Water Works Park – {Des Moines}

During our recent Staycation travels, we decided to meander through Water Works Park.  This park is located on the southside of downtown Des Moines, and offers almost 1,500 acres of space for all kinds of recreational activities. Whether you enjoy fishing, hiking, biking, or just having an afternoon picnic, Water Works Park is a great spot. I love that the park is set in the city, making the views a mixture of the outdoors and the Des Moines skyline.

Many of you might already know that this park used to be the host of the Jolly Holiday Lights, an annual fundraiser for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. It was a family tradition of ours to load up all four kids with some blankets and hot chocolate and slowly drive through the park, oohing and ahhing over all of the light displays. Sadly, this past holiday season, the park flooded due to unseasonably warm weather {which equals LOTS of rain}, and Jolly Holiday Lights was forced to shutdown. They did manage to find a new location for this year, but the days of driving through Water Works Park at Christmas time had come to a close.


Fortunately, the park is still open to visitors that want to enjoy some fresh air in a relaxing atmosphere. We visited on a warm sunny day, and there were people fishing, biking and having picnics. It was so full of life and activity!




We took a walk across the bridge and listened to the calming sounds of the water flowing underneath. What a great day to visit!




Water Works Park is open everyday from 6:00am through 10:00pm. The park is located south of downtown on Fleur Drive. It’s within a mile or two of the Pappajohn Sculpture Park, so you could easily visit both in the same day!

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