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Event Venues
3 March 2020 

20 Des Moines, Iowa Event Venues That Your Attendees Will Love

Jacob Thomas
20 Des Moines, Iowa Event Venues That Your Attendees Will Love

Planning an event in Des Moines? Then you’ll definitely want to check out these top-ranking event venues!

When you think of Iowa, what comes to mind? If you haven’t been there before, you probably just think of cornfields and state fairs. As it turns out, there’s a lot more to Iowa than initially meets the eye — especially in Des Moines, its capital city.

The Des Moines metropolitan area has a population of just over 650,000 people, making it the 89th largest in the United States. What began as a simple fort, built to control local Native American tribes, eventually blossomed into a bustling city with strong ties to the insurance, financial, publishing, and, of course, farming industries.

Des Moines is also a great event city. There are plenty of top-notch venues to choose from, ranging from museums to theme parks to restaurants and more. Keep reading to learn about the top 20 Des Moines event spaces.

1. World Food Prize Hall of Laureates

World Food Prize Hall of Laureates - Des Moines Event VenuesSource: Hall of Laureates Events

Location: Downtown

Capacity: 400

When it comes to event venues in Des Moines, IA, it’s hard to beat the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates. This world-class museum and educational center features eight unique spaces, including The Rotunda, which has beautiful stained glass windows and lunette murals lining its walls; The Borlaug Ballroom, the museum’s largest single room, complete with elegant wood-paneled walls; and The Principal Riverwalk, an outdoor space located on the banks of the Des Moines River. No matter which space you choose, you’ll have access to exclusive caterers, A/V companies, photographers, and more. For any event, business or personal, book the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates and treat your guests to a memorable outing.

2. Adventureland Resort

Adventureland Resort - Des Moines Event VenuesSource: The Workamper Show Podcast

Location: Altoona, IA

Capacity: 1,300

Adventureland Resort is a collection of exhilarating roller coasters, fun water rides, delicious culinary options, arcades, and carnival-style games, plus comfortable accommodations. It also features 25,000 square feet of flexible event space that’s perfect for most conferences, family reunions, and wedding ceremonies. New to the events game? Never fear! The experienced team at Adventureland Resort will help you plan every detail, from the perfect space to the right DJ and everything in between. Treat your guests to some of the best entertainment options in Iowa and book your next shindig at Adventureland Resort.

3. Science Center of Iowa

Science Center of Iowa - Des Moines Event VenuesSource: Catch Des Moines

Location: Downtown

Capacity: 500

The Science Center of Iowa, simply known as SCI to all the cool kids, features hands-on exhibits and special-form theaters (hello, IMAX!) that attract more than 300,000 visitors every year. Will you follow the crowd and book your next event at this venue? You should if you want to treat your guests to an unforgettable experience. Host your next business meeting or fundraiser gala at SCI and get access to flexible spaces, quality A/V equipment, free WiFi and live science programs. You can also work directly with the museum’s experienced events team to help ensure your soiree goes off without a hitch.

4. West End Architectural Salvage

West End Architectural Salvage - Des Moines Event VenuesSource: West End Architectural Salvage

Location: West Des Moines

Capacity: 750

West End Architectural Salvage (WEAS) is an eclectic joint that might be the perfect spot for your next corporate function or personal party. During the day, WEAS sells salvaged pieces (think stained glass windows and tin panels) from big cities like New York and Chicago. But after hours, the space transforms into a one-of-a-kind events venue. The storefront has hosted wedding receptions, photography shoots, and holiday parties in the past. Why not your next event too? Book West End Architectural Salvage today to connect with the team.

5. Des Moines Art Center

Des Moines Art Center - Des Moines Event VenuesSource: TripAdvisor

Location: West Des Moines

Capacity: 220

As it turns out, Des Moines has a bunch of great museums that also double as fantastic event venues. The Des Moines Art Center is another one of these. The space features top-notch architecture, elegant ambiance, and friendly staff who will help make sure your event is one for the history books. Choose to host your business or personal gathering in one of four places: The Lobby, the Courtyard, the Restaurant, or the Levitt Auditorium. It doesn’t matter which you choose, each will provide your guests with a proper event experience. Just know that the Des Moines Art Center doesn’t allow political, religious, or fundraising events.

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MALO - Des Moines Event VenuesSource: Des Moines Register

Location: Downtown

Capacity: 100

For delicious Latin cuisine in Des Moines, choose MALO. Since 2014, this fan-favorite restaurant has been delighting patrons with classic Havana cocktails and inventive Mexican dishes. Reserve a table for you and your friends. Or plan a more formal affair and rent the entire venue for your next gathering. Besides the mouth-watering food, you’ll also enjoy the historic architecture (MALO is located in the historic Fire Station #1, a beautiful art-deco building) and the original artwork that lines the walls.

