• 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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    Event Info

  • 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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    Register Online

  • 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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Illustration of the benefits of prairie plants

Urban Environmental Education

 

Connecting You with Nature in the City

 

Reconnect with nature and your family!  Restore yourself and refocus your children by getting outside to enjoy the great outdoors.  Studies have shown that children are smarter, more cooperative, happier and healthier when they have frequent and varied chances to play in the out-of-doors. That’s why the Park and Recreation Department offers educational programs for every age and every season. 
 
Next time you’re at Gray’s Lake, or many of your other city parks, keep your eyes open for new interpretive signage. These signs help visitors to the city parks view and understand natural land management strategies, as well as different aspects of park and lake ecology. In the future, you may be able to access interpretive information with your mobile phone through a podcast while on a park walking tour.
  

Of course, educational programs reach far beyond signs. Thanks to ongoing partnerships with Polk County Conservation and the Department of Natural Resources, the Park and Recreation Department continues to offer popular nature story hours, intriguing pond exploration, creepy insect investigations, informative bird programs and more.

 

Additional outdoor programs sponsored by the Parks and Recreation Department also include canoe classes and trips, a camping night at Gray’s Lake, eco-art, nature-based scavenger hunts and a “how-to” on gardening with native plants.  Visit Parks throughout the year to see what’s coming up in your neighborhood that would interest you, your friends and your family.

 

Educational Documents

 

Backyard Conservation and Habitat Creation

Canada Goose Habitat

Herbicide Alphabet Soup

Native Landscaping Resources

Native Species Blooming Periods

Small Urban Landscaping with Native Species