iowa spring

Springtime Experiences in Iowa

With flowers blossoming and the weather warming up, now is the perfect time to venture outside and celebrate the cold’s disappearance. The following destinations are some of the best ways to soak up spring in Iowa.

Spring Cocktails and Appetizers Online Cooking Class

Join Chef Katie on Zoom for a live two-hour cooking class where she teaches at-home cooks how to use the fresh, seasonal ingredients that spring provides to craft refreshing cocktails and appetizers. For $25 per screen, and $20 for your little one’s screen, Chef Katie will provide you with a grocery and equipment list, share helpful tips and cook alongside you. 

The class begins at 5:30 p.m. on April 29. Reserve your spot here

Des Moines Botanical Garden

Spring Fling at the Des Moines Botanical Garden

Though its flowers and plant life bloom year round, the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden has brought back its annual Spring Fling for the first weekend of April. The event will feature a dew drop scavenger hunt, games, food and much more. Admission is free and perfect for all ages. 

To learn more, click here

John and Mary PappaJohn Sculpture Park

With the snow thawing, now is the best time to whip out your picnic baskets and enjoy a walk and picnic in John and Mary’s Sculpture Park. The outdoor 4.4-acre property contains international sculptures and art pieces from critically acclaimed artists and art donated by Des Moines Art Center. 

For a sneak peek of the park, click here

Lake Okoboji

The lake, known to be one of the bluest lakes in the world, is the perfect way to spend a sunny day in Dickson County. The warm weather and sapphire water creates the perfect spot for canoeing, fishing, sailing or enjoying a swim. The lake also offers a small amusement park with coasters, boat tours and even a marine museum. 

Reiman Gardens

Reiman Gardens

One of the local best-kept secrets is the springtime bloom in Reiman Gardens at Iowa State University. The garden is best known for making its guests feel as if they are in a fairytale with features its interactive butterfly room with over 800 species, a walk-through wild flower fields, a romantic hidden rose garden and the world’s largest concrete gnome to protect the secret garden.  

To plan your visit, click here.

Downtown Farmer’s Market in Des Moines

Spring marks the beginning and comeback of farmer’s market season, and the Downtown Farmer’s Market in Des Moines will be kicking off the season on May 1. The market will have COVID-19 regulations and feature fresh produce, local art and places to grab a bite. 

Click here for updates on vendors. 

Living History Farms Family Easter Party

Take a trip back to 1875 at Walnut Hill to celebrate Easter. The town is coming together to offer egg hunts, games, baby farm animals and much more! The event takes place April 3 from 9 a.m. to noon.

You can grab tickets and learn more here

Blank Park Zoo

Blank Park Zoo

The Blank Park Zoo’s doors are open daily and showcasing its blooming springtime flowers and over 104 species of wildlife. In addition to its wild tours, giraffe feedings and 21-plus bar, the park is also offering limited springtime events like a Grassland Safari and story time with the Easter Bunny for your little ones. 

To grab tickets and learn more, click here

Goeldner Woods

Take in the fresh air and venture into Goeldner Woods in Earlham. The area offers more than 60 species of pastel flowers along a trail guiding you through the woods. You might also spot wild mushrooms and some furry friends along the way as well. The hike is in pristine condition and perfect for all ages. 

Orange City Tulip Festival 

Back for its 80th year, the Orange City Tulip festival has returned May 13 to May 15. The internationally recognized festival will celebrate good fortune in Orange City and showcase the gentle charms of the Old World with Dutch-themed parades, music festivities, food and much more.

To learn more of the festival, click here.  

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