1 Mile Semi-Loop Trail at Walnut Woods State Park

trail for kids at walnut wood state park des moines iowa

Walnut Woods State Park is a gem, and one of our favorite parks when my kids were younger. There are several trails, but we like this one so much we haven’t ever explored further! This is a loop-ish trail; the trail itself is a U and then it’s an easy walk through the open grass to get back to the beginning. My kids love this trail because the way we hike it, there is a playground at the end! It makes for a great motivator. It’s also a great place to see fall leaves, earning it a spot on this list!

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Best Kids Waterproof Boots for Fall

best kids waterproof boots

Boots! This is a list of the best waterproof boots for kids that are on the market right now. My kids feet grow quickly and we are always outside, so I’ve gotten to try all sorts of boot options as they grow up. Even if you don’t hike, I think waterproof boots are a great option since it can be slushy and damp just walking from the car to the library. A few things I avoid are furry linings (they attract burrs and generally look gross after being washed), leather boots (even if they are waterproof, they stay wet, which leads to wet pants and generally sogginess, you can’t dry them very easily), and non-flexible soles (I don’t think they’re good for little feet, and I assume they make it harder to be nimble and climb). Be sure to check out what other gear we wear in cooler temperatures, over in this post about fall hiking clothes!

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Best Places to see Fall Leaves in Des Moines

Places to see fall leaves around Des Moines, Iowa -- tips for fall foliage in Central Iowa!

The leaves are starting to turn so I thought I’d share a list of my favorite places to see fall foliage around the Des Moines area! Several of these have observation towers or taller trails where you can see for miles, and all of them have pretty trees with lots of colors. If you’re really feeling the fall mood, you can also check out 11 places to pick pumpkins around Iowa.

Traditionally, the best time for fall colors in central Iowa is the first through third weeks of October – you can see more about fall color forecasting and information about different tree leaves on the Iowa DNR website. Please let me know if I’ve missed any of your favorite spots! I will be exploring lots of these and adding pretty fall pictures, but I’ve found the closest I could on Instagram for each location.

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Top 10 Best Parks around Des Moines, Iowa

A list of the top 10 parks that are worth a 30-45 minute drive, around the Des Moines, Iowa metro. Unique playground elements, cool structures nearby, and themed parks.

I’ve been thinking about this post for a while and finally made a list, it’s my personal top ten parks around the Des Moines metro! These are the parks that I think are worth a 30-45 minute drive from wherever you are because they are so fun, appeal to multiple ages, and have something(s) that can’t be found anywhere else! I’ve included a little blurb about why we love each park and you can click on the link to see more pictures and nitty gritty details about each spot. There is a map at the bottom to see where they all are, let me know if you think I left any place out that deserves to be here!

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Glow Wild 2017 at Jester Park!

glow wild at jester park 2017 event

We had so much fun at the inaugural Glow Wild event last year and have been looking forward to this year’s event all summer! This is a fundraiser for the Jester Park Nature Center (yay!!) and sponsored by Charles Gabus Ford & Firetrucker Brewery. If you went last year, you know the attendance way exceeded their expectations but they have planned a bigger and better event to accommodate even more crowds.

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