This accessible setting, coupled with the skilled landscape design and caliber of the art, makes it unlike any other sculpture park in the United States.

The 4.4 acre park, located within a major crossroads of the urban grid, creates a pedestrian-friendly entryway to downtown Des Moines. The Pappajohns’ contribution of more than two dozen works for the park is the most significant donation of artwork ever made to the Des Moines Art Center.

The Pappajohn Sculpture Park is located at 1330 Grand Avenue in downtown Des Moines.

The park is open during city park hours — sunrise to midnight.

Ample metered street parking is available surrounding the park. The park is accessible by bike via the bike lanes on Grand Avenue. To plan your trip via public transportation, visit the DART trip planner.

GET DIRECTIONS

Park Guidelines

Photography

Photography is allowed in the park. Media requests for photographs can be made via e-mail or by calling 515-271-0344.

Preservation

Touching, climbing, and sitting on the sculptures is not allowed, with the exception of Scott Burton’s Seating for Eight. Although many of the sculptures appear sturdy and durable, touching or climbing will damage the sculptures and their finish. Additionally, visitors may get hurt touching or climbing on the sculptures.

Food & Drink

Picnicking is allowed. Please be sure to keep food and drink away from the sculptures and dispose of waste in the receptacles on the perimeter of the park. City park rules prohibit glass bottles and alcohol is allowed by permit only.

Smoking

Smoking inside the park is prohibited. Smoking is permitted on the exterior public right of way sidewalks.

Looking for ways to explore the park?

The Sculpture Park Exploration Guide offers activities and various ways of engaging with 11 works of art in the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park.

EXPLORATION GUIDE

Get the Most From Your Sculpture Park Visit

The Sculpture Park Exploration Guide was designed for educators, parents, grandparents, guardians, families, friends and all ages to interact with the sculptures and one another as a group. We welcome anyone to do these activities.

Print Your Own Guide & Go!

The Des Moines Art Center does NOT provide copies of the Sculpture Park Exploration Guide. Please provide a copy for the leader of your group ahead of time. Copies are a printable PDF on an 8 ½” x 11” paper.

Activities for Groups

Activities are for groups of 15 people or less. Groups may not have enough time to do all activities during one visit. Please select your favorite interactive prompts. The activities in the guide need no materials other than a camera, if applicable.

Sculpture Locations

The sculptures are located on a map at the end of the guide for easier navigation. The numbers located on the map correspond to the sculptures in the guide.

Something for Everyone

There are seven symbols that represent the various ways people learn (auditory, creative, emotional, etc.). For example, if you have a child that prefers learning through movement, look for the physical icon.

Guided tours are available from April 1 through October 31. Three or more weeks advance notice is needed to schedule a guided tour.