7. Flix Brewhouse

Flix Brewhouse - Des Moines Event VenuesSource: Flix Brewhouse

Location: Urbandale

Capacity: 800

Flix Brewhouse brings together two things that most Americans love: movies and beer. As you can see in the picture above, Flix is a high-end movie theater that pairs the highest possible movie watching experience, complete with crystal clear surround sound audio, with delicious food and craft beverages. Whether you’re looking to plan a fun night out with friends or a team-building adventure for your office mates, Flix Brewhouse is an excellent choice. Contact the Flix team today to see about renting a single auditorium for 25 people, or the entire Des Moines location for mega-parties with 800 guests.

8. The Keller Brick Barn

The Keller Brick Barn - Des Moines Event VenuesSource: WeddingWire

Location: Dallas Center

Capacity: 225

If you don’t mind a quick drive outside Des Moines, The Keller Brick Barn is a beautiful event venue that’s ideal for tie-the-knot ceremonies, though it does host corporate functions on a regular basis as well. The Barn was built in the 1930s as the centerpiece of a working farm. It has been renovated since and is now an excellent place to host a wide variety of gatherings. Treat your guests to a few hours away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Book The Keller Brick Barn where the country ambiance, stellar views, and gracious hospitality simply can’t be beat!

9. Des Moines Marriott Downtown

Des Moines Marriott Downtown - Des Moines Event VenuesSource: Marriott Hotels

Location: Downtown

Capacity: 2,200

Marriott Hotels, no matter which city you happen to be in, tend to make for great event locations. Why? Because the spaces are always large and flexible, the on-site event teams are experienced, and the accommodations are abundant. We’re happy to report that Des Moines Marriott Downtown upholds this tradition of excellence. Bring your corporate meeting, business conference, or personal get-together to the Marriott and experience a great atmosphere, tasty catering menus, top A/V options, and free WiFi. Because this venue is also a hotel, we especially recommend it for events that plan to host out of town guests.

10. Rollins Mansion

Rollins Mansion - Des Moines Event VenuesSource: Rollins Mansion

Location: Greater South Side

Capacity: N/A

When in doubt, book the beautiful and historic Rollins Mansion for your next Des Moines area event. Its exposed brick walls and wood beams, large rooftop patio, perfectly manicured grounds, and authentic 1920s charm will satisfy both you and your guests, guaranteed. For business or personal gatherings that require a pinch of both class and awe, we suggest Rollins Mansion. Just know that the venue has a list of preferred caterers – use of outside caterers is only allowed for weddings that take place on a Friday and a non-preferred caterer fee is always assessed.

11. Iowa State Fairgrounds

Iowa State Fairgrounds - Des Moines Event VenuesSource: Reuters

Location: East Des Moines

Capacity: 10,400

Iowa is known for a killer state fair celebration. So we weren’t surprised to discover that the Iowa State Fairgrounds, where the annual fair is held, is one of the best Des Moines event venues in the area. There’s enough room for up to 10,400 people, which means your international trade show or rock and roll concert can be hosted here. But the Fairgrounds cater to intimate gatherings as well. Rent one of the smaller buildings and host a private business meeting or birthday party if you wish. All in all, there are 24 distinct spaces to rent. Plan to book the Iowa State Fairgrounds a few months in advance as dates do fill up quickly.

12. Des Moines Embassy Club

Des Moines Embassy Club - Des Moines Event VenuesSource: Kitzbuhel Country Club

Location: Downtown

Capacity: 400

The motto at the Des Moines Embassy Club is “Life Elevated.” Sounds good to us! The downtown location features stunning panoramic views of downtown Des Moines and the Iowa state capitol building, a formal dining room with century-old chandeliers, a full bar, plenty of big-screen TVs, and free WiFi. While we prefer the downtown space, the Embassy Club has another location on the West side of town. It’s situated right on the lake and can host up to 1,000 people, 2.5x what the downtown club can hold. Both event spaces are top-notch so you can’t go wrong with either.

13. The Conservatory

The Conservatory - Des Moines Event VenuesSource: The Conservatory

Location: East Village

Capacity: 421

Located in the heart of the East Village, close to trendy restaurants, shops, and entertainment options, The Conservatory is an elegant venue that’s eager to fill your needs as an event planner. The space is flexible and can accommodate both small personal gatherings of five to ten people, or larger business affairs with a few hundred attendees. One thing that makes The Conservatory unique is its flat-rate policy. You’ll pay one price and have complete access to the venue; its tables, chairs, linens, etc., and an award-winning event planner. We should also mention that The Conservatory features a full bar and in-house catering. What’s not to like?

