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About

Brenton Skating Plaza is a unique outdoor ice skating facility and family entertainment venue.

Gifted by the Brenton Foundation, Brenton Skating Plaza, the first open-air facility in Iowa, opened for its first skate in November 2006. The facility is located along the Principal Riverwalk on the Des Moines River waterfront and stationed at 520 Robert D. Ray Drive, making it a truly unique venue with the scenic Downtown Des Moines (DSM) skyline as an unforgettable backdrop.

Brenton Skating Plaza is Downtown DSM's premier destination for skating, concerts and events. From November to March, the venue offers people of all ages the chance to ice skate in the open air, amid the snowflakes and under the stars. Visit Winter Ice Skating for more information, including skate rentals and prices. From May to October, Brenton Skating Plaza features a unique canopy that transforms the venue into more than just an ice skating rink.

Fun Facts

  • A 120’-by-60’ ice sheet makes up the skating surface, compared to a hockey rink size of 200’-by-85’.
  • The skating rink holds up to 220 skaters
  • It takes roughly 8,000 gallons of water to form the ice rink
  • Thirteen miles of piping run underneath the rink refrigerates the ice surface.
  • The unique exterior building material gives off a blue glow at night.
  • The full-loaded Zamboni weighs four tons.
  • There are 450 pairs of figure and hockey skates available to rent.
  • The ice is two inches thick.

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is a partner of Brenton Skating Plaza.


In the summer, the Canopy at Brenton Skating Plaza transforms the facility into an outdoor event venue, playing host to community events, outdoor concerts, weddings, wedding receptions and other gatherings.


The Canopy hosts concerts throughout the summer, including the Nitefall on the River series and multiple other public events.