Des Moines area parks are always hopping. And swinging. And sliding. And climbing. You get the idea! If you live in the Metro or are looking for a great place for a playdate, we’ve rounded up a list of five FUN parks for you to check out. Read on for the 411 on the parks where your next playdate awaits!
301 Vine Street • West Des Moines, IA 50265 • (515) 222-3444
A quiet park on weekdays, this West Des Moines gem offers a terrific spot for a birthday party. You’ll feel safe with wandering toddlers as there is a play area just for them and plenty of space to run. There’s also an adjacent playground for bigger kids that has a fun climbing area, monkey bars, and a variety of slides.
In addition to the play areas there is a covered picnic shelter with tons of seating and a clean restroom, making it a perfect place to set up for a party, rain or shine. A basketball court and grassy area offers a lot of fun for a family game or a treasure hunt for wee ones. And in the summer kids can enjoy splashing and running through the sprinklers of the Park’s sprayground.
6900 School Street • Windsor Heights, IA 50324 • (515) 645-6821
Located smack in the center of charming Windsor Heights, Colby Park offers tons of fun for all ages. Kids can get sweaty and tired (nap time, anyone?) on the awesome playground with multiple play areas. The five and under set, as well as, bigger kids can find plenty to do. With the various sized play areas your tiny tots can play on equipment appropriate for them and not worry about being trampled. While older kids can go down the “big” slide and swings and enjoy some unrestricted play time.
Colby Park has become a community hub in Windsor Heights. There are picnic tables available and the Windsor Heights Community Center is located here. During the summer, enjoy Movies in the Park on Friday evenings and Music in the Park is hosted here on Tuesdays. Both events attract hundreds of locals who gather for movies, music, food and fun.
11407 NW Jester Park Drive • Granger, IA 50109 • (515) 323-5300 • Jester Park
This nature-inspired playground is great for outdoorsy kiddos that love to roll down hills, scramble up rocks, dam up water, and hide in the grass. The Playscape offers a fun and engaging way for kids to interact with nature without a lot of planning on your part. Be sure to check out the Playscape’s brochure for the type of exploration you want to do with your wild ones while at the park. You’ll find parking along the road, but no bathroom. Send kids on a potty break before coming here.
Jester Park’s Natural Playscape is located a ways into Jester Park. There are also other playgrounds and several trails worth exploring, either on your way to or from the Playscape. You will also want to be sure to check out the elk and bison at the Elk and Bison Educational Plaza located adjacent to the Playscape.
725 Thompson Avenue • Des Moines, IA • (515) 237-1386
One of the most popular and oldest parks in Des Moines, this park has it all! If you haven’t been, try a new family outing this year here: shoot down the famous Rocket Slide, take a ride on the Heritage Carousel for $.50 or take a stroll through the formal floral garden. If it’s a hot day, kids will love splashing in the splash pool, which is open May 28th through September 11th, 2016; Monday – Friday, 10:00 am to 7:00 pm; Saturday, Sunday and Holidays, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Union Park also offers up plenty of picnicking opportunities. If your party runs out of things to do, Union Park is located near Birdland Park, Pool and Mariana, which has even more amenities and outdoor features to keep everyone entertained.
9000 Douglas Avenue • Urbandale, IA 50322 • (515) 278-3900
If you don’t live in Urbandale, this park is worth the drive! Walker Johnston Park has a great play area, which includes a hillside slide, but it also has so much more! It includes a creek that runs the length of the park and features a cool “tree top” play area, along with an awesome lookout tower. There’s also cute play houses and a trail to walk (bike or scooter) around. The trail loops around a fishing pond and runs by the tennis courts and baseball fields.
There’s several nice places for a picnic and areas that will give shade on a hot day. And the Park is also super close to the Urbandale Public Library. Combine the two and you can enjoy a full day of affordable fun!
What’s your favorite place for a park playdate in Des Moines? Tell us in the Comments!