Pappajohn Sculpture Park
Pappajohn Sculpture Park
4.5
6:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Monday
6:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Tuesday
6:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Wednesday
6:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Thursday
6:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Friday
6:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Saturday
6:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Sunday
6:00 AM - 12:00 AM
About
Open to visitors since September 2009, the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park features artwork by 22 of the world's most celebrated artists. The 4.4 Acre park, located within a major crossroads of the urban grid, creates a pedestrian friendly entranceway to downtown Des Moines. 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 Pappajohns' contribution of 28 works for the park is the most significant donation of artwork ever made to the Des Moines Art Center.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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See what travelers are saying
  • Grover R
    Pensacola, Florida18,062 contributions
    Impressive Number and Setting but Missing Something
    I will say I like public art and much of what they were trying to accomplish is very good. However, the park is both a collection of art and homeless. I visited on a Monday morning around 8:30. and there was not much activity other than the homeless. Still I liked the sculptures and there are places it looks great with the city skyline. The person outline made of letters appears to be the signature piece; however, I really liked the multi-colored Rock'em Sock'em robots. The number of sculptures is impressive and the park is nice. It simply seems to miss something when compared to other sculpture parks like St. Louis.
    Visited April 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written May 5, 2023
  • dustythoughts
    Manchester, Connecticut2,097 contributions
    Intriguing artistic sculpture-park
    My friends took me here while I was in town, and I found the sculptures intriguing enough to linger over each piece, contemplating the meanings and soaking in the clearly passionate creativity. This free, spacious park is a lovely way to spend a day, and as it's situated in the middle of the city, it's a breath of fresh green air amidst the hustle and bustle of the downtown area. The weather was beautiful when we came, which added to the restfulness of the park, even though it was pretty busy. I appreciated that each person can interpret the sculptures for themselves, rather than being told how to interpret them.
    Visited August 2022
    Written July 6, 2023
  • R W
    Lewisville, North Carolina128 contributions
    Great Free Activity
    It's a great free activity. The art is interesting and there is an audio guide you can use to learn more about each piece. The audio guide is great since it provides insight into the artist process and thoughts in creating the piece. This is a must see. It's free and takes as little or as much time as you would like to spend.
    Visited August 2023
    Written August 8, 2023
  • aatbender
    Dandridge, Tennessee493 contributions
    Fascinating collection
    A radically transformed part of downtown, this is a fascinating sculpture park that you have to take an hour and walk through. You can call a dedicated phone line to get a thorough explanation of each piece of artwork. Such an intriguing set of artwork from many disciplines. Well landscaped and maintained.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written September 8, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
739 reviews
Excellent
419
Very good
210
Average
94
Poor
14
Terrible
2

AMCIVER
Omaha, NE247 contributions
Feb 2020 • Family
One of the highlights of our day in Des Moines. The weather was nice, the sculpture collection was interesting,my kids got to run around, and the garden is surrounded by lively cafes and such. Great photo ops here. FREE.
Written March 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CaribeAzul
Bonita Springs, FL370 contributions
Sep 2021
We went on a splendid and sunny Saturday afternoon and took our time to listen to the explanation given on each sculpture. It is a great stroll enjoying the art and the scenery. The park is close to restaurants, pubs and breweries too. You might want to combine your visit with lunch, dinner, or happy hour. It is worth it.
Written October 24, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lou P
Kansas City, KS320 contributions
Aug 2021
On a very warm summer night, we enjoyed a stroll through the sculpture park. Each work of art was unique and well displayed so that we could enjoy it from all angles. We tried to do the audio tour, but were unable to get good reception on our phones. A brochure and map, would have been helpful and perhaps they were just out of them. The park itself is safe and well lit to make it easy to walk and view the art. We enjoyed the sights!
Written August 27, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

R W
Lewisville, NC128 contributions
Aug 2023
It's a great free activity. The art is interesting and there is an audio guide you can use to learn more about each piece. The audio guide is great since it provides insight into the artist process and thoughts in creating the piece.
This is a must see. It's free and takes as little or as much time as you would like to spend.
Written August 8, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

dustythoughts
Manchester, CT2,097 contributions
Aug 2022
My friends took me here while I was in town, and I found the sculptures intriguing enough to linger over each piece, contemplating the meanings and soaking in the clearly passionate creativity. This free, spacious park is a lovely way to spend a day, and as it's situated in the middle of the city, it's a breath of fresh green air amidst the hustle and bustle of the downtown area. The weather was beautiful when we came, which added to the restfulness of the park, even though it was pretty busy. I appreciated that each person can interpret the sculptures for themselves, rather than being told how to interpret them.
Written July 6, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

NewsMomIA
Des Moines, IA24 contributions
Dec 2019 • Friends
If you only have time to see one thing in Des Moines, visit the downtown sculpture park. It is a community staple that never closes and never gets old. Surrounded by lunch and dinner options from $-$$$, local and chain coffee shops. Free to visit.
Written January 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Grover R
Pensacola, FL18,062 contributions
Apr 2023 • Solo
I will say I like public art and much of what they were trying to accomplish is very good. However, the park is both a collection of art and homeless. I visited on a Monday morning around 8:30. and there was not much activity other than the homeless. Still I liked the sculptures and there are places it looks great with the city skyline. The person outline made of letters appears to be the signature piece; however, I really liked the multi-colored Rock'em Sock'em robots. The number of sculptures is impressive and the park is nice. It simply seems to miss something when compared to other sculpture parks like St. Louis.
Written May 6, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tim W
Kirksville, MO102 contributions
Jun 2022
I am not much of an art fan, but I found these sculptures to be very interesting. We spent about an hour walking through the park looking at them. They represent a wide range of artistic styles and topics. The scale of some of these installations is impressive. There was plenty of available metered parking just across the street on a Friday morning.
Written June 16, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SueCtravler
16 contributions
Oct 2022
We really enjoyed this park. The day we went the weather was ideal & a young girl was playing a guitar & singing, so we had an added bonus of background music. The sculptures were ALL very unique. We had fun taking pictures & just being outdoors. It's free & very nice.
Written October 10, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

aatbender
Dandridge, TN493 contributions
Sep 2023 • Friends
A radically transformed part of downtown, this is a fascinating sculpture park that you have to take an hour and walk through. You can call a dedicated phone line to get a thorough explanation of each piece of artwork. Such an intriguing set of artwork from many disciplines. Well landscaped and maintained.
Written September 8, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Pappajohn Sculpture Park - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Pappajohn Sculpture Park

Pappajohn Sculpture Park is open:
  • Sun - Sat 6:00 AM - 12:00 AM


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Pappajohn Sculpture Park Information

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