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 Road
Des Moines,
IA
US
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.
655 NE 56th St
Pleasant Hill,
IA
US
The Des Moines Community Playhouse offers exciting entertainment on stage, volunteer opportunities both on stage and backstage, and theatrical education programs for students ages 4 to adult. Founded in 1919, the Playhouse is one of the largest and oldest community theatres in the US.
831 42nd Street
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
The Underground boasted four CityView awards in 2009, including Best Bartender and Best Bar Overall. The laid back subterranean space presents live music most nights, hosting both local and national acts. Hide away from the world and its impossible crossword puzzles with well drink ($3) or draft beer ($3–$4) flanked by helping of Frank's pizza ($8). The bar also offers a wide selection of wines by the glass ($7) and martinis that will leave you shaken, not obliterated ($7). This game-friendly drinkery also features billiard tables and dartboards for pool sharks and target tunas. The Underground is 21 and over after 9 p.m. Most live music shows are free, but there is the occasional cover charge (not covered by the Groupon) so be sure to check the schedule before planning your rock-filled evening.
500 E Locust St
Des Moines,
IA
US