McHenry Park and Sprayground in Des Moines, Iowa

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McHenry Park and Sprayground in Des Moines, Iowa

McHenry Park is one of Des Moines’ classic parks.  A brand new playground was installed in the Fall of 2023 to go along with the existing sprayground. My kids loved playing here! The 5-12 year old area of the playground has a large C-shaped playground structure with a nature theme. There are many different areas to climb up to the structure uniquely. There is a merry-go-round spinner, two adaptive bucket swings, and two typical swings. My kids were excited that the existing large climber boulder was incorporated into the new playground.

The 2-5 area is synthetic grass turf with built-in bunny hills. The play structure here is simple but perfect for 2-5-year-olds. My kids loved the sign above it that said “Kids Only!” In the smaller kids’ area, there are two toddler bucket swings.

Bookmark this list of splash pads and spraygrounds across the Des Moines metro.


McHenry Park is located at 1012 Oak Park Avenue, located 1/2 mile from the historic Highland Park Neighborhood.


McHenry Park’s sprayground has been a favorite in Des Moines for many years. As a parent, I love that the sprayground is next to the new playground structure. My kids love the two giant toad statues on this sprayground and the natural stream created by the sprayers. 

Open daily from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., May 1st to September 31st, free of charge. 

Basic Park Details

Type: Places to play, places to play in water

Bathrooms: Yes, flushable seasonal restroom

Shade: large trees nearby but not shaded at the playground

Playground: 5-12 year old playground, 2-5 year old playground, swings

Trails: located along the Neal Smith Trail 

Water: Sprayground

Official website

Park Amenities

  • 3 Open-air shelters, available for rent
  • Large open field
  • Street Parking
  • Engineered wood fiber surfacing and synthetic turf surfacing
  • Benches and picnic tables

Located Near McHenry Park

From the south side of McHenry Park, you can see Riverview Park. My kids love hiking down to Riverview on the trails. 

With McHenry Park being less than 1/2 a mile from the historic Highland Park neighborhood, there are so many locally owned businesses to visit there!

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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