When summer temperatures hit and your kids still need to get outside and play, check out these shady playgrounds around the Des Moines, Iowa area! This list is partially generated off of other folks’ suggestions; if you disagree or have more to add, please just leave a comment and I’ll happily include it in the notes. Shade can also vary due to the time of day, if I know when the pictures were taken I’ve included that note as well! As I add pictures and update with new pictures, you can subscribe to my newsletter to stay in the loop.
Last year I tried to organize a kid-friendly volunteering event every month, and we had the most fun harvesting crops at Iowa Gardening for Good! The family who runs it was so welcoming, the land is beautiful, and all of our kids had a great time picking vegetables and meeting all the animals.
I’m excited to announce my first local geocache challenge! I worked with Erin at Des Moines Parent to pick fun spots on the west side of the metro and then hid a cache at each one. All caches are less than a half mile from the parking lot, and hidden in an easily accessible spot (as in, you could bring a kiddo in a stroller and get to them) with lots of kid treasures inside. Also visit this post on Des Moines Parent for my thoughts on each park and why I love it – as well as the coordinates if you would prefer those.
Are you ready for summer weather and looking for free places to get wet around Des Moines? I have the list for you! Sharing free play fountains, spraygrounds, and wading pools with pictures. There is a link to a DSMOF page with more information about the site listed under each one. I’ll be doing round-ups of area pools, area beaches, and area creeks to creek stomp in as well, so subscribe to my newsletter so you don’t miss them! Be sure to stay safe and check out some of our favorite summer gear essentials in this post here.
Last summer we had so much fun completing the Polk County Conservation Geocaching Challenge! This would be a great family activity for the summer, and a fun way to explore new places in the area. There are 16 geocaches along trails and in parks; once you find all 16 and write down the code words, you receive a cool geocoin. After you activate the coin and put it back into a geocache, log-in and watch it travel across the country and even the world! There is no time limit element to this challenge; it is open and running for the foreseeable future.