The Science Station illuminates the minds of children and adults on the workings of science, math, and technology with hands-on exhibits, puzzles, and games. Aspiring athletes can explore the science behind modern sports in Sportsology, a limited-time exhibit with hands-on challenges and special weekend events. Learn how the human body reacts to physical competition with a series of interactive trials, including “Action Reaction,” a soccer goalie trial that tests reaction times through blinking lights, and "Fast Ball,” in which aspiring sphere-lobbers can clock the speeds of their throws. The family pack admits everyone in a single immediate family to walk the museum's knowledge-packed paths. The Science Station is open Tuesday–Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.
Aspen Athletic Club amasses top-of-the-line equipment, seasoned trainers, and luxurious amenities within five gym spaces across Des Moines. A fleet of cardio and strength-training machinery from brands such as LifeFitness and Star Trac heavily populate the floors, allowing guests ample access to the equipment. In addition to a cardio theater, the Hickman gym boasts 12 onsite tennis courts and specialized studios for martial arts and women-only workouts. Visitors to the 14th Street location can sign up for aquatic classes or swim laps solo across the pool. Other amenities such as tanning, massage therapy, and gold-plated kettlebells vary from club to club.
Certified personal trainers plan out custom routines for clients, and highly qualified instructors lead Zumba steps, spinning seminars, and, at certain locations, fast-paced Les Mills classes. The professional staff also offer nutritional counseling at all locales.
It may sound clichéd, but ask the staff members at The Play Station about their most memorable experience, and they'll probably say a new one happens every day. Specifically, it's the moment when a child walks in, sees the three-level play center, and lets out a gasp of excitement. The 12,000-square-foot facility's tube slides, ball pits, and other recreational equipment blossomed from the owners' relatively simple idea: create a place where our kids can be active whenever it's yucky outside. Today, kids 12 and younger climb, crawl, and slide through the play center or hit the game room to win tickets redeemable for prizes such as toys and an all-inclusive weekend in Moon Vegas.
While kids expend their energy, parents can relax nearby and socialize, watch television, or enjoy a menu of snacks, such as mozzarella sticks, grilled cheese sandwiches, and nachos. The Play Station's crew includes a team that organizes children's parties and books the facility for field trips, fundraisers, and private rentals.
When Wayne and Jackie Meier opened the first Midwest Athletic Club in 1984, it was a tiny, 3,000-square-foot facility with a modest staff of one trainer. A lot has changed for the Meiers since the ‘80s; they’ve since ditched the splatter-painted stirrup pants made famous by Ronald Reagan and expanded into six spacious locations throughout the area, helming a diverse staff of personal trainers, expert fitness instructors, and swim teachers. Instructors lead cardio and strength-training classes, as well as sessions of yoga, Pilates, and tai chi. In the pristine waters of the Xtreme branch’s 75-foot pool, coaches demonstrate strokes and techniques and guide fitness-seekers through aquatic aerobics. All locations abound with professional cardio equipment—many of which boast individual TVs—and strength-training equipment from top brands such as Icarian, Universal, and Nautilus.
After workouts, guests can unwind in the wood saunas at the Xtreme and South locations. At the Xtreme location’s café, servers blend a variety of beneficial smoothies and shakes chock-full of fruits and protein.
Sponges and brushes glide across unfinished works of art beneath shelves brimming with more than 150 forms and 60 glazes at The Potters’ Obsession. Visitors thumb through inspiration books and wield stencils to color and paint mugs, bowls, and Gumby when he is going into witness protection. In the art-dappled space, warmth bleeds from a kiln, where the staff completes pieces and locks glazes into a sleek finish. The Potters’ Obsession also hosts special events, birthday parties, and painting packages to help Girl Scouts and Brownies to earn art badges.