Frequently Asked Questions
  • Park Reservation
    • What; What do I; What is; What . . .?
      • Q: What is an enclosed shelter?
        • A: A one-room building with tables, chairs, or picnic tables inside; Des Moines Parks and Recreation has 8 of these shelters available. All except for the ML King enclosed shelter can be reserved using the online reservation system. Please call (515) 237-1386 for information on reserving the ML King enclosed shelter.

      • Q: What does it cost to rent a shelter?
        • A: Open-air shelters rent for $30 for the entire day. Enclosed shelters at Birdland, Grandview, Greenwood, MacRae, Pioneer and Union Parks may be rented for two sessions daily: 10:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m. and 4:00- 9:00 p.m. If times are available, they can be rented for both sessions consecutively and therefore from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. at twice the rental fee. The ML King enclosed shelter can be rented from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm on Mondays through Thursdays, until 11:00 pm on Fridays, and on weekends from 8:00 am to 11:000 pm. Following are rates for Des Moines Parks’ 8 enclosed shelters. Please remember that you must call (515) 237-1386 to reserve the ML King Shelter. The rest may be reserved online.
          Birdland and Grandview Enclosed Shelters $60 per Session.
          Greenwood, MacRae, Pioneer, and Union Enclosed Shelters $40 per Session.
          ML King Enclosed Shelter:
          $50 for 2 hours
          $70 for 3 hours – for each hour after 3 hours it is $15 per hour, i.e., $85 for 4 hours, $100 for 5 hours. . .

      • Q: What is an open-air shelter?
        • A: A shelter with a roof only; picnic tables are under the roof of the structure; Des Moines Parks and Recreation has 24 of these rental shelters available.

      • Q: What hours are the parks open?
        • A: 6:00 a.m. to one-half hour after sunset*
          * There are a few exceptions to these hours for some specific parks and special-use facilities.

      • Q: What shelters have kitchens areas?
        • A: Birdland, Grandview and Union West shelters each have a countertop area with a sink. The ML King shelter has a kitchen area with access to a refrigerator, warming hutch, counter and sink area. No stove is available. Remember that you must call (515) 237-1386 to reserve the ML King Shelter.

      • Q: What shelter has stove or refrigerator available?
        • A: The ML King shelter is the only one that has a kitchen area with access to a refrigerator, warming hutch, counter and sink area. No stove is available at any of the shelters. Remember that you must call (515) 237-1386 to reserve the ML King Shelter.

      • Q: What Shelters have electrical outlets available?
        • A: All of the enclosed shelters have electrical outlets, and open-air shelters in the following parks have electrical outlets: Ashby, Columbus, Drake, Evelyn K. Davis, Ewing North, Grandview, McHenry, Pete Crivaro, Pioneer West, and Tower.

      • Q: What are the policies regarding shelter clean-up?
        • A: Yes, the following conditions pertain to facility clean-up:
          Failure to comply with the clean-up policies will result in a $25 per hour charge (minimum charge $25). Cleaning supplies are not provided.
          Picnic tables must be wiped clean and all debris removed (including tacks, staples and tape). Garbage cans are lined for your convenience.
          Floors must be swept and debris placed in dumpsters or garbage cans located outside the shelter; spills must be mopped up.
          All garbage within a 25-ft. radius of the shelter must be placed in dumpsters or garbage cans.
          Enclosed shelter restrooms must have toilets flushed and all debris off the floor.

      • Q: What are the specific Park and Recreation Department rules and regulations pertaining to rentals?
        • A: Yes, there are several you need to know about and adhere to, including the following:
          No person may use, possess, or consume beer, wine, or alcoholic liquors in any public park. . . except in premises covered by a liquor control license and in the following designated park shelters after approval by the Park and Recreation Board by permit: Greenwood Park, MacRae Park, Birdland Park, Gray’s Lake Overlook Terrace.
          No person shall in any manner deface, injure or remove any tree, shrub or plant; no person shall attempt to remove, injure or kill any wild or captive animal.
          No person shall kindle, build, maintain or in any way light a fire in any city park except in barbeque grills in places designated as picnic areas.
          No person shall use firearms, explosives, weapons, or fireworks of any character in any public park.
          No person shall use any loud, violent, obscene or profane language while in any public park.
          No dog shall be allowed to run at large in any public park.
          Bathing, swimming and wading in bodies of water other than swimming and wading pools in the parks is permitted only within marked areas adjacent to authorized bathing beaches, and then only during the swimming season (Memorial Day to Labor Day).

        • View City Park Map
        • Rules & Policies