Des Moines Outdoor Activities

Des Moines Outdoor ActivitiesDiscover the natural beauty of Des Moines! We've hand-selected the best outdoor and indoor adventures happening in the city that you won't find anywhere else. You'll find the perfect hobby or recreational sport to enjoy in the capital city on our list; whether you like to stay indoors or be outdoors, the city is calling you to explore nature and have some fun.

Blank Park Zoo
Nature lovers go wild at the Blank Park Zoo when they explore the outdoor habitats of some of nature's most beloved creatures. Visit a tamed-animal Kingdom teeming with monkeys, giraffes, lions and tigers, and a reeled in aquatic world, home to swimming harbor seals, sea lions and penguins thriving in their personalized natural habitats. Naturally, it will be a zoo-per day!

Address: 7401 SW 9th Street, Des Moines, IA 50315 - MAP
Phone: (515) 285-4722

Des Moines Botanical Center
Calling all green thumbs to the Des Moines Botanical Center. Meander through the rows of colorful miniature rose bushes, orchids and delicate bonsai trees. Learn tips about how to make a garden grow, sprout your own fragrant herbs and start your very own terrarium.

Address: 909 Robert D Ray Drive, Des Moines, IA 50316 - MAP
Phone: (515) 323-6298

Walnut Woods State Park
Big outdoor adventure happens at Walnut Woods State Park, located in Des Moines. The 260-acre scenic park invites visitors to ride a bike on the bicycle path, hike wooded trails, catch a fish, become an avid bird watcher, enjoy the woodsy picnic areas, and camp all week or weekend long.

Address: 8951 SW 52nd Avenue, West Des Moines, IA, 50265 - MAP
Phone: (515) 285-4502

Water Works Park
Nature's largest collection of flowering crab apple trees grow at Water Works Park located in Des Moines. The beautiful 1,500-acre park is skirted by the Raccoon River and besides apples, sports big outdoor activities like biking, jogging, and hiking and picnicking. Naturally, nature lovers love it here!

Address: 2201 George Flagg Parkway, Des Moines, IA 50321 - MAP
Phone: (515) 283-8700

Prairie Learning Center
See the buffalo roam at the Prairie Learning Center, gateway to the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge. Discover over 5,000 acres of scenic prairie tallgrass, home to herds of buffalo, pheasants as well as native wildflowers and plant life. Visit the world-class 13, 000-square-foot nature center and the Prairie Point Bookstore for memorable souvenirs of your outdoor adventure.

Address: 9981 Pacific Street, Prairie City, IA 50228 - MAP
Phone: (515) 994-3400

Central Iowa Trail Association
Cheap, dirty, fun is what you'll find at Seven Oaks mountain bike trail, according to the Central Iowa Trail Association. Check out the 7.2-mile track for mountain bikers, designed by mountain bikers. The challenging technical course runs across 200 acres of wooded ravine and creek crossings.

Address: Choose From 4 Trails