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.
J. Johnson Gallery's photographs wind up in everything from magazine advertisements to family photo albums. Their photographers stage fashion shoots, snap senior portraits, and lug their cameras to special events. When not behind the lens, they also teach educational seminars for aspiring photographers.
Since 2000, the Remodelers Council of Greater Des Moines has sponsored the Tour of Remodeled Homes, a journey through area homes that have undergone design and construction transformations. This year’s tour highlights 13 residences of different styles, ages, and price ranges, with projects that ranged from kitchen updates to full remodels. At each stop on the tour, the remodelers will be onsite to answer questions, and most of the sites will also have representatives from the sponsors or suppliers who worked on the projects. All of the featured craftsmen are members of the council, and this year’s flipbook gives a preview of their handiwork.
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Pro Tip: We are a fun, friendly bunch who loves to hear about new ideas.
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Rock n' Run
Recommended Age Group: All Ages
When and how did you first develop a passion for your work?
When I first started living in Des Moines. We are an arts-based organization with a passion for sharing our mission, and everything we do requires that passion to be carried forward into the community, and into the education that we provide to the youth.
I'm a first-timer. How do you get me ready for the experience?
If you like the arts, if you like to have a good time. And if you like to run, the Rock n' Run is the perfect combination. The best way to get ready is to bring your friends along so you have others to Rock Out with. The more people, the more opportunity for fun.
What is the one feature of your business that you're most proud of?
Arts education. It's fun for all ages, and helps the community in ways that will last a lifetime.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
The arts build communities. Greater Des Moines will be recognized as a place where the arts thrive because of Metro Arts Alliance.