Where to Enjoy Nature Indoors around Des Moines, Iowa

10 Places to enjoy nature and stay indoors, in the Des Moines, central Iowa area.

While we aim to get outside for a chunk of the day no matter how cold it is, I completely understand that it isn’t an option for everyone and that there are plenty of hours in the day to fill! (See what we’ve been wearing to stay warm this past fall, in this post, for winter we add balaclavas and thicker down jackets!) I try to keep a few places in rotation that allow us to experience nature without wearing a million layers. I’ve rounded up a list of places that you can experience some element of nature while still staying inside, please let me know if I missed any that you can think of! Scroll to the bottom for a map of where all these places are located around the city.

Read More

40+ Gift Ideas for Nature Loving Kids

Check out this huge list of gift ideas for nature loving kids! Games, experiences, gear, crafts - something for every outdoorsy kid. #parenting #giftguide

I am guessing you don’t need any more toys, so I’ll share this big list of non-toy gifts for nature loving kids! These are all roughly for toddlers through elementary age kids, and I think there is something for everyone. Which one do you think your kiddo would like best?

Local to Des Moines, don’t forget all the brick & mortar shops you can stop in and support in our community, as shared in this local gift guide!

Read More

8 Nature Books for Parents

I love reading. Reading about the importance of getting my kids outside is the best of both worlds, and I’m always finding new ideas or new inspiration to spend more time in nature. If the cold wind has you holing up, these books are perfect for reading while the kids play but also good to motivate you to layer up and get outside, too!

Amazon has a $5 off $20 coupon right now so I thought it was perfect timing to get this post published; use coupon GIFTBOOK17 at checkout to qualify, orffer expires at 11:59 p.m. (PT) November 26, 2017. Local to Des Moines, don’t forget all the brick & mortar shops you can stop in and support in our community, as shared in this local gift guide!

Read More

Shop Local – Gift Guide for Outdoorsy Folks

A local gift guide in Des Moines, Iowa for nature lovers!

I love shopping small businesses, and Des Moines has a great selection for nature lovers! I know from personal experience how exciting it can be to get an order in when you are a shop of 1, and also how valuable it is to have experienced staff in local shops to help people get the right gear.  I wrote this list based on my own experiences as well as recommendations from readers and friends. A few businesses paid to include photos and their social media profiles, but no one paid to be on the list! If you know of a shop that belongs here, please say so in the comments and I’ll be happy to add them if I think they are a good fit.

The gift guide is separated into several categories, so keep scrolling and start taking notes! If you start shopping, please let them know that Des Moines Outdoor Fun sent you.

Read More

How We Dress for Fall Outdoor Hiking

Check out these tips and product links for how to dress kids and adults to stay warm (but not too warm!) in fall weather. Fall hiking with kids can be fun if everyone is dressed right! #hikingwithkids #hiking #hikingtips #hikinggear

Think the end of summer means the end of playing outside? The temperature dropped below 50 this week and several of my friends have already started posting “what can we do inside?”, “looks like winter is here, let’s reschedule the park playdate”, etc. Think again!  I have lots of suggestions for kids (and adults!) to wear when playing outside in fall. We really try to get outside daily, all year, and everyone can still enjoy it if you’re dressed right! There is so much fun to be had with crunching leaves, talking about the seasons changing, seeing different colors on the trees, and watching the wind blow sticks up in the air.

Read More