- 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 the 6.5-acre McFarland Lake, McFarland Park provides 5.5 miles of trails suitable for hiking and biking. It can be used for fishing, picnicking, camping and exploring the woodland, tallgrass prairie and stream habitats located in the park.
Come play in the snow at Seven Oaks Recreation in Boone, Iowa. Skiing, tubing, snowboarding, snow shoeing and a host of other exhilarating winter activities make a visit to Seven Oaks a great vacation idea. This destination also rents skis and snowboards.
Run by a regional historical society, Boone County Historical Center provides visitors with historical and cultural information about the area. The center has exhibits with artifacts like fossils, Native American tools, taxidermy, and more.
Visitors learn about history and culture at the Mamie Doud Eisenhower Birthplace. The small home has been staged to reflect the lifestyle of Mamie and the venue is run by knowledgeable guides who know every detail about the items in the house.