When it first opened it doors in 1970, the Science Center of Iowa was among the first interactive science museums in the world. It engaged the community with hands-on exhibits and programs. In 2005, the center moved to its 110,00-square-foot downtown location, where it fills its halls with a variety of experience platforms, each demonstrating different scientific principles. The When Things Get Moving exhibit invites visitors to build rockets and conquer a domino obstacle course, and Why the Sky? demonstrates the science of space with a digital planet-exploration globe and the Cosmic Jukebox, which allows you to create your own show. Interact with exhibits that demonstrate the basic principles of physics in the themed scenario, the Eureka! Lab. The renovated Small Discoveries exhibit features Dahl's Produce Market and Edna's Kitchen, a favorite of younger visitors.
Blank Park Zoo educates the public about the wonders of the wild by re-creating far-flung habitats and ecosystems that house more than 1,000 animals and 104 different species ranging from Siberian tigers to hissing cockroaches. Zookeepers lead chats about animals and offer conservation tips, while exhibits include hands-on feedings that allow humans to go face-to-face or nose-to-beak with hungry giraffes and parakeets. Recent new arrivals welcome curious kids to commiserate with the growing pains and early bedtimes of young wallabies, camels, and seal pups, setting a foundation for learning that may be continued in classes designed for those aged 6 months to 5 years.
In addition to raising awareness about the environment, Blank Park Zoo contributes to conservation efforts to preserve the future of native animals and their natural homes. The zoo participates in seven endangered-species breeding programs and donates a portion of admissions proceeds to several different wildlife initiatives.
The long stem of a martini glass serves a purpose beyond its elegant appearance—it keeps the concoctions it bears cold without ice, which can dilute even the most potent cocktail. A practiced bartending staff uses these slender glasses to hold the more than 30 martinis that dot Lime Lounge’s drink menu, each of which is infused with premium liquors. Mango purée and a hint of chili pair with Absolut vodka in the Mango Tango, a staff favorite, and classic gin and vodka martinis, prepared to each guests' specifications, contain blue-cheese-stuffed olives or cocktail onions. The Lounge's selection of frozen cocktails don't need a martini glass to stay chilled, instead blending rum or tequila with ultra-fine shaved ice to induce an intoxicating brain freeze. With cocktail in hand, patrons can roam the contemporary interior, taking in the lights-and-sound spectacle and tapping their feet in time to live music or DJ sets.
Since 2007, foodies have flocked to Iowa's Premier Beer, Wine & Food Expopresented by Hy-Vee each year to check out food and drink booths, watch cooking demonstrations, and meet chefs and wine makers. Guests explore more than 100 booths filled with samples of wines, craft beer, food, and cheeses they may purchase and store at a complimentary drop-off location until they’re ready to leave. Expo-goers may also enjoy cooking demonstrations and meet-and-greet sessions with local and regional chefs and brewmasters, including Dick Leinenkugal, Bruce Nissen of Crispin Cider, and more. Not to be outdone, local chefs share the secret techniques, ingredients, and facial expressions they use to make popular regional dishes.
At Nova Cinema, cinephiles and casual moviegoers alike nosh on popcorn while watching first-run movies projected on full-size silver screens. Nova Cinema’s selection of talkies changes weekly, with current high-octane thrillers, family flicks, and love stories showing seven days of the week. Recent selections include The Hunger Games, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, _ and _Dr. Seuss' The Lorax, as well as 21 Jump Street, a coming of age story about street signs learning to conquer their fear of heights.
Anytime Fitness is a busy, popular fitness chain that works to remove common obstacles to working out. At any one of the 21 locations this Groupon is valid for, clients have 24/7 access to the gym’s cardio and strength-training equipment, and some locations offer group fitness classes, such as Zumba and small group training. Certified personal trainers are available to help those looking to take their workouts to the next level, and members can finish their exercise routines with a stop off at the onsite tanning booth to add a summery glow to muscles.
