Skip to main content

That age-old trap of thinking there’s nothing to do can drain the life out of your summer.

Never fear! TwoTone is here! 

Our team compiled a list of our favorites when it comes to summer in Iowa (especially in Greater Des Moines). Be inspired to make the most of those extra daylight hours!

Eat & Drink

Cool down, fuel up, and head over to these summer favorites.

  • Paws & Pints: Sometimes Fido needs a night out, too. 
  • The Yankee Clipper: We’ve got two words for you…Taco…Tuesday.
  • The Creamery: Delicious ice cream after a day at Saylorville and Big Creek? You betcha.
  • Firetrucker Brewery: Pro tip: Order the Yankee Clipper’s one-of-a-kind tacos from Firetrucker on Tuesdays.
  • Smash Park: Fun, food, and drinks all in one place (two actually—Wes Des Moines and Pella locations).

Outdoor Activities

The heat index says stay inside, but the little mermaid says, “I want to be where the people are.”

  • Ledges State Park: Bring the whole family and your four-legged friends for hiking and creek stomping.
  • Clive Greenbelt Trail: Ride, walk, or run on this beautiful trail with convenient connections.
  • The Brenton Arboretum: Get a dog pass and let your poochie swim in the ponds and streams.
  • Gray’s Lake: Rent a kayak or paddleboard or just rollerblade around the nearly two-mile paved loop like it’s 1998 all over again.
  • Rail Explorers in Boone: Choo-choo! Ride the rails on pedal-powered vehicles.
  • Maquoketa Caves State Park: With more caves than any state park, this magical place has been a favorite since the 1860s. Bring a flashlight!
  • Field of Dreams in Dyersville: Is this heaven? No, it’s Iowa! Come for a Ghost Player Show or take a tour of the famous home.
  • Seven Oaks Recreation: Canoeing, kayaking, tubing, and…paintball? Yep, there’s summer fun for everyone.

Big Events

We all know you’re going to the Iowa State Fair, but what other events are you enjoying the rest of the summer?

Recurring Events

So you missed all the big events…that’s okay! This list was made with you in mind:

Yep, Iowa is awesome—and this is just a start. Get more ideas at

Skip to content