Is your family busting at the seams to get outside? Celebrate spring by taking a stroll through one of these nine parks and green spaces dotting Des Moines. If it’s your first visit, to a local park, we guarantee it won’t be your last. And, the best part is…it’s FREE family fun! Be sure to check individual websites for directions and hours.
1028 NE Crestmoor Place • Ankeny, IA 50021 • (515) 963-3570
This large park in Ankeny has two trails that run through it that are just right for a spring stroll. In addition to being along the trail, the park has a shelter area with swinging benches (that are pretty fun:), two different play areas, a basketball court and a large open green space.
509 E. 4th Avenue • Indianola, IA 50125 • (515) 961-9420
DeNelsky Park has approximately 10 acres of woodlands with the remaining acres in native grasses, flowers and open space. One of the park’s unique amenities is a half-mile cell phone tour, which winds walkers through undeveloped woodlands and savannahs and features six stations with information about the park’s history, plants and wildlife.
5225 NW 64th Place • Johnston, IA 50131 • (515) 727-8091
Located in Johnston, Dewey Park hosts an arboretum which boasts more than 52 species of trees and a trail that winds its way through the park. Once the fam has had its fill of walking and looking at all of the greenery head over to one of the park’s two play areas, shoot some hoops or wind down the day with a picnic.
10490 Maddox Parkway • Clive, IA • (515) 223-5246
If you’re looking for a peaceful and pretty walk, Greenbelt Park makes for a great destination. As the name indicates, the park is located along Clive’s Greenbelt Trail and makes for a nice pit stop with a shelter, restrooms and play area. Park in the lot near 7 Flags Event Center for a lengthier stroll or park at the Park itself and make it your starting point.
4500 Grand Avenue • Des Moines, IA • (515) 237-1386
Both Greenwood and Ashworth parks are gems. The parks feature nature trails, a large formal rose garden, as well as picnic areas, a sprayground, swimming pool, tennis courts, a theater and more. Located just south of the Des Moines Art Center, there’s plenty to keep a family busy on a lovely spring day.
Patricia Drive and Dewey Gibbs Road • Urbandale, IA 50322 • (515) 457-5000
The Jackaline Baldwin Dunlap Park and Arboretum is a 12 acre park that was gifted to the people of Urbandale by the Dunlap family. The park began as the couples own “secret garden” and has grown into what you see today. A botanist’s dream, the park features planted gardens, several garden sculptures and connects to the trail system. There’s also a short loop of paved path within the park and a shelter area.
1330 Grand Avenue • Des Moines IA • (515) 277-4405
Always good for an urban adventure, the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park features artwork by 22 of the world’s most celebrated artists. This unique pedestrian friendly 4.4 acre park is unlike any other in the United States. To enhance your park visit join a guided walking tour, which is available from April 1 through October 31 or dial (515) 657-8264 to enjoy your own personal audio tour of the park.
1256 19th Street • West Des Moines, IA 50265 • (515) 222-3444
Located in the northeast part of West Des Moines, Pearson Park has long been a favorite among locals. Known for its mature trees, quaint bridge over a small brook, rolling hills and brilliant display of Daffodils each spring- Pearson Park is an 8.49 acre natural oasis apart from the busy grind of day to day life.
10509 NE 46 Avenue • Mitchellville, IA 50169 • (515) 323-5300
A tall, wooded ridge is the most prominent natural feature of this 179-acre park south of Mitchellville. The park offers a 42-unit campground, two picnic shelters, universally designed play area, fishing pond, and the 1-1/2 mile Devotie Trail would make for a fun spring time jaunt.
What’s your family’s favorite park for a spring stroll in Des Moines? Let us know in the comments below!