The theme here on Des Moines Outdoors is, well, the outdoors. So we decided to create a list of outdoor wedding venues in Central Iowa!
So, if you love the outdoors and want to say “I do” in the beautiful surroundings of nature, this list is for you. Below are the outdoor wedding venues in Central Iowa — and many are near Des Moines.
If we missed one of your favorites, please drop a note and let us know!
Outdoor Wedding Venues in Central Iowa
Des Moines Water Works Park, Des Moines
Rent the Denman Memorial Fountain or South Garden Gazebo in Water Works Park near downtown. For information, see the Des Moines Water Works facility rental page.
Gray’s Lake Park, Des Moines
The Christine Hensley Terrace at Gray’s Lake is a perfect spot for a wedding, with a view of the lake and city skyline!
Jasper Winery, Des Moines
Jasper Winery is an excellent venue for indoor and outdoor weddings—they have a big canopy for outdoor events. And they have a wedding coordinator for help with planning. Find them across from Water Works Park near downtown Des Moines.
Pappajohn Sculpture Park, Des Moines
Talk about a unique wedding venue! The Pappajohn Sculpture Park is ideal for an outdoor wedding in Des Moines. Choose your favorite sculpture area for your ceremony! You can also book the lawn at Western Gateway Park by the sculpture garden.
Long Look Garden, Des Moines
Long Look Garden is an excellent spot for an outdoor wedding right in the heart of downtown Des Moines. The garden is behind city hall, along the Des Moines River and Principal Riverwalk.
Simon Estes Amphitheater, Des Moines
For a larger outdoor wedding, Simon Estes Amphitheater is the perfect venue. And it’s located right on the Des Moines River downtown. One of the great things about this venue is that Embassy Suites is right there!
Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, Des Moines
What better place for an outdoor wedding than the breathtaking gardens at the Des Moines Botanical Garden? I mean, gardens are their specialty here. It was even named the “most beautiful wedding venue in Iowa” by Purewow.
The World Food Prize Garden, Des Moines
The gardens at the World Food Prize are a perfect setting for a summer wedding in downtown Des Moines! The beautifully landscaped grounds and fountain are great for photos. For more info, see the website.
Brenton Skating Plaza, Des Moines
Brenton Skating Plaza offers yet another fantastic outdoor venue downtown! It’s right on the Des Moines River and offers excellent views of the city. A summer canopy protects guests from the sun and rain!
Science Center of Iowa, Des Moines
The Science Center of Iowa hosts indoor and outdoor weddings. So you can say “I do” under the stars outdoors—or indoors at the planetarium!
Salisbury House & Gardens, Des Moines
The Salisbury House is a historic 1920s Tudor-style mansion (and museum) in the heart of Des Moines. And it’s surrounded by 10 acres of woods and gardens, making it an outdoor venue in a class by itself!
Rollins Mansion, Des Moines
The 1920s-era Rollins Mansion is a Tudor-style like the Salisbury House mentioned above. The venue has plenty of indoor event space. But their outdoor garden and courtyard are ideal for a gorgeous outdoor wedding.
Greenwood Ashworth Park, Des Moines
The Clare and Miles Mills’ Rose Garden and Sylvan Amphitheater are excellent for outdoor weddings! The picturesque setting of Greenwood Park offers a spectacular backdrop.
Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines
The lobby and courtyard at the Des Moines Art Center offer an elegant outdoor setting! Lighted trees, a reflecting pool, and unique architecture make it a one-of-a-kind outdoor venue!
Blank Park Zoo, Des Moines
For a super fun and unique wedding venue, go to the zoo! They have several settings for weddings, and wedding packages are available. See their wedding packet for details.
Ewing Park, Des Moines
The Lilac Arboretum at Ewing Park is ideal for an outdoor wedding, especially when the lilacs bloom in the spring.
Union Park, Des Moines
The Union Park Floral Garden is at its best during the summer months when the flowers bloom! The area accommodates up to 250 guests.
Living History Farms, Urbandale
Take a tour of Living History Farms and choose a historic location for your wedding! Popular outdoor areas are the Walnut Hill Gazebo, the picnic shelter, and the Flynn Mansion porch and/or Barn.
Raccoon River Park Nature Lodge, West Des Moines
The Raccoon River Park Nature Lodge is on the shores of Blue Heron Lake at Raccoon River Park. The patio offers views of the lake and is the perfect place for a small outdoor wedding ceremony.
