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Metro Area Date Ideas

Hannah Borst, Reporter

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Any student couple in high school knows the struggle of dates… Where to go? How much to spend? The following list will help spark ideas and give detailed locations and prices.

Gingerbread Man and House – DIY gingerbread houses are available as sets for about $10 at stores such as Target.

Sleigh Rides – A more costly winter time activity, Jester Park Equestrian Center offers 45-minute sleigh rides. They are $15 per person with a $50 minimum. Make sure to dress warmly for this activity!

Brunch or Breakfast – This is a typical date idea with a twist, start off your day with the most important meal of the day and your significant other or your best friend! Culture Trip has a list of The 10 Best Spots for Brunch in and around Des Moines.

Bookstore Trip – Visit Barnes & Noble or Half Price Books and pick out a new book together, create a mini book club and discuss as you read!

Zoo – The Blank Park Zoo is $13 for admission at the gate or $11 if you order your tickets online in advance.

Adopt a Dog – But only for the day! The ARL offers a program called Dog’s Day Out. Pick up a dog anytime from 11 and 1 and spend the day with the pup.

Roller Skating – Skate West has public skating Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Prices vary per day with the highest admission being $8. Basic Skate rental is $3 with Specialty Skate rental costing $5.

Ice Skating – Brenton Skating Plaza located in downtown Des Moines offers $6 skating admission Monday through Thursday and $7.50 skate admission Friday through Sunday. Skate rental is $4.25 any day.

Arcade Night – The Old School Arcade in Grimes offers $10 unlimited play on weekdays and $13.25 unlimited play on weekends.

Bowling – Warrior Lanes offers $3.75 games Monday through Thursday and $4.25 games Friday through Sunday. They currently offer a $10 Open Bowling Certificate if you sign up for their mailing list.

ALL THE COOKIES – Buy every kind of premade cookie dough you can find and make them all. Spend the day taste testing and deciding on your favorite.

Comedy Show – The Last Laugh offers comedy shows for all ages, with free admission on some nights to $10 events. Seating is typically general admission and doors open 30 minutes before the show starts.

Mini Golfing – dsm4kids released a list of 7 places to play mini golf in the metro area, prices range from $5 to $9.

Disposable Camera Day – Visit your favorite places, relax, eat and take pictures of each other! Disposable cameras typically come in packs of two for around $14. Pick them up from Walmart or order online at Amazon.

Farmer’s Market – Typically a summer activity (May through October) the Des Moines Farmer’s Market is open every Saturday, even holidays, May 7 through October 29.

Antique Mall – The Brass Armadillo is 36,000 feet of antiques and collectibles. It is one of many in the metro area.

Pappajohn Sculpture Park – This 4.4-acre park located at 1330 Grand Ave in downtown Des Moines is a free space to walk around and enjoy your day.

Ritual Cafe – This local coffee shop hosts Poetry Unplugged the last Thursday of each month. It’s an open mic opportunity so share your best or worst poetry, stand on your soap box or just hang out and listen!

Happy Hour – NOT the drinking kind… Happy Hour at Applebee’s happens after nine o’clock with half price appetizers. A whole meal can be made off the appetizer menu alone.

Botanical Garden – Sick of the winter cold? Visit the Botanical Garden and get a taste of paradise. Admission is $8 for adults and $6 for students under 17.

Botanical Garden Sunday Blues – Free concerts with the price of admission are held every Sunday from 2 to 4 pm at the Botanical Garden. This is put on January 8 through March 26.

Flea Market – Search for old, weird, antiques or great deals at Des Moines Flea Markets. These are typically held at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in the 4H building the first weekend of every month.

Snowshoe Rental – Polk County Conservation offers snowshoe rental for $10 a day. It can be an interesting day spent outdoors with your favorite person. Recommended trails include Hickory Ridge Trail at Jester Park and Nature Trail at Fort Des Moines Park.

East Village – Walk, explore and shop in the East Village. Locally owned shops have something for everyone: books, shoes, clothes, art and much more.

Flix Brewhouse – A more pricey date night option includes both dinner and a movie. People typically spend about $20 each here.

Valley Junction – Similar to the East Village, Valley Junction has interesting stores such as Atomic Garage and great places to eat.

Gray’s Lake – Visit this park for multiple opportunities for walking and biking. Check out paddle boat rentals in the summer, take pictures, or just chat!

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Metro Area Date Ideas