Each month, we highlight the most buzzworthy places and events in Greater Des Moines in a feature we call Des Buzz. It's your “in the know” list of places to go!
Come springtime, or as we call it, “shorts weather,” we like to hit the track. That starts with the Drake Relays, where from April 27 – 30, hundreds of world-class athletes will come to compete for world records on the iconic Blue Oval. This year marks the 112th year of the relays and a return to the conventional and established format for the first time since 2019. With high school, collegiate, and professional athletes all competing in everything from javelin, long jump, pole vault, and 400M dash, there’s something for everyone, from casual fans to die-hards. Run, don’t walk, to purchase tickets today.
The buzziest new restaurant in town, Little Brother doesn’t suffer from your typical second child syndrome. The brainchild of James Beard-nominated chef Joe Tripp of Harbinger (thus, the little brother) and his wife Alex, this modern American diner in Windsor Heights serves up comfort food with Jewish influences in a contemporary, yet familiar feeling space. We’ve gone numerous times to ensure quality control and can wholeheartedly recommend the corned beef hash, patty melt, meatloaf with grape jelly glaze, and NY Chopped sandwich. Oh, and those hash browns. Those crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside hash browns. Open weekdays starting at 4 p.m. and on weekends for brunch as well.
Teehee’s Comedy Club
The indie comedy scene in Des Moines is booming in large part thanks to Sid Juwarker’s hip downtown comedy club, Teehee’s which opened in 2019 with an emphasis on curating and nurturing local talent. The vibe is decidedly hip for a comedy club, with a mix of new talent, seasoned performers, traditional standup, and more experimental shows. April’s schedule features shows and artists such as Michael Longfellow, Expert Advice: An Improv Comedy Show, and Denim-a-palooza. Browse the Teehee's Comedy Club show calendar and plan your visit today.
Wild Lights Festival
Are you the type of person who puts up their holiday lights before Thanksgiving? Do you watch DVR episodes of “The Great Christmas Light Fight” throughout the summer months? If so (or, not) we have the perfect balm for your aching soul to get you by until it’s socially acceptable to put up lights again. Blank Park Zoo’s Wild Lights Festival returns on April 1 (through May 30) with a new theme, new lanterns, and a few old fan favorites. This visually stunning display features 40 larger-than-life illuminated lanterns, featuring endangered animals, Asian mythical creatures, and more. It occurs nightly Wednesday through Sunday, and the best time to see the lights is right around sunset. Allow 60 – 90 minutes for the best viewing experience. Purchase Wild Lights Festival tickets today.
We’re old enough to remember when Justin Bieber’s wings haircut had the country in a tizzy unseen since “the Rachel” dominated the cultural conversation a decade earlier. Whatever your preferred haircut for the Biebs, he’ll be breaking out ditties from every era at his stop at Wells Fargo Arena on Sunday, April 24, for his Justice World Tour. Put on your dancing shoes and go see the guy who dominated all your friends' Spotify Year in Reviews. Get Justin Bieber tickets now!
If there’s one thing we’re a sucker for, it’s Jason Momoa’s Instagram page. If there are two things we’re suckers for, it’s Jason Momoa’s Instagram page and a good dessert trend. For the latter, may we introduce you to Crumbl Cookies, the latest in a long line of “OMG you have to try this” creations that are what the very idea of a cheat day revolves around. The location in Ankeny has a rotating menu with new flavors every week, including blueberry muffin, oatmeal ROLO, and mint chocolate chip. The cookies come served in think pink boxes (major “Ted Lasso” vibes) and they offer in-store and curbside pickup. Stop reading this and go look at the delicious Crumbl Cookies pictures, we’ll wait.
NAIA Men’s Volleyball National Championship
Been looking for an excuse to check out the epic new MidAmerican Energy Company RecPlex in West Des Moines? Look no further than the NAIA Men’s Volleyball National Championship, happening April 12 – 16, and featuring three days of pool play, with the top four teams advancing to a single-elimination tournament. We dig it.
Iowa Barnstormers, Iowa Cubs Return
The smell of freshly cut grass. The taste of a cold beer in a plastic cup. The sound of a bone-jarring hit. Ah, baseball...and indoor football, are back. See the high-flying Indoor Football League action of the Iowa Barnstormers (as featured in American Underdog), as they play at Wells Fargo Arena on April 2 and April 16 at 7:05 p.m. Meanwhile, the Iowa Cubs start home stands the week of April 12 and April 26. One to watch: I-Cubs outfielder Brennan Davis is the #1 prospect in the Cubs system and #16 prospect in the entire minor leagues, so come catch a glimpse of this rising star before he’s off to Chicago to become the next big thing.