Nightlife in Des Moines

Select Local Merchants

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.

2706 Ingersoll Ave
Des Moines,
IA
US

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.

4353 Merle Hay Rd
Des Moines,
IA
US

More than 1,000 Facebookers like AJ's on East Court, and the bar was reviewed on Metromix:

419 E Court Ave
Des Moines,
IA
US

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.

730 3rd St.
Des Moines,
IA
US

Premiere Bowling thrills pin smashers and beam blasters of all ages with a variety of family-friendly games and activities. Each bowling lane is equipped with its own seating area and 32-inch LCD TV for computerized tallying, and optional automatic bumpers keep pint-size alley sharks from gutter-ball unglory ($1–$3.50 per game; shoe rental $2–$3.50 per player). During Friday and Saturday evenings the lights are dimmed to make way for lazer bowl ($5 per game), featuring black lights, fog, and futuristic lasers, as the latest popular tunes and Benedictine hymns are pumped through the alley's sound system. Next door to the house of pin punishment, Extreme Lazer Tag houses more than 2,200 square feet of playing area shrouded in foggy darkness, perfect for living out video-game-hero dreams, working out tensions with your roommate, or living out your fantasy of starting a ragtag militia of space marines with Mark from accounting ($6 per person for a 7.5-minute bout).

655 NE 56th St
Pleasant Hill,
IA
US

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.

4371 Merle Hay Rd
Des Moines,
IA
US