Greenwood Park, Des Moines

Greenwood Park is one of our absolute favorite places to go in Des Moines.

It is a perfect place to go on a hike, have a picnic, or spend half of a day. 

There are endless ways to spend time and make memories with your family and friends in Greenwood Park Des Moines. 

Discover the biggest highlights of Greenwood Park below as well as some tips as to how you can make the most of your time there!

Two sculptures in a grassy field with trees surrounding it.


Greenwood Park is located in the heart of Des Moines. 

Just about three miles from downtown Des Moines, Greenwood Park is easy to access off of Grand Avenue. 

There are two primary ways to enter. You can turn off of Grand onto 45th St which will take you to the lagoon, spray ground, playground, and pool.

Alternatively, you can turn onto Myron and Jacqueline Blank Parkway from Grand Avenue in order to get to the rose garden.

Points of Interest

There are so many awesome things to see and do in Greenwood Park. Check them out right here!

Claire and Mills Mills Rose Garden

The rose garden is so gorgeous and is a perfect place for a peaceful walk.

We LOVE wandering through the garden and checking out all of the colors and varieties of roses.

Greenwood Park Lagoon

The Greenwood Park Lagoon is just down the hill from the rose garden. You can walk to it on the trails through the woods or down the paved path.

There are also some parking spots near the lagoon if you wanted to drive to it by turning down 45th Street.

It is so fun to walk on the boardwalk surrounding the lagoon. 

There are often people fishing here too. 

This is a fantastic place to spot some fish, frogs, and other wildlife. The kids ALWAYS enjoy that. 

If you continue around the lagoon, there is also an observation tower that you can climb up for a bird’s eye view of the lagoon. 


On a hot summer day, the spray ground at Greenwood Park is the perfect place to visit. 

The spray ground has large boulders and cement blocks to walk around and go under. 

You never know where the next spray of water is going to be. 

The kids always have a blast at this spray ground. 

Additionally, it is conveniently located next to some nice restrooms for changing into a swimsuit and back into your clothes when finished at the spray ground. 

There are also some picnic tables and shaded areas in the vicinity perfect for a picnic.

To get to both the playground and spray ground, you will go down 45th St and when you get near the lagoon take a left up the hill. 

Greenwood Park Playground

The Greenwood Park Playground is located right next to the spray ground. 

In fact, the parking lot is the same for both the playground and spray ground.

This playground is great because it has quite a bit of shade.

There are two play structures. One that is significantly taller with some big slides for the older kids, and then a smaller playground for the younger kids. 

This is a perfect place to play and enjoy the outdoors. 

Jay Spence Enclosed Shelter

The Jay Spence Enclosed Shelter is located adjacent to the spray ground and playground.

This shelter is available for rentals only.

It is a fantastic place for a birthday or graduation party.

The restrooms are located outside of the main gathering room and are the same ones that visitors to the playground and spray ground would use. 

Jay Spence Enclosed Shelter at Greenwood Park.


Greenwood Park is also a fantastic place to go for a hike or walk. 

You can hike around the lagoon. Additionally, there are a few different wooded areas throughout the park that have trails you can hike on as well!

Another option is walking on the sidewalks along the road and a paved path between the lagoon and the rose garden. 

Art Center

The Des Moines Art Center is also located at Greenwood Park.

This art center is absolutely free and a great place to walk around and enjoy some amazing art. 

They also offer a variety of youth and adult art classes. 

Note: The art center is not open on Mondays.

Other Activities

There are even more fun activities at Greenwood Park.

In the summer, visitors can enjoy swimming at Ashworth Pool.

Ashworth Pool is open in the afternoons and admission is super affordable!

It is your basic 50 meter pool with diving boards plus a baby pool. 

Additionally, there are tennis courts near the playground. 

Finally, you can enjoy the stunning Sylvan Amphitheater. It is a gorgeous amphitheater surrounded by mature trees. 

This amphitheater can also be rented. 

Greenwood Park Tips

With so much to see and do at Greenwood Park, here are some tips to make the most of your visit.

  • During the summertime bring swimsuits and towels in case you find yourselves at either the spray ground or Ashworth Pool.
  • Greenwood Park is the perfect place for a picnic so bring a snack, lunch or dinner to enjoy during your visit. 
  • Where to park will depend on what you want to do at Greenwood Park. The art center has a parking lot. Additionally, there are parking spots along the road near the rose garden. Also, there is a parking lot near the lagoon, Ashworth pool, and at the playground/spray ground too!
  • Keep in mind that restrooms are located at the Jay Spence Enclosed Shelter as well as Ashworth Pool. 

Greenwood Park is such a stunning and enjoyable park to visit all year long. We love the variety that it offers as well as the gorgeous scenery. 

Plan your first or next visit to Greenwood Park right away!

SAVE and PIN this post for your visit to Greenwood Park. Also, SHARE it with a friend or family too!

Looking for more to do in the Des Moines area? Discover the best parks in Des Moines or the best museums in Des Moines.

Plus check out my list of top free things to do in Des Moines.

May you LOVE your adventure. KW

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