Antler Hunt Hike at Thomas Mitchell Park

shed antlers des moines iowa (4)

Last weekend we had a family outing to Thomas Mitchell Park, to take part in the “Antler Shed” programming put on by Polk County Conservation. I wasn’t sure of what to expect, but it was a lot of fun and we hope it becomes an annual event so we can go again next year!

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Places to sled in Des Moines

places-to-sled-in-des-moines-iowa

I wasn’t planning on writing this post sharing places to sled in Des Moines because there are quite a few lists already out there… but I realized that none of them were complete! Warrior Park in particular has an engineered hill specifically made for sledding, but wasn’t recommended in any of the blog posts or articles that I’d found and there are a few others that weren’t mentioned frequently. I have not visited all of these locations myself; I looked for recommendations in local Facebook groups, other blog posts, in addition to local publications’ published lists. I hope to visit some of these this winter, but I’m happy to add in descriptions if you have any tips or comments on any of the spots.

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How To Start Geocaching!

Wondered about how to start geocaching? It isn't hard! Check out these pictures and learn about the app that makes it easy, and get started exploring the outdoors in this fun, digital scavenger hunt!

Wondered about how to start geocaching? It isn't hard! Check out these pictures and learn about the app that makes it easy, and get started exploring the outdoors in this fun, digital scavenger hunt!

I recommend geocaching all the time – it is free, easy, fun, appropriate for all ages, and outdoors! People across the world set up hidden treasure “caches” and then upload the coordinates so that other people can find them. Ten years ago, you had to buy a special unit to read the latitudes and longitudes, but now you can use a simple app on a smartphone! It’s a great way to explore new areas – but there are caches literally everywhere, even in suburbs and cities. You can see more about the local, on-going Polk County Geocaching Challenge we completed last year and there is also a 2017 Wildflower Warren County geocaching challenge!

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11 Places to Pick Pumpkins around Des Moines, Iowa

des-moines-pumpkin-patches-and-corn-mazes

There are a few local pumpkin patch lists, but I frequently find myself Googling back and forth because I’m not familiar where the little towns are in relation to Des Moines. There is also one patch that comes highly recommended in local parenting groups but doesn’t seem to get much press – check out #10 and let me know if you’ve been!

I had a friend suggest two more to add to the list, so now there’s 13, wahoo.

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Hike It Baby in Des Moines, Iowa

hike-it-baby-des-moines

For the past 2 years, I have enjoyed meeting other outdoors-y families through a fun local group called Hike It Baby Des Moines! Hike it Baby is a national organization with local chapters, organizing people together for volunteer led hikes. The name is a little misleading – kids of all ages are welcome on the hikes and it definitely isn’t just babies in strollers or carriers. I was so anxious with my first-born, nervous about where to park and what happens if he starts crying. Hike It Baby helps ease all of that; everyone helps one another and all the details are laid out ahead of time.

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