• Father Daughter Dance Ticket Information

    Tickets for the annual Father Daughter Dance will be available for purchase online January 5. The dance will be held on February 7 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Science Center of Iowa. Cost is $20 per couple and $5 for each additional daughter. Click below for more info or to volunteer.

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  • Imagination Playschool

    Every Wednesday and Friday bring your kids to participate in Imagination Playschool. Cost is only $2.50/child for hours of fun! Participants can play with the imagination playground equipment, big wheels, kitchen play station, climbing wall & more! Participants must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

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  • Banana Splits Gymnastics

    Banana Splits is for children ages 3 and older. Participants learn how to be a better listener, improve motor skills and concentration. Kids can play with a balance beam, climbing wall, tumbling mats, agility equipment, Imagination Playground equipment & more. Cost is only $2.50/child for hours of fun!

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  • Snow Shoe through the Sculptures

    There are two "Snow Shoeing in the Sculpture Park" events scheduled, guided by Jill Featherstone, Des Moines Art Center Director of Education. Register online for January 12 and/or February 6. If there is no snow a regular walk will be held. Visit www.dmparks.org to sign up.

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  • Snow Moon Snowshoe Hike

    Take a walk through Grandview Park on a set of snowshoes and view the Snow Moon on a winter evening. Registration includes snowshoe rental. Dress for the weather. If there no snow, there will still be a walking hike. Click below to sign up.

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  • Afterschool Enrichment Series

    This four part series for kids in grades K-3, will be held Thursdays from 3:45 to 4:45 at the Jay Spence Shelter House. Each week will feature a different activity: Winter Birds, Snowshoeing, Hibernation and Tracks. Each session is $5. Click below to register online.

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  • Pee Wee Indoor Wiffle Ball Season Starts Soon

    Coed Pee Wee Indoor Wiffleball for kids between the ages of 3-6 years old to prepare for upcoming little league season. Cost is $25 per child and play begins March 22.

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  • Seasonal Employment Opportunities

    Des Moines Parks and Recreation offers many different seasonal employment opportunities in three divisions: Aquatics, Parks/Buildings and Recreation. To view all current openings please click the link below.

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  • Lifeguard

    For those 15 and up, this three day class will train participants in the knowledge and skills needed to prevent and respond to aquatic emergencies. Class will be held at Lincoln High School 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cost is $100 per person.

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  • Barney Blast Registration Ends March 8

    Des Moines Parks and Recreation is pleased to announce the inaugural Blarney Blast tournament to be held March 14-15 at the Greater Des Moines Softball Complex. Registration ends March 8 for the double elimination men’s and coed tournament and it will cost each team $105 to participate.

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  • Bald Eagle Day

    We are teaming up with the Iowa Department of Natural Resource and Fellowship Baptist Church to host Bald Eagle Day on the SE 6th Street Bridge. Activities include viewing eagles using the SE 6th Street Bridge and viewing a replica nest, presentations from local experts inside the church.

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  • Owls in the City

    We will discuss the different kinds of owls that call Des Moines home, meet a live owl and learn how to hoot like a Barred Owl. After the indoor program, put on hats and gloves, take a short walk in the park and search for live wild owls.

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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