Monday, Aug. 31 to Monday, Sept. 7, 2020


Soak your senses in one of America’s largest urban parks as we celebrate the importance of clean water and open spaces in 2020. Join Des Moines Water Works Park Foundation’s partners for a week of free activities designed to safely immerse you in our natural resources.

Click on the tabs for emerging details!

Monday: we start the week the week with water!

Des Moines Water Works and the Science Center of Iowa explore the science of water filtration online and in the park.

Self-guided explorations include:

All week, we’re playing bingo (and there’s a prize). And Cyd’s Catering is making picnics easy; just order your picnic online to suit your schedule.

Tuesday: we’re focused on health and wellbeing.

We have an online message from Dr. Richard Deming with Above and Beyond Cancer; watch his reflection on Facebook now.

You can register now to join us in the park Tuesday evening for a tour by bicycle and Cosmic Egg Yoga. Registration is required as we are limiting attendance to 22 per event.

Wednesday: Let’s show our trees some love!

Wright Outdoor Solutions and Trees Forever have a variety of activities to enjoy at home or in the park. Printable coloring pages and custom clay artwork are perfect for the kids. And if you’ve always been curious what trees are native to Iowa, we have the perfect Native Trees of Iowa Guide.

Show those trees at the park some love, too, and join us in a scavenger hunt. Five trees throughout the park have been tagged with a heart. Simply locate the heart on the tree, snap a photo and tag Wright Outdoor Solutions and Trees Forever on social for a chance at a prize!

Thursday: Animals are everywhere!

Join the Blank Park Zoo online as we premiere a video about river otters, and bring your ears to the park for the birdsong scavenger hunt. Polk County Conservation has a thorough video describing Iowa’s birds available online, too

Also, you can register to join Above and Beyond Cancer for a free lesson in urban pole walking and Central Iowa Trail Association‘s mountain bike tour of the park’s Wild trails.

Remember, we want you to share photos of what you find in the park; there’s a bingo prize at stake.

Friday: choose your own adventure!

There are so many ways to enjoy the vast open space, so pick your favorite activity (and send us pics).

Here are some videos from Central Iowa Trail Association for enjoying the park’s Wild trails:

We’ll finish the day with magic hour bicycle tour of the park that evening; the free event is limited to 20 people so register now.

Gourmet holiday weekend!

Cyd’s Catering will make your Labor Day weekend picnics easy; just order a picnic online to suit your schedule. Proceeds benefit the Park!

Extraordinary eggs are back starting Saturday morning; here is a map showing areas of avian interest.

While Des Moines Water Works Park Foundation can’t hold our Labor Day Legacy Picnic and Concert this year, that won’t keep you from enjoying one of the traditions of the event – free ice cream! The first 700 single servings from Outside Scoop are on us, compliments of the Kerry & Linda Killinger Foundation. Outside Scoop will be near the Lauridsen Amphitheater 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day.

And you still have time for bingo all weekend.

Extraordinary Eggs are back

Water Works Park is a birding ‘hot spot’ – riparian woodland that hosts more than 200 bird species throughout the year. Fall migration brings warblers, woodpeckers, herons, raptors and owls as well as nesting wood ducks, kingfishers and many others.

Get wild with us!

On Saturday, Sept. 5, there will be hundreds of extraordinary eggs waiting to be found in Water Works Park. This egg hunt is your invitation to explore one of America’s largest urban parks. 

Where will you find eggs?

Eggs are mostly lying in the area we’re calling ‘The Wild’ – 900 wooded acres north of the Raccoon River — and around the Lauridsen Amphitheater. The eggs are on the ground and at least 3 feet away from trails or other park infrastructure. You’re going to have to explore to find them! Here’s a map to help get you started.

Please remember to leave no trace – stay off muddy trails, dispose of waste properly, respect wildlife and leave what you find (but please take an extraordinary egg!).

Found an egg in Water Works Park?

Here’s what we ask when you find one of the beautiful eggs created by JJ Gaffers:

  1. Post a photo on social media sharing the location of your find
  2. Take a moment to contemplate where you stand
  3. Find a place in your home or office to display your new treasure

NOTE: Please limit yourself to keeping one egg so others may find and enjoy them, too.

Thank you for joining us in celebrating Water Works Park habitat!