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Hey, Des Moines, it’s summer! And nothing says summer like an afternoon with your toes in the pool.

Whether your ideal experience involves splashing with your toddler at the wading pool, reading in a lounge chair at one of the area’s quieter pools, or getting the full lazy river and water slide experience at a local aquatic center, Des Moines’ many area splash pads, pools, aquatic centers, and water parks have something for everyone:

Wading pools, splash pools and spraygrounds

The Des Moines Park and Recreation Department operates 10 wading pools, four splash pools and six spraygrounds. All are free, and are aimed at children ages 10 and under.

Wading pools are small pools with standing water and no spray features. They are staffed by Des Moines Park and Rec. Most of the wading pools are open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and are available for private rentals on weekends. Due to staffing shortages, some of the wading pools are closed on certain afternoons or weeks. For more information, check dmgov.org/departments/parks.

The 10 wading pools are located at:

  • Ashfield Park, 720 E 19th St.
  • Bates Park, 330 Clark St.
  • Burke Park, 601 E University Ave.
  • Chesterfield Park, 2719 Scott Ave.
  • Drake Park, 2300 Drake Park Ave.
  • Jordan Park, 600 E Wall Ave.
  • Sayers Park, 1300 Linden Ln.
  • Sheridan Park, 4000 E Hull Ave.
  • Stone Park, 2100 SE 5th St.
  • Tower Park, 4900 Hickman Rd.

Splash pools include both standing water and spray features. They are staffed by Des Moines Park and Rec. All are open weekdays 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on weekends and holidays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The four splash pools are at:

  • Ashby Park, 3200 38th St.
  • M.L. King Park, 1650 Garfield Ave.
  • Pete Crivaro Park, 1012 SE 14th St.
  • Union Park, 725 Thompson Ave.

Spraygrounds include spray features but no standing water. They are unstaffed. All are open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. The six spraygrounds are at:

  • Columbus Park, 1921 SE 1st St.
  • Good Park, 1103 17th St.
  • Grandview Park, 3230 Easton Blvd.
  • Greenwood Park, 4500 Grand Ave.
  • McHenry Park, 1012 Oak Park Ave.
  • Woodlawn Park, 3126 Twana Dr.
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Pools and aquatic centers

ALTOONA

Adventure Bay, 3300 Adventureland Dr.

  • Multiple pools, slides, splash pads, Iowa’s longest lazy river, and even a swim-up bar.
  • Opens 10 a.m. daily. For closing times check adventurelandpark.com/calendar.
  • Adults and kids 10 and over, $42; children 4-9, $37. Price includes admission to Adventureland and Adventure Bay.

Altoona Aquatics Park, 1200 Venbury Dr.

  • Zero edge pool, diving boards, sand play area, slides, kiddie areas and lap lanes.
  • Weekdays noon to 7 p.m.; weekends 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Altoona residents $5.75; non-residents $7.75.

ANKENY

Cascade Falls Aquatic Center, 2350 SW Prairie Trail Pkwy.

  • Surf machine, slides, lazy river, kiddie areas, lap lanes and diving area.
  • Daily noon to 7 p.m.
  • General $8; seniors $5; kids under 2, $1. Surf machine is extra.

Prairie Ridge Aquatic Center, 1220 NW Prairie Ridge Dr.

  • Water slides, kiddie areas and lap lanes.
  • Daily noon to 6 p.m. The splash park is also available for free from 10 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. Monday through Friday.
  • General $4; seniors $3; Kids under 2, $1.

CLIVE

Clive Aquatic Center, 1801 NW 114th St.

  • Two large pools, kiddie areas, lap pool, slides and a lazy river.
  • Weekdays 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; weekends 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • General $8; seniors $6; Kids 3-12, $5; kids 0-2 free. Tuesday and Thursday evenings are Family Nights where families can swim for $15 from 5 p.m. to close.

DES MOINES

Ashworth Swimming Pool, 101 45th St.

  • An old-school pool with lap lanes, diving boards including a high dive, and a kiddie area.
  • Monday through Saturday 1 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Adults $4; Kids $2; infants 0-2 free. Half-price Monday through Thursday after 5 p.m.

Birdland Swimming Pool, 300 Holcomb Ave.

  • An old-school pool that’s rarely crowded. Lap lanes, diving boards, slides and kiddie area.
  • Monday through Saturday 1 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Adults $4; Kids $2; infants 0-2 free. Half-price Monday through Thursday after 5 p.m.

Nahas Aquatic Center, 1101 Porter Ave.

  • Water slides, swimming areas, kiddie play area.
  • Monday through Saturday 1 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Adults $4; Kids $2; infants 0-2 free. Half-price Monday through Thursday after 5 p.m.

Northwest Aquatic Center, 4915 Madison Ave.

  • Features: Water slides, swimming areas, kiddie play area.
  • Hours: Monday through Saturday 1 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Adults $4; Kids $2; infants 0-2 free. Half-price Monday through Thursday after 5 p.m.

Teachout Aquatic Center, 2601 Hubbell Ave.

  • Water slides, swimming areas, kiddie play area.
  • Monday through Saturday 1 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Adults $4; Kids $2; infants 0-2 free. Half-price Monday through Thursday after 5 p.m.

WEST DES MOINES

Holiday Aquatic Center, 1701 Railroad Ave.

  • Water slides, swimming areas, kiddie play areas.
  • Due to a lifeguard shortage, the aquatic center has a modified schedule this summer. See wdm.iowa.gov/government/parks-recreation.
  • General $8; seniors $6; kids 3-12, $5; kids 0-2 free.

Valley View Aquatic Center, 255 S. 81st St.

  • A lazy river, water slides, kiddie areas and lap swimming.
  • Due to a lifeguard shortage, the aquatic center has a modified schedule this summer. See wdm.iowa.gov/government/parks-recreation.
  • General $8; seniors $6; kids 3-12, $5; kids 0-2 free.
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