Des Moines’ Best Movie Theaters

The now-closed Varsity Theatre. The business opened its doors on Christmas Day in 1938, and it showed its last film on December 30th, 2018.

The recent closing of the Varsity Theatre, located across the street from the campus of Drake University, is a major loss to cinema lovers across Iowa. However, there’s still plenty of alternatives for movie-goers searching for their new favorite place to watch the latest and greatest films. Whether you’re looking for Hollywood blockbusters or more indie films, there’s a theater to suit your interests.

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Do You Wanna Go Ghost Hunting on Saturday?

We’ve all been there, binge watching the next TV series into the late hours of the night but, for some of us that takes a paranormal twist. Whether you’re watching Zach, Erin & Nick on Ghost Adventures or following along with Ryan and Shane on Buzzfeed’s Unsolved Network you’ve probably had the same thought my roommate Kaley did, “So, what’s haunted in Iowa?” And boy have you stumbled upon the right article for you…

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5 Hidden Gems in the Historic East Village

The East Village neighborhood in Des Moines is a great place if you’re looking for a bite to eat, wanting to get work done in a peaceful setting, or try something new.

“I’ve always liked the diversity of things to do and see in East Village,” said Drake Student Courtney McCuddin. “There’s something for everyone to do and enjoy, both in the summer and winter.”

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5 Coffee Shops to Study at Around Drake University

It can be challenging trying to find a good coffee shop to study at around Drake University. Do you enjoy going to the library to study or going to a coffee shop?

Coffee shops are great for early morning risers or late night studiers. Need a boost of energy? A coffee shop has what you are looking for! Add some espresso or add a caffeinated beverage, and you will be set!

Not only do coffee shops serve great drinks, they also have great food menus as well. Whether someone is looking for a soup, sandwich, or a salad, a coffee shop is there for you.

Pictured below is a cappuccino and one of the many food options provided by Mars Café.

Below are five coffee shops that many students choose to study at. Each coffee shop has different menu options. Each coffee shop also has different seating availability as well.

1) Mars Café


  • Across the street from Drake University’s campus
  • Locally owned business
  • Reading area, tables, and booths available

2) Smokey Row


  • Late night study hours
  • Comfortable booth seating
  • Serves ice cream and malts

3) Grounds for Celebration


  • Beaverdale or Windsor heights location – both close to campus
  • Serves tasty gelato
  • Sit with friends or at your own table if you have a lot of stuff

4) Caribou Coffee


  • Less than 10 minutes from Drake University’s campus
  • Alternative study area if Smokey Row is too busy
  • Late night study hours

5) Twisted Bean Coffee Company


  • Lots of available seating, whether alone or with friends/groups
  • Locally owned business
  • Big Açai Bowl (which is hard to find in the Des Moines area)

All these coffee shops sell good merchandise and have very tasty coffee and food menus! They also allow for outside seating if the weather is friendly enough to study outside.

Two Drake students interviewed about which is their favorite coffee shop to study at and why. Both stated they enjoy studying at Twisted Bean Coffee Company.

“I like Twisted Bean because it is very pretty in there, and it gets kind of busy but not where it’s overcrowded. Like a nice buzz to study too. Also great lattes!!” Provided by a junior at Drake University.

“I enjoy Twisted Bean because it has natural lighting which allows me to study better.” This also expressed by another junior at Drake University.

Twisted Bean Coffee Company is an uncommon place for Drake students. Many students have never heard of Twisted Bean. Some students may have heard of it, but they do not know where the location of the coffee shop is.  Merle Hay road in Urbandale is one of the locations. Linked above is the address and business hours for Twisted Bean.

The spring semester is beginning, and these coffee shops are here for you! Attached above are links to their websites. These links provide information such as pictures for seating and menu options.

This semester, try one of these coffee shops out. Drink a coffee, grab a bite to eat, and study away!