Things to Do

Linh Ta
Oct 12, 2021 - Food and Drink

Grab a homemade poptart at Des Moines bakery Jess Desserts

Macarons and poptarts
Macarons and homemade Pop-Tarts from Jess Desserts. Photos courtesy of Jess Anderson

Pop-Tarts scream childhood nostalgia, and baker Jess Anderson's twist on these toaster treats has turned into a local success story.

  • But like any good story, these hand pies were born from a situation that didn't start so sweet.
Linh Ta
Oct 8, 2021 - Things to Do

What to do in Des Moines this weekend: bike rides and fall festivals

The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile
You could see this in WDM this weekend! Photo: MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

๐Ÿคก There's plenty of haunted houses open this weekend, but some of your favorites may still be closed this year.

  • Here are some other ways to get out and about:

๐Ÿบ Embrace being basic and enjoy Confluence's Basic Batch Pumpkin Ale release, starting at noon on Friday.


๐ŸŒณ Get out of town and head to the Madison County Covered Bridges Festival starting 9am Saturday.

๐ŸŒญ The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile is stopping at the Mills Civic Hy-Vee from 9am to noon.


๐ŸŒฑ Celebrate local farmers at the Fried Green Tomatoes Fall Harvest at Franklin Jr. High, starting at 2pm.

๐Ÿšฒ Join RAGBRAI for The Great Iowa Fall Ride. Bike a 37-mile loop and end in Cumming with a show by the Pork Tornadoes. (Registration is $70.)

Linh Ta
Oct 6, 2021 - Things to Do

Our favorite Des Moines ramen spots

Char siu ramen from Wasabi
The char siu pork ramen from Wasabi Chi ($14). Photo: Linh Ta/Axios

Put that instant packet away. Des Moines' burgeoning ramen scene offers umami-rich broths that leave you slurping for the last bits.

  • And these hidden gems don't advertise themselves as ramen joints. Your favorite sushi spot likely offers it, but you'll have to search the corners of the menu.

Below are some of our favorite spots to chew on some noodles and satiate our jammy egg cravings.

Linh Ta
Sep 30, 2021 - Things to Do

Sip on elegant cocktails at The New Northwestern in Des Moines

Two groups of people dine inside Des Moines' New Northwestern.
People hanging out at The New Northwestern during a soft opening Tuesday. Photo: Linh Ta/Axios

Step back into an elegant time while sipping on a modern cocktail at The New Northwestern Cocktail & Wine Bar.

  • Jeff Link, a well-known Democratic political consultant, and Lucca owner Steve Logsdon are the brains behind the bar that's inspired by Des Moines' railway history.

I stopped by the historic site of the former Northwestern Hotel to give you a sneak preview.

Linh Ta
Sep 24, 2021 - Things to Do

Slipknot returns to Iowa for Knotfest

Shawn Crahan of Slipknot performs in Denmark in February 2020.

Knotfest โ€” Slipknot's giant metal music festival โ€” is drawing in 30,000 fans from around the world to the National Balloon Classic field just outside Indianola this Saturday.

  • To put it into perspective: Wells Fargo Arena's capacity is 16,000. Indianola's population? 15,000.

Why it matters: Iowa is a seemingly odd location when you consider Slipknot has drawn masses of fans, aka "maggots," to festivals in Japan, Colombia and France.

  • But Slipknot is Des Moines born and raised. And growing up in the Midwest makes you metal.
Linh Ta
Aug 27, 2021 - News

What to do in Des Moines this weekend: Exile Music Fest and more

A crowd of people listen to music on a sign for the Exile Music Fest
Exile Music Fest from 2019. Photo courtesy of Exile

Looking for something to do in the Des Moines area this weekend? We've got a line-up of food, films and fun for you.

๐ŸŽฅ Free flick: The Downtown DSM Outdoor Movie Night feature is "Little Giants." Friday at 8pm, Western Gateway Park.

๐Ÿบ Exile Music Fest: Watch up-and-coming artists like Euforquestra and Birdie Pie at Exile's festival outside their downtown brewery. Saturday, starting at 10am. Tickets here.

๐ŸŽค Johnston Town Center Grand Opening: Eat food, jump on inflatables and watch Maddie Poppe perform. Saturday, starting at 3pm, NW 62nd Street and Merle Hay Road.

๐ŸŽธ Ingersoll Live: A free street party with three stages and multiple bands. Saturday, 4pm-10pm. On Ingersoll Avenue between 28th and 29th Streets.

Jason Clayworth
Aug 23, 2021 - News

Worth 1,000 words: Your Iowa State Fair photos

A photo of a man in disguise.
"I guess many people had asked him, so he had to go incognito." โ€” Melissa Myers, of Des Moines. Photo courtesy of Myers

The 2021 Iowa State Fair wrapped up Sunday, but your memories will last forever.

  • We compiled some of our favorite fair photo submissions that we think capture what the state's largest event is all about. Scroll on.
A photo of a man with a cabbage on his head.
"Yes, he has cabbage on his head. Cools the body temp by 10 degrees, he said. I'll take his word for it." โ€” Melissa Myers, of Des Moines. Photo courtesy of Myers
A photo of pie.
Marcia Miller, Jason's neighbor, shared samples of each of these with him. But she wouldn't give up her recipe for black and blueberry cucumber cream pie. (It was delicious.) Photo courtesy of Miller
โ€‹โ€‹Credit Union Day at the Fair selfie. Photo courtesy of Jessica Maldonado
A photo of a solar exhibit.
Gov. Kim Reynolds declared Aug. 18 as Solar Day at the fair in a proclamation presented by Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg. Left to right: McKinley Conover, Natalie Mahoney, Tim Dwight and Jessica Maldonado. Photo courtesy of Maldonado
A photo of a llama.
A llama who joined in some yoga at the fair. Photo: Linh Ta/Axios
Linh Ta
Aug 17, 2021 - News

Why you should be ordering holiday gifts now

Illustration of a shipping container with a ribbon and bow on it.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

It feels way too early to think about Christmas, but now is the time to check some gifts off your list, saidย Jennifer Blackhurst, professor of business analytics at the University of Iowa.

Why it matters: The high demand for products over the holiday season is expected to further "clog" already backed-up shipping channels, Blackhurst said.

  • Procrastinating means running the risk of not getting your presents on time.
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