Inside the historic, renovated Waverly Palace Theatre, first-run releases splash across three screens as guests gobble snacks from the concession stand. Seats equipped with lumbar support prop up weary backs as the sounds of screeching tires, exploding fortresses, and wisecracking babies escape from the speakers of a Dolby Surround Sound EX system. As guests exit, they can take in the brick exterior of the theater, which maintains its classic, glowing marquee and art-deco façade.
The Science Station illuminates the minds of children and adults on the workings of science, math, and technology with hands-on exhibits, puzzles, and games. Play paleontologist with the Dinosaur Exploration Station, complete with time tunnel and dig box, or visit the Math Mania room to help kids hone number skills through games. In the Animal Clinic, tots can play doctor with faux-furry friends and learn how to care for real ones. The Science Station houses a Museum Store with education games for ongoing imagination stimulation. The Science Station is open Tuesday–Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.
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.
Featuring a menagerie of handcrafted fantasy animals, Coral Ridge’s turn-of-the-century reproduction carousel glitters at the heart of this shopping, dining, and entertainment destination. A team of mall-housed elves put 100 hours into hand finishing each animal, chariot, and paddy wagon atop the rotating platform. Ride mammal-saddle aboard a racing cheetah, stately horse, or friendly elephant. A charming light show emanates from the ride’s mirrored panels and hundreds of pinpoint ceiling lights, and a lighted ribbon rests atop the carousel’s crown, acting as a beacon to hordes of children and friendly manticores. Nestled among department stores, an edible food court, the Iowa Children’s Museum, and much more, the 10-ride carousel punch card stands ready to punctuate days of happy diversion.
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Pro Tip: We are a fun, friendly bunch who loves to hear about new ideas.
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Rock n' Run
Recommended Age Group: All Ages
When and how did you first develop a passion for your work?
When I first started living in Des Moines. We are an arts-based organization with a passion for sharing our mission, and everything we do requires that passion to be carried forward into the community, and into the education that we provide to the youth.
I'm a first-timer. How do you get me ready for the experience?
If you like the arts, if you like to have a good time. And if you like to run, the Rock n' Run is the perfect combination. The best way to get ready is to bring your friends along so you have others to Rock Out with. The more people, the more opportunity for fun.
What is the one feature of your business that you're most proud of?
Arts education. It's fun for all ages, and helps the community in ways that will last a lifetime.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
The arts build communities. Greater Des Moines will be recognized as a place where the arts thrive because of Metro Arts Alliance.
Owner Darlene Olson holds court over Merle Hay Lanes’ sleek bowling lanes, where the sounds of laughter and pins crashing fills the air. An Olson family heirloom since 1993, Merle Hay caters to amateurs and pin-toppling veterans alike with open bowling and league play for a variety of age and skill levels. Bowlers quench competition-induced thirsts at Bowlwinkles Lounge with a formidable lineup of drink specials. The bowling alley also plays host to a variety of special events including birthday parties and corporate outings, preventing coworkers from having to bowl in the alley behind the office.