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The Des Moines Park system is a great place to have an outdoor wedding with many locations to choose from. The following are a few of the more popular locations chosen by couples to have their wedding.
Ewing Park Lilac Arboretum
Every spring for about two weeks, the Lilac Arboretum in Ewing Park located at 5300 Indianola Road in Des Moines, Iowa comes alive with color. The park has hundreds of lilac trees as well as many other types of beautiful trees.
It is a spring tradition for most, to walk through the arboretum taking in the fragrant smell of the lilacs and enjoying the spectacular beauty. The new plaza area has bench seating that will hold approximately 45 people. The rental fee is $20 an hour with a 3 hour minimum.
Gray's Lake Park - Christine Hensley Terrace
The Park is located on the southwestern edge of downtown Des Moines at 2101 Fleur Drive. The terrace is located above the concession stand with a beautiful outlook over the lake. We rent out 5 of the 7 sections of the terrace for $200 for a 3-hour time block and $67 for each additional hour. There is no shelter at this location. Alcohol is allowed at the Terrace; however, no glass and no kegs are allowed. Canned beer only. There is a shade structure on the 3 furthest east section during the summer time, this is not rain proof. There are 10 little round tables with 2 chairs per table for this section of terrace, if more seating is needed it is the customer’s responsibility to handle.
Greenwood Park - Claire and Mile Mills Rose Garden
This historic garden has been a favorite spot for gardeners, strollers, and wedding parties since the 1930s. It is an All-American Rose Selection Public Display Garden, one of 132 such gardens in the United States. You can find the Clare and Miles Mills Rose Garden at Greenwood Park at 4800 Grand Avenue. It is located directly behind the Des Moines Art Center. The rental fee is $350 for the first two hours (minimum) and each additional hour is $150.00.
Greenwood Park - Sylvan Amphitheater
Sylvan Theater was first opened in Greenwood Park in 1931 to a standing room only audience of approximately 1500 people. Renovated with new bench style seating for approximately 200 people in 2004, it is one of about 15 "local historic landmarks" within the City of Des Moines. It is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Nestled in the shade of ancient towering oak trees, the outdoor amphitheater offers an oasis where one can reflect, view the beautiful surroundings, watch families and couples stroll, bike or play in the park. The rental fee for weddings or private parties is $350 for the first 2 hours (minimum) and each additional hour is $150.00. For any fee based events, the rental fee is $750.00 for 1/2 day (6:00 am to 1:00 pm or 2:00 pm to 10:00 pm)
John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park
John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park is in downtown Des Moines from 13th to 15th Streets, between Grand and Locust. All art work is owned and maintained by Des Moines Art Center. For rentals at the park we rent out “rooms” that are considered the area of ambience around a specific sculpture or grouping of sculptures within the park. The rental fee for each room is $1,500 for 6 hours.
Long Look Garden
Behind City Hall facing River. Take a stroll, have a seat, enjoy the view. Long Look Garden, sponsored by Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., features a stately garden cascading toward the river. Long Look Garden consists of terraced planter walls, formal landscaping and a grand staircase. The sculpture, "Untitled," by artist Joel Shapiro is showcased within the garden. The rental fee is $200 for a 4-hour time block and $100 for each additional hour and is only available for rentals on weekends.
Simon Estes Amphitheater
The Simon Estes Riverfront Amphitheater is located downtown just south of City Hall at East First between Locust and Walnut. This beautiful location has been used for fun runs and walks, bike rides, political campaigns, concerts, class reunions, and weddings. It is the perfect place for any outdoor activity. Plan your next event at Simon Estes Riverfront Amphitheater just make sure you obtain all necessary permits. The City of Des Moines has a licensed vendor to dispense alcoholic beverages. User must work through this vendor if alcoholic beverages are to be available either for sale or at no cost to the guests. The stage is a circle and is 40 feet across. The fee for free public events and private parties is $1000 for a 8-hour time block and $100 for each additional hour. The fee for Fee based events is $1500 for a 8-hour time block and $175 for each additional hour.
Union Park Floral Garden
The floral garden is located on the north side of Des Moines between Mattern and Thompson off of E. 9th on the inside of the park. It has 7 large landscaped planting beds are in bloom between June and August. This is a beautiful site for a wedding and can handle up to 250. This site is not handicap accessible and no restrooms are close by. Parking is available on the street or on the circle drive around the park. The rental fee is $15 an hour.
Western Gateway Park - Lawn Area at the Pappajohn Education Center
The lawn area on the south side of the Pappajohn Higher Education Center is located between the Downtown Central Library and the Pappajohn Sculpture Park at 1200 Grand Ave. The rental fee is $500 per day and available for rental during park hours.
World Food Prize Plaza
Plaza area East of World Food Prize building that's on 2nd Ave. between Locust and Walnut. When booking a wedding be conscious of a possible concert being held at Simon Estes Amphitheater which is located across the river. The Principal Riverwalk Trail (Meredith Trail) cannot be blocked off when the World Food Prize Plaza is rented. The trail must remain open at all times. The rental fee is $500 for a 4-hour block and $100 for each additional hour.