You're here to watch the best compete. We're here to help you find the best places to explore, shop, play, and eat. Here are five ways to explore the best of the metro in between cheering on the best in the state.

Looking for more of the best? Check out our locally sourced Des Best lists and videos highlight all the WHAAATs and WHOOOAs around Greater Des Moines. From tapas to tenderloins, we've got you covered from the opening tip to the final buzzer. Find them at

1. Jordan Creek Town Center

Venture out to West Des Moines to explore the largest shopping and entertainment complex in the state of Iowa. Boasting more than 150 stores, including Anthropologie, Lululemon, and Urban Outfitters, Jordan Creek Mall is one of the premier retail spaces in the country. The fun extends well beyond the mall. Hungry? There are options for every taste, including Giordano’s (pizza), El Fogon (Mexican), PF Chang’s (Chinese), Red Robin (burgers), and more. If you didn’t get enough action at the tournament, unleash your inner competitor at places like Spare Time (bowling, arcade, escape rooms), Putts & Pins (miniature golf, duckpin bowling), Dave and Busters (arcade), or Smash Park (pickleball, axe throwing, games). Whatever you decide, the Jordan Creek area is your one-stop-shop to eat, drink, and be merry!

2. East Village

Looking for some shopping and dining a little closer to Wells Fargo Arena? Hop over to the Historic East Village just a few blocks away across the river. Where Jordan Creek has all the national retailers and chain restaurants covered, East Village has the local boutique and hip eatery scene on lockdown. This walkable neighborhood has vibes for days, and the retailers all reflect that. Start by checking out nationally known Raygun, made famous for their edgy t-shirts including slogans like “Des Moines: French for The Moines” and “Des Moines: Hell Yes.” You can make stops at Sticks for beautiful art, Kin for unique jewelry and crystals, or AllSpice Culinarium for all the spices you can imagine. Grab a coffee at Vibrant Coffeehouse, lunch at the Iowa Taproom, dessert at Molly’s Cupcakes, and a nightcap at Bellhop, a tiki bar that will transport you to a warmer state of mind. If you’re a Chiefs fan still reveling in their big win, make sure to stop into Truman’s KC Pizza Tavern, the Des Moines outpost for everything KC (and really good pizza).

3. Breweries

If the action in the arena didn’t quench your thirst, surely one of the more than 20 different breweries in Greater Des Moines will do the trick. There is no shortage of options around the metro, all of them family friendly, and many of them serving food. Some of the ones closest to the arena include Lua, Court Avenue Brewing, Peace Tree, Exile, Twisted Vine, SingleSpeed, Confluence, and Big Grove (the largest restaurant in the state!). If you’re in West Des Moines, give Barn Town a whirl. We could go on, but your best bet is to check out our detailed list of Des Best breweries as voted by locals. It includes food and patio info, along with beer recommendations. Drink up all the deets here!

4. Science Center of Iowa

The Science Center of Iowa is a great way to beat the winter blues, especially if you have little ones along for the ride. But fun knows no age limit, so feel free to unleash your inner kid here with exhibits like “Why the Sky?”, featuring the Science Center’s own digital planetarium. And who doesn’t love a good interactive LEGO display? In fact, you can find all the latest happenings and exhibits with our recent blog, “Five Things to Look for at the Science Center of Iowa,” which you can find here. Or check out our Des Best video here. Open Thursday – Sunday!

5. Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden

Need a break from the February weather and hustle and bustle of the games? The Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden has summertime vibes and peace of mind, year-round. With over 1,000 species of exotic plants from around the world, the Botanical Garden offers plenty of opportunities for learning, as well as selfies with your favorite plant species. They also have Trellis Cafe, a restaurant serving up a locally sourced, plant-based menu that changes monthly. Open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.!