• Bricks 4 Kidz May Session

    Are you ready for some extraordinary fun? Join our Bricks 4 Kidz® Building Series! During each class, participants will build a LEGO® model using Bricks 4 Kidz® unique project kits and model plans.

    Register now through April 30.

    Other

    Register

  • Aquatics Registration Now Open

    Now through April 30, purchase season pool passes at a discounted price. Swim lesson, lifeguard training and water safety instructor registration are also available online.

    Other

    Register

  • Jackson Street Bridge Restoration

    Purchase your Jackson Street Bridge t-shirt today! Proceeds from sales of this Raygun t-shirt go toward the bridge restoration project.

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    Raygun Site

  • 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.

    Other

    Apply Now

  • Summer Tennis Lessons

    Registration for summer tennis ends May 24.

    This summer’s programs include:

    Quickstart 1 for ages of 5-7, Quickstart 2 for ages 8-10

    Youth tennis for ages 11-18 and adult tennis.

    Sessions begin in early June.

    Other

    Register

  • Summer Bags League Registration

    Registration for summer bag leagues is now open. Teams play beginning June 10 at the Hub Spot on Wednesday or Thursday nights. Visit www.dmparks.org to register your team today!

    Other

    Register

  • Yoga in the Park

    Des Moines Parks and Recreation and UnityPoint Health Des Moines invite you to enjoy your Saturday mornings by participating in a free weekly yoga session at Gray's Lake this summer. Maximize your stress relief by practicing yoga on the southeast lawn.

    The class will be from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. and will be held every Saturday beginning June 6 through September 26.

    Check our website for updated instructor lists throughout the summer.

    Other

    Yoga Series

  • Annual Report

    Des Moines Parks and Recreation is pleased to provide residents with “2014 Report to the Community.” This report provides a high level overview of many of the department’s significant accomplishments over the past year.

    Other

    View Full Report

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