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!
Chow’s Winter Classic Cup
One of the largest gymnastics competitions in the Midwest returns to Des Moines in January. From January 12 – 14, head to Hy-Vee Hall at the Iowa Events Center to watch elite gymnasts compete. Not only will youth gymnasts be competing, but collegiate teams as well. There will be two different duals throughout the weekend – Iowa State vs. Northern Illinois and Simpson College vs. Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Tickets are on sale now for $20 per session. Get them here.
A brand-new brewery is opening in Johnston in January. Backpocket Pin & Pixel, originally from Coralville, will open mid-January and will feature a large taproom, duckpin bowling, and a retro arcade. Duckpin bowling is a smaller version of bowling, with larger pins and smaller balls, perfect to do while holding a drink. They will also have a full menu, along with all their drinks.
A new way to wine and dine is officially open in Clive. Cooper’s Hawk is a winery that also has an upscale causal restaurant. While the focus is on the wine, the food is not to be missed either. Open for lunch and dinner, each food item is paired with one of Cooper’s Hawk’s wines that fit accordingly. You can also head there for a wine tasting, or their full-service bar. They also have a gift shop, perfect for the wine lover in your life. Open daily at 11 a.m.!
Looking for a way to embrace the snow? Seven Oaks in Boone is your answer. Here you can snowboard, ski, and tube all in one place. With 11 different runs available in difficulties from beginner to expert, anyone can take part at Seven Oaks. They also have a large lodge for anyone that isn’t interested in taking part, or if you need to warm up. Check their website for hours and rates.
Snow in January is inevitable in Greater Des Moines. Take advantage of it by heading out to Jester Park in Granger. With nearly five miles of trails, it’s the perfect place to cross-country snow ski or snowshoe. If conditions permit, you can head to Lakeshore Trail to snowmobile as well. Want to make a weekend out of it? They also have four cabins available to rent. It’s the perfect way to enjoy the snow!
Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden
Tired of the cold? Catch some warmth at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden this winter. Not only is exploring the gardens a great way to spend the day, but they have tons of events happening throughout the chilly season as well. Experience Botanical Blues on Sunday afternoons starting on January 8. Each week will feature different live music acts, as well as food available at Trellis Café. You can also head to the Botanical Garden on Friday nights for Dome After Dark. The gardens will be dark but lit up with beautiful colored lights throughout the entire dome. Learn more about the events here.
Community Ice Rinks
The Iowa Wild have been working with local metro cities to build community ice rinks. These rinks are free to attend, you just have to BYOS (bring your own skates!). Find these rinks in West Des Moines, Johnston, Ames, Ankeny, Indianola, Urbandale, Waukee, Grinnell, Altoona, and Newton. Rinks are open from dawn till dusk daily!