When Andrew was first interviewing for jobs in Des Moines, I sent my information to a group called the Greater Des Moines Partnership for a relocation packet. They sent me information on hundreds of miles of bike trails in central Iowa as well as things to do and places to eat in the city. I even got information on housing and apartments.
Shortly before our move, I received an email about a free dinner they were hosting for people new to Des Moines at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden. We signed up and went after Andrew got off of work on Wednesday. The group was mostly young, single professionals, but there were a couple of other families there as well. I'm guessing they served dinner from their new restaurant, but they didn't say. Andrew enjoyed the flavorful cheeses, Jo gobbled down the fresh fruit, Oliver loved the bread sticks, and I filled up on surprisingly good pizza & black olives. We socialized a bit and met some people. I connected with a mom who hosts her own blog called Two Kids and a Coupon with things to do and ways to save. I'm excited to check it out!
Here was the set up for dinner:
We also enjoyed walking through the greenhouse at the gardens, where the dinner was held.
Oliver took this picture of Joanna:
Here's the family!
Crayons for the kids. Very thoughtful.
The botanical gardens wasn't huge, but, of course, it's winter time. The gardens limited pretty much to the greenhouse. In one of the booklets I received on things to do in Des Moines, it said the gardens is undergoing an outdoor expansion this year. I look forward to checking it out when the weather's warm! A woman who worked at the gardens also said they're doing a seed planting next week for kids. I can't find any specifics online, but they have a spring break activity for families marked for Thursday the 20th and Friday the 21st from 10am to 3pm. Adults are $5, kids are $4, and little ones 3 and under are free.
On the drive back, we drove along the river, and I spotted this Chinese pagoda. I did a quick search online and read that it's part of the Chinese Cultural Center's Asian Gardens. I bet it'll also be a beautiful place to walk through in just a couple months.