1. Visit the Des Moines Art Center. The museum may be one of the best things to regularly experience in the city, since it changes often. View the latest exhibit and permanent collections (there are more than 4,600 work of art), attend a gallery talk, dine in the restaurant (the menu changes weekly), go to an event, shop in the unique museum shop or sign up for a class. It’s free admission to browse.
Find it: 4700 Grand Ave.
2. Sing in a band. Who cares if you never got your dream rock band off the ground? You can still sing with a live band with Party! Party!, a three-piece band that can play just about any song you can sing, so you can live your rock star dream. They perform at bars around the metro.
Find them: Go to Party! Party! – The Ultimate Karaoke Band on Facebook.
3. Visit Terrace Hill. It’s the governor’s mansion, after all. Take a tour of the historic home — built by the first Iowa millionaire, Benjamin Franklin Allen, in 1869 — to marvel at the architecture and the views of downtown Des Moines from the 90-foot tower.
Find it: 2300 Grand Ave.
4. Tour Salisbury House. Take a self-guided ($5) or tour-guided ($7) look at Salisbury House, a manor nestled south of Grand that was built between 1923 and 1928 by Carl and Edith Weeks. The mansion now serves as a museum, cultural center and event space.
Find it: 4025 Tonawanda Drive
5. Ski, snowboard or tube at Sleepy Hollow Sports Park. Winter’s greatest thrill is a fast slide down Sleepy Hollow’s steep hill. Pick your poison — skis, snowboard or tube — and let ‘er rip!
Find it: 4051 Dean Ave.
6. Take a pole dancing class. You’ve probably seen Jen Kees and her fitness camp perform at events around the city, so why not give it a try yourself? Sign up for a private class and work out the sexy way.
Find it: Kees Camp, 2700 University Ave., Suite 200, West Des Moines
7. Walk the Riverwalk loop. Get your last breathtaking look at the city and the river by walking the 1.2 mile loop around the Principal Riverwalk. Bonus — there’s plenty to do on the walk, including a visit to the Botanical Garden, a stop at the Hub Spot and a walk across the Center Street pedestrian bridge.
Find it: From the Center Street pedestrian bridge to the Union Railroad pedestrian bridge, downtown.
8. Ice skate at Brenton Skating Plaza. While you’re on the Principal Riverwalk, tie on some skates and take a spin around Brenton Skating Plaza. It’s a favorite wintertime spot with a great view of the city.
Find it: 520 Robert D. Ray Drive
9. Visit the Iowa State Historical Museum. Where did you come from and where are you going? If you’re an Iowa native, or simply interested in our state’s history, check out the State Historical Museum for records, collections, education, exhibits and more.
Find it: 600 E. Locust St.
10. Visit the Iowa State Capitol. A fine example of 19th century architecture with a gold dome that reaches 275 feet, the majestic building is a must-see for any Iowan. Bonus: Tours are free.
Find it: East Ninth Street and East Grand Avenue
11. Tour the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates. This beautiful downtown building, located on the Principal Riverwalk, is a tribute to World Food Prize founder and Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Norman Borlaug. It’s part museum, home to the Global Youth Institute, and is a conference center and event space. Newly renovated, the building reopened to the public this past spring, and is open for tours.
Find it: 100 Locust St.