If you're a parent or caregiver, you know how difficult it can be to plan fun, quality activities throughout the summer. Kids dread the same old boring routine, while parents dread the cost of summer camps, pool passes and concession stand lunches.
The good news is that with a little creativity and adventure, you won't have to spend a fortune trying to entertain your kids this summer! Whether you're looking for a new family adventure or you're in search of a new playdate spot, there are plenty of unique parks around the Greater Des Moines area waiting for you come and play!
Check out a few of our favorite parks around Des Moines:
Centrally located in the heart of Des Moines, Beaverdale is the home of Ashby Park, located at 3300 38th Street. This local favorite features a well-maintained wading pool and splash area, 2 playgrounds, 2 tennis courts, and open shelter and grill areas and on-site restrooms. The relaxing and friendly neighborhood is a hit for all ages, and best of all, it's FREE!
Head north of Des Moines to Polk City, where you'll find Big Creek State Park. Centered on an 866-acre lake, this park offers an assortment of recreational opportunities, including 26-miles of paved trails throughout the surrounding Saylorville Lake area. If the beach is more your speed, Big Creek's clear water provides great family swimming fun!The kids are also sure to enjoy the remarkably large wooden play structure, disc golf, model air, softball, and volleyball areas! Refreshments and boat rentals are also available on site, for those wanting to get out on the water.
Home of the infamous Heritage Carousel and the ever-popular rocket slide, the nostalgic atmosphere and unique character make Union Park one of a kind! Located at 1801 Pennsylvania Avenue, this popular park features a FREE children's water play area, basketball and tennis courts, two enclosed shelters and playground. Enjoy riding on the Heritage Carousel (only $.50 admission), strolling through the Floral Garden or picnicking under one of the hundreds of mature trees. Here's a fun fact: Union Park was established in 1892 and is one of Des Moines' original 5 parks!
Raccoon River Park is considered to be the "crown jewel" of the West Des Moines park system, and for good reason. There is literally something to do for everyone in the family- even the dog! Within the park lies Blue Heron Lake, offering public beach swimming, fishing and boating opportunities. A 3.2 mile mulched trail surrounds the lake, as well as a Nature Lodge, playground areas, adult softball fields and a 10-acre fenced dog park!
So, get out and explore Des Moines and the surrounding community parks this summer!
You'll find we have endless opportunities for FUN, right in our own backyard. For more information about parks and recreation activities within Des Moines and the surrounding communities, check out the following community resources: