There’s no doubt that Brenton Skating Plaza has the best outdoor ice skating in Des Moines! Not only is it an excellent ice skating rink, but it offers views and ambiance you can’t get anywhere else.
The ice skating rink is in Downtown Des Moines, along the Principal Riverwalk. It offers open skating in the winter, with ice skate rentals. And in warmer weather, the canopy goes up for concerts and events.
Brenton Skating Plaza Location and Hours
Brenton is located at 520 Robert D. Ray Dr, Des Moines, IA 50309.
When is Brenton Open?
Brenton ice skating is scheduled to open on November 19, and they plan to be open through March this year.
You can register for 105-minute skating sessions online (once the season starts). They limit capacity to 110 skaters. If you don’t register for a session, you can walk up and get in if they aren’t at capacity. For details, see the Brenton Skating Plaza website.
November – December Hours
Monday-Thursday: 5-9 pm
Friday: 5-11 pm
Saturday: 12-11 pm
Sunday: 12-6 pm
January – March Hours
Monday-Friday: 5-9 pm
Saturday: 12-9 pm
Sunday: 12-6 pm
For up-to-date closures and discounts, text BRENTONSKATING to 84483 or check their Facebook page.
Prices at Brenton Skating Plaza
Here is the admission and skate rental prices for the 2021-22 ice skating season.
- Adults: $9
- Children (6-12): $5.50
- Children under 5 are FREE
- Military/Senior (62+): $5.50
- Punch Pass: 10 sessions + skates: $80
Skate rental is $5.00
How to get there
From I-235, take Exit 8B to East 6th Street. Head south on East 6th and turn right (west) on East Grand Avenue. Brenton is on the right (