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!

State Tournaments 

‘Tis the season for state competitions in Greater Des Moines. Starting with the Iowa High School State Wrestling tournament and the Iowa Girls State High School Basketball tournament at Wells Fargo Arena. From Wednesday, February 15 through Saturday, February 18, cheer on the state’s top wrestlers as they compete for the top of the podium. The environment alone is worth checking out. At the end of the month, watch the top girl’s teams in the state battle it out for the state basketball championship. From February 26 – March 2, witness all five classes fight for a spot at the top of the podium. Might as well just post up at Wells Fargo Arena all month. Find tickets here.  

Grimaldi’s Pizzeria 

Looking for a new pizza spot? Head to Grimaldi’s in Ankeny to try their traditional coal-fired, brick oven pizza. Try toppings ranging from traditional to pesto pizza or prosciutto arugula pizza. They also have gluten-free and cauliflower crusts available and calzones if pizza isn’t what you’re in the mood for. Open daily at 11 a.m. at The District at Prairie Trail (where Fong’s was formerly located), Grimaldi’s Pizzeria is love at first bite.  

Valentine’s Day  

Roses are red, violets are blue, and we’ve got the perfect date night in Des Moines for you! We’ve rounded up a few events, from dinner to dancing, to get you planning. Willow on Grand will be hosting a Galentine’s Day Drag Brunch on Sunday, February 11. Brunch includes a breakfast buffet, small bites, and cocktails, all with a side of a drag show. Celebrate on Valentine’s Day with Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden’s Valentine’s Day Dome After Dark. Stroll through the gardens and see the colorful lighting. Or for the outdoorsy types, scoot over to Brenton Skating Plaza to take in the beautiful downtown views while working on your figure eight. Get buy one get one admission on Valentine’s Day (as well as the day after!) See all the celebrations happening in Greater Des Moines here.

Vibrant Music Hall

When we heard that a new 3,000 seat music venue was going to open to accommodate a lot of mid-size artists that might have left Des Moines off their tour itinerary before, it was music to our ears. And we can assure you, Vibrant Music Hall rocks. They have four different concerts in February, including Flatland Calvary, Scotty McCreery, Russell Dickerson, and Bryce Vine. And we’re still buzzing about the announcements of Sum 41, The Pixies, and Modest Mouse later this summer. What will they do for an encore? Find tickets and more here

Sinduda 

There’s just something about a rotating popup restaurant concept that feels cool and exclusive. That’s certainly the case with Sinduda, which takes over the kitchen at Clyde’s Fine Diner on February 18th. Chef Diego Rodriguez (formerly of Proof) offers up a 7-course custom dinner menu celebrating a different theme each time. Think high end dining, with past courses including monkfish, smoked tomato mole, and roasted duck. Each diner also gets a limited edition signed menu by artist Jeremiah Elbel. Tickets can be purchased on the Sinduda Instagram. And if you miss out, Clyde’s is still an amazing everyday option. In fact, congrats to chef Chris Hoffman was just named a James Beard semifinalist for Best Chef in the Midwest!

Jester Park 

February is when we start to get a little stir crazy. Get out of the house and shake off those winter blues this month with one of Jester Park Nature Center’s many events. Start the month off with a Winter Hike at Jester Park (February 3). And if you can’t make that, you can hike year-round and even rent some cross-country skis or snowshoes when it snows. If you want to get out of the house, but stay indoors, their nature center has you covered – they are offering a chance to learn about owls (February 10), critters (February 10) and Eagles (February 6). Check out their website to stay up to date on all the happenings.

Brick Fest 

Can’t make it to LEGOLAND or the LEGO Museum? The next best thing is coming to Des Moines February 17 and 18 in the form of Brick Fest Live. Imagine rooms filled with millions of LEGO bricks, including life-size displays. Not only will you be able to look at all the displays, but you can also get your hands in on the action with activities and assembled attractions. You can also climb in the giant brick pit and get an Instagram-worthy photo, which is way better than stepping on stray LEGOs that your kids left out at home. Tickets start at $19.99. 

Val Air Ballroom 

The historic music venue, Val Air Ballroom is re-opening on February 29 after closing at the end of 2022 to undergo major renovations. You’ll see the restored neon sign hanging out front as you enter the building and once inside, you’ll hear the show more clearly thanks to updated acoustics in the ceiling. The venue will play host to a wide range of bands and musicians, kicking things off with Greensky Bluegrass on February 28. The calendar fills up quickly after that, with spring shows by the likes of Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Eli Young Band, Shakey Graves, and Bad Religion. Make no doubt about it, it’s a great time to be a live music fan in Greater Des Moines. See upcoming concerts here