EXPLORE: Brainpower!

Books, art, museums and an assortment
of high-IQ options

Des Moines Public Library
Multiple locations
In a typical year, more than 800,000 people utilize the services at the Des Moines library system and its six branches boasting a collection of nearly 500,000 items, making it the largest public library system in the state.
Wow!: Adventure Passes are available for checkout for admittance to Blank Park Zoo, the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden and the Science Center of Iowa. Book yourself and your family a full day of fun. Each pass allows entrance for up to two adults and two children. Additional tickets may be purchased at the gate.

Blank Park Zoo
7401 S.W. Ninth St., Des Moines
Lions, tigers, gazelles... The zoo is open all year around and offers a glimpse at the majestic beauty of wildlife from around the globe, such as the golden-headed tamarin, red river hogs, red pandas, giraffes, seals, penguins, rhinos and more.

Des Moines Art Center
4700 Grand Ave., Des Moines
Fine art is always on display and admittance is free at the Des Moines Art Center. Priceless.
Don’t miss this!: “The Blind Leading the Blind” is a thought-provoking painting by Louise Bourgeois, 1947-1949.

Science Center of Iowa
401 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, Des Moines
Learning comes to life at SCI. With hands-on science exhibits and unique programming, more than 300,000 visitors annually enjoy this brain-bending extravaganza.

Mainframe Studios
900 Keosauqua Way, Des Moines
This 160,000-square-foot facility serves as a local workspace for artists to showcase ceramics, photographs, cartoons, glass, paintings, sculptures — and that’s the tip of the iceberg.
Fun fact: Mainframe Studios lays claim to being the largest nonprofit art studio building in the nation.

Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden
909 Robert D. Ray Drive, Des Moines
There’s no place like the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden’s geodesic conservatory dome. Entertaining and educational, the Botanical Garden might be central Iowa’s ultimate outdoor experience, and this one-of-a-kind tropical experience exists indoors.
Don’t forget: Trellis Café — located within the Botanical Garden — serves a locally sourced, plant-inspired menu and is regarded by many as offering one of the best lunches in Des Moines.

State Historical Museum
600 E. Locust St., Des Moines
Learn about life in Iowa before it became a state... Explore Iowa’s rich natural resources and the balance between using these resources and preserving them... Discover what inspired more than 76,000 Iowans to fight for the Union Army in the nation’s bloodiest war... Explore Iowa’s legacy with the silver screen from the early 1900s on... See the skeleton of a Woolly Mammoth... All of this and more at the State Historical Museum.

Ankeny Art Center
1520 S.W. Ordnance Road, Ankeny
Experience art aimed at inspiring, educating and challenging all members of the community.
Don’t miss this: Melynda Van Zee’s “Inner Freedom” exhibit of acrylic painting on display Oct. 5 - Nov. 24.

Iowa Hall of Pride
330 Park St., Des Moines
Did you know that the only female ever drafted by an NBA franchise is from Iowa? Denise Long was selected in the 13th round of the 1969 NBA draft by the San Francisco Warriors. That had never been done before, and it hasn’t been done since. The six-on-six hoopster forward from Union-Whitten High had averaged 62.8 points per game in her senior year (1969). The selection was later voided and labeled a publicity stunt, but still, wow. Many more fun facts about Iowans reside at Iowa Hall of Pride.
Believe it or not: Long once famously scored 111 points in a single game.


111 S. 11th St., Suite 200, West Des Moines
Quick... What is the last name of the first fictional TV family to have owned a home computer? The computer, named “Whizzo,” was constructed by the family’s father and son and first appeared in 1965. If you know the answer (Addams), then check out Live Trivia by Sporcle every Thursday night at The Hall. The first game starts at 7 p.m. and the second at 8 p.m.
Tip!: Unless you’re a genius, it’s best to be part of a knowledgeable team to help you compete.