A- A+

Here Are 5 Fun Ways to Beat the Heat in Downtown DSM

Beat the Heat in DSM

Those quintessential things you love about summer are all here in Downtown Des Moines (DSM). Beat the heat with these five fun ways to cool off in Downtown.

Gray’s Lake is where boats, beach and treats meet

This large park on the outskirts of Downtown DSM is an ideal place to play on a hot summer day. Featuring a swimming beach, boat ramp, watercraft rentals (including kayaks, canoes, stand up paddle boards, pedal boats and row boats), a walking/biking path and playground — you’re sure to enjoy a fun time under the sun! Stop by the concession stand for snacks, cold drinks and ice cream products. Learn more about Gray's Lake.

Put on your shades and grab some shade

In addition to Gray’s Lake, several other parks around Downtown DSM offer beautiful shade trees. Bring a lawn chair, picnic blanket or hammock to cool down in the shade amidst the big, beautiful trees at Water Works Park or MacRae Park.

Splish-splash around Cowles Commons

The Lauridsen Fountain (re-opeing in late July) at Cowles Commons is zero-depth, making for an inclusive, cool place for kids and kids-at-heart to take a break from the summer heat in Downtown DSM. Learn more about Cowles Commons.

Cool down with ice cream and other frozen snacks

No summer day is complete without a frozen treat! Get yourself a cold snack at these Downtown eateries:

Evolve Juicery & Kitchen: Look no further for fresh juices, cold brew coffee and smoothie bowls.
Insomnia Cookies: In addition to warm cookies, savor tasty ice cream by the scoop, sundae, pint or quart!
Nosh Café & Eatery: Serving up smoothies, shakes, frozen yogurt and “Freshies,” their healthy version of the slushee.
Ritual Café: You’ll find iced coffee/espresso and hemp nut smoothies here.
Smokey Row: Come for the coffee, stay for the ice cream!

Switch it up from street level to the skywalk

Take a break from the heat of the sun and wander the four miles of indoor, climate-controlled skywalk in Downtown DSM. Find maps and tips on getting around Downtown DSM, including the skywalk system.

Searching for water play near Downtown DSM? Find a list of Des Moines spraygrounds, splash pads, swimming pools and aquatic centers located just outside of Downtown DSM. And learn more about Downtown DSM outdoor recreation and trails.

Greater Des Moines Partnership

DSM USA is the regional identifier for Greater Des Moines (DSM). DSM USA is a bold statement to the world: This is a welcoming, diverse and vibrant community with affordable and accessible amenities for residents and businesses. This regional identifier is the result of significant quantitative and qualitative research. The Partnership will champion the DSM USA message, and encourages its Investors, its more than 6,500 Regional Business Members and DSM USA Ambassadors to help share the region's story with One Voice.