Iowa Winter Sports

Embrace the Cold: Winter Sports and Where to Find Them in Iowa

Every year, winter hits the Midwest, bringing a chance to enjoy the outdoors with winter sports in Iowa. You can try ice skating, skiing, and snowboarding to have fun in the cold. Let’s look at some top winter sports and where to do them in Iowa.

Ever thought about where to find exciting winter sports in Iowa? Want to know the best ice skating rinks or where to sled? We will show you the best places to enjoy winter sports in Iowa and have a great winter season!

Key Takeaways:

  • Winter in Iowa offers a plethora of outdoor activities and sports for all ages.
  • Explore the various ice skating rinks in Iowa, including the iconic Brenton Skating Plaza and the synthetic ice rink in Johnston.
  • Discover the best sledding spots and organized snow tubing fun at places like Sleepy Hollow and Seven Oaks Recreation.
  • Engage in other winter activities like snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and winter hikes offered by Polk County Conservation.
  • Embrace the joys of the winter season with the events organized by Friends of Des Moines Parks and the Blank Park Zoo.
  • Don’t let the cold keep you indoors – bundle up, grab your gear, and immerse yourself in the excitement of winter sports in Iowa!

Ice Skating in Iowa

In Iowa, ice skating is a favorite winter pastime. It’s both fun and exciting, especially if you love the cold. Whether you’re new to skating or an old hand, Iowa has great spots for skating.

Brenton Skating Plaza

The Brenton Skating Plaza in Des Moines offers a beautiful and iconic ice skating experience. This outdoor rink is in downtown Des Moines. It overlooks the Des Moines River and the city itself. It’s perfect for a day of skating with your loved ones.

Outdoor Ice Rinks

Thanks to Wells Fargo and the Iowa Wild, ice skating is widely available in Iowa’s parks. You can find outdoor rinks in several places including Altoona, Ankeny, and West Des Moines. This setup lets people easily enjoy ice skating outdoors in various locations.

Valley Ice Plaza

For a top-notch skating experience, visit the Valley Ice Plaza in West Des Moines. This spot not only has public skating but also family skates and broomball. You’ll also get to enjoy free coffee and WiFi. It’s a wonderful place to hang out with friends and family.

Synthetic Ice Rink in Johnston

The synthetic ice rink in Johnston’s town center is a great alternative for ice skating. It’s a budget-friendly and weather-proof option. You can skate with your own skates or rent a pair for a small fee. This is an ideal place to enjoy ice skating all year round.

Skating at any of these places in Iowa promises a magical time for everyone. With your skates, explore the wonders of winter while gliding on the ice.

Sledding and Snow Tubing

sledding and snow tubing image

Looking for excitement in the snow? Sledding and snow tubing are top choices for fun. Greater Des Moines has many spots for sledding. They promise a good time for everyone. Here are some local spots to check out:

  • The west side of the Supreme Court Building
  • Waveland Golf
  • The old Catholic Church Hill in Indianola
  • Behind Metro Ice Complex
  • Jordan Creek Elementary
  • Beaver Creek Golf Course

Want organized snow tubing? You’re in luck. Seven Oaks Recreation in Boone has snow tubing, skiing, and snowboarding. They have 11 slopes for you to enjoy. In Des Moines, head to Sleepy Hollow for some fun in the snow. It has many runs and a quad chair lift for your convenience.

Ready to explore more? Horseshoe Bend Winter Sports Area in Okoboji is a great choice. They have a tubing hill that’s fun for all ages.

Other Winter Activities in Iowa

Embrace Winter with Friends of Des Moines Parks events

In Iowa, there’s more to do than just ice skating and sledding in the winter. You can go on wildlife adventures or trek snow-covered trails. There’s fun for everyone during the cold season.

Blank Park Zoo

Visit the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines, where you can see how animals deal with winter. Attend educational events and learn about wildlife behaviors and survival. It’s a great chance to have fun and discover something new.

Snowshoe/Cross-Country Ski

For those wanting to see the winter scenery up close, snowshoeing or skiing is perfect. Polk County Conservation provides gear and suggests trails. It’s the ideal way to exercise and enjoy the peace of nature.

Winter Hikes

Winter hikes show trails in a different light, especially with a layer of fresh snow. Put on your warmest boots and head out to explore Iowa’s winter settings on recommended trails by Polk County Conservation. There are walks and hikes for all levels of ability.

SnowshoeingVarious trails recommended by Polk County Conservation
Cross-Country SkiingVarious trails recommended by Polk County Conservation
Winter HikesVarious trails recommended by Polk County Conservation


If you’re up for an adventure, try snowmobiling through Iowa’s winter roads. The Lakeshore Trail at Jester Park is a top spot for this activity. Feel the thrill of speeding through snowy vistas, showing off Iowa’s winter beauty.

Embrace Winter with Friends of Des Moines Parks Events

Friends of Des Moines Parks organizes winter events to make the season more fun. There are ice skating meetups at Gray’s Lake and Waveland Park. Plus, other activities are there to help you enjoy winter with loved ones.

From exploring nature at the zoo to trying out snowshoes or a snowmobile, there’s lots to do. Also, joining the winter events in the community can be a blast. Iowa’s activities welcome you to enjoy the winter months.


Iowa Winter Sports has many fun things for all, from ice skating to snowboarding. There’s joy for everyone in Iowa. It’s the perfect time to have an adventure and discover what Iowa offers.

Imagine skating at Brenton Skating Plaza or Valley Ice Plaza. Or skiing down Seven Oaks Recreation’s snowy slopes. You can also try tubing at Sleepy Hollow and Horseshoe Bend Winter Sports Area.

For a unique experience, try snowshoeing or skiing through Polk County’s beautiful trails. Get to see amazing animal life at the Blank Park Zoo. You can also join fun winter events by Friends of Des Moines Parks.

This winter, step outside and enjoy Iowa’s winter wonders. Try out different winter activities and have the time of your life in Iowa’s snowy paradise.


Where can I go ice skating in Iowa?

You can ice skate at the Brenton Skating Plaza in Des Moines. Also, try outdoor rinks at parks partnered with the Iowa Wild and Wells Fargo. The Valley Ice Plaza in West Des Moines and a synthetic rink in Johnston are great too.

What are some popular sledding spots in Iowa?

For sledding, some top spots are the west side of the Supreme Court. Also, don’t miss Waveland Golf, the old Catholic Church Hill in Indianola, and spots behind Metro Ice Complex. Jordan Creek Elementary and Beaver Creek Golf Course are favorites too.

Where can I go snow tubing in Iowa?

For snow tubing, head to Seven Oaks Recreation in Boone. Also, check out Sleepy Hollow in Des Moines and Horseshoe Bend Winter Sports Area in Okoboji.

What other winter activities are available in Iowa?

Iowa offers many other fun winter activities. Visit the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines. Go snowshoeing and cross-country skiing on Polk County Conservation’s trails.Enjoy winter hikes and snowmobiling at Jester Park’s Lakeshore Trail.

Are there any winter events in Iowa?

Yes, Polk County Conservation has a host of winter events, indoor and outdoor. Friends of Des Moines Parks also arrange events like Embrace Winter at Gray’s Lake and Waveland Park. They’re to help folks enjoy the season.

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