Try DSM: Sports Fans Score with a Weekend of Fun and Games
Get ready to root for your new home team because Greater Des Moines (DSM) is serious about sports. If you’re considering a move to DSM and love sports, here is your guide to an action-packed sports weekend that will give you a taste of sports in the region.
Weekend Guide to Sports Action in DSM
Hotel Pick: Hilton Des Moines Downtown. Conveniently located within walking distance of Wells Fargo Arena and Principal Park, you can park your car for the weekend and walk to an array of amazing restaurants and multiple games (or pick up an Uber to quickly deliver you to your next destination). After a long day of food, drinks and cheering on your new favorite team, you’ll be glad you have a comfortable bed nearby.
Friday Night Sports in Greater Des Moines
- It’s time to buy some peanuts and Cracker Jacks, you’re headed out to the ball game. After you check in to your hotel, stretch your legs with a 15-minute walk (or a four-minute car ride) to dinner and drinks at the High Life Lounge or El Bait Shop. They share a building, but each has a distinctive vibe. High Life is fashioned after a 1960s corner bar and El Bait Shop features the widest selection of craft beers on tap in Iowa. And when the weather is nice, the patio can’t be beat.
- After you fill up on bacon-wrapped tater tots, head to Principal Park (a two minute walk from High Life and El Bait Shop) for an Iowa Cubs night game. Come for the game, stay for the fireworks, which happen after every Friday home game.
- For hockey and basketball fans, check out the Iowa Wild (AHL team) and Iowa Wolves (NBA G League) schedules to see if the teams are playing home games while you’re in town.
Watch DSM Sports on Saturdays
- Enjoy a scratch-made Southern breakfast at Tupelo Honey, which is just six blocks from the hotel. We recommend the country-style chicken and waffles.
- Head to West Des Moines or Pella for a few rounds of pickleball, corn hole and darts at Smash Park. (Bocce ball, ping pong and other games are also options!) Or head to Johnston and try your hand at duckpin at Backpocket Pin & Pixel.
- Then swing by Lumber Axe where you can try your hand at axe throwing.
- For dinner, head to Buzzard Billy’s (it’s a two-minute walk from the hotel). It’s got a great selection of New Orleans dishes (try the Shrimp Creole!) as well as classic burgers. The restaurant is also conveniently located next to Wells Fargo Arena.
- Walk across the street to Wells Fargo Arena to watch the Iowa Barnstormers play arena football. If you’ve never been to a game, you’re in for some high-scoring football fun!
- After the game, it’s a two-minute walk from the arena back to your hotel either by street or take the indoor, climate-controlled skywalk which connects the events center to your hotel. If you’re still in the mood for more fun and games, take a ride to the East Village and visit Up-Down, which is an arcade and bar. All games cost just 25 cents. The are also several other bars and restaurants in this area to explore.
Make Sunday a Sports Day in DSM
- After a full day of action, you may want to sleep in, but if you’re feeling sporty and want to go for a walk or jog, there is a nice path called the Principal Riverwalk along the Des Moines River you can follow near your hotel. Or rent a B-Cycle nearby!
- Head to The Breakfast Club for a hearty breakfast with unique twists on classic breakfast favorites.
- Across the street is the Iowa Taproom, which features Iowa craft beers. If you have some time to spare before the next sports outing, it’s a fun place to do some beer sampling with a flight of Iowa craft brews.
- If racing is your speed, you can head over to nearby suburbs for fast-paced action like horse racing at Prairie Meadows casino, racetrack and hotel, or auto racing at the Iowa Speedway in Newtonor Knoxville Raceway. (And if brews are also your speed, stop by Brightside Aleworks when you’re in Atloona, Gezellig Brewing Co. if you head to Newton or Peace Tree Brewery if you visit Knoxville.)
- Alternatively, you could hit the links at one of DSM’s numerous world-class golf courses and country clubs or see what seasonal sporting events are taking place depending on the time of year to round out the weekend — such as Drake Relays in April, Principal Charity Classic held in June or IMT Des Moines Marathon in October.
More Sports Action Around Des Moines
Soccer fans, no one could forget you! You can easily swap out the Barnstormers game on this itinerary to watch the Des Moines Menace Soccer play. And in the future, you can look forward to watching a USL pro soccer team play in Des Moines. We anticipate the new team will take the field, at a newly built soccer stadium, in 2025.
Looking for even more sports action and outdoor recreation opportunities around DSM? We’ve got you covered!
As you take in live sporting events and fast-paced sports action, you’ll find Greater Des Moines (DSM) offers a place where you can do something greater: Chase your career dreams, live affordably and get connected in a welcoming community. Get to know DSM and find your greater here.