Entertainment Options

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NCAA Fan Zone

If you’re looking for something to do between sessions 1 and 2 on Thursday, adventure down to Hy-Vee Hall (Hall C) and join the Fan Zone. The Fan Zone is free and open to the public. It features concessions stands, games, TVs playing all the tournament action and more. You don’t have to have a ticket to the game to go to the Fan Zone, so whether you’re looking to take a break from the action or just hangout with your friends, the Fan Zone is a great option! Doors open at 4 p.m. after the first session ends.

Hoops and Hops

Hoops and Hops is setting up in Des Moines March 16 - 18! Between the hours of 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. you can head down to Cowles Commons to watch all the March Madness action. The Iowa Craft Beer Tent will be serving up cold brews alongside the Red Bull and Svedka bar. Six local food trucks will be preparing game time food for the whole family to enjoy. You can catch the tournament action on their four jumbotron TV's and you can even shoot some hoops on one of their two 30x30 basketball courts. 

Buzzard Billy’s

Right across from Wells Fargo Arena, Buzzard Billy’s is a prime spot for any sport fanatic to catch the action. Serving up some of the best Cajun Creole food in Iowa, Buzzard Billy’s has a dining option for everyone. Buzzard Billy’s has more than 200-square-feet of high definition projection screens and seating for hundreds of fans. Don’t forget to try some of the deep-fried alligator tail before you leave! Doors open at 7 a.m. on game days. 

Johnny’s Hall of Fame

Looking to shoot some pool during the game? Check out Johnny’s Hall of Fame! With tons of space and exceptional bar food, Johnny’s is the perfect oasis for basketball lovers. Grab a seat at the bar or a booth, order from the extensive menu and enjoy the sports-friendly atmosphere Johnny’s offers.


Enjoy all of March Madness at Gilroy's!  Games will be on their array of 20 TV's. Enjoy $12 Coors Light during any of the games, plus rush hour happy hour on Thursday, March 21 from 4-6 p.m. with half price appetizers and $1 off beer, mules, wine and well drinks. On Saturday, March 23, brunch is served!  Gilroy's serves an amazing buffet style brunch, complete with made-to-order eggs and omelets, from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. For $16.99, get all you can eat of your favorite Gilroy’s dishes. Pair brunch with their Bottomless Mimosas and Bloody Marys, all for $29.98.

Flix Brewhouse

Located inside Merle Hay Mall, Flix Brewhouse is another great place to catch all the March Madness action. Flix Brewhouse offers a great space to grab some food, have a drink and watch the games. If UNI, Iowa State, Drake or Iowa play on Thursday, March 21, they will be dedicating an entire theatre to the game, allowing guests to sit back and relax while watching the game on the big screen.

The Hall

The Hall will be showing all four NCAA games at the same time on the biggest bar screen in the state, leaving no bad seats in the house. The Hall will also have happy hour specials all day long! Grab a friend and head down to The Hall for a great sporting atmosphere you’re not going to want to miss out on.

The Beerhouse

Located in Urbandale, The Beerhouse has several TV’s and will have happy hour specials all day long. Specials include buy one get one half off appetizers, 25% off pizza, $1 off pints, craft cans, wells, mules and $4 Captain Morgan. With all of these deals, The Beerhouse is a great spot to catch the March Madness action.

Smash Park

If you’re looking to get active during the games, check out Smash Park! Smash Park will be offering up $1 jello shots, $3 Fireball, $5 mules, $3 off bucket of beers and $10 bone-in wings. Make sure to take a jab at shuffleboard, giant Jenga and more while you’re there!

Jethro’s BBQ

With their seven locations across Greater Des Moines, from Jethro’s BBQ ‘n Jambalaya in Johnston, to Jethro’s ‘n Jakes Smokehouse in Altoona, Jethro’s is a great place to grab some fresh-from-the-grill barbeque and one of their signature 16-ounce cousin cocktails while keeping an eye on the game.

Whiskey River

Located inside Prairie Trail in Ankeny, Whiskey River is serving up all kinds of drinks. Head in and pick something off of their domestic, imports, American Craft, Iowa craft, wine and Moscow mule menu. Don’t forget to try some of their house-made onion rings while you’re there.

Want more options? Check out other restaurants near the Iowa Events Center HERE and dining options around Greater Des Moines HERE


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