Top 5 Must Visit Central Iowa Parks

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Top 5 Must Visit Parks in Central Iowa

It’s Spring! And Summer is just around the corner. One of my favorite things to do when the weather is nice, is to spend my days at the park. Central Iowa is very fortunate to have some awesome parks. Park days are easy, free and fun! You can make an entire day out of it by packing a lunch, bringing a football, blankets, a kite, and more! Check out some these five park you NEED to check out this Spring and Summer!

1. Ironwood Park Located in Altoona, this park is also called the “Pirate Park”. You can walk the plank and play pirates AND princesses 🙂 There is lots of climbing available and a huge green hill that kids enjoy running and rolling down.

2. Ashby Park – Located near Beaverdale and is the perfect park to hang out at on hot summer days. This park includes a couple playgrounds and a wading pool. The wading pool is perfect for the little kids to stay cool and have lots of fun playing in the water fountains.

3. Jester Park –  Jester Park, located just north of Des Moines, is not just a park for camping and hiking, they have a natural playscape available too! The natural playscape includes water to play with, rocks to look for, wood to build with, and more. The natural playscape is made of everything natural. No plastics, metals, or glass here! You can also take a short walk to see the bison!

4. Colby Park– Located in Windsor Heights has lots to offer! Not only for the kids and adults, but you can bring your furry four-legged friend along to play in the dog park. There is lots of play equipments, a large slide, swings, tennis courts, baseball diamond, and more! Plenty of green space to set-up a picnic (not too far from Dairy Queen either!) The Walnut Creek Trail runs through the park also, so make sure to bring your bike or walking shoes and get some exercise!

5. Raccoon River Park – This park is located in West Des Moines! This is the perfect park for playing AND swimming. There is a spray ground and beach available. There is also a place for fishing and a trail available for walking, jogging, riding a bike, and more! Beginning May 5th; 12-1 pm, for about 4 weeks, there will be Story Hour at the Park which will be located in the Raccoon River Lodge.

Check out our entire list we have checked out here. Have you visited a park? Do you want to share your experience? Contact me and we will add it to our list of parks to visit!


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!