Discover Romance with Unique Date Ideas in Des Moines

Written by: Tom Pinder


Time to read 6 min

Des Moines, the charming capital of Iowa, offers an array of fascinating date ideas to rekindle romance and explore shared interests. 

The city's vibrant arts scene, delectable culinary delights, picturesque parks, and energetic sports events offer countless opportunities for unforgettable moments. 


Here are a few unique date ideas in Des Moines bound to fuel the spark in your relationship.

1. Culinary Adventure in Des Moines


1.1 Savour Exquisite Meals at Your Favourite Eateries

Begin your romantic escapade in Des Moines with a leisurely dinner at some of the city's most beloved restaurants. Establishments like Malo, the Iowa Taproom, Django, and Christopher's offer a variety of cuisines to satisfy your taste buds. If you're eager to try something new, consider the Ceviche Bar in the East Village.

1.2 Relish Global Flavours at International Restaurants

If both of you are foodies, Des Moines won't disappoint. Embark on a gastronomic journey with international restaurants like Kathmandu, Mi Patria, or Lucky Lotus. You can also try the old-school Italian restaurants that Des Moines is famous for, like Noah's Ark, Latin King, or Tumea & Sons.

1.3 Indulge in Desserts

To satiate your sweet tooth, the Creme Dessert Lounge offers delicious sweets paired with craft cocktails. For a complete evening, you could also grab pizza and wine up the street at Eatery A, making it an ideal place for a happy hour.

2. Arts and Culture Exploration

2.1 Attend a Concert or a Play


Live music or theater can be an exhilarating experience for couples who share a love for arts and culture. The Des Moines Performing Arts center, the Des Moines Playhouse, or Hoyt Sherman Place frequently host a variety of performances. For those in need of a good laugh, a live show at Teehee's Comedy Club could be the perfect ice breaker.

2.2 Discover Art Masterpieces


Art-loving couples can spend their day at the Des Moines Art Center, which houses a stunning collection of contemporary and modern artworks. After immersing yourselves in the world of art, consider a lunch date at the center's restaurant, Tangerine, for a fulfilling culinary experience.

2.3 Explore Local Theater


Local theaters in Des Moines offer an intimate and unique experience for couples who share a love for performing arts. The Kum & Go Theater and Hoyt Sherman Place offer a variety of performances from local and national artists. Attending a live performance can be an unforgettable experience that can deepen your bond and create beautiful memories.

3. Experience Nature's Beauty


3.1 Enjoy a Picnic at Pappajohn Sculpture Park

The Pappajohn Sculpture Park, an urban, outdoor art venue located in downtown Des Moines, offers an exceptional space for a romantic picnic. The park, part of the Des Moines Art Center, includes sculptures from 21 artists, providing a serene backdrop for a tranquil date.

3.2 Explore the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden

If both of you have a fondness for nature, the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden is an excellent place for a date. The conservatory hosts a diverse collection of plants from around the world, presenting a unique opportunity to learn and appreciate nature's beauty.

3.3 Discover the High Trestle Trail

For couples who enjoy being active, a bike ride on the High Trestle Trail could be an ideal date. The trail offers scenic views of the Iowa countryside, making it a perfect place for a romantic bike ride. Don't forget to take a couple's selfie on the bridge!

4. Sports and Games

4.1 Attend a Game

For sports-loving couples, Des Moines is home to several teams including the Iowa Wild, Iowa Cubs, Energy, and Barnstormers. Attending a game can be a thrilling experience that lets you share cheers, groans, and the exhilarating suspense of the match.

4.2 Play Arcade Games

For a playful and light-hearted date, consider a trip to the Up-Down arcade bar or the Operating Room. These venues offer a variety of classic and modern arcade games, pinball machines, and craft cocktails. It's a fun way to engage in a bit of friendly competition and share laughter.

4.3 Try Your Hand at Golf

If you and your partner are golf enthusiasts, a date at the Blank Golf Course could just be the perfect way to spend a day. The golf course offers both a full 18-hole course and mini-golf, catering to both serious and casual golfers.

5. Romantic Strolls and Walks

5.1 Walk at Gray's Lake

A late-night walk around Gray's Lake or the High Trestle Bridge can be an incredibly romantic date idea. Take in the picturesque views, engage in heartfelt conversations, and enjoy the tranquil ambiance.

5.2 Explore the East Village and Valley Junction

Exploring the East Village or Valley Junction offers a chance to discover local boutiques, eateries, and unique shops. Take a leisurely stroll through these charming areas, shop for each other, and support local businesses.

6. Unique Experiences

6.1 Try a Cooking Class

Taking a cooking class together can be a fun and rewarding experience. Cooking With Alessandra offers a variety of classes where you can learn to prepare a new dish together, which you can recreate at home for future date nights.

6.2 Experience an Escape Game

Escape Chambers Des Moines offers a challenging and fun experience with its themed escape rooms. Working together to solve puzzles within a set time limit can make for an exciting and bonding experience.

6.3 Visit the State Capitol

For history buffs, a tour of the State Capitol can be an enriching experience. The neoclassical architectural style and the beautiful interior of the building make this a memorable destination.

Capital building

7. Wine and Dine


7.1 Wine Tasting


For wine aficionados, a visit to Jasper Winery or Summerset Winery for a wine tasting can be a delightful experience. Enjoy sampling various wines and learn about their distinct characteristics and production processes.

7.2 Enjoy Drinks


Louie's Wine Dive, Confluence, Peace Tree Brewing Co., and Exile are some of the local favourites for enjoying a drink. Many of these places offer great music, trivia nights, or other entertainment options, making for a lively evening out.

8. Indoor Fun


8.1 Go Bowling

A classic bowling date can be both fun and competitive. Try out Spare Time or Ricochet for a fun-filled evening with bowling, ping pong, pickle ball, and more.

8.2 Attend a Movie at Flix Brewhouse

Flix Brewhouse offers a unique movie experience where you can enjoy dinner and drinks along with your movie. It's a perfect choice for a laid-back, enjoyable evening.

8.3 Get Crafty

For creative couples, AR Workshop, The Knotty Nail, or Glazed Expressions offer crafting classes. Here, you can create unique decor pieces while enjoying each other's company.

9. Outdoor Adventures


9.1 Kayaking, Boating, Biking, or Hiking at Gray's Lake Park

Adventure-loving couples can explore Gray's Lake Park with its options for kayaking, boating, biking, or hiking. It's a great way to spend a day in the midst of nature, getting active, and creating shared memories.

9.2 Star Gazing

On a clear night, take an aimless drive out of the city and indulge in some star gazing. It can be a serene and romantic experience, allowing you to enjoy each other's company in a tranquil setting.

9.3 Visit a Museum

For a dose of history or science, consider visiting the Des Moines Art Center, Historical Museum, or Science Center of Iowa. Exploring exhibits together can be an educational and engaging date idea.

10. Enjoy a Staycation

If you're looking for a relaxing and cozy date, consider a staycation. Book a night at a local hotel, order in your favourite food, and enjoy a movie or a game night. This can be a perfect way to unwind and spend quality time together without the pressures of planning an elaborate outing.

Wrapping Up


By exploring these diverse date ideas in Des Moines, you can discover shared interests, create lasting memories, and strengthen your bond. Whether you're a foodie, a nature lover, a history buff, or an adventure enthusiast, Des Moines offers a myriad of opportunities for unique and memorable dates.