the DJs at Los Caporales keep the dance floor alive and buzzing.

Get ready to groove, sip on cocktails, and create unforgettable memories at this exciting hotspot.

25. Stargaze at Union Park

a man is standing on a hill looking at the aurora

Immerse yourself in the beauty of the starry sky as you stargaze at Union Park.

This expansive park offers a tranquil setting away from the city lights, allowing for clear views of the celestial wonders above.

Lay back on a blanket or find a cozy spot, and marvel at the sparkling stars, constellations, and occasional shooting stars, and all that for free.

Whether you're an astronomy enthusiast or simply appreciate the serene beauty of the starlit sky, stargazing at Union Park provides a peaceful and enchanting experience that reconnects you with the vastness of the universe.

26. Catch a show at Temple Theater

the band on stage at the concert

Immerse yourself in the world of performing arts by catching a show at the historic Temple Theater

This iconic venue showcases a diverse range of performances, including Broadway productions, musical concerts, and theatrical performances.

From classic plays to contemporary productions, the Temple Theater offers unforgettable entertainment, especially on a Friday.

The opulent and elegant surroundings of the theater create a captivating atmosphere, enhancing the magic of each performance.

Whether you're a theater aficionado or simply looking to be entertained, an event at the Temple Theater is a cultural experience that will leave you spellbound.

27. Shop at Jordan Creek Town Center

a large mall with a lot of people walking around

Indulge in a night of retail therapy at Jordan Creek Town Center, Des Moines' premier destination for shoppers.

This expansive mall features a vast array of stores, ranging from popular fashion brands to specialty boutiques and department stores.

Whether you're hunting for the latest fashion trends, searching for unique gifts, or simply enjoying a leisurely browse, Jordan Creek Town Center has something for everyone.

The well-designed layout and stylish ambiance of the mall provide a delightful shopping experience, making it the perfect place to discover new fashion finds, and home decor items, or even enjoy a delicious meal at one of the many dining options available.

28. Hop on a Bike and Go to the Meredith Trail

a man riding a bike at night with a starry sky

Explore Des Moines' scenic beauty on two wheels by hopping on a bike and embarking on a ride along the Meredith Trail.

This picturesque trail winds through beautiful natural landscapes, offering a refreshing escape from the city lights. And the best part: all that for free.

As you pedal along the trail, immerse yourself in the serene surroundings, from lush greenery to peaceful waterways.

Whether you're a casual cyclist or a dedicated biking enthusiast, the Meredith Trail provides a tranquil and rejuvenating experience that allows you to connect with nature and enjoy the beauty of Des Moines.

29. Stroll in the Franklin Field Park

a park with trees and lights at night

Take a stroll through Franklin Field Park, a charming green space that offers a serene escape in the heart of Des Moines.

As the sun sets, the park transforms into a peaceful oasis, providing an ideal setting for a relaxing walk.

Enjoy the well-manicured gardens, tranquil ponds, and lush landscapes as you unwind and soak in the natural beauty around you.

Whether you're seeking a moment of solitude, a romantic walk with a loved one, or a family outing, Franklin Field Park offers a tranquil and rejuvenating experience at night.

30. Buy a gift at Merle Hay Mall

different store can be found inside the mall

Explore the diverse range of shops and boutiques at Merle Hay Mall, a popular destination in Des Moines for shoppers.

Whether you're searching for the perfect gift for a loved one or treating yourself to something special, this mall has a wide selection of stores to cater to your needs.

From fashion and accessories to electronics and home decor, you'll find a variety of options to choose from.

Browse through the stores, take advantage of any promotions, and discover unique finds that will make your experience at Merle Hay Mall a memorable one.

31. Unwind at the Garden Nightclub

two perfomer on the stage under the red curtain

After the sun sets, indulge in a night of relaxation and entertainment at the Garden Nightclub.

This vibrant venue offers a lively atmosphere where you can dance, socialize, and enjoy a variety of music genres played by talented DJs.

With its stylish decor, state-of-the-art sound system, and spacious dance floor, the Garden Nightclub provides an ideal setting for a memorable night out.

Whether you're looking to let loose on the dance floor or simply unwind with a refreshing drink, this nightclub promises an eve of fun and entertainment in Des Moines.

32. Find Outlets of Des Moines

a shopping center with a christmas tree in the middle

If you're in the mood for some late-night clothes hunting, head to the Outlets of Des Moines. This open-air center features a wide range of stores, offering everything from fashion and accessories to home decor and electronics.

After the sun sets, the vibrant lights and bustling ambiance create an inviting atmosphere for a shopper's spree.

Explore the various outlet stores, take advantage of discounts and promotions, and discover great deals on your favorite brands.

Whether you're looking for a wardrobe update or searching for the perfect gift, the Outlets of Des Moines has you covered if you don't plan to spend much.

33. Wait for the Sunset at Adventureland Park

a roller coaster at sunset

Gather the family and head to Adventureland Park for excitement and stunning views.

