Parks & Park Land
Lilac Arboretum at Ewing Park

Every spring for about two weeks, the Lilac Arboretum in Ewing Park, located at 5300 Indianola Road, comes alive with color.  The park has hundreds of lilac trees as well as many other types of beautiful trees .  It is a popular spring tradition for many to walk through the arboretum and take in the fragrant smell of the lilacs while enjoying the spectacular beauty. 


Gray's Lake Park

Gray's Lake Park is Des Moines' signature park, boasting features including the Racoon River, lake with swimming beach, playground, 1.9 mile trial loop with direct connections to the area's major recreational trails, 1/4 mile pedestrian bridge, picnic areas and restrooms, event venue, boat rentals and more.   


Union Park

Ride a carousel that harkens back to yesteryear!  The Heritage Carousel of Des Moines accommodates 34 riders and two chariots (wheelchair accessible) and is located in beautiful Union Park. The carousel is open full-time starting Memorial Day and until Des Moines schools are back in session. The carousel is also open on additional weekends in May and September from 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Tuesday through Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.  Season passes are available for purchase online by visiting the  website or calling (515) 323-8200.  Be sure to take time to enjoy the rest of Union Park where you can cool off in the splash pool, rent one of two enclosed shelters or the open-air shelter, play on the playground equipment, or just enjoy the spectacular view.


Sylvan Theatre

Sylvan Theater was first opened in Greenwood Park in 1931 to a standing room only audience of approximately 1500 people. Renovated with new bench style seating in 2004, it is one of about 15 "local historic landmarks" within the City of Des Moines.

It is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Nestled in the shade of ancient towering oak trees, the outdoor amphitheater offers an oasis where one can reflect, view the beautiful surroundings and watch families and couples stroll, bike or play in the park.

Clare and Miles Mills Rose Garden

This historic garden has been a favorite spot for gardeners, strollers and wedding parties since the 1930s. It is an All-American Rose Selection Public Display Garden, one of 132 such gardens in the United States. You can find the Clare and Miles Mills Rose Garden in Greenwood Park, located at 4800 Grand Avenue, directly behind the Des Moines Art Center. View the Rose Garden brochure here