Des Moines, IA

Midwest Road Trips to Take Before Summer Ends

Kimberly Ritter

Are you planning a late summer adventure and want an easy road trip from Des Moines? Here are some of our favorite Midwest road trips to take before summer ends.
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Centrally located in the Midwest, Des Moines is just a short road trip from many different major cities. If you’re planning a road trip with your family to wrap up your summer fun, here are our favorite destinations that are just a short drive from Central Iowa.
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Things to do in the Wisconsin Dells

If you're looking for a family-friendly road trip destination in the Midwest, look no further than the Wisconsin Dells. With something for all activity levels and all ages, the Dells has long been known as a bucket list location for many families. If you're planning a late summer visit to the Wisconsin Dells, here's what to know for your upcoming visit. Some of our favs include the waterparks, the Wilderness Canyon Zip Line Canopy Tour and the Duck Boat Tours.
Lauritzen Gardens in OmahaImage Courtesy of

Things to do in Omaha

Omaha has lots to offer and if you’re making a road trip from Des Moines to Omaha, it’s a short drive and lots of fun. From the famous Henry Doorly Zoo, to museums and botanical gardens, there are lots of fun things to see and do for families. If you’re planning some small adventures to do together before the summer ends, here are our summer bucket list locations to see in Omaha with kids.

Things to Do in Minneapolis
Just a few hours from Des Moines, Minneapolis is a popular road trip to make from Central Iowa. Home of the Mall of America, Minneapolis also has an excellent science center and a fantastic zoo. Learn more about our summer bucket list attractions in Minneapolis.

Things to do in Kansas City
Kansas City is one of our family’s favorites and an easy drive from our home city of Des Moines. In addition to the fantastic Kansas City Zoo and the Kansas City Science City, there are lots of additional attractions to enjoy. Here are some of our family favorite attractions in Kansas City!

Things to do in La Crosse
Are you heading to La Crosse and wanting some fun activities to do as a family? From river cruises along the Mississippi to outdoor activities to fantastic dining and shopping, La Crosse has something for everyone. Be sure to check out our La Crosse favorite summer bucket list attractions in this Wisconsin area.

Things to do in St. Louis
St. Louis is a popular road trip from Des Moines for baseball, the St. Louis Arch, the magnificent zoo, the City Museum and so much more. When staying in the area my family highly recommends the Union Station Hotel, home of the new aquarium

Things to do in Des Moines
Even if you’re not able to hit the road this summer, there are lots of amazing things to do in Des Moines.

From the Blank Park Zoo to the Pappajohn Sculpture Garden to the Des Moines Science Center, there are lots of fun day activities in Des Moines that you and your family can do close to home. Don’t miss the Iowa State Fair coming in August and check out my tips for what to do at the fair for tweens and teens. Stretch your budget when visiting these attractions with the Des Moines Adventure Pass which can help you visit several attractions for free.

Need even more Midwest road trip ideas? Be sure to check out my top #SummerBucketList locations in other Midwest cities including #DesMoines, #KansasCity, #Omaha, #Minneapolis, and the #WisconsinDells.

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Two Kids and a Coupon is a frugal family website that shares news, ideas, entertainment, activities, recipes, and tips for today’s busy parents and family on a budget.


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