Jamie Hurd Amphitheater, West Des Moines
Located on the West Des Moines City Campus, the Jamie Hurd Amphitheater offers tons of green space overlooking a scenic pond.
Glen Oaks Country Club, West Des Moines
Glen Oaks Country Club offers various indoor and outdoor options for your wedding. Outdoor ceremonies overlook the golf course, and they also have a covered veranda. Tents are available for rent.
Walnut Woods Lodge, West Des Moines
The Walnut Woods Lodge is a 1930s CCC-era lodge nestled among the spectacular trees in Walnut Woods State Park. Outdoor and indoor space is available.
Happy Apple Celebrations, Norwalk
The beautiful surroundings at Happy Apple Celebrations are ideal for an outdoor wedding. The 80-acre farm specializes in events and is just a few minutes south of downtown Des Moines.
Carper Winery, Norwalk
Carper Winery offers an excellent outdoor wedding venue overlooking their pond and vineyard! And it’s not far from Des Moines. Weddings are their forte, so let them handle the details!
Copper Creek Golf Course, Pleasant Hill
The covered patio overlooking the Copper Creek Golf Course is a great outdoor space. The great thing is, their patio accommodates both the ceremony and reception.
Otter Creek Golf Course, Ankeny
Have your outdoor wedding on the new patio at Otter Creek Golf Course! They offer a bridal suite and other accommodations for the wedding party.
Jester Park, Granger
The Jester Park Lodge is in the scenic woods of Jester Park, overlooking Saylorville Lake. And it’s an excellent place for outdoor weddings! Also, the new Bridal Cottage offers a convenient location for the wedding party to get ready for the big day.
The Jester Park Nature Center offers sweeping views of native prairie and woodlands. And the outdoor terrace (with a fireplace!) is the ideal setting for a wedding surrounded by nature.
The Jester Park Amphitheater is surrounded by mature oak trees in the heart of Jester Park. It’s the perfect place for a small outdoor wedding!
To use the facilities at Jester Park, you must also complete a Special Events Application.
Brenton Arboretum, Dallas Center
Brenton Arboretum is a living museum with a unique wedding venue! The pavilion is on a hill with sweeping views of the arboretum—you couldn’t ask for a more quaint outdoor setting.
Barnes’ Place, Adel
Barnes’ Place offers several different outdoor ceremony options on its beautiful farm. This venue is nestled in the peaceful countryside near Adel, about 25 miles west of Des Moines.
Country Lane Lodge, Adel
Country Lane Lodge is in the secluded countryside of Dallas County, a few minutes west of Des Moines. Hold your ceremony outdoors on 40-acres of a scenic, rural landscape. And they throw in decor options with no added cost.
The Keller Brick Barn, Dallas Center
The Keller Brick Barn is a renovated 1930s barn that’s become an event venue at the Keller Family Farm. Outside ceremonies take place in the serene countryside. And the Bride’s House makes getting ready for the big day more convenient.
Three Sisters Barn, Dallas Center
Three Sisters Barn is an event venue on a working farm northeast of Des Moines. They offer outdoor ceremonies and receptions (or use the perfectly renovated barn!).
Summerset Winery, Indianola
The Summerset Winery hosts indoor and outdoor weddings on a beautiful 12-acre vineyard. And the Inn at Summerset offers the wedding party an ideal place to stay. A wedding coordinator helps with the details.
La Vida Loca Winery, Indianola
The gazebo at La Vida Loca Winery offers a picturesque setting in the vineyard! The winery is about 20 miles south of Des Moines near Indianola.
Irishman Acres, Bondurant
Irishman Acres is an award-winning venue with everything you need for the big day. This small family farm offers options for an indoor or outdoor ceremony.
Hotel Pattee, Perry
Hotel Pattee offers both indoor and outdoor space for weddings. Their custom menu and themed hotel rooms make it a unique venue your guests won’t soon forget.
Iowa Arboretum, Madrid
At the Iowa Arboretum, you have a choice of locations among the landscaped gardens and trees. The great thing about this venue is, they provide an indoor backup site free of charge!
Baqara Coliseum, Newton
Though Baqara Coliseum is a bit east of Des Moines, it’s worth checking out. They offer elegant outdoor ceremonies with unique surroundings!
Don’t Wait to Book Your Outdoor Wedding Venue!
We understand your desire to tie the knot in the great outdoors. But, if your wedding is coming up, don’t wait any longer to book your location! Many of the popular outdoor wedding venues in Central Iowa fill up quickly.