Sunday, October 17, 2021

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Mixing it up downtown


The secret is officially out

Attendees enjoy a fire demonstration at Mixology Night. Photo: Science Center of Iowa

Attendees enjoy a fire demonstration at Mixology Night. Photo: Science Center of Iowa

Mixology Night was CITYVIEW’s 2017 winner of “Best Kept Secret on the Local Nightlife Scene” and has become a favorite of those in the know. The Science Center of Iowa (SCI) first began Mixology Night in 2011, six years after its new 110,000-square-foot downtown location opened.

“What it was five years ago is very different than it is now,” says Colleen Hjort, SCI’s special events and community engagement coordinator.

Hoping to capture a different audience than its daytime crowd of children, SCI wanted to open the facility at night and cater to those 21 and older. Their first few events saw anywhere from 50-150 attendees. Today the monthly event — held the first Friday of every month from 5:30-9 p.m. — has an average attendance of 475. The largest crowd was during 2016’s “21st Century Gaming ” night with 1,375 attendees.

Each month’s event has a different theme with related activities, but adults can still interact with the same exhibits available to children. Hjort says the most popular are the Star Theater, Bubble Bay and rocket building.

Prep Iowa

“It’s really fun to see the adults at Mixology because they kind of act like kids,” Hjort says.

July’s theme is “Pyro Party” and will explore all things fire. Learn how it works and also hear from a representative from J&M Fireworks. While the themes usually provide hands-on activities, July’s event has less — due to its hot nature. However, August’s “Mess Fest” theme will provide plenty of opportunities to get your hands dirty.

Admission is $7 and is free for SCI Members. Mixology offers a bar that accepts both cash and credit cards with a selection of beer, wine and liquor. Each event also has a featured craft beer and signature cocktail. July’s brew will be the Brigade Ale from Firetrucker Brewery, and the featured drink will be a Bomb Pop — rum, blue curacao, lemonade and grenadine layered to look like the patriotic popsicle. August’s brew will come from Kalona Brewing Company, and the featured drink will be the Hot Mess Express — with Fireball, grenadine and ginger ale.

The big question is, who is better behaved? Rowdy kids or inebriated adults? Hjort weighs in: “It’s a toss-up.” ♦


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