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“Cheap fun”

Pappajohn Sculpture Park
Ranked #4 of 72 things to do in Des Moines
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: 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.
Reviewed August 22, 2014

I will be honest, I didn't even know this existed. My Iowa friends took me here. It was a day that threatened of rain but luckily never happened. It's basically a park full of sculptures (duh), but they are really cool to explore. You can also follow along on an audio tour if you have your smartphone with you, and there are pamphlets that describe each sculpture. You're not supposed to touch any of them but we saw a lot of people doing that. You can make it through the whole park in about 15 minutes if you look at everything really quickly. It was a fun, leisurely stop in an otherwise busy day!

2  Thank HappyTraveler3434
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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398 - 402 of 537 reviews

Reviewed August 18, 2014

There is no exact address but punch into ur GPS intersection of Locust and 15th and you should locate the park. Sunday is a good day as there is ample roadside parking (metered but free on Sunday, yipppee). Avoid stepping into the "boundaries" where sensors are (green colored little boxes) or you'll get surprised by the recordings. LOL. Other "non-sensored" exhibits are 'touchable" eventhough you are advised not to. When kids are around, that is hard not to do. Mobile phone tours are available describing some of the exhibits.

2  Thank sarahtham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 2014

these fabulous sculptures are similar to other new sculpture parks in bigger cities. thank you Pappajohn's pizza founder.... i love this kind of art! the BEST TIME to go is on Fridays near lunch time. if it's summer from May through October, you must also go to the Better Homes & Gardens test garden (BHG) that takes up 1/2 block & is next to the west end of this 2 full blocks long art park. these sculptures can always be seen, but BHG is only open for 2 hours per week in summer: Fridays noon to 2pm. many bring a lunch to eat & they provide many small eating tables & benches at BHG! they also answer gardening questions. we took my mom to Des Moines & this was her favorite place. BHG is across 15th street at Grand. enter at middle of the block from sidewalk on south side. there's also few black bars to look through if the garden is closed. the rest of the garden has high walls so you may not know it's here! Pappajohn park has an expensive restaurant on site, but it's often closed. if it's not open or you'd rather picnic, go to Jimmy John across street & take it to BHG for a picnic on Fridays only from noon to 2pm. everything except the food is FREE at both of these outdoor gems. street parking is via very cheap meters that surround the park.
(if this was helpful, check the box. thanks)

2  Thank sambodogs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 3, 2014

Stopped by the sculpture park on our way to Omaha. We had a wonderful time stretching our legs and viewing the beautiful artwork. We also enjoyed the cell phone tour. A very unexpected gem in a beautiful city. Bring water and enjoy a meal at one of the charming restaurants in the area. Not to be missed.

Thank Amymd2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 25, 2014

We stopped in Des Moines to stretch our legs on the way to Minnesota. After visiting the Capitol, we headed across the river to this sculpture garden. Parking was easily accessible on the street and we headed in to walk around.

The sculptures were very nice and my son and I loved the way they were laid out in the park. Took us about 20 minutes to walk through, but definitely worth the stop!

3  Thank 1liltoot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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