- The list below includes 59 free or cheap things to do in or near Des Moines, Iowa, including 52 different types of inexpensive activities like Movie Theaters, History Museums, Bike Paths and Bowling.
- From East Village to Saylorville Trail, there are a variety of budget-friendly attractions in Des Moines and in nearby cities within 25 miles like West Des Moines, Urbandale, Ankeny and Indianola.
Featuring exhibits detailing the history of railroading from the Civil War until present day, Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad and James H. Andrew Railroad Museum displays railroad photographs and video footage. The museum also organizes train rides from the depot.
Iowa's largest lake, Lake Red Rock, is located within an hour's drive from Des Moines. The lake spans 15,000 acres, with an additional 35,000 acres of coastland. It is a popular destination for hiking, swimming, fishing and kayaking.
Forever memorialized in the novel, 'The Bridges of Madison County,' Roseman Bridge is one of several beautiful covered bridges in Winterset, Iowa. It is a popular photography location, especially in the full autumnal splendor of September, October and early November,
Preserved and maintained by the Iowa Historical Society, the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad is a working rail line and mobile museum that offers rides on vintage locomotives. It is open seasonally and closes each winter.
Running since 1855, Pella Public Library provides visitors with a plethora of books to choose from in different formats like digital and audio. The city hosts a genealogy club where members of the town can learn about their family history.
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507 Franklin Street, Pella, IA MoreLess Info
Pella, Iowa's Historical Village, Vermeer Windmill & Scholte House is a living history museum. Its two-story main building is available for docent-guided tours. Each tour lasts roughly 45 minutes. Visitors are also welcome to explore many parts of this attraction on their own.
The Pella Historical Society is a group dedicated to preserving and promoting the local history of the area. Tours are offered of the many local historical attractions, including a history museum, flower gardens, and the childhood home of Wyatt Earp.
The Vermeer Mill was constructed in 2002 in the local historic district, based on the windmills familiar in old Europe. An actual working facility, guides offer tours and insight on the milling process and its history in the area.