Guidelines & FAQs

Learn the answers to frequently asked questions to help you learn more about and plan your visit to the Botanical Garden.

How do I get to the Botanical Garden?
Access to the Botanical Garden directly from University Avenue is closed. To access the Botanical Garden from University Avenue, please take Pennsylvania Avenue south to Des Moines Street, turn right on Des Moines Street to the “T” intersection at Robert D. Ray Drive. Turn right on Robert D. Ray Drive and the Botanical Garden will be on the right after you go under the I-235 bridge.

Is parking free?
Yes, parking at the Garden is free but there are limited spaces available and during large events overflow parking is available along Robert D. Ray Drive.

Are strollers and wheelchairs available at the Garden?

There is a limited number of wheelchairs and strollers available on a first-come, first-served basis. They are free to borrow and located just inside the entryway.

Is the Garden ADA accessible?

The Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden is proud to be an ADA-compliant facility. The Garden features wide paths and sidewalks, accessible doors, additional restroom and an elevator to provide all guests access to the conservatory balcony.

What is the smoking policy at the Garden?

The Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden is a nicotine-free environment. Cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, cigars, chewable tobacco and similar products are not permitted on the Botanical Garden property including all grounds, buildings, restrooms and parking areas.

Are pets allowed?

You may bring your service animal, but please leave your pets at home. The Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden does not allow pets on Garden grounds. Service animals are permitted in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Service animals are defined by the ADA as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.

Does the Garden offer tours?

Yes, the Botanical Garden offers private group tours by reservation. Head to the tours page for more details.

What does the Garden look like?

With indoor and outdoor space, the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden is a great place to visit in all kinds of weather. Our gardens offer close encounters with plants and remarkable horticultural experiences. Learn more about specific gardens and explore what’s in bloom today on our Explore the Gardens page.

When is your on-site restaurant, Trellis Café, open?

Trellis Café is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m Wednesday through Sunday. Trellis is not open on Mondays and Tuesdays. Visit our Dining page.

May I bring my own food/drink to the Garden?

Outside food is not permitted. Dining options and refreshments are available at Trellis Café and in the Garden Shop. Rental clients may use our approved caterers for food and beverages.

What is the photography policy?

Guests are invited to take candid, casual photography as well as take pictures of the plants and landscapes. For portrait and professional photography, please consult our Photography Reservation Policy and make a photography reservation.

Does the Garden have an etiquette policy?

Our etiquette is designed to enhance your experience and protect the plants.

Does the Botanical Garden have a diversity statement?

Yes. It is: The Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden stands as one team devoted to learning and practicing anti-racism, inclusion, diversity, equality and accessibility, such that the Garden can be a vital resource and advocate for our diverse community. Public gardens and community green spaces have an essential role in bringing our diverse community together. We believe the Garden is a platform for a hopeful and peaceful future. Together we will dedicate ourselves to the active work of listening, learning and breaking down barriers and inequities.

Prohibited Items:

  • Weapons and firearms or fireworks of any kind
  • Outside food, picnics, coolers, grills, or open flames
  • Outside beverages (refillable water bottles welcome)
  • Pets (service animals are welcome)
  • Smoking, tobacco products and devices, or electronic smoking devices
  • Music (Bluetooth speakers, playing instruments, etc.)
  • Bicycles and recreational scooters (including "wheelie" shoes, skates, or skateboards)
  • Outside alcohol
  • Guests without shoes or shirts
  • Guests with clothing that may be taken as profane, vulgar, racist, sexist, or sexually suggestive
  • Blankets, collapsible lawn chairs, or stools
  • Balloons, open flames, sparklers
  • Large signage or banners
  • Plants, flowers, flower petals, props, glitter, confetti, or candles
  • Tripods or monopods prohibited inside all buildings and conservatories
  • Sporting equipment (soccer balls, baseballs and gloves, footballs, hula hoops, frisbees, etc.)

Does the Botanical Garden accept plant donations?
Plant donations are considered on a case-by-case basis. If you are interested in donating a plant, please email a picture of it to [email protected] and a horticulturist will review the photo and respond.

Does the Botanical Garden donate to organizations?

We support various community organizations, fundraisers and other nonprofit organizations with donations of free passes or memberships. The requests are fulfilled based on how the requesting organization’s mission pairs with our mission. If you would like to request a donation, please fill out the electronic form.

Can I review your financial documents?
Yes, we have posted our most recent 990 and audit.

Have other questions? Please call us at 515.323.6290 or email [email protected]

Attend. Join. Give. Everything Supports the Garden.





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