14. Gravitate Coworking

Gravitate Coworking - Des Moines Event VenuesSource: Gravitate Coworking

Location: Downtown

Capacity: 70

Gravitate Coworking encourages people to “find your productive happy place.” It’s a growing community of freelancers, remote workers, and startup founders who work independently but together. What a cool concept! But you don’t have to rent an office or desk at Gravitate Coworking to host an event there. The downtown location has the Stairatorium available which is an indoor amphitheater of sorts that seats 70 people and is equipped with a 130-inch projector and a microphone. It also has a conference room that seats 4 and features a large screen TV. Both spaces can be rented by the hour for your convenience.

15. Centro

Centro - Des Moines Event VenuesSource: Centro

Location: Downtown

Capacity: 150

Centro is one of Des Moines’ most renowned restaurants. The urban Italian eatery cooks scrumptious food, made with fresh ingredients, served by Executive Chef Jonathan Baker. At the very least, you should consider stopping by for a bite to eat. But if you really want to take advantage of Centro’s lively atmosphere and impress your guests, book your next corporate function or fundraiser dinner there. There are two private dining rooms that you can rent. The East room seats 50 people, while the West room seats 100. But you can combine both rooms and invite a total of 150 attendees to your dinner if you choose.

16. Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden

Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden - Des Moines Event VenuesSource: TripAdvisor

Location: Capitol Park

Capacity: 500

The Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden is one of the most beautiful event venues in Iowa. The vibrant, seven-acre public garden is teeming with plants of all kinds. It also features great views of the river and indoor spaces with an abundance of natural light. Because of this, many brides-to-be choose the Garden for their dream wedding venue. But it’s also a great place to host a business meeting, fundraiser gala, or private get-together of any kind. If you choose the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden for your next event, your guests will get free access to the garden grounds, and you’ll have access to everything you need to host a successful gathering, from tables and chairs to complimentary A/V equipment and even the help of a professional events coordinator.

17. Copper Creek Golf Club

Copper Creek Golf Club - Des Moines Event VenuesSource: Golf Advisor

Location: Pleasant Hill

Capacity: N/A

Copper Creek Golf Club aims to make your next event as simple and stress-free as possible. The professional events staff will walk with you through each phase of the event planning process, helping you create the perfect atmosphere, choose the right dining options, and even set up your A/V equipment. But even if you don’t need an event coordinator, the Copper Creek Golf Club is still a great place to host a business gathering or private party. You’ll be able to choose from four distinct spaces: the Banquet Room, the Grille, the Outdoor Green Space, and the Covered Patio. Each has remarkable views of the golf course.

18. Blank Park Zoo

Blank Park Zoo - Des Moines Event VenuesSource: Wikipedia

Location: South Des Moines

Capacity: 500

Here’s an idea; get wild and host your next employee appreciation event, fundraiser gala, or personal celebration at a zoo! The Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines features 22 acres of animal exhibits and 104 different animal species. In other words, there’s a lot of wildlife to look at and be entertained by. The zoo also offers a lot of add-on options such as a fun scavenger hunt, catering menus, and animal education seminars. Whatever you have planned for your next gathering, bring it to the Blank Park Zoo and take it over the top.

19. Iowa Taproom

Iowa Taproom - Des Moines Event VenuesSource: Iowa Taproom

Location: East Village

Capacity: 350

The Iowa Taproom is “All Iowa Beer, One Great Place.” The beer hall-type restaurant features 99 taps, including all Iowa craft brews, and a delicious selection of American food favorites. There are two spaces available: the Marquette Room (pictured above) and the Joliet Room. Both are newly renovated and ready to host your next shindig with style and class.

20. Iowa Events Center

Iowa Events Center - Des Moines Event VenuesSource: Iowa Events Center

Location: Downtown

Capacity: 17,100

Lastly, we have the Iowa Events Center, which is really three event venues in one. First up, Wells Fargo Arena, a 17,100 seat space that’s perfect for large concerts and sporting events. Second, we have Hy-Vee Hall, which is the state’s largest exhibition hall with 100,000 square feet of event space. And lastly, Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center, home of Iowa’s largest ballroom.

All in all, the Iowa Events Center features in-house, state of the art catering services and A/V options, 37 meeting rooms, and over 1,900 hotel rooms within a one-mile radius. Choosing the right event venue is never easy. But it doesn’t matter if you’re planning the state’s biggest event or an intimate gathering, the Iowa Events Center is always the right choice.

Wrapping Up: Host a Stellar Des Moines Area Event

Des Moines is a great city and is more than qualified to host your next event. Whether you’re planning an important business meeting, international festival, or personal get-together, one of the venues listed above should suit your event strategy quite nicely.

Just remember to invest in event management software before booking one of the Des Moines event spaces we mentioned. You’ll love how much easier this tool makes the event planning process — we promise!

If you enjoyed this article, check out these ones as well:

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