As the sun begins to set, find a prime spot to watch the sunset over the park's scenic landscapes. From thrilling rides to live entertainment, Adventureland Park offers endless fun for the whole family.

Enjoy the park's attractions and savor the breathtaking sunset as it paints the sky with vibrant colors.

Create lasting memories as you bond with loved ones and experience the joy and wonder of Adventureland Park after the sun sets.

34. Discover Witmer Park

people sitting in lawn chairs watching a movie

After the sun sets, embark on a journey of discovery at Witmer Park. This hidden gem offers a peaceful and picturesque setting, perfect for an evening stroll or a quiet moment of reflection.

The park features beautiful landscapes, well-maintained trails, and scenic viewpoints where you can admire the surrounding nature.

Whether you're seeking solitude or looking to connect with nature, Witmer Park provides a serene escape from the city lights.

Take a walk, enjoy the cool evening breeze, and immerse yourself in the tranquility that Witmer Park offers after the sun sets.

35. Dance at the Platform Nightclub

a dj at a nightclub with a crowd

When the night comes alive, head to the Platform Nightclub for an unforgettable dancing experience.

This popular nightlife spot boasts a dynamic atmosphere, with live DJs spinning energetic beats and a spacious dance floor where you can let loose and showcase your best moves.

The stylish and contemporary decor, combined with the state-of-the-art sound system, sets the stage for a night of non-stop dancing and entertainment.

Whether you're a seasoned dancer or simply looking to groove to the music, the Platform Nightclub guarantees a night of electrifying energy and vibrant nightlife in Des Moines.

36. Drive to the Saylorville Lake for Sunset

a motorcycle parked on the side of a road

Take a scenic drive to Saylorville Lake and experience the beauty of nature after the sun sets.

This picturesque lake offers a tranquil setting where you can enjoy a drive along its shores and take in the breathtaking views.

As the evening unfolds, the peaceful ambiance and shimmering waters create a serene atmosphere that invites relaxation and contemplation.

Roll down the windows, feel the cool breeze against your skin, and admire the starry sky above as you navigate the scenic roads surrounding Saylorville Lake

It's a perfect way to unwind and appreciate the natural beauty of Des Moines.

37. Bring kids to the Smash Park

two young boys playing tennis on a court

For a night of family-friendly fun and entertainment, head to Smash Park. This innovative venue offers a variety of activities and games that kids of all ages can play.

From arcade games and ping pong to giant Jenga and shuffleboard, there's something for everyone to enjoy. The vibrant atmosphere and lively energy create a perfect environment for quality family time.

Indulge in delicious food and drinks, play in a friendly competition, and create lasting memories with your loved ones, being on a Thursday or on a Sunday.

Smash Park is a fantastic destination to bring kids and spend an exciting evening filled with laughter and fun.

FAQs: The Best Things to Do in Des Moines

Let's take a look at some frequently asked questions about things to do in Des Moines.

Does Des Moines, IA have nightlife?

Yes, Des Moines has a thriving nightlife with plenty of events and venues to choose from. Whether you're in the mood for a lively club, a cozy pub with a patio, or a cultural event, Des Moines has it all. You don't have to spend too much money to enjoy a night out, making it a great place for a memorable evening.

Where do singles hang out in Des Moines, IA?

Singles in Des Moines often hang out at local coffee shops, especially on a Monday when they host social events. The place is known as a friendly city, making it easy to strike up conversations and meet new people. With its vibrant social scene, Des Moines offers a variety of venues that cater to singles looking for a good time and connections.

Where can I bar-hop in Des Moines, IA?

Des Moines offers several excellent options for bar-hopping and enjoying a variety of cocktails. A good place for bar-hopping is the vibrant East Village area. These areas boast a diverse range of bars and lounges, making them perfect for a night of exploring and sampling different drinks in a lively atmosphere.

What is Des Moines, IA most known for?

Des Moines, Iowa, is most known for being the state capital and the largest city in Iowa. It is also recognized for its vibrant cultural scene, with notable tourist attractions such as the Des Moines Art Center. Additionally, Des Moines is renowned for its robust agricultural industry and hosting the Iowa State Fair, one of the largest and oldest state fairs in the United States.

Summing Up: The Best Things to Do in Des Moines at Night

As you can see, there is no shortage of fun things to do in Des Moines at night. Experience the vibrant nightlife of Des Moines and discover the city's unique and fun offerings after dark. 

From exploring the lively downtown area and catching captivating performances to indulging in delicious food and drinks, there's no shortage of excitement.

Whether you're seeking cultural experiences, thrilling entertainment, or simply a relaxing evening stroll, Des Moines has something for everyone.

Don't miss the chance to immerse yourself in the energetic atmosphere of this Midwestern gem, being on a Thursday or a Sunday.

Plan your visit, gather your friends, and embark on an unforgettable adventure in Des Moines at night. 

The city awaits you, ready to provide you with unforgettable memories and an experience like no other.