Nature Play

Explore a natural way for children to have fun

The Nature Play area is located on the northernmost edge of the Founders Garden. It’s designed to encourage people to engage in safe, unstructured, and sometimes messy play outdoors. Nature Play can be used by field trip groups, summer campers, children attending summertime Thursday evening Music in the Garden concerts, or anyone simply exploring our gardens.

Research shows nature-based play has positive effects on the physical and psychological well-being of children as well as cognitive skill development.

Children who visit the Botanical Garden’s Nature Play space can engage with and appreciate nature, encourage wonder, curiosity and imagination, advance fine motor skills, and develop critical cognitive skills.

This vision has been brought to life thanks to a generous grant from The Rotary Club of Des Moines Foundation. Experts incorporated research-based outdoor classroom designs to support learning with nature.

Nature Play is just one step in providing our community with youth- and family-focused opportunities at the Botanical Garden. New interactive elements and will be added seasonally.

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