Top 4 Des Moines Parks

(Image Credit: Macrae Park)

Those who are the outdoor expertise or just wants to marniate in the nature of the Des Moines area. Please look at these park suggestions on your next journey.

Gray’s Lake Park is in Des Moines, Iowa, near the downtown area. This park is located in the heart of the city, giving the public a nice place to unwind. Surrounding Grays Lake, the park has many amenities that are offered to the public. Some amenities include an accessible playground with 2 toddler bucket swings, beach, boat rental, bike rental, concessions, boat ramp, walking path/bike trail, restroom, parking lots, and open space. Some favorite activities at the park are picnics, walking around the lake, and boating. The park is relatively large at 166.6 acers, allowing Des Moines residents a place to explore the great outdoors while still in the city.  

Drake Park, named after nearby Drake University, is a public park located at 2300 Drake Park Avenue in Des Moines. The park features two tennis courts, a basketball court, a small playground, and a splash pad for local kids. 

Quaintly nestled in a historic residential area of Des Moines, Drake Park is a perfect fit for kids and families of all ages. There’s the splash pad, perfect for your wee tots. The park isn’t going to wow you with anything fancy, but the soul of Drake Park is evident within the many shaded trees of the rectangular plot of land, offering perfect relaxation on a summer day.

From 1915 to 1978, Riverview Amusement Park occupied the land south of Euclid Avenue and northwest of North High School in Des Moines. In 1978, the nearby Adventureland Park bought the Riverview but left it abandoned. A new initiative to restore the park began in 2014. The park opened once again in 2020 with an amusement park-themed playground. It was the first accessible playground in Des Moines. Nowadays, Des Moines residents and visitors get to enjoy concerts at Riverview Park’s Prairie Meadows Riviera State. The Rendezvous on Riverview series features local bands and artists, bringing in food trucks and activities for families to enjoy.

If you want a great skyline view of Downtown Des Moines, visit MacRae Park.

MacRae Park is one of the oldest parks in Des Moines, located in the Gray’s Lake Neighborhood. With 50.9 acres of land, the park offers many amenities for those who enjoy the casual outdoors. MacRae is also a park with natural native vegetation with oak-hickory forests.

MacRae Park has a playground, playgrounds, tennis courts, a pond with a pedestrian bridge, and a Sledding hill.

Do not fret if you want to rest and enjoy your time in MacRae Park. Visitors can also enjoy family time with cooking amenities such as charcoal grills, Picnic tables, drinking fountains, and more.

Top 5 Summer Activates in Des Moines

Des Moines Summer Farmers Market

Des Moines is a great place to spend the summer! Located in the heart of Iowa and the Midwest, Des Moines boasts all the benefits of a big city, with the charm of a small farming town. From entertainment to food to outdoor activities, Des Moines has everything for families, young adults, and everywhere in between in the summer. With typically tolerable weather, the summer sun provides the perfect backdrop for these exciting summer activities in Des Moines.

2024 Des Moines Summer Activities

1. Des Moines Farmer’s Market

Returning for the season May 4th, the Des Moines Farmer’s Market is a favorite of local families, college students, and everyone in between. From coffee stands to fresh produce to handmade jewelry, the Des Moines Farmer’s Market sells everything you could want. Check out the nation’s second biggest farmer’s market this summer!

2. Hike at Gray’s Lake Park

This open green space right near Downtown is a unique feature of Des Moines. The park boasts a two-mile trail around the lake, playground, and open picnic space. Enjoy stunning views of Downtown while getting some fresh air and enjoying the sun with this free Des Moines summer activity!

3. Hinterland

This end-of-the-summer music festival is an Iowa staple! Technically located in Saint Charles, Iowa, this music festival is a must-see if you’re in Des Moines for the summer. Headliners in 2024 include Hozier, Noah Kahan, Vampire Weekend, and Ethel Cain. Tickets can be pricey, but it is so worth it if you are a music fan! Just make sure to buy tickets ahead of time and book a hotel well in advance. The Des Moines area can get crazy during this time, so plan accordingly even if you aren’t going to the festival yourself! Get a dose of music with this Iowa summer activity.

4. Adventureland

Amusement parks are a summer staple. With fun for families, young adults, and teenagers, Adventureland is an adventure for everyone! Hop on a rollercoaster, win a prize at a carnival game, or enjoy a classic amusement park snack. Tickets for Adventureland are reasonably priced, so bring a group and have fun in the summer sun!

5. Iowa State Fair

Held in August, the Iowa State Fair is another great family-friendly option. With attractions relating to livestock, agriculture, entertainment, rides, food, and so much more, the Iowa State Fair is a must-see for an Iowan. Go for just a day or enjoy a whole weekend depending on time and budget. Enjoy this summer activity near Des Moines!

The Rise of the Des Moines Buccaneers: A Thrilling Hockey Journey

The Des Moines Buccaneers have been making waves in the hockey world, captivating fans with their electrifying performances and unwavering determination. As one of the premier teams in the United States Hockey League (USHL), the Buccaneers have carved out a reputation for themselves as a force to be reckoned with.

Establishing a Winning Tradition

The Buccaneers’ journey to success has been a testament to their unwavering commitment to excellence. Since their inception, the team has consistently been a contender in the USHL, making regular appearances in the playoffs and challenging for the league championship. Their ability to develop talented players and foster a winning culture has been the driving force behind their sustained success.

Cultivating Future Stars

The Buccaneers’ roster is a veritable who’s who of up-and-coming hockey talent. The team has a knack for identifying and nurturing young players, providing them with the necessary resources and guidance to reach their full potential. Many Buccaneers alumni have gone on to enjoy successful careers in the National Hockey League (NHL), further solidifying the team’s reputation as a premier developmental program.

Engaging the Community

The Buccaneers’ impact extends far beyond the ice rink, as the team has become an integral part of the Des Moines community. Through various outreach initiatives and community events, the Buccaneers have fostered a deep connection with their fans, creating a sense of pride and camaraderie that extends far beyond the game itself. The team’s commitment to giving back has earned them the admiration and respect of the local community.

Thrilling Playoff Runs

The Buccaneers’ most recent playoff runs have been nothing short of electrifying. With their skilled players, strategic coaching, and unwavering determination, the team has consistently found ways to overcome adversity and emerge victorious. Their ability to rise to the occasion in high-pressure situations has made them a fan favorite and a force to be reckoned with in the USHL postseason. As the Des Moines Buccaneers continue to write their story, one thing is certain: they have firmly established themselves as a premier hockey franchise, captivating fans and inspiring the next generation of hockey enthusiasts. With their unwavering commitment to excellence and their deep connection to the community, the Buccaneers are poised to continue their ascent as one of the most exciting teams in the USHL.

They have so much promise to gain popularity through awesome advertising and exceptional play from the fellas! Let’s root for the Des Moines Buccaneers this season! Let’s go Buc’s!

Top 5 Restaurants in East Village

In Des Moines, Iowa’s East Village, five standout restaurants promise diverse and exceptional dining experiences. From local favorites to global cuisines, these spots encapsulate the area’s rich culinary scene. Let’s explore these top eateries defining the East Village dining landscape

1. The Iowa Taproom

The Iowa Taproom in Des Moines is a bustling spot that proudly serves an extensive selection of craft beers from local Iowa breweries. It’s a welcoming environment where beer enthusiasts can explore a diverse array of flavors while supporting the state’s brewing community.

2. Barrel House

The Barrel House in Des Moines, Iowa, is a popular gathering place known for its fusion of delectable food and a wide selection of craft beers. With a cozy atmosphere and a menu highlighting comfort food with creative twists, it’s a favorite spot for locals and visitors alike. The establishment’s emphasis on quality brews and delicious dishes makes it a go-to destination for those seeking a relaxed yet vibrant dining experience in Des Moines.

3. Lucca

Lucca in Des Moines, IA, is a chic and inviting restaurant celebrated for its contemporary take on Italian cuisine. Known for its elegant ambiance and a menu featuring creative Italian-inspired dishes made with locally sourced ingredients, Lucca offers a refined yet approachable dining experience. With a focus on culinary innovation and impeccable service, it’s a beloved spot where patrons can savor modern Italian flavors in a sophisticated setting.

4. Café Baratta’s

Café Baratta’s in Des Moines, IA, is a beloved eatery nestled in the historic State Historical Building. Known for its charming ambiance and diverse menu featuring American and international dishes, it’s a go-to spot for locals and tourists alike. With a focus on quality and a welcoming atmosphere, Café Baratta’s offers a delightful dining experience perfect for casual meals or a quick bite amidst the city’s cultural hub.

5. Liberty’s – An Iowa Grill

Liberty’s – An Iowa Grill in Des Moines embodies Iowa’s culinary essence with locally sourced ingredients and a menu blending traditional Iowa flavors with modern twists. Its inviting atmosphere and commitment to showcasing the region’s food culture make it a beloved spot for locals and visitors alike seeking an authentic taste of Iowa’s vibrant culinary scene.

The Holidays in Des Moines

Embracing Holiday Magic: Thanksgiving and Christmas in Des Moines

The holidays in Des Moines consisting of Thanksgiving marks a time of heartfelt gratitude in Des Moines. Families and friends gather around tables adorned with the bounties of the season, savoring the traditional flavors that define this holiday. From turkeys to pies, local eateries in the city prepare a feast that embodies the essence of Thanksgiving, inviting everyone to indulge in the warmth and richness of this cherished celebration.

Moreover, Thanksgiving in Des Moines extends beyond personal gatherings. It’s a time when the community gets together to ensure that the spirit of gratitude touches every heart. Charitable organizations host drives and events, ensuring that everyone in the city can partake in the joy of a fulfilling meal, fostering a sense of togetherness and kindness that epitomizes the season.

Drake University becomes one of these charitable drives as the members of SAAC reach out to their friends and family of the Bulldog community to donate cans and non-perishable items for those who are in need.

As December arrives, Des Moines transforms into a sparkling winter wonderland, ushering in the spirit of Christmas. The city streets come alive with a symphony of lights, casting a magical glow on storefronts and homes. The historic East Village becomes a beacon of festive cheer as it is adorned with vibrant decorations, creating an enchanting atmosphere that captivates residents and visitors alike.

Families eagerly embrace beloved traditions during Christmas in Des Moines. Visiting Santa at Jordan Creek Town Center, marveling at the whimsical displays at the “Festival of Trees and Lights,” or enjoying the captivating holiday performances at the Des Moines Performing Arts Center are just a few of the magical experiences that create lasting memories for all ages.

In the true spirit of the holidays, Des Moines emphasizes the act of giving back. The city becomes a hub of charitable initiatives food drives, toy collections, and various events aimed at supporting the less fortunate. Residents actively participate, spreading kindness and ensuring that the joy of the season reaches every corner of the community.

The winter holidays in Des Moines are not merely marked by festivities but by the embodying the essence of gratitude, togetherness, and goodwill. The city invites everyone to embrace these sentiments, whether it’s savoring the delicious Thanksgiving meals or immersing oneself in the enchanting lights and traditions of Christmas. Des Moines radiates warmth and joy, creating an inviting and inclusive atmosphere that celebrates the true spirit of the holidays.