At Skate South, wheeled boots are put to good use. Families and friends lace up pairs for roller-skating, speed skating, and roller hockey. To get even more out of their skates, they can also join roller-derby classes and host birthday parties at the rink. Those parties get festive with light sticks and pizza, as well as skate time with Skate South's mascot, Roller Roo. On Wednesday Ramp Nights, guests can even swap their skates for boards and grab some air.
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.
In their 85th season, the Harlem Globetrotters have entertained millions of parents, children, and general basketball admirers with a unique brand of athletic precision and showmanship. For their latest 4 Times the Fun North American tour, the Globetrotters will add new 4-point shot spots located 35 feet from the basket, which is 12 feet farther than the official 3-point line but several thousand miles closer than the prime meridian.
On June 14, 2008, the Iowa Cubs played a home game in front of a total of zero fans. The empty ballpark was the result of flooding throughout Des Moines. It was also another strange footnote added to a long line of odd occurrences that have come into play in the baseball history of Iowa’s capital.
The marriage between Des Moines and baseball stretches back to 1887, before cars roamed the streets and robots were considered for managerial positions. Teams came and went over the years, until 1969, when the Iowa Oaks debuted as part of the American Association. Finally, in 1981, the Oaks became the top minor-league affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, and they were renamed a year later. Under the direction of the big-league Cubs, the Iowa Cubs have enjoyed several bouts of success, highlighted by an American Association league title in 1993.
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.
Watch the Buccaneers’ crop of scrappy slapshooters, including current point leaders Austin Coldwell, Dan DeSalvo, and Cal Decowski, fight their in-state rivals for the Western Conference title. The team has a history of grooming players for higher-profile gigs, with eight former Buccaneers currently in the NHL. A comfortable arena-level seat provides an excellent vantage point to oversee the puck-pummeling proceedings.