Things to do in Ankeny, Iowa

Ankeny, Iowa: A Thriving City with Endless Opportunities

Ankeny, Iowa, is a rapidly growing city in the Des Moines metropolitan area. With its strong economy, quality schools, and abundance of recreational opportunities, Ankeny has become a popular destination for families, young professionals, and retirees. Whether you enjoy outdoor adventures, cultural events, or simply relaxing in a friendly community, Ankeny has something to offer everyone.

Ankeny is a hub of activities and a great place to explore, from outdoor adventures to cultural events. So if you’re looking to enjoy a scenic hike, try new food, or attend a community festival, you’ll never run out of exciting activities to experience in Ankeny.

Things to do in Ankeny, Iowa

Why is Ankeny, Iowa, a great place to visit?

Ankeny, Iowa, has a thriving community, rich history, and endless opportunities for exploration and adventure. Whether a resident or a visitor, you’ll find plenty of reasons to fall in love with Ankeny. Here are just a few of the many reasons why Ankeny is a great place to visit:

  1. Scenic parks and outdoor recreation: Ankeny is home to a variety of parks, trails, and lakes, making it an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
  2. Thriving arts and culture scene: With numerous museums, theaters, and galleries, Ankeny is a hub of creativity and cultural activity.
  3. Rich history: Ankeny is steeped in history, and visitors can learn about the city’s past by exploring historical landmarks and museums.
  4. Excellent dining and shopping: From farm-to-table restaurants to unique boutiques, Ankeny has something to offer for every taste and budget.
  5. Fun events and festivals: Throughout the year, Ankeny hosts a variety of festivals, concerts, and other events that are fun for all ages.

Discover the Best Things to Do in Ankeny, Iowa

Here is a list of the best things to do in Ankeny, Iowa:

  1. First, walk the High Trestle Trail Bridge: a unique pedestrian and bike bridge that spans the Des Moines River and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
  2. Explore Saylorville Lake: A beautiful and serene lake with scenic trails, picnic areas, beaches, and fishing docks.
  3. Enjoy Big Creek State Park: A beautiful and diverse park with rolling hills, scenic trails, crystal-clear lakes, picnic areas, beaches, and playgrounds.
  4. Learn about aviation history at the Iowa Aviation Heritage Museum: A unique and fascinating museum dedicated to the history of aviation, showcasing vintage aircraft, engines, and other aviation artifacts.
  5. Visit the Ankeny Art Center: A vibrant and modern facility showcasing a wide range of art exhibitions, including works by local and regional artists.
  6. Take a stroll through the Uptown Ankeny Farmers’ Market: A bustling market featuring local and regional farmers, artisans, and food vendors.
  7. Enjoy the Ankeny Summerfest: A lively festival featuring live music, food, and fun for the whole family.
  8. Visit the Cascade Falls Aquatic Center: A modern, state-of-the-art heated pool and water park with slides, water features, and recreational amenities.

In conclusion, Ankeny, Iowa, is a city full of exciting things to see and do. Ankeny has something to offer whether you’re interested in art, nature, history, or just a good time.

High Trestle Trail Bridge

The High Trestle Trail Bridge is a must-visit destination for anyone visiting Ankeny, Iowa. This stunning pedestrian and bike bridge spans the Des Moines River and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

The High Trestle Trail Bridge is part of the larger High Trestle Trail, a recreational trail that runs from Ankeny to Madrid, Iowa. The bridge itself is a work of art, featuring a unique design that incorporates a series of steel arches and steel plates painted to resemble the look of a classic trestle bridge. At night, the bridge is illuminated with blue lighting, creating a mesmerizing visual experience for visitors.

Visitors to the High Trestle Trail Bridge can walk or bike across the bridge, taking in the breathtaking views of the Des Moines River and the surrounding countryside. Whether you’re an avid cyclist, a nature lover, or simply someone who appreciates beautiful scenery, the High Trestle Trail Bridge is a must-visit destination.

In addition to the bridge itself, the High Trestle Trail offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation and exploration, including scenic hiking and biking trails, fishing spots, and picnic areas. So if you’re looking for a unique and memorable experience in Ankeny, visit the High Trestle Trail Bridge and explore all this beautiful area has to offer.

Saylorville Lake

Saylorville Lake, located just outside Ankeny, Iowa, is a beautiful and bustling destination for outdoor enthusiasts, boaters, and anyone seeking adventure and relaxation. With its clear blue waters and scenic landscapes, Saylorville Lake is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and immerse yourself in nature.

At Saylorville Lake, visitors can enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities, including boating, fishing, hiking, and camping. So whether you’re looking for a leisurely paddle in a kayak, cast a line in search of fish, or hit the trails for a scenic hike, Saylorville Lake has something to offer. And with numerous picnic areas, beaches, and parks around the lake, it’s easy to find a quiet place to relax and enjoy the area’s beauty.

Saylorville Lake Iowa
Saylorville Lake” by Carol (vanhookc) is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

In addition to its natural beauty, Saylorville Lake is also home to various recreational facilities, including marinas, boat ramps, and campgrounds. With these facilities, visitors can fully experience all the lake has to offer, whether camping overnight or just stopping by for the day.

For those interested in learning more about the history and ecology of the area, Saylorville Lake is also home to several educational and interpretive programs. With its focus on conservation and sustainability, the lake is a great place to learn about the natural world and the importance of protecting our environment.

With its scenic beauty and vast recreational opportunities, Saylorville Lake is the perfect place to escape, unwind, and connect with nature. So pack a picnic, grab your gear, and head to Saylorville Lake in Ankeny, Iowa, for a day of fun, adventure, and breathtaking scenery.

Ankeny Art Center

The Ankeny Art Center, located in the heart of the city of Ankeny, Iowa, is a hub of creativity, education, and inspiration. As a leading cultural institution, the Art Center is dedicated to providing a dynamic and engaging environment for visitors of all ages.

At the Art Center, visitors can explore a wide range of exhibitions, including works by local and regional artists and national and international exhibitions. The Art Center also offers a variety of classes and workshops for those looking to develop their artistic skills. From painting and drawing to sculpture and photography, there is something for everyone, regardless of experience level.

Things to do in Ankeny, Iowa

In addition to exhibitions and classes, the Ankeny Art Center is also a hub of cultural activity, hosting various events and festivals throughout the year. There is always something happening at the Art Center, from concerts and performances to community festivals. These events are a great way to meet new people, experience the art and culture of Ankeny, and have fun.

The Ankeny Art Center is also dedicated to education, offering programs and resources for students of all ages. With its focus on community engagement and education, the Art Center is a place where visitors can explore, learn, and grow.

Big Creek State Park

Big Creek State Park, located in Ankeny, Iowa, is a magnificent destination for outdoor enthusiasts, nature lovers, and anyone seeking adventure and relaxation. With its rolling hills, scenic trails, and crystal-clear lakes, Big Creek State Park is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and immerse yourself in nature.

At Big Creek State Park, visitors can enjoy various outdoor activities, including hiking, fishing, boating, and camping. So whether you’re looking to explore the park’s scenic trails, cast a line in search of fish, or take a leisurely paddle on the lake, Big Creek State Park has something to offer. The park also features several picnic areas, beaches, and playgrounds, making it a great place to spend a day with friends and family.

Big Creek State Park
Big Creek State Park” by Phil Roeder is licensed under CC BY 2.0

For those interested in wildlife, Big Creek State Park is a haven for various animal species, including birds, deer, and coyotes. With its diverse habitats, the park is a great place to observe and learn about the natural world.

Big Creek State Park also offers a variety of recreational facilities, including campgrounds, boat ramps, and fishing docks.

In addition to its natural beauty, Big Creek State Park is also known for its rich history and cultural significance. The park is home to several historic sites, including a restored prairie homestead and a one-room schoolhouse, offering visitors a glimpse into the past and the people who shaped the area.

Iowa Aviation Heritage Museum

The Iowa Aviation Heritage Museum, located in Ankeny, Iowa, is a unique and fascinating destination for aviation enthusiasts, history buffs, and anyone with a passion for flight. With its extensive collection of aircraft, artifacts, and memorabilia, the museum provides a comprehensive look at aviation’s rich history and evolution in Iowa and beyond.

Visitors can explore various exhibits and displays at the Iowa Aviation Heritage Museum, showcasing the many aspects of aviation history. From vintage aircraft and engines to flight suits and instruments, the museum provides a fascinating glimpse into the world of flight. Visitors can also learn about the pioneering spirit and technological innovations that have shaped aviation.

Things to do in Ankeny, Iowa

In addition to its exhibits, the Iowa Aviation Heritage Museum also offers a variety of educational programs and events, including hands-on workshops, lectures, and demonstrations. With its focus on aviation history and education, the museum is a great place to learn about the science and technology of flight and the many amazing people who have made it all possible.

For aviation enthusiasts, the Iowa Aviation Heritage Museum is a must-visit destination. With its extensive collection of aircraft and artifacts, visitors can learn about the history and evolution of flight and get up close and personal with some of the fascinating airliners ever built.

In conclusion, the Iowa Aviation Heritage Museum is a unique and inspiring destination for anyone passionate about aviation and history.

Ankeny Area Historical Society

The Ankeny Area Historical Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and sharing the rich history of Ankeny and the surrounding areas. This institution provides a glimpse into the past and offers a unique window into the culture, traditions, and events that shaped this vibrant community.

The Ankeny Area Historical Society offers a variety of exhibits, programs, and events designed to engage visitors and provide an in-depth look at the city’s rich history. Visitors can explore a variety of historic buildings, including a Victorian-era farmhouse, a one-room schoolhouse, and a blacksmith shop, each of which is filled with period furnishings and artifacts.

In addition to the exhibits, the Ankeny Area Historical Society also hosts a variety of educational programs and events throughout the year, including lectures, workshops, and tours. These events provide visitors with the opportunity to learn more about the history of the area and to connect with local experts, historians, and other members of the community.

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