DSM 411: April 17th, 2019

We are on the cusp of prime Des Moines weather and an explosion of things to do. Here are a few things happening around Des Moines in this calm before the summer…

Family Friendly

Downtown Earth Day Tour
You can celebrate Earth Day at the 6th annual Downtown Earth Day Tour, which is a collaboration between the Science Center of Iowa, the Botanical Garden, and Iowa Rivers Revival, which will be stationed at the Riverwalk HUB. There will be activities and special programming at each of the three locations throughout the day. Be really green and use the trail system and Principal Riverwalk to walk or bike between locations.
Where: Science Center, Botanical Garden and Riverwalk HUB
When: Saturday, April 20th from 10am – 3pm
Cost: Free entry to the Botanical Garden, $5 per person at the Science Center
Link to more information


Bald Eagle Nest Viewing at Gray’s Lake
There is a Bald Eagle nest at Gray’s Lake, and on each Tuesday through June, Des Moines Parks and Rec will have spotting scopes and binoculars set up from 11 am – 1 pm for you to check out the Bald Eagles as they raise their young. Each week they will be watching the eagles and answering questions about the eaglets as they mature. There is no fee and everyone is welcome.
Where: Gray’s Lake
When: Each Tuesday through June, from 11am – 1pm
Cost: Free
Link to more details

Get Active

Reminder: The Mayor’s Annual Ride & Run
This annual event raises funds for the continued progress of the Des Moines River Trail. There is a free breakfast provided by Hy-Vee from 8:30-10a.
Where: The race starts and ends at Principal Park
When: Saturday, April 20th
5K and 1-mi family fun walk start at 9am
Ride starts at 10am
Cost: $35 for the Ride OR Walk before April 18th, $50 after
$5 additional to do both
Link to more information and registration

Give Back

Earth Day at Neal Smith Wildlife Refuge
In honor of Earth Day, volunteers are invited to register by April 18th to help restore prairie and oak savanna ecosystems at Neal Smith Wildlife Refuge. Groups and individuals are welcome. The Friends of Neal Smith NWR will provide a free lunch to pre-registered volunteers. Pre-registration is required by April 18. Please register by emailing Doreen_Vanryswyk@fws.gov or calling 515-994-3400.
Where: Neal Smith Wildlife Refuge
When: Saturday, April 20th from 8:30am – 12pm
Cost: Your time
Link to more information
Please register by emailing Doreen_Vanryswyk@fws.gov or calling 515-994-3400.

Restaurant Scene

St. Kilda
Two new St. Kilda locations will be opening soon. One in the old Starbucks location in the Temple for Performing Arts, and one in the East Village, which will be called St. Kilda Surf and Turf.
St. Kilda at the Temple: opening any day at 1013 Locust St
St. Kilda Surf & Turf: opening on May 8th at 111 E Grand

Slightly Related: Tour of 111 E Grand, for Architecture Nerds: LINK

The Thing You Know About

Drake Relays
The 110th Drake Relays kick off this Saturday, April 20th with the Drake Road Races, which include a 5K, a 10K and a half marathon that you can register to join. Continuing through the week, on Wednesday the 24th is one of my favorite Relay events– the pole vaulting demonstration at Capital Square. That event is free and runs from 6-9pm, and you can get REALLY close to the athletes flying insanely high through the air. At the Drake Stadium, on the actual Blue Oval, the biggest races happen on Friday evening of the 26th and Saturday afternoon of the 27th. Six Olympians will be racing in the relays, along with the fastest high school athletes in Iowa, and some of the fastest collegiate level athletes in the country.
Where: Drake Stadium
When: April 24th through 27th
Cost: $10 – $100
Link to Drake Road Races
Link to Pole Vaulting event
Link to more information about the Relays including tickets

The Thing You Don’t Know About

Beautiful Bulldog Contest
A 40-year tradition of the Drake Relays, the Beautiful Bulldog Contest will be held on Monday, April 22nd at the Knapp Center. Forty bulldogs will be walking the runway, competing to win an award in one of several categories, including Best Dressed, Congeniality, People’s Choice, and of course, Most Beautiful Bulldog. The event is free and open to the public.
Where: The Knapp Center at Drake
When: Monday, April 22nd from 6-8pm
Cost: Free
Link to more information

Looking Ahead

USA Gymnastics Championship
The USA Gymnastics Championships will be held at the Iowa Events Center from July 2nd through 6th. The five-day national championships includes both Junior Olympic and elite levels performing rhythmic gymnastics, acrobatic gymnastics, and trampoline events. 
Where: Wells Fargo Arena, Convention Center and Hy-Vee Hall
When: July 2nd through 6th
Cost: $26 – $36
Link to more information and tickets

USA Track and Field outdoor Championships 
The USA Track and Field outdoor Championships will be held at Drake Stadium again this year, from July 25th through 28th. Over a thousand of the best track and field athletes from around the country will be competing on the blue oval. Tickets are on sale now, and range from $10 to $25. 
Where: Drake Stadium
When: July 25th – 28th
Cost: $10-25
Link to more information and tickets

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