Uncovering the Top Things to Do in Urbandale, Iowa

Uncovering the Top Things to Do in Urbandale, Iowa

Hot Air Ballooning in Iowa|Living History Farm. Photo by Dennis Bratland CC 3.0.|Living History Farm table. Photo by Dennis Bratland CC 3.0.|Living History Farm Blacksmith barn. Photo by Dennis Bratland CC 3.0.|Des Moines Art Center. Photo courtesy of CC 3.0.

Posted July 5, 2023

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When it comes to finding the best things to do in Urbandale, Iowa, you’ll be delighted by the wide range of activities and attractions that await you. From immersing yourself in the city’s rich history and culture to indulging in outdoor adventures and savoring the local flavors, Urbandale offers an abundance of experiences that cater to all interests and preferences. Let’s dive into the exciting world of things to do in Urbandale, Iowa, and discover the gems that make this city a remarkable destination.

Urbandale, Iowa, located in the heart of the Midwest, is a vibrant city with a wide range of activities and attractions to offer visitors. Whether you’re a nature lover, history enthusiast, or simply looking for family-friendly entertainment, Urbandale has something for everyone. In this article, we will explore the best things to do in Urbandale, including its landmarks and attractions that are sure to make your visit memorable.

Exploring Living History Farms

Living History Farms: Reliving the Past

One of the must-visit attractions in Urbandale is Living History Farms. Step back in time as you explore this living history museum that showcases the rural Iowa life of the past. From historic farms and working blacksmith shops to interactive exhibits, you’ll get a hands-on experience of what life was like in the 18th and 19th centuries. Don’t miss the chance to participate in seasonal events and immerse yourself in the rich agricultural heritage of Iowa.

  • Living History Farm
  • Living History Farm table
  • Living History Farm Blacksmith barn

Enjoying Nature at Walnut Woods State Park

Walnut Woods State Park: Nature’s Oasis

One of the best things to see in Urbandale is Walnut Woods State Park. With its picturesque woodland trails and serene surroundings, this park offers a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Take a leisurely hike, enjoy a picnic by the lake, or try your hand at fishing. The park also provides camping facilities for those seeking a closer connection with nature. Don’t forget your camera, as this is a prime spot for capturing stunning nature photography.

Discovering the Art Scene at the Urbandale Public Art Program

Urbandale Public Art Program: Where Art Comes to Life

Immerse yourself in the vibrant art scene of Urbandale by exploring the city’s public art program. From sculptures and murals to interactive installations, the streets of Urbandale serve as a gallery showcasing local talent. Take a stroll through the city and discover the hidden gems that add beauty and creativity to every corner. The Urbandale Public Art Program is a testament to the city’s commitment to fostering a thriving arts community.

Shopping and Dining at the Historic Valley Junction

Historic Valley Junction: A Shopper’s Paradise

For a unique shopping and dining experience, head to Historic Valley Junction. This charming district is filled with boutique shops, antique stores, and art galleries. Browse through the eclectic mix of merchandise, find one-of-a-kind treasures, and support local businesses. After a satisfying shopping spree, treat yourself to a delicious meal at one of the cozy restaurants or cafes scattered throughout the area.

Experiencing Adventure at the Clive Greenbelt Trail

Clive Greenbelt Trail: A Pathway to Adventure

Outdoor adventurers will find their paradise at the Clive Greenbelt Trail. This expansive trail system offers scenic beauty and thrilling activities for hikers, bikers, and nature enthusiasts. Lace up your hiking boots or hop on your bike to explore the picturesque trails that wind through lush forests, alongside tranquil creeks, and across open meadows. With varying difficulty levels, the Clive Greenbelt Trail caters to both beginners and seasoned adventurers alike, ensuring an exhilarating experience for all.

Unwinding at the Brenton Arboretum

Brenton Arboretum: A Haven of Tranquility

Escape the noise of the city and find peace and serenity at the Brenton Arboretum. Spanning over 140 acres, this beautifully landscaped arboretum showcases a diverse collection of trees and plants. Take a leisurely stroll along the winding paths, breathe in the fresh air, and marvel at the stunning colors of nature. The Brenton Arboretum also offers educational programs and events that allow visitors to deepen their understanding of the environment and conservation.

Family Fun at the Urbandale Indoor Playground

Urbandale Indoor Playground: Where Fun Never Ends

If you’re visiting Urbandale with children, make sure to include a visit to the Urbandale Indoor Playground on your itinerary b because it is one of the best things to do in Urbandale, Iowa. This indoor play area provides a safe and exciting environment for kids to let their imagination run wild. With climbing structures, slides, ball pits, and interactive games, children can engage in active play regardless of the weather outside. Parents can relax in the seating area while keeping a watchful eye on their little ones, making it a perfect family-friendly destination.

Discovering Science at the Science Center of Iowa

Science Center of Iowa: Where Learning is Fun

For a hands-on educational experience, head to the Science Center of Iowa in nearby Des Moines. Engage in interactive exhibits that explore various scientific concepts, from physics and chemistry to space exploration and technology. Kids and adults alike can participate in engaging experiments, watch captivating live demonstrations, and explore the wonders of the universe in the planetarium. The Science Center of Iowa is a place where learning becomes an exciting adventure.

Golfing at the Urbandale Golf and Country Club

Urbandale Golf and Country Club: Tee Off in Style

One of the best fun things to do in Urbandale, Iowa is Urbandale golf. Golf enthusiasts can indulge their passion at the prestigious Urbandale Golf and Country Club. This private club offers a meticulously maintained golf course that challenges players of all skill levels. With rolling fairways, strategically placed bunkers, and scenic views, the Urbandale Golf and Country Club provides a memorable golfing experience. After a round of golf, relax at the clubhouse, enjoy a refreshing drink, and relish in the camaraderie of fellow golf enthusiasts.

Visiting the Des Moines Art Center

Des Moines Art Center: A Mecca for Art Enthusiasts

Art aficionados should not miss the opportunity to visit the Des Moines Art Center. Located just a short drive from Urbandale, this renowned institution houses an impressive collection of modern and contemporary art. From masterpieces by renowned artists to thought-provoking installations, the Des Moines Art Center offers a diverse range of artistic expressions. Stroll through the galleries, attend engaging exhibitions, and expand your appreciation for the world of art.

Des Moines Art Center
Des Moines Art Center. Photo courtesy of CC 3.0.

Experiencing Thrills at the Iowa State Fair

Iowa State Fair: The Ultimate Summer Tradition

Every August, the Iowa State Fair takes over Des Moines and becomes a hub of excitement and entertainment. Just a short distance from Urbandale, this annual event offers a plethora of attractions and activities that cater to people of all ages. From thrilling amusement rides and live music performances to mouthwatering fair food and captivating agricultural exhibits, the Iowa State Fair has it all. Indulge in classic fair treats like corn dogs and funnel cakes, explore the various competitions and displays showcasing Iowa’s agricultural heritage, and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of this beloved tradition.


In conclusion, Urbandale, Iowa, offers an abundance of exciting things to do that cater to various interests and preferences. Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover, art enthusiast, or someone looking for unique shopping and dining experiences, Urbandale has it all. The attractions and activities in Urbandale provide a perfect blend of cultural enrichment, outdoor adventures, and opportunities for relaxation. When exploring the vibrant attractions and things to do in Urbandale, Iowa, you’ll be immersed in a rich tapestry of history, culture, and natural beauty. 

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