Des Moines staycation 2015


Five years ago, Eric and I did our first "staycation." There are so many cool spots in our own city that we've wanted to try but for one reason or another have never made it happen. The stars aligned in that my sister offered to take Rooney for the long weekend (thanks, Aunt Kar Kar!) so we could have one last hurrah before the baby comes. It also ended up being the 12th anniversary of our first date! I can't believe how far we've come in 12 years.

What I love about staycations is that you get to sleep in your own bed, don't have to pack, and can even get some things done around the house that just don't seem to get done during "normal" week (especially not with a toddler around!). House work was allowed on this staycation. We did laundry, got groceries, installed the baby's car seat, painted a canvas for the nursery, etc. We wanted to go places we've never gone before, but we also did normal-ish stuff like shoe shopping, rented a Redbox movie, hit up a garage sale, checked out a different campus of our church, etc. Things that are not terribly exciting but much easier to do when there is not a toddler in tow.



Principal Park

We started it off on Friday night at the ballpark with friends from church! There were 600 people there from our church and it was fun to hang out and eat giant pretzels, corn dogs and Dippin' Dots. We left in the fifth inning when it started to sprinkle, but it was a great game and they ended up winning!



On Saturday morning, Eric worked in the morning and I spent a couple hours at The Tressori getting my hair cut and colored and eyebrows waxed! Then I had a prenatal massage before we met up for lunch. It was glorious!

309 13th St., Des Moines

One rule of this staycation was that we could not eat at a restaurant that either of us had been before. During the week we get stuck in a rut of eating at the same places and they are usually chains and not as many local places (just because that's what we have access to in the neighborhood we live in).

Our first meal was at The Fighting Burrito. It's quick-service Mexican food (aka my favorite). I thought it was good, although probably not worth a separate drive downtown (20 minutes), especially since we have Qdoba and Chipotle closer to our house. Still fun to try somewhere new. There is also a location in Ames. Get the guac.


505 E Grand Ave., Des Moines

Raygun recently moved so we wanted to check out their new store. It's huge! And awesome. Such a fun concept and we really enjoyed seeing their expanded product lines and laughing at all the hilarious merchandise. There are also locations in Iowa City and Kansas City.

And, there was this awesome piano outside as part of the City Sounds Public Piano Project.



Thelma's is located inside the Raygun building, so we stopped by for a warm chocolate chip cookie. They also have ice cream sandwiches, and they deliver!


500 E Locust St., Des Moines

Up-Down is an arcade bar not far from Raygun. The entrance is a little tricky to find because there aren't many signs and you actually go down to get in. We played Connect Four, pinball, PacMan and ski ball. Bring your quarters!

We needed a low-key night so we went shoe shopping, attended a high school graduation party for Eric's cousin and rented Unbroken.


After church, we headed to:

Merle Hay Mall

Flix is a fun way to do dinner and a movie - at the same time! We saw Pitch Perfect 2, which was aca-awesome (even better than the first!). If you've never been to Flix, here are a couple tips:

  1. Show up early, or buy tickets online. You select your exact seats when you purchase. I suggest row F or further back.
  2. The first showing of the day is the cheapest, and then it's matinee pricing before 6:00 pm.
  3. Get seated 30 minutes prior to the movie to ensure you get your food order before the movie starts and watch hilarious themed YouTube videos that relate to the movie you have selected. (Late arrivals are not accepted.)

Then we did some house work and bummed around the house before supper at:

8789 Northpark Dr., Johnston

This is a sports bar with a loud atmosphere but the food was really yummy! We both had burgers and watched college softball on TV. There are also locations in Waukee and West Des Moines (coming soon).

Then we went home and watched Noah (would not recommend) on Netflix before going to bed.


In the morning we did yard work and painted a canvas for the baby's room (sneak peek below), and then went to lunch before reuniting with Rooney.


6750 Westown Parkway, West Des Moines

Unfortunately, this was sort of a flop for both of us. They specialize in hot deli sandwiches but I would prefer to go to Palmer's Deli 10 times out of 10.


Thanks for being so awesome, Des Moines! We love you.