Originally opened in 1927, the Genesee Theatre slowly deteriorated over the course of the century until its closing in 1989. But starting in 2001, a $23 million cash infusion from the city allowed 120 volunteers to restore the theater to its Gilded Age splendor. Its elegant trappings include authentic wall fabrics, an exact replica of the original marquee, and a 2,200-pound chandelier that gently spotlights the grand lobby and every audience member passing underneath to show how everyone is a star if you really think about it.
Premiere Bowling and Entertainment features 24 pristine lanes with 32-inch LCD screens and their own seating areas. Families and friends face off during 10-frame games as high-fives blend into the din of music and pin crashing, creating a lively, upbeat atmosphere. Things turn cosmic on weekends when Laser Bowl adds lasers, black lights, and fog machines to the mix until 2 a.m. Premiere Bowling also features optional bumpers to help kids compete and a sports bar for players to refuel with food and drinks.
Brenton Skating Plaza's outdoor ice-skating rink is comprised of a 160'x60' sheet of ice that can hold up to 220 skaters. There, skaters—equipped with one of 450 pairs of skates available for rent—can cut lines through the ice in the open air, surrounded by all-glass boards. Throughout the season, which stretches from November to March, the rink hosts skating lessons, broomball games, and public skating.
The Juice Company's lemonade is enlivened by seasonal fruits, such as summery fresh mango ($3.00–$4.49). Creative smoothies ($4.49–$6.99), including a PB&J combo brimming with peanut butter and three kinds of berries, bulk up their vitamin punch with a choice of fat-burning, energy-revving, or fiber-enhancing supplements. Lite n’ Fit smoothies cast out dairy and all but 200 calories from their liquid cornucopia ($4.49–$5.49), and the low-carb Meal in a Cup ($5.49–$6.49) supplies a protein push powerful enough to make its drinker clinch the cinderblock shot-put championship. The Juice Company's sunlit squeezery encourages lingering while people-watching through large windows or nursing a locally grown, organic wheatgrass shot ($2.25–$3.99) to absorb every drop of its vegetal super powers.
Midwest Cage Championship, the region's largest MMA organization, has been showcasing brutal cage fights in Des Moines for more than five years. In 12 bouts across seven divisions, bone-cracking ballerinas will dance a pugilistic pas de deux, gracefully pirouetting into each other's pressure points. Lonnie Scriven and "Hollywood" Johnny Case join together to explore a vast terrain of bodily pain in the lightweight championship. Then, for the main event, light heavyweights Jesse Lund and Tyrone Roberts come to blows over the ownership of a belt, like deal-crazed shoppers at a Belt-Mart firesale.
Des Moines Driving Range stretches out 5,000 square feet of grass tee area for golfers to tinker with drivers, irons, and wedges. Marked flags protrude from the elevated greens and shake with each passing wind gust to offer a realistic target for aiming golfers. In addition to an expansive driving range, the training spot accommodates short games with three chipping greens and three putting greens. The range opens its doors all week from 8:30 a.m. until dark.
The skilled chefs at Carlos O’Kelly’s Mexican Cafe whip up burritos, enchiladas, and sizzling fajitas to fill an extensive menu of south-of-the-border cuisine. Diners push aside still-steaming nacho and quesadilla starters as a waiter approaches, arms meticulously stacked with plates of enchiladas and burritos ($8.99–$9.99 each). Chefs slather spinach and mushroom enchiladas in butter garlic sauce, and the burro en fuego specialty burrito befuddles meat detectors by burying contraband shredded beef and spicy chili sauce deep inside a warm flour tortilla. Diners can also look over a gluten-free menu to bite into enchiladas and fajitas prepared on corn tortillas as, in the kitchen, blenders buzz up pomegranate and strawberry frozen margaritas into salt-rimmed glasses for frozen fruit consumption without fear of stuck tongue.
Sunday, December 12, 2010 against Boise State, at 2:05 p.m.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010 against Dartmouth, at 7:05 p.m. Friday, January 7, 2011 against Bradley, at 7:05 p.m.
Tandem Brick Gallery is a great place to find unique, funky, sentimental or just plain goofy gifts for all occasions. We feature LOCAL artists and provide superb custom framing and customer service.