Visiting Greater Des Moines for the IHSAA Wrestling State Tournament? Check out this list of must-see attractions, breweries, and quick, family-friendly eateries:
A Des Moines staple since 2011, Zombie Burger is famous for inventive flavor combos in a “post-apocalyptic chic” setting. A GOREmet eatery evoking classic roadside burger stands, this restaurant pairs fresh ingredients with expert preparation. Don’t pass on the popular spiked milkshakes!
What’s better than the classic meal of chips, a sandwich, and a fresh pickle spear? Head over to Palmer’s Deli & Market for quick service and endless options of deli sandwiches, focused on quality fresh produce, homemade baked breads, and generous-sized desserts.
Find something for everyone in your crew at 300 MLK, a building housing several quick-service restaurants including Poke Company (think custom-made deconstructed sushi bowls), Fuzzy’s Tacos for delicious Tex-Mex eats and margaritas, and Blaze Pizza for fast-fired pizzas featuring fresh dough and artisanal ingredients.
Enjoy classic Mexican cuisine in style with Malo. Housed in an Art Deco Firehouse, Malo cooks up some of the best tacos, fajitas and enchiladas, salads, and more. MALO offers all the dishes you love in a lively, energetic atmosphere.
No visit to Des Moines is complete without a slice of Crab Rangoon pizza! Other specialties at this Asian/Italian/Polynesian fusion eatery include the famous Chinese cheese sticks – fried mozzarella rolled in wonton wrappers. Enjoy late-night slices and sip on a tiki drink while wearing a fighter helmet for an essential photo op.
Smash Park is a one-of-a-kind entertainment and events venue with backyard-style street food and hand-crafted cocktails. Featuring Iowa’s largest patio, Smash Park is equipped with eight pickleball courts (be sure to make your reservations ahead of time), plus shuffleboard, bocce ball, ping pong, bags, board games, classic video games and much more!
Can’t miss Brew Moines stops
Take advantage of discounts at breweries and taprooms during your visit with the Brew Moines beer passport app - download for free in the Apple App Store or Google Play.
Located in the East Village, Peace Tree features 24 taps and is home to a diverse selection of ever-rotating, independent, craft beers. Peace Tree has year-round beer releases plus plenty of additional events such as sporting activities, live music, and trivia. Don’t forget to check in on the Brew Moines app!
Home to the famous Des Moines IPA, Confluence is known for weekly beer releases and a lively taproom. Swing by, relax with friends, or schedule a tour to learn more about the process.
CABCo, as locals lovingly call it, is a full-service restaurant and Des Moines' original brewpub located in the heart of the Court District in downtown. Experience award-winning beers and cuisine inside the historic Saddlery Building. Take advantage of their exclusive Mug Club for extra discounts all year long.
With 262 beers on tap & many more in bottles, you’re sure to find something you'll love. El Bait Shop features small craft beers from around the world and many terrific selections from Iowa breweries. Enjoy a delicious Mexican and munchie inspired menu and the lively patio with outdoor bar.
Celebrating all things Iowa, from the farms and small towns to larger cities, The Iowa Taproom supports the growing tradition of diversity, creativity, and excellence in Iowa beer. The taproom salutes the great Iowa work ethic and honors the state’s heritage through reuse of historic materials including the iconic grain bin housing nearly 100 taps.
Top 5 Things to Do
Blooming with thousands of plants and flowers, the Botanical Garden is a beautiful (and toasty!) place to spend an afternoon exploring inside the perpetually 80+ degree conservatory. From the storied Bonsai collection to uncommon plant species, like Carrie the Corpse Flower, there’s something of interest for gardening enthusiasts and casual observers alike.
Time travel might not be real (yet), but the Science Center of Iowa in downtown Des Moines can sure make the time fly. SCI features many hands-on, permanent exhibits to explore subjects from aerospace to zoology, along with traveling exhibits and seasonal programs. Be sure to catch the daily star theater presentation in the planetarium!
Ninjas in the dark cater to your every need at Flix Brewhouse. Catch a flick, enjoy a brew, and take your French fries at your seat. Lighted call buttons allow you to summon a fresh cold one or extra ketchup right when you need it. Reserve the best seat in the house in advance to ensure prime movie-viewing.
Whether you’re a figure-eighter or a figure-faller, you’ll have an icy, good time at Brenton Skating Plaza, where you can skate in the shadow of the breathtaking Des Moines skyline. This unique rink is open from November to March so you can enjoy great exercise in the winter weather.
With free admission, there’s no reason to pass up the opportunity to discover Iowa's rich heritage through a variety of exhibitions, tours, collections, and unique programs and events. Learn about life in Iowa before it became a state, discover Iowa’s rich natural resources, and explore Iowa’s legacy with the silver screen from the early 1900s to today in the blockbuster exhibit.
Bonus free event!
The Home and Remodeling Show running Friday through Sunday at the Iowa State Fairgrounds features innovative exhibitions, educational seminars and questions answered by qualified trade professionals. Enjoy free admission, free parking and free seminars.
Find more things to do HERE.