For keen gardeners and plant lovers a visit to the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden is a must. Situated in downtown Des Moines, the garden is a wonderful, fragrant oasis all year round. In the depths of winter when the snow is on the ground, you can wander through the tropical delights of the conservatory, and summer days can be spent exploring the beautiful outdoor gardens.
Guided tours and other informational events are always scheduled, details of which can be found on the events page of the website.
The gardens are designed to offer visitors a horticultural experience they’ll never forget. The spectacular geodesic-domed conservatory is planted with a rich flavour of the tropics and you’ll enjoy strolling amid exotic orchids, palms and other trees from far flung lands. It’s a botanical global tour all under one roof!
The conservatory first opened in the winter of 1979 and has been an iconic destination ever since. This impressive structure is built from moulded Plexiglas panels set into an aluminium frame. It stands 80 feet high at the highest point and measures 150 feet in width.
Undoubtedly a draw for chilly visitors on a frigid winter’s day, the conservatory and its exotic planting is also comfortable to visit in the summer thanks to a misting system which keeps temperatures at a pleasant level.
The outdoor gardens are no less popular and invite the visitor to wander through the four seasons. Whether it’s the first shy spring plants emerging after the winter snow, the summer planting in all its gaudy splendor, the glorious fall display of dazzling color or the bright winter berries set against a somber backdrop of dark evergreens, there’s something special for everyone.
Dining and shopping
The gardens include a café where visitors can enjoy a ‘plant-inspired’ menu and there’s a gift shop offering a wide selection of keepsakes to remind you of your visit.
The gardens are open daily from 10am to 5pm; New Year’s Eve from 10am to 3pm. They're closed on New Year’s Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
Members and children under 3 are admitted for free
Seniors (65+) and military personnel $4
Students (aged 4 to 17) $3
909 Robert D. Ray Drive, Des Moines, IA 50309
Image source: Des Moines Downtown Chamber