14+ Creek Splashing Spots around Des Moines

A list of good creeks to play in around central Iowa - the Des Moines metro area. See pictures and find out where to park and play.

Water level

My kids love playing in water, whether it is at a sprayground (here is a list of all the free wading pools and spraygrounds!), lake, or creek. I have the most fun when we take “creek walks” or go “creek splashing” because it is rarely deep enough to be worrisome and we are almost always the only ones there. Throwing rocks, hunting for crayfish, and digging in the sand keeps them busy for as long as I can stand it! Check out all the good creek splashing spots we have found around Des Moines, Iowa; there is a map at the bottom! Let me know if I missed any of your favorites, I will keep it updated. Also check out the artificial “creek” at McHenry Park.

Please keep in mind before you head out that water levels can change depending on the temperature and rainfall. I’ve had people ask me in the past about water quality/safety concerns, and I know the Iowa DNR tracks bacteria levels in the lakes, but I personally don’t worry about it.

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Greenbelt Park off 86th St. – Clive Iowa

greenbelt park in clive iowa

Greenbelt Park in Clive off of 86th St. is a hidden gem during summer; almost the entire playground is well shaded by trees.  There is another playground along the greenbelt also named Greenbelt Park in Clive that’s off 100th st., see below for a picture of which is which, and see details about the Greenbelt Park off 100th in this post. There is easy creek splashing access here, you can see more specific details about how to get into the water in this post.

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