11 Des Moines Parks Perfect for Toddlers

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11 Des Moines Parks Perfect for Toddlers

It can be scary to take your toddler to a new park not knowing if it will be a good fit for them. Luckily many playgrounds in the Des Moines metro are perfect for toddlers to adventure outside! These playgrounds offer different ways for your toddler to learn to move their bodies in new ways and allow their imagination to grow. 

Check out these other useful park guides:

Pictures: Northview Park

Johnston Commons Playground

Address: 6700 Merle Hay Road in Johnston, Iowa

The Johnston Commons Playground is located directly behind the Johnston Library. Little ones love playing on the small covered wagon playground with perfect height slides and climbing walls for those new walkers. This playground has a large mid-height structure that is easy for parents to follow toddlers on if needed. This playground can get busy sometimes, so be aware if that is hard for your toddler.

Easter Lake Shelter #5 Playground

Address: 3241 Easter Lake Dr in Des Moines, Iowa

The new playground at Easter Laker Shelter #5 is perfect for toddlers! The whole playground is low to the ground with multiple low-level slides. The sensory boards and musical instruments spread throughout the playground are perfect for engaging toddlers in unique ways. The large swaying ship is perfect for all little ones ready for an adventure. 

Fairmont Park

Address: 2520 East Hull Ave in Des Moines, Iowa

Fairmont Park is a unique park in Des Moines. Its playground is very simple with a play house, play train, and a toddler swing. My toddlers have loved using their imagination playing house and pretending to ride a choo-choo train. The sprayground at this park is also simple and perfect for toddlers. 

Lions Park

Address: 72nd and Aurora Ave in Urbandale, Iowa

Lions Park is one of my favorite parks for all ages, especially toddlers. This is a well-shaded playground! Toddlers have a smaller 2-5-year-old playground that they love to climb up and slide down. The main playground structure is easy for an adult to follow if needed. Also, toddlers and adults alike love the toddler/adult swing! Opening in early summer 2024, will be a sprayground that is near the playground.

Peony Park

Address: 1100 63rd St in West Des Moines, Iowa

Peony Park is a painted rubber-surface playground. My kids love to ‘swim’ through the water and race to ‘land.’ The 2-5-year-old playground is a compact cube but has so many perfect little features to keep your little one engaged. Half of the main structure is easily accessible to toddlers and has a roller slide!

Union Park

Address: 725 Thompson Ave in Des Moines, Iowa

Union Park offers so much for a toddler! The new toddler structure is a great size. It makes a toddler feel like they’re on a big kid playground, yet doesn’t have places that will make an adult nervous. Union Park also has a spray pool in the summer which is great for the little ones who love water but don’t love water spraying at them! Finally the Heritage Carousel! 50-cent carousel rides (parent-free if standing next to child) all summer long. 

Ironwood Park

Address: 2222 3rd Ave SW, Altoona, IA

Ironwood Park affectionately known to many as the pirate ship park is a fun toddler experience. The pirate ship is inviting toddlers to come and play while being low to the ground. The pirate ship is perfect for slide-loving toddlers too! The larger structure makes it easy for an adult to follow the toddler if needed. This is another park that can be frequented by summer camps which can make it busy.

Dean Park

Address: SW 19th ST and SW College Ave in  Ankeny, IA

Dean Park is a neighborhood park in Ankeny that is a great place for toddlers. The rubber surfaces under both structures. The toddler structure has unique ways for your toddler to learn to climb up and more than one way to slide down. Dean Park does have a very simple sprayground which is a perfect way to cool down but not be overwhelming.  

Lew Clarkson Park

Address:  7501 NW 54th St in Johnston, Iowa

Lew Clarkson Park playground is located on the NW side of the park. This park is one of my favorite toddler parks. As a parent, I loved that my toddlers could climb and explore but there was only one spot that I would need to watch to make sure they were careful. The playground also has a bouncy dinosaur and airplane for toddlers to ride in. Adults with toddlers will also appreciate there is not a big kids’ playground around that the toddlers want to go play on.

Northview Park

Address:  4871 78th Street in Urbandale, Iowa

Northview Park is an all-inclusive playground that is brightly colored inviting toddlers in. Toddlers love the molded bucket seat zip line. The mid-height structure has several slides (including a roller slide.) There is a merry-go-round and sensory wall that are great too. This is another playground that does get busy at times, so be aware if that is hard for your toddler.

Beaverdale Park

Address: 3333 Adams Ave in Des Moines, Iowa

Beaverdale Park Is a classic neighborhood park. It is quiet and rarely busy. There is only one structure that is extremely simple but perfect when you just need a quiet area to play with a toddler. There are a couple of ways to climb up with a couple of ways to slide down. My kids also love the wide open field to run around in and explore the woods behind the park. 

Kaci Kennedy

Kaci Kennedy

Kaci is an adventurer and park enthusiast. She will often be exploring Central Iowa parks and finding hidden treasures with her five kids. Most of all, Kaci enjoys sharing all of her discoveries with those around her. Give her a follow on Instagram at @kennedysdoparks.

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