• STAR Party

    The Perseids meteor shower has been visible for more than 2,000 years. This year the Moon will be in the way and lower the viewing ability, so instead we are going to focus on the Moon and still try to see the showers. The action in the sky doesn't start until later so join us at 6:00pm for tons of fun activities.

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  • New Address

    Starting the week of August 25, our administration, maintenance and field staff will be housed in the new Municipal Service Center, located at 1551 E Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway. All phone numbers and email addresses will remain the same. Shelter reservation and program registration will remain available online.

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  • DMBL Registration

    Des Moines Parks and Recreation offers a Fall Bags League for adults ages 18 and older. Cost is $35 per two person team. Games will be played at The Hub Spot (215 Water St.) on Wednesday nights for six weeks. Register your team by September 2.

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  • Youth Flag Football Registration

    Register your child for Youth Flag Football. Two age groups are offered, children grades 1-2 and grades 3-4. Cost is $50 per child or $500 per team, which includes a game jersey to keep as well as all other equipment provided. For more information click the link below.

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    Sign Up Now!

  • Adult Fall Kickball Registration

    Enjoy healthy recreation and get a 'kick' from revisiting a long time favorite game from your past in our Adult Kickball League. Register your team online by August 10. Cost is $190 per team (5 men/5 women, ages 18+). League play will begin September 3. For more information click the link below.

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    Register Here

  • Yoga at the Plaza

    Des Moines Parks and Recreation invites you to participate in Yoga at the Plaza (Brenton Skating Plaza - 520 Robert D. Ray Dr.) during your lunch hour. This 45-minute program will be held every Wednesday during July and August and will begin at 11:30 a.m. Remember to bring your yoga mat or towel.

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  • Adult Fall Softball Registration

    Register now for men's and coed slow-pitch adult (ages 18+) fall softball leagues. Teams of 15 participants will play a 7-game schedule starting September 2 at various Des Moines locations. Cost is $190 per team.

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  • Adult Flag Football Registration

    Register now for Adult (ages 18+) Flag Football leagues. Cost is $200 per team (15 participants) for a 7-game schedule starting September 2, 2014. Games are played Chesterfield Park (E. 26th and Scott).

    Sign up by August 18

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Gray's Lake lighten bridge at dusk with downtown in the distance

Gray's Lake - Fun On and Near the Water

 

Over one million people visit Gray's Lake Park every year.  Gray's Lake is a 96 acres freshwater lake with a maximum depth of 14.2 feet with a mean depth of 9.6 feet.   Gray's Lake is open April through October from 5 AM to 12 midnight and 6 AM to 10 PM November through March.

 

Gray's Lake allows electric trolling motor only.  Sailboats maximum height must not exceed 24 foot due to high overhead voltage.   Sailboats must remain 30 feet from the bridge.  Visitors may gain access to the lake from a hard surface boat ramp. 

 

Fisher man showing his catch at Gray's LakeFishing

 

Gray's Lake hosts an unusual combination of fish - those typically found in rivers as well as those found in lakes and, according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, is one of the best cat fishing spots in central Iowa.  The Lake offers many good fishing access points from shore for the fishing enthusiast who does not have a boat.  Fishing is permitted in all areas except the pedestrian bridge and on the boat rental dock when it is open for rentals.  The major species of fish include channel catfish, crappies and largemouth bass.  

  

Sailing and Canoeing

 

Bring your sail boat or canoe  to beautiful Gray's Lake for a day-long or early evening sail or canoe outing.  Visit Gray's Lake Concessions for boat rentals from 10:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M.  Paddleboats, canoes, sailboats, kayaks, catamaran kayaks, and hydro bikes are available for $ 5.00 per 1/2 hour rental.  Rentals begin in mid April.

 

Learn to Sail - Intro to Sailing 

Learn Canoe Basics - Canoe Lessons

 

Swimming

 

Swimming is allowed in designated beach area only.  No lifeguard is on duty but life jackets are provided free of charge. Glass containers, dogs and smoking are not allowed at the beach.  Consumption or possession of alcoholic beverages is not allowed within the Park.

 

Gray's Lake Park Rules