This is the first installment in a new series of Des Moines dates*. Each will include something to do/somewhere to eat and another fun element to make your evening with someone even more delightful. *Although I will reference romance, clearly these could also work as friend dates!
This Eastside Art Date is easy on your pocketbook and will probably take you out of your typical Saturday night element, which is great for getting to know someone.
Dinner: Thai Flavors, 1254 E. 14th St. (Picnic it!)
Yes, it’s tucked in a strip mall, but this unassuming spot has inspired a pretty loyal fan following. (For some reason, I feel like this is owned by the same people who do Cool Basil on the west side, too.) I like the Hawaiian Fried Rice and crab rangoons, myself.
The dining room here is decent, but if the weather is perfect and you’re feeling extra romantic, I recommend ordering ahead and getting the dish to go. Pack a big blanket and some drinks and head a couple blocks west to Union Park. It looks like the Heritage Carousel will be open until 8 p.m., which will make for a super fun backdrop to dinner. Bring $2 cash so you can both ride it!
Then, ready yourself for some art!
The activity: Sensory Overload ( 7 p.m.-Midnight, Saturday, May 12)
Experience a mind-bending art ambush in an abandoned school. Installation art, a costume contest, performances — it’s an evening that’s going to give you and your date a LOT to talk about. I highly recommend clicking through the fab Art Beacon Des Moines to get a sense of the vibe. Suggested donation is $5 per person, but pony up a $20 for the two of you to show you’re generous. Karma will reward you.
Designed to stimulate all of your senses, I have a feeling this event is going to be one that people talk about for awhile. I mean, rumor has it there’s going to be a fake meth lab and I think I saw something about bubble wrap? Regardless, if your date is going well, you should try to fashion hats or something out of recycled/found materials together and wear them to this.
Thanks to my new friend Brian for suggesting I start up this series. It’s fun to meet people who still remember my writing in Juice and want me to help them be all romantical 🙂