A visit to Des Moines’ Clare and Miles Mills Rose Garden should be on the ‘must-do’ list of locals and tourists alike. This lovely public garden boasts more than 2,500 plantings of over 200 varieties of roses, that typically begin to bloom in early June. That means right now is a great time to visit!
Situated in Greenwood/Ashworth Park it is also worth noting that the Clare and Miles Mills Rose Garden’s immediate surroundings are ripe with popular family friendly destinations and must-see natural attractions including a playground, lush hiking and biking trails, playground, sprayground and the Des Moines Art Center.
Know Before You Go
When To Visit
Year-round, but the roses are most likely to be in peak bloom in June. You’ll find something in bloom from spring to the first frost and the Rose Garden is even a serene place to visit during the winter months. The Clare and Miles Mills Rose Garden is open from sunrise to sunset daily.
The Clare and Miles Mills Rose Garden is located just off Grand, with parking on Myron and Jacqueline Blank Parkway, on the west side of the Des Moines Art Center. The official address is 4500 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50312. Visit Des Moines Parks and Recreation’s website or call (515) 237-1386 for directions or additional information.
This is the best part, it’s FREE!
There is plenty of FREE parking available near the Rose Garden and in Greenwood Park.
Outside food and beverages are permitted and this is an ideal spot for a picnic! Grab a patch of shady lawn and feast your eyes on flora while feasting on your food. If you didn’t bring a bountiful basket on your trip, take a short trek to Tangerine at the Art Center.
There are no restrooms located immediately within the Clare and Miles Mills Rose Garden. However, there are restrooms located in the Des Moines Art Center and in Greenwood Park. If you have kiddos that are potty training or wait to the last minute to tell you they need to go, you may want to have a conversation with them that they need to tell you sooner rather than later, because you may need to walk a ways to get to a restroom.
While You’re There
Walk along the trails to stop and smell the flowers and be sure to bring along your camera, this is such a great place to snap a few pics of the kids. We visited on a Sunday morning and the park was filled with families having their photos taken. There is a lot of lawn area and big old trees that provide great shade around the Rose Garden. If you have little ones, I’d suggest bringing a ball to kick around with the kids or another fun lawn game. It’s really such a lovely place to just chill out for a couple of hours.
Some quick park tips:
- Bring along a camera and take photos in the Rose Garden. This is one of the most scenic parks in Des Moines! This is also a fun activity, if you have older kiddos interested in photography.
- Picnic tables and shelters are located near the Rose Garden or bring along a blanket for a picnic in the grass.
- Walk the trails and enjoy the beautiful grounds beyond the Rose Garden.
- Dogs are welcome, but they must be on a leash and please be sure to clean up after them.
- Don’t forget the sunscreen and bugspray.
- And, take time to smell the roses!
The Clare and Miles Mills Rose Garden is available for rent for weddings or other events. And, the Garden is host to “Yoga in the Parks” this summer. A FREE weekly yoga session on Saturday mornings at 9:00 am June 1 through September 30, 2019. Appropriate for ages 8+.
Have you visited the Clare and Miles Mills Rose Garden with your kids?