Ironwood Park (aka the Pirate Ship Park) in Altoona, Iowa – Park Visit

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When we first moved here from Cedar Falls, I always asked new acquaintances what their favorite local park was and “the pirate ship park” was one of the most frequent responses. It took a little digging to figure out what park that actually was (and there are a few other ship – themed playgrounds in the area) but Ironwood Park is it! This park isn’t huge, but it has some quirky art and fun pirate details that make it well worth the drive.

[You can see more specific details on the Ironwood Park page or check out its location on the interactive map.]

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There weren’t any obvious signs that I saw, but this was the neighborhood that it’s tucked in.

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The Moai statue that greets you once you walk up is hard to miss! (sculpture is “Moai Dude” created by John Brommel)

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You can see the two main playgrounds here – the pirate ship one in front and then a regular one with taller structures in the back. There is a fun sea monster that you can climb on, some random rocks, and several benches. There’s rubber footing underneath everything, which is always nice for when you don’t want to get all muddy.

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Off to the side is a paved trail, shelter, and a porta-potty.

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My kids’ favorite part, the plank! It bounces a little up and down and is super fun. Another element that I didn’t snap a picture of was this random, crank radio that everyone was obsessed with, you turned the handle fast enough and it played music.

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The huge hills behind it were completely irresistible for my kids and we spent a lot of time running up them and down them – which made snapping a back view of the playground easy!

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I just love this shot! The other side was just dirt and new home building sites, but from the right angle it looks stunning. It’s a great place to run around, play, and pretend. It doesn’t look like I captured it in any of my shots, but there is a small basketball court right nearby as well, with adjustable hoops. This is such a fun spot and my kids have asked to go back several times since!

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