When it first opened it doors in 1970, the Science Center of Iowa was among the first interactive science museums in the world. It engaged the community with hands-on exhibits and programs. In 2005, the center moved to its 110,00-square-foot downtown location, where it fills its halls with a variety of experience platforms, each demonstrating different scientific principles. The When Things Get Moving exhibit invites visitors to build rockets and conquer a domino obstacle course, and Why the Sky? demonstrates the science of space with a digital planet-exploration globe and the Cosmic Jukebox, which allows you to create your own show. Interact with exhibits that demonstrate the basic principles of physics in the themed scenario, the Eureka! Lab. The renovated Small Discoveries exhibit features Dahl's Produce Market and Edna's Kitchen, a favorite of younger visitors.
Blank Park Zoo educates the public about the wonders of the wild by re-creating far-flung habitats and ecosystems that house more than 1,000 animals and 104 different species ranging from Siberian tigers to hissing cockroaches. Zookeepers lead chats about animals and offer conservation tips, while exhibits include hands-on feedings that allow humans to go face-to-face or nose-to-beak with hungry giraffes and parakeets. Recent new arrivals welcome curious kids to commiserate with the growing pains and early bedtimes of young wallabies, camels, and seal pups, setting a foundation for learning that may be continued in classes designed for those aged 6 months to 5 years.
In addition to raising awareness about the environment, Blank Park Zoo contributes to conservation efforts to preserve the future of native animals and their natural homes. The zoo participates in seven endangered-species breeding programs and donates a portion of admissions proceeds to several different wildlife initiatives.
At Nova Cinema, cinephiles and casual moviegoers alike nosh on popcorn while watching first-run movies projected on full-size silver screens. Nova Cinema’s selection of talkies changes weekly, with current high-octane thrillers, family flicks, and love stories showing seven days of the week. Recent selections include The Hunger Games, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, _ and _Dr. Seuss' The Lorax, as well as 21 Jump Street, a coming of age story about street signs learning to conquer their fear of heights.
Premiere Bowling and Entertainment features 24 pristine lanes with 32-inch LCD screens and their own seating areas. Families and friends face off during 10-frame games as high-fives blend into the din of music and pin crashing, creating a lively, upbeat atmosphere. Things turn cosmic on weekends when Laser Bowl adds lasers, black lights, and fog machines to the mix until 2 a.m. Premiere Bowling also features optional bumpers to help kids compete and a sports bar for players to refuel with food and drinks.
Skate North Incrediroll invites seasoned speeders and still-learning wobblers to glide around the smooth, family-friendly rink. After lacing up rented roller skates or inline skates, guests merge onto the Skate Court. One of the largest indoor rinks in Des Moines, the Skate Court proffers a friendly surface specifically designed for roller-skating and roller-giggling. A live DJ often fills the rink with jamming tunes, livening up the atmosphere for both skaters and spectators in perimeter seats.
Built in the 1920s by Carl and Edith Weeks as a replica of the King's house in Salisbury, England, Salisbury House and Gardens drapes 22,500 square feet and 42 rooms of architectural reverence across the Iowa countryside. The historical landmark and public museum hosts cultural events year-round. During the gingerbread house making workshop, an expert Hy-Vee baker will teach you how to construct sweet, edible miniature abodes that dazzle as holiday dinner centerpieces and provide adequate shelter for smurfs. At the holiday decorating ideas event, a Pottery Barn decorator will impart DIY wisdom for inventive and bewitching seasonal garnishing. Both events are accompanied with generous samplings of wine, cheese, and amiable conversation.