Raccoon River Park – West Des Moines

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The center piece for the playground is a large sailing ship that overlooks Blue Heron Lake.

This past weekend I took the kids to Raccoon River Park in West Des Moines.  I hadn’t been to the park in a while and I forgot all that it had to offer.  Not only do you get a cool playground area, but you have the sprayground area, swimming and beach option or you can go for a walk on the trail around Blue Heron Lake.

The first thing we decided to check out was the playground area.  The play area has equipment for children as young as 2 all the way up to 12.  One of the things that struck me was how many different types of equipment they had.  It’s not just the normal stuff you see at every other park.  For instance, they have a barrel roll, zip line and monkey bars that are spinning wheels.  On top of the unique things the park features everything else your child needs to have fun. It has two sets of swings (2 young toddler/infant swings available), climbing walls, multiple slides and even a giant sandbox area.

From there the kids had to check out the sprayground area.  Which is basically about 6 poles that have sprayers on top and then some water geysers coming out from the ground.  The water has to be turned on manually, and stays on in 10 minute intervals to help reduce water waste.  So if you get there and don’t see the water on, find the green button on back of one of the spray poles and push it.  Beware the water is freezing!  So might want to save this for when it’s really hot.

After finishing up in the sprayground the kids wanted to see the beach area, which is just a short walk away.  The swimming beach is 500 feet long so there is plenty of room to find some real estate to make camp.  The water is pretty shallow to start so makes a great place for the kids to splash around and make some sand castles.

We didn’t take advantage of it this time, but just an FYI, if you like to fish or want to take the kids fishing, there is a fishing pier available in the park too. Not to mention a great trail for biking or jogging with a stroller.

So the next time you are looking for a park to go to, I recommend checking out Raccoon River Park in West Des Moines.  It has plenty of different options available that will have the kids keeping busy and having fun.  Get directions here.



Thomas Brogan

Thomas Brogan, a native of Des Moines, was the original founder of Des Moines Parent and is a father to an 8 & 10-year-old. In his free time, he likes to explore nature, try new local restaurants and enjoy life as best as he can. Check out more of Thomas at www.broganlist.com.

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