The Des Moines Home & Garden Show helps homeowners revitalize their home and hearth, exposing them to new products, styles, and techniques for remodeling their homes, lawns, and neighbors' driveways. During the four-day event, hundreds of exhibitors and experts divulge their knowledge on topics ranging from landscaping to security systems, and celebrity designers such as Rachel Kate—a top finalist on HGTV's seventh season of _Design Star_—dole out sage advice on the event's stage. Guests can also peruse furniture built by local artisans or harvest inspiration in the greenery of seven featured gardens.
The relaxed, welcoming atmosphere at The Art Mill puts the focus on enjoying creativity instead of holding fierce golem-building contests. People of all artistic backgrounds will find an encouraging environment for clay slinging. Before constructing creations that will probably make you rich, an enthusiastic instructor built from clay will teach crafters the basics. Though instruction is geared toward beginners and intermediate-level artists, advanced talents are welcome to dust up. This isn't a full-fledged class, just a bit of expert guidance before you pound the provided three-pound clay lump into submission, which will likely resemble a bowl.
Dappled light from an overhanging crystal chandelier catches the glittering fibers of yarn skeins arranged in displays, on tables, and covering the towering walls of StevenBe's high-ceilinged atrium. Store proprietor Steven Berg continues to redefine the traditional knitting methods he first learned as a child, infusing patterns with creative twists, nontraditional materials, and enough sparkle to rival a Swarovski Lite Brite. In an interview with Patch.com Berg stated, "We want the knitting experience to be] fun and playful, lighthearted—we want this to be a happy place where—whatever troubles you might have at home—you can leave them behind." StevenBe's eye-catching displays of chunky yarns, wools, cottons, and novelty materials wrap visiting knitters in a fibrous embrace faster than a lonely box of Wheaties, and paintings from local artists adorn the walls. Animal-print armchairs support a growing circle of crafters during special events and sun-soaked afternoons that may feature refreshments or live musicians' buzzing instruments above the gentle clicking of knitting needles.
Rainbow Play Systems’s expansive showrooms introduce kids aged 2 to 10 to a wonderland of gym equipment, all of which is available for purchase. A multitude of swing sets with spiral slides, trapeze rings, and tire swings exercise tykes while preparing them for the physics portion of the SAT.
Ever since its inception in 1935, the South St. Paul Rod & Gun Club has challenged visitors’ aim and timing in the rugged backwoods surrounding the Mississippi River. At year-round shooting ranges, visiting marksmen raise their rifles on four trap-shooting fields and three skeet-shooting fields. They can also travel to eight raised, wooden stands on a 50-target sporting-clay course or switch up positions on a five-stand field, blasting at targets shot to simulate the flight patterns of various game birds, which is easier than tracking the deceptive tumbling of blown kisses. To challenge technique and speed, staffers fire a range of specialty targets such as vertical-launching springing teals and arcing chandelles. When not training new shooters or catering to recreational marksmen, the club’s staffers host leagues and seasonal tournaments where competitors test their shooting prowess and showcase the season’s hottest camouflage tuxedos. All visitors can refuel at an onsite restaurant and bar, or stock up on shells, earplugs, and apparel at the pro shop.
CitySolve lets citizens explore their metropolis through a one-day odyssey that tests speed, stamina, and smarts. Teams scamper through their burb as they solve clues ranging from anagrams and pop-culture trivia to deciphering graffiti written in pig Latin. Interspersed throughout the race are mettle-testing physical challenges, molding iron wills to such tasks as dodgeball, improv comedy games, or identifying ice-cream flavors. Each day's race also awards winners for best costumes and best tweet. Each urban iditarod takes between two to three hours, and jet packs are strictly prohibited.