Take it Outside: Five Downtown Des Moines Patios Perfect for Summer

Cocktails taste better served with fresh air, right? We think so. Try these classic downtown Des Moines patios and give your summer outings an upgrade.

The Rooftop

Tucked beneath viny pergolas, The Rooftop’s laid-back vibe is a perfect escape from the bustle of Historic East Village below. A quick walk down the block gets you to a variety of food options, while the classic menu of cocktails and local craft brews offers options for everyone.


A bike trail and hangover cure staple, Mullets cooks up one of the best breakfasts in town. Choose from classic omelettes and eggs, or a cheesy breakfast meatloaf for the more adventurous. The patio is a perfect spot to lounge in your bike shorts, drink Bloody Mary’s and cheer on the Iowa Cubs. If you’re lucky, there might even be fireworks.

Republic on Grand

If you’re on the hunt for happy hour, look no further than Republic on Grand. Deemed by the Des Moines Register as “Des Moines’ sexiest new patio,” the restaurant creates up-scale atmosphere without the price tag. A heated outdoor patio blends seamlessly into the lush tables and booths inside. The drink menu includes craft cocktails named after prominent Des Moines neighborhoods. Small plates, including charcuterie boards, flatbreads and sliders, are perfect for sharing.

“Add [Republic on Grand] to your list for a celebration or a visit from out-of-town guests or a day when you just want to treat yourself. And with summer officially here, there may be no better place to pass an evening than the Republic’s patio.”

–Courtney Crowder, Des Moines Register Staff Writer

El Bait Shop

One of the most popular spots in Des Moines, El Bait Shop is a beer-lovers dream come true. With over 260 craft beers on tap, it boasts the largest selection of American craft brews in the world. Right in the heart of downtown, El Bait Shop attracts cyclists, baseball fans and beer enthusiasts of all ages, shapes and sizes. The large patio has its own bar station, and tables to sit and enjoy the American grub served inside.

The Continental Lounge

For a more intimate setting, The Continental is the perfect place to enjoy a craft cocktail and some jazz. The bartenders here can concoct drinks custom-made for your tastebuds, but the best Pimm’s Cups are on order here, too. Live jazz music floats through the tiny lounge on Saturday nights. The small patio outside is perfect for taking in the night air or dancing with your sweetheart.


Whether you live in Des Moines or are only passing through, there’s a perfect place for everyone. We want to know yours–what are your favorite spots in Des Moines? Share with us on social media!

What’s the Des Moines Social Club

This social club is an innovative arts and entertainment place that’s located in a renovated, historic firehouse in downtown Des Moines. This non-profit allows a home for local artist to promote their music.

The social club has multiple floors with an outdoor courtyard. It also includes an art gallery, gift shop, music venue, restaurant and a coffee shop. It even has places for performances, classrooms and a non-profit office space.

On almost any night people can expect to see theater performances, pop up art galleries, circus classes, trivia competitions, live bands or art courses for the kiddies. The Des Moines social club is place for everyone of all ages.

Below are some the exciting places that people of all ages can find ways to let loose and explore their various god given talents.

The Culinary Loft

Is a place where individuals of any experience can go to explore or learn to make their favorite dishes. The culinary loft offers different classes to fit what each individual is looking for. They have series classes and single session classes for people of different ranges of experience.

The Basement

Is a place where individuals can go to experience a mix of recurring events of open mics, live music, dance parties and trivia nights. It allows for adults of drinking age a wide variety of drinks, from fine whiskeys to handcrafted cocktails.

Kum and Go Theater

This theater is Des Moines social club customizable theater that can be transformed into a black box, film, music, dance and wrestling. The theater offers free parking between 8th and 9th st and mulberry & Cherry St. This is allowed only after 5 pm and on weekends. The entrance is located on the south side of the firehouse.

Prairie Meadows courtyard

The courtyard is a place that is tucked between DMSC’s two campus buildings. The prairie meadows courtyard is where numerous weddings, concerts, food trucks and theater performances take place. Its unique look is the only space in the Des Moines social club with graffiti on bricks and backdrop.

The Malo

Is a Mexican restaurant that brings a lively atmosphere to the Des Moines social club. Its located on 900 Mulberry St Des Moines, IA 50309. From its brunch, lunch and dinner options Malo is a place that allows a great Mexican taste for everyone.

The Rooftop

Is a spot on top of the firehouse at Des Moines social club that has a eclectic feel. The Rooftop is an exclusive patio that’s located right above the prairie courtyard. What once housed firetrucks for the Des Moines Fire Department is now a spot that’s used for happy hour 3 days a week in the summer time.

The Viaduct Gallery

Is visual art that is committed to supporting artists in the local area by creating opportunities to enhance the art scene in Des Moines. The gallery can also be seen on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

The Blue Moon Studio

Is a place where artist can go to record or produce music in the Des Moines area. The studio offers intro to home and Digital recordings, condenser microphone, dynamic microphones and advanced recording techniques.

The Scenic Route Bakery

Is a daughter and father bakery that is opening in May of 2019 at the Des Moines social club. The menu will consist of coffee, pastries with the addition of grab n go breakfast and lunch items.

Now that I’ve shown everyone what the Des Moines social club is and some of things to do there. I want you to share this blog post to show the awesome things the Des Moines social club is doing to help the Art and Entertainment scene in the Des Moines area. I also want you all to go for yourself to see the awesome things the community is doing.

Why Des Moines is the root to Iowa family fun

“You can’t plant a seed without getting your hands dirty,” Mariah Dillard

So, let’s get to the root of the problem. Life is busy for both parents and kids. We manage our to-do’s and bury ourselves in technology. We are losing connection (no pun intended) with our children and our spouse. Instead, we should be planting the seed on quality family time.

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Here are 5 Dog Friendly Activities to try in Des Moines this Summer

Looking for some activities to do with “man’s best friend” this summer?  We’ve rounded up 5 fun dog-friendly Des Moines area activities to try. 

Cool down with a Puppy Cone from Snookies Malt Shop

1810 Beaver Ave, Des Moines

Snookies Malt Shop is a staple in the Beaverdale neighborhood and locals love its dog-friendly patio.  Snookies is only open from mid-April to early fall, so it’s the perfect summertime activity to do with your dog.  Need another reason besides the great soft-serve ice cream, shakes, malts and tasty desserts? How about free “puppy cones” to all good puppers who visit!  Puppy Cones are tiny little vanilla ice cream cones that also provide the perfect photo opp of your pup to share on Instagram.  Beaverdale resident Ashley Friday puts it best, “My dog Ruby looks forward to opening day as much as I do. It’s not really summer until we get our first pup cone!”

Spend a Saturday morning at the Des Moines Farmers’ Market

Court Ave, Des Moines

Ranked as the #2 Top Farmers’ Market in the US by Shape Magazine the Des Moines Farmers’ Market is a great way to spend a Saturday morning for both your and your pup.  The farmers’ market welcomes leashed and well-behaved pooches to visit and browse the over 300 vendors.  There are a lot of dogs that stroll around Court Avenue so it gives your dog plenty of opportunity to socialize.  Pro-tip: get there early! The Des Moines’ Farmers’ Market is a popular spot and can get crowded as the day goes on.  If your dog doesn’t like crowds, it could become a stressful situation.

Socialize for a good cause during the Animal Rescue League “Yappy Hour”

Multiple locations and times – Schedule here

Drinks on a patio for a good cause? Sign us up!  The Yappy Hour series is a dog-friendly patio event that benefits the Animal Rescue League of Iowa.  There are happy hour drink specials and admission is free.  It’s a great way to spend a sunny afternoon with friends and your pup can make some friends as well.   With multiple locations and dates, there’s sure to be one that fits your schedule.

Catch a fly ball during the Dog Days of Summer with the Iowa Cubs

Principal Park – 1 Line Dr, Des Moines

Each summer the Iowa Cubs offer a Dog Days of Summer event that benefits the Animal Rescue League of Iowa.  Principal Park goes “to the dogs” with a dog parade before the game, bandanas for all the four-legged participants, water stations and specials on hot dogs for hungry baseball fans. When asked about their favorite part of the event, Des Moines resident Jane Slusark said, “It’s so much fun to see all the dogs at the game.  We bring the whole family, and it’s a great way to spend a summer evening”. Tickets are $16 and 100% of the ticket price goes towards caring for homeless animals in the metro area.  It’s great family-fun, but don’t wait until the last minute.  This even usually sells out!

Sip Margaritas on the patio at MALO

MALO – 900 Mulberry St

There are quite a few dog-friendly patios in Downtown Des Moines, but we are partial towards MALO and their tasty margaritas!  MALO has 10 dog-friendly outdoor tables on their patio and they provide plenty of shade on sunny days.  Don’t forget to grab the churritos dessert with the Mexican chocolate dipping sauce…just don’t share that one with you dog!

Where is your favorite place to take your pup in Des Moines?  Share in the comments.

Top 5 low-cost summer activities in Des Moines

You don’t have to break the bank when looking for summer activities in the Des Moines area. You can choose from many great low-cost options. It doesn’t matter if you’re visiting the capital city for the first time or a local resident. You can have a lot of fun in the sun and still go easy on your wallet. You can start by looking into these five options in the Des Moines area.

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