Pappajohn Sculpture Park – Des Moines, Iowa

When the idea for this blog first started taking shape, I thought I would be the expert on all things Iowa. Born and raised here, who better to share their personal thoughts and views on all that Iowa has to offer? Little did I know, living here my whole life does not make me an expert at all. There are so many things to see and do that I’ve never even been to.  Because of this revelation, I am having a blast playing tourist in my very own home state. I’m seeing beautiful sights and attractions for the first time, experiencing new things and meeting new people all because of this blog. I’m having the time of my life showing everything Iowa to all of you!

My family has declared 2016 as the year of the STAYCATION. We are taking time to plan day trips to see many of the interesting and exciting things in the area. Most recently, we took a Sunday visit to the John & Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park, located at 1330 Grand Avenue in downtown Des Moines. This park sits on 4+ acres of land, and has paved walkways to guide you through the park. Guided tours, as well as audio tours, are available.

Back when I was in high school, this area of downtown was run down. There were a lot of industrial buildings and empty warehouses and storefronts. Over the years, downtown Des Moines has started booming and has become the hub for Des Moines residents to live, work and play. I love that this huge green space has been created smack in the middle of the metro. By looking at the green space, the flowers and trees, you’d never know you were in the middle of downtown in the largest city in the State.

Here are some photos from our visit. ENJOY!




“Three Dancing Figures” – Keith Haring
Nomade – Jaume Plensa
Nomade – Jaume Plensa
Nomade – Jaume Plensa This is my teenage daughter standing in the middle of this, just to give you an idea of how tall this sculpture is.
Add the Pappajohn Sculpture Park in #DesMoines to your Summer Bucket List! #iowatravel… Click To Tweet


The John & Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park is open 7 days a week, from 6:00am – midnight.

9 thoughts on “Pappajohn Sculpture Park – Des Moines, Iowa

  • June 24, 2016 at 9:37 am

    What a neat place! I’ve never been but would love to visit and I love all the blooming lilies!

    • June 24, 2016 at 9:42 am

      This weekend the Des Moines Arts Festival is going on so the vendor tents are set up on the streets surrounding this park. It should be a neat event!

  • June 24, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    I work right down the street and we go for walks on our breaks and walk past the park all the time. To us who see it every day, we don’t really ‘see’ it, f you know what I mean. So it’s really nice to see it through someone else’s eyes. Great pics! You should try the flower gardens inside the Meredith Gardens down the street from the park. It is open on Fridays, I think 11 to 2.

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  • July 16, 2016 at 9:53 am

    We’ve been to Des Moines a few times and have never made time to stop at this park- going to add it to the list!!

    P.S. Do you have any idea what type of lilies those are that you photographed? I would love to plant them at my home.

    • July 16, 2016 at 10:07 pm

      I’m not sure what kind they are. They were so deep in color. The ones I have in my yard are a yellow or peach color. But these dark ones were gorgeous!!!

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