Parks & Park Land
Simon Estes Riverfront Amphitheater

The Simon Estes Riverfront Amphitheater is located downtown just south of City Hall at East First between Locust and Walnut. This beautiful location has been used for fun runs and walks, bike rides, political campaigns, concerts, class reunions and weddings. It is the perfect place for any outdoor activity!  Plan your next event at Simon Estes Riverfront Amphitheater, just make sure you obtain all necessary permits.  The City of Des Moines has a licensed vendor to dispense alcoholic beverages; renters must work through this vendor if alcoholic beverages are to be available, either for sale or at no cost to the guests.  See the "Nightfall on the River" website for their schedule. 

Pappajohn Sculpture Park

John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park is located in downtown Des Moines from 13th to 15th Streets, between Grand  and Locust. The City of Des Moines has an agreement with the Edmondson Art Center for this area.

The interior of the park landscaping, benches, lights, sidewalks, signage, railings and snow removal on interior sidewalks are taken care of by the Park and Recreation Department.  All art work is owned and maintained by Des Moines Art Center.  Click HERE for a link to the Des Moines Art Center website page with details about the Sculpture Park.

Principal Riverwalk

The Principal Riverwalk consists of a 1.2-mile looping trail with several notable amenities. Click HERE for additional information on the overall conceptual design and locations of the major amenities.  Trails connect the Court Avenue District, CBD, East Village, Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, Iowa Events Center and Gray's Lake with other metro area recreational trails.  After eight years of work, it was completed in January 2013. Click HERE to view the Principal Riverwalk brochure. Take a look at this map from the Des Moines Bike Collective to find key spots along the Principal Riverwalk.

Principal Park

Principal Park, formerly Sec Taylor Stadium, is a minor league baseball stadium located in Des Moines, Iowa.  It is the home field of the Pacific Coast League's Iowa Cubs.  Principal Park is located at the confluence of the Des Moines River and the Raccoon River in downtown Des Moines. The stadium seats 11,000 fans and has 45 luxury suites, 12 of which are in a building in left field that also houses the Cub Club restaurant. The Iowa State Capitol building is visible from beyond the center field fence, while some seats also provide views of the Des Moines skyline.

Asian Gardens

The Chinese Cultural Center of America built the beautiful Asian Garden.  This specifically designed garden includes a Chinese pagoda, a large pond, landscaped gardens, handcrafted lights and many granite sculptures.  The water for the pond comes from the Botanical Center; the large pumping system is maintained by the Park and Recreation department.  Visit the Chinese Cultural Center of America for more information.

Brenton Skating Plaza

Brenton Skating Plaza is a unique outdoor ice skating facility and family entertainment venue. Gifted by the Brenton Foundation, the facility is the first of its kind in the state of Iowa. Brenton Skating Plaza is located conveniently along The Principal Riverwalk on the Des Moines River waterfront.  Click HERE for additional information or call (515) 284-1000.

Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden

The Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, formerly known as the Des Moines Botanical Center, is an urban oasis dedicated to, “Exploring, explaining and celebrating the world of plants.”  There are many different outdoor gardens on the nearly 14 acres; inside the geodesic dome, visitors are able to experience the tropics in all seasons.
The Botanical Garden is located at 909 Robert D Ray Drive and is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  For more information, visit the Botanical Garden's website.