Top Ten Swimming holes in Des Moines

altoona water park
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We have quite a few options in Des Moines to take a swim.  When I first moved here Whitewater university was one of the only options for swimming/slides etc.  Now there are quite a few.  Kids love to swim, and taking them to a park can be the highlight of their summer.  Some of my best childhood memories involve summer and water.

  1. Adventure land Park – Containing Iowa’s largest wave pool and Iowas largest lazy river, its hard to beat Adventure land’s Adventure bay.  There are also several options for slides and areas for smaller children. As a bonus if you want to dry off you can head over to Adventureland and ride the roller coasters.  Click here for their website.
  2. Clive Aquatic center – The Clive Aquatic center is a great neighborhood option.  A pass here will also get you into two other swimming holes, the Valley view Aquatic Center, and the Holiday Aquatic Center.  This will give you maximum bang for the buck.  The center features a lazy river, lap pool, lazy river, and spray dock.  Click here for their website.
  3. Valleyview Aquatic Center – located in West Des Moines, Valley view is part of the pass that will get you into two other locations, Holiday and Clive.  Valleyview is an outdoor complex featuring a lazy river, four slides, a leisure pool, sprays, 10-lane lap pool. Click here for more information.  
  4. Big Creek state park – Big creek is a great option in the summer there is swimming of course with a large sand beach.  There is also volleyball, canoeing, fishing, picnic facilities, camping, a trails system, and a large wooden playground.  Click here for their website.
  5. Cascade Falls water park – Located in Ankeny, Cascade Falls is a great place to cool off.  This facility features a Flowrider surf machine, floor geysers, water cannons, lap pool, swirl bowl slide, and two two hundred and fifty foot water slides.  Click here for their website.
  6. Altoona water park – As with most neighborhood aquatic parks, Altoona is an affordable option on a hot day.  With a lap pool, slides, sunbathing area and more Altoona has something for everyone.  Click here for more information.
  7. Nahas Aquatic center – Located on the southwest side of Des Moines.  Swimming here in the  summer is a southside tradition, and a rite of passage for some.  Click here for more information.
  8. Teachout – An Eastside summer tradition.  Teachout added slides a few years ago, and made the place even better.  Teachout is located on Hubbell Ave next to Kmart and the library.  Click here for more information.
  9. Ashworth – Ashworth pool is an oldie but a goodie.  I’m sure there are many Des Moines residents with warm memories from here.  Ashworth pool is located by Greenwood Park close to the Art Center on the west side of Des Moines.  Click here for more information.
  10. Indianola aquatic center – Indianola has a sprawling complex featuring three slides, a bubbling beach, Swedish swing, water basketball, and several options for smaller kids.  It is worth the drive down for a day in the sun.  Click here for more information
  11. Bonus – Sandpiper Beach at Saylorville Lake on the east shore..  Sandpiper has quite a large beach and is another good option for a beach north of Des Moines.  Click here for more information.
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