My kids are starting to love visiting science centers when we’re traveling. When planning trips, I check if our destination has a museum or science center that’s part of the Association of Science-Technology Centers, or ASTC. Why? The four of us will get in free admission thanks to the reciprocal membership benefits we get with our Omaha Children’s Museum membership. Sweet, right?
This summer, we had a chance to make use of that free admission perk to visit Science Center of Iowa in downtown Des Moines.
Highlights of the Science Center of Iowa
The Science Center of Iowa was a fun morning for my family on a day that looked like it might rain at any moment.
We spent the most time in the room called When Things Get Moving, where the kids could make paper rockets to shoot, test egg cradles, and building LEGO race cars.
The space exhibit, Why The Sky, was also a great one to explore. This was probably the most entertaining exhibit for both adults and kids. After testing out several exhibits there, we found our way to the planetarium. Turns out, it was a great place to lay flat on the floor and rest while watching a show.
The IMAX theater was another space to sit and rest for a spell. It was not very crowded the afternoon we went. The great thing is that planetarium shows are included with admission. Here’s a list of their programs at the science center.
There are a few other rooms, including one for natural sciences, a Makers Space, and one dedicated to LEGO building . If you visit with toddlers, there is also a separate room for that age group to explore.
You can easily spend two hours or more at the Science Center of Iowa. If you attend one of the science shows or a planetarium show, expect to spend a minimum of three hours.
If you go
Science Center of Iowa
Where: 401 W. Martin Luther King Jr Parkway, Des Moines, Iowa
What’s near the Science Center of Iowa
Our afternoon at the Science Center of Iowa timed out well for us to visit the Des Moines Farmers Market in the morning. There are vendors practically at the front door of the science center. Strolling the market, you’ll find an abundance of samples (food and wine), plus tons of dogs, which are always a hit with my kids.
The science center isn’t too far from the Pappajohn Sculpture Park, with plenty of space for kids to run around and some pretty iconic photo opps.
For food, I can’t tell you enough to go try Fong’s Pizza, which is walkable from Science Center of Iowa.
Plan a Des Moines Family Getaway
We visited the Science Center of Iowa on a weekend getaway in the summer. Read all about the fun things we did in this post. We spent a day at Adventureland and an afternoon at Blank Park Zoo during the trip.
Get Travel Inspiration Directly In Your Inbox
Subscribe to the FREE twice a month(ish) e-newsletter sharing what’s new in Omaha, giveaways, family travel ideas, and more! Subscribe here.
Val - Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids
Monday 10th of September 2018
We love going to Science Centers too. And the planetarium at the Des Moines Science Center is one of my favorites. When I was a kid I got to go on a few lock-ins at the Science Center!
Friday 14th of September 2018
A lock-in would be fun! I wonder if they still do that for students.