Every summer my family likes to frequent splash pads in Des Moines. Not only is it a great way for the kids to burn off energy and stay cool, it is also a great way for tired moms to sit back and relax a bit while the kiddos are entertained (and they are free!).
With my kids being a bit older and wiser this year they asked if they could be the ones to decide where we would spend our afternoons. However, they were having a hard time remembering what each splash pool had to offer.
So, with that a decision was made. We would venture out into the heat of summer and explore as many spraygounds and splash pools as we could. The kids also agreed they would rate each park on a scale of 1-5 splashes. More splashes equals more fun!
Our favorite (and not-so-favorite) Des Moines Splash Pads
4500 Grand Avenue
Mom’s review: I love Greenwood Sprayground. Not only is it fun for kids, it’s easy for parents to walk around the area and cool down in the mist without getting soaked. It’s also inclusive and easy for wheelchairs to navigate. However, there isn’t much shade near the actual spraygound.
Kid’s review: Greenwood is so fun! It’s great for little kids and older kids. You can run through the tunnels and pretend you are in a video game. You can also lay on the rocks and pretend you are an animal in the zoo! We give it 5 splashes!
1921 SE 1st Street
Mom’s review: Columbus Park is perfect for little kids. The sprayground is very small with only a few water features. My one year old loved that nothing was too overpowering. There is a great open air shelter with tables sits right next to the water.
Kids review: This was boring for big kids. There aren’t many places to play and there is not much to do. We give it 1 splash.
1012 Oak Park Avenue
Mom’s review: It started raining when we got to McHenry Park. I liked the big trees that shaded the area. The spray ground was cute and would be great for younger kids. As an added bonus there is a little manmade stream.
Kid’s Review: It looks like it would be ok. It’s probably better for little kids. It would be fun to make a paper boat and have boat races down the stream. We give it 2 splashes.
1105 E. Railroad Ave
Mom’s Review: I love this splash pool. There are always quite a few kids and everyone has plenty of room to play. The littlest kids can stay in the sprayground area or sit in the zero entry area of the wading pool. The older kids congregate to the deeper part of the pool. The only downside is that there aren’t many shaded areas for parents to sit. Covered tables surround the play area and there is an open air shelter on the side of the pool.
Kids Review: It’s a fun wading pool. It is deep enough in the middle to splash around and swim under water, pretending to be a crocodile. The sprayground had a mister and it was nice to sit next to. We give it 4 splashes.