Experience Iowa by experiencing the state capital, Des Moines! Home to historic shopping centers art galleries amusement parks, and museums, Des Moines is truly the heart of Iowa. With a reputation for providing over 100 things to see and do Des Moines provides plenty of options for student tour groups.
Popular Des Moines Attractions for Student Travel
Des Moines offers a variety of educational student attractions, from historic home tours to railroads, to popular museums. “Student group tourism is a growing market for Greater Des Moines,” said Katie Stien sales manager of Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Student groups can come to Greater Des Moines and experience all of the amenities and attractions of a big city in an economical way. Our affordable destination is centrally located, safe and friendly – a perfect mixture for student groups.”
One place to really kick off a Des Moines student trip is Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad. Where students can learn about the city’s railroad history with a train ride through the Des Moines River Valley. On a tour through Historic Jordan House, student tour groups get a firsthand look at a ancient Victorian home and see an Underground Railroad exhibit.
You’ll also want to take the students to the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum; this two hour student tour will provide loads of information about the Mexican War and Iowa veterans past and present. To enliven the mood, student groups can travel to Living History Farms where students are able to visit the 1700 Loway Indian Village, 1850 Pioneer Farm, 1875 Frontier Town, 1990 Horse Powered Farm and Modern Exhibit Center. Meet historical interpreters dressed up in period early costumes as they visit the 170o.
At the Downtown Farmers Market youth travel groups can try delicious fresh fruit and fresh vegetables from Iowa farmers. The Historic Valley Junction in West Des Moines offers several art galleries, antique shops, boutiques, and dining options. This is the perfect opportunity for student travel groups to grab lunch and purchase gifts to take home.
For an action packed afternoon consider Adventureland Park. Student groups will enjoy this water park with over 100 rides, shows, waterslides and a large swimming pool. The Science Center of Iowa & Blank IMAX Dome Theater is enjoyable for student group travel. Students engage in many hands on learning activities, and explore science and nature through films in one of the IMAX’s three interactive theaters.
Des Moines Student Sightseeing Tours
The Reiman Gardens offers an hour long tour, where students walk through the Christina Reiman Butterfly Wing, Conservatory, Jones Rose Garden, and other garden areas. Student groups will also enjoy the hour long tour at Terrace Hill, home to Iowa’s governor and a popular historic Landmark.
Another popular student tour takes place in John & Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park. Located in downtown Des Moines, this sculpture park contains a collection of modern classical sculptures and 24 works of art donated by John and Mary Pappajohn. For a political excursion you’ll want to take students on an 80 minute tour of the Iowa State Capitol.
Des Moines Student Performance Venues
Student performance programs can put on performances in Des Moines through various venues. The Hoyt Sherman Place offers theater rental for public and private use. This is an ideal location for school plays, and band performances.
The Temple for Performing Arts has a recital hall and performance hall that student groups can rent for evenings. The recital hall is a great choice for a school band performance with a little over 80 seats. The performance hall is large enough to hold up to 300 people and is great for school theater productions.
Student Friendly Dining Options in Des Moines
From bistros, buffet and coffeehouses to private dining options, Des Moines has a variety of restaurant that will appeal to student groups. At Stella’s Blue Sky Diner, students can enjoy the 1950s diner style environment, with waiters and waitresses who stand on chairs pouring milkshakes into glasses placed on the students’ heads! The price is affordable and the food is awesome.
Youth travel groups will really enjoy dinner at Incredible Pizza. This large restaurant features seven private party rooms including a room large enough to house 1,800 people. The buffet includes 100 items. After students eat, they can enjoy go-karts, bumper cars, and the arcade.
Student Travel Accommodations in Des Moines
Des Moines offers student groups a large variety of hotels, from hotels Downtown to those located by popular amusement parks. With over 10,000 rooms available, finding student accommodation isn’t difficult. The Best Western, located next to Des Moines Airport, with affordable prices and close to local attractions, is a great choice for student groups.
Adventureland Inn is another great option for student groups. Located right next to Adventureland amusement park, this hotel boasts 187 rooms, indoor pools, tropical courtyards and close to other great attractions. If adventureland inn is too pricey, student groups may be interested in trying the Comfort Suites, which is located in the heart of Living History Farms and reasonably priced.
Des Moines offers a great Iowa experience for student travel with its history, amusements, and tasty food. Des Moines offers the perfect blend of entertainment, education and culture.