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Joint Meeting of the Midwest and Midcontinental Chapters of MLA
Joint Meeting of the Midwest Chapter and the Midcontinental Chapter of the Medical Library Association

Two MLA chapters. Sixteen states. One spectacular meeting.
Friday, October 21, 2016 through Monday, October 24, 2016
Des Moines Marriott, 700 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa

What to do in Des Moines

We are happy to host you in Des Moines in 2016!  There’s so much to enjoy.  Below is a list of suggestions for places to go and things to see.

catch-desmoinesFind a list of Events at Catch DesMoines, from  The Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau

State Capitol and grounds, photo by Jim Zeller
  • *State Capitol – See our beautiful state capitol building in the East Village neighborhood and come learn some Iowa History!
  • Don’t forget to see the stunning Iowa Law Library (M-F) and its lovely winding staircases.
  • Des Moines Art Center – An extensive collection of paintings, sculpture, modern art and mixed media.
  • Iowa State Historical Society Museum – Learn more about Iowa’s history through a variety of well-done exhibits and displays.
  • World Food Prize Hall of Laureates – A public museum and educational facility that celebrates the World Food Prize and its celebrated agricultural and humanitarian prize winners.
  • Salisbury House – A beautiful historic house on the National Register of Historic Places.  Home to library, fine art, rare book, historic document, decorative art and musical instrument collections of international significance. See more information about the collections.
Art Center, Photo by Jim Zeller
Des Moines Art Center, Photo by Jim Zeller
Sculpture Garden, Photo by Jim Zeller


  • Des Moines Social Club – Where do you go for circus classes, theater performances, cooking classes, musical performances, and pop-up art galleries?  The Des Moines Social Club, of course!  Visit this new eclectic arts and entertainment venue, and see what’s happening.
  • *Downtown Farmer’s Market – If you are in town Saturday morning come visit the exciting downtown farmers market with nearly 300 vendors from 58 Iowa counties.  Thousands of people from all over Iowa come out for this fun and exuberant affair.  Whether you are in the mood for breakfast burritos, eggrolls, cupcakes, some produce or getting some jam stop on by.
  • Botanical Gardens – Come explore the world of plants.
  • Blank Park Zoo – Lions, Tigers, and Bears!  Oh My!
  • Iowa Science Center – Bringing the kids? Try our interactive science learning areas, live programs and hands-on activities encouraging learning and fun for all ages.  An IMAX theater and a planetarium are also located inside.
  • Des Moines Performing Arts – See what plays and dance performances we have in store.  Des Moines receives professional touring productions direct from Broadway.


  • Jordan Creek – Interested in some serious shopping? Drive on over to West Des Moines and shop till you drop.
  • *East Village – A quick twenty-minute walk from the hotel there are hip eateries, boutiques, antiques and a wide variety of other retail establishments.  How to get there.

Outdoor Activities

  • Photo by Jim Zeller
    Photo by Jim Zeller

    Gray’s Lake – Feel like getting some exercise in with a nice view?  Try the ever popular loop around Gray’s Lake.

  • John & Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park – A 4.4-acre sculpture park in the heart of downtown Des Moines featuring over 28 works of donated art.
  • B Cycle bike rental – Des Moines is a bike friendly city!  Want to rent a bike and go for a ride? Check out this bike rental company and this map.

Sky Walk Map Access – Interested in a climate-controlled stroll through the city? Des Moines has over 4 miles of skywalk access to many of its downtown buildings.  Take advantage of this app to navigate the skywalk.

* – Indicates highly recommended activity.