Feeling the chill? I’ve pulled together a couple of ideas for taking the icy edge off of winter here in Des Moines. I haven’t posted any “Des Moines Date” ideas in awhile, so consider this a shortlist for the season!
1) Indoor mini golf. I just discovered Longview Golf Centre TODAY (thanks CatchDesMoines!), so I’m not going to lie, I made this entire post because I was so excited about the idea of 18-holes of indoor mini golf not at a mall. It doesn’t look like there are any water traps, so I might actually be able to handle this course.
And if you’re out in Grimes, you can make a whole day out of being ridiculous and bounce around at SkyZone until you realize that being 12 versus being 20something are very different and you can’t walk the next day. Or sit.
2) Dinner by a fireplace. There are a bunch of restaurants and bars in Des Moines with great fireplaces. I’m particularly enamoured with Skip’s on Fleur, but if you live in the ‘burbs, the Urban Grill has some fireplaces, too, and both are great for reasonably priced date nights. I recommend the crab rangoon dip at Urban Grill. Fire Creek out in West Des Moines is all sorts of cozy, too.
3) Snowshoe up a sweat. I tried to snowshoe once around Waterworks Park for a Juice story, but it was in a blizzard with our photographer making fun of me the entire time, so less enjoyable than I imagine it would be on a sunshiny trail, or out at Clanton Creek. Joe let me know that Rassmussen Bike Shop just started to rent out snowshoes and I believe Active Endeavors still does.
OK, so maybe snow sports aren’t really the warm and cozy direction you’re looking for?
4) Botanical Blues. Going to the Des Moines Botanical Center in the middle of winter and gazing into its koi ponds and strolling amongst palm trees just puts me in a happy place. You could definitely go on a random afternoon and have lunch in the cafe and play a board game (anyone else into Settlers of Catan?), but it feels extra neat to go for the Sunday afternoon “Botanical Blues” concert series that runs through February.
5) Hot stone massage. My friend Cassie owns East Village Spa, and once upon a time I had one of their “Heavenly Hot Stones” massages in which “smooth jade stones are heated and used to provide a massage with benefits that penetrate deep into the tissue for greater circulation of blood and lymph, deeper relaxation, and pain relief.” Totally indulgent and awesome. You will not want to leave the table, let along go back out into the cold. See #5 for a good post-massage ritual.
6) Tea at Gong Fu. I’m working on a story about Gong Fu Tea right now, and it’s reminding me what a gem of a place we have in Des Moines. Sip a steaming pot of tea from their vast selection while reading a good book, or mapping out your goals for the year. Total moment of zen. I love my sweet teal teapot from there for brewing my own tea at home.
7) Fondu at The Cheese Shop. I imagine it would be melty marvalousness to share a pot of gourmet fondue. My friend Chelsea and I are talking about going together sometime. This winter, for sure.
How do you warm up during a long, cold Iowa winter?