It’s that time of year when high school sports fans from all over the state descend on the capital city.
Looking to venture out of Wells Fargo Arena for an excursion or a snack? If you haven’t been to Des Moines since last year’s tournament, here are a few things to check out.
Getting around downtown
Portions of the four-mile Des Moines skywalk system are closed for construction, but download the SkyWalkDSM app or check out the Skywalk Detour Navigation Map to help you find your way.
Restaurants: beyond the concession stand
Looking for something to eat other than a hot dog or tray of nachos? Try these new downtown restaurants, all within walking distance of Wells Fargo Arena:
316 Court Ave.
Check out the seasonal menu with hand-crafted cocktails. Open for lunch, dinner and happy hour. Features such local sources as The Cheese Shop, Early Morning Harvest, La Mie Bakery, La Quercia, Milton Creamery, Niman Ranch, Picket Fence Ice Creamery, Rinehart’s Family Farm, Story City Locker, Sunstead Farms, and Wilson’s Orchard.
Local Bites Food Court
700 Locust St.
Not your average food-court fare. Open for lunch weekdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. All-local restaurants include India Pointe, Moar Tacos, Viva Mexico, Teriyaki Boys, Burger Shop, Jimmy’s Gyros and Local Yokels Farm House.
Magnolia Wine Kitchen
1420 Locus St.
Small shareable plates in an elegantly feminine space. Open for lunch, dinner and happy hour. Be sure to try the truffle fries.
Indulge your sweet tooth
Need a sugar fix? There’s always room for dessert:
5513 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines
Donuts in dozens of flavors ranging from Oreo cheesecake to pink lemonade to German chocolate, sausage kolaches, cinnamon rolls and donut milkshakes available 24/7. Worth the drive.
215 East 3rd Street, Des Moines
From-scratch cupcakes in downtown’s East Village with dozens of flavors from chocolate to Nutella to pumpkin spice. Regular, vegan and gluten-free varieties available.
Experience art and science
Need a break from wrestling? Check out something a little different:
Art Route, various locations downtown: Take a walk of up to 6.6 miles throughout downtown to see 87 pieces of public art from sculptures to murals and more. Follow the green dots marked on downtown sidewalks or download the GPS-enabled DSM Public Art IOS app.
Iowa Quilt Museum, 68 East Court Avenue, Winterset: If you have a few hours to kill between matches, check out the new Iowa Quilt Museum, a 40-minute drive from Wells Fargo Arena. Current featured exhibits include arts quilts of the Midwest and antique log cabin quilts.
Science Center of Iowa, 401 West Martin Luther King Jr. Pkwy, Des Moines: In addition to their standard exhibits, planetarium and Imax theater, the Science Center’s new Makers Studio lets kids of all ages enjoy using circuits, stop-motion animation video, robotics, arts and crafts materials, Legos and more. Whether you have an hour to spare or a whole day, you’ll find plenty to let your kiddos run off some energy and stay engaged.