Take in the Views at MacRae Park in Des Moines, Iowa

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​Take in the Views at MacRae Park in Des Moines, Iowa

MacRae Park originally known as South Park is one of the oldest Des Moines parks created in the late 1800s. Today this city park is a great place to explore, enjoy a picnic, and play. We have gathered some basic details and how you should take in the views at MacRae Park in Des Moines.

Basic Park Details

Name: MacRae Park
Address: 1021 Davis Ave, Des Moines, IA 50315
Type: Places to play
Bathrooms: Yes
Shade: Yes, shaded shelter
Playground: Yes – swings only
Trails: Walking paths, designated bike path
Water: Yes, pond and water feature in the natural playscape 
Official Website: https://www.dsm.city/business_detail_T6_R66.php 

Park Amenities 

  • Fountain
  • Tennis courts
  • Grills
  • Reservable shelter
  • Big, rolling hills
  • Walker enclosed shelter
  • Julie and Woody Brenton Open-Air Shelter
  • Picnic tables 
  • Picnic shelters
  • Drinking fountain
  • Parking lots
  • Restrooms
  • Tons of open space
Picture from Kaci Kennedy

EMC Overlook

If you are looking for epic views of downtown Des Moines, the EMC Overlook is a must. The kids loved making a stop here and using the binoculars available. They enjoyed the great view of the downtown skyline. They also loved looking at the map that compared other popular structures across the country to buildings in Des Moines. 

Natural Playscape

The new natural playscape is a favorite and one of the many improvements the City of Des Moines has been making to MacRae Park. The entire space is filled with natural materials for children of all ages to play with, water features, a swing, a sand pit, and more. I know this will become a popular summer spot and a great place to meet friends on a hot summer day. Make sure you bring towels and a change of clothes to change into after playing!


The City of Des Moines is also working on improvements to the fishing pier which will include a boardwalk over the pond and more. Keep your eyes open as these new improvements should be finished soon! 

Things to do near MacRae Park

  • After you explore the outdoors make a stop at Monsterama for lunch and arcade games. 
  • Grab lunch at Angry Goldfish Pub & Eatery located directly across the street. They offer a kid’s menu! 
  • Visit the Blank Park Zoo in the morning and play at the park in the afternoon. 

Erin Huiatt

Erin is a reliable resource and stepping stone for women and families to find support and make connections within our community. She wants families to feel confident to reach out and ask for help and advice to get pointed in the right direction. She enjoys traveling and exploring with her two children in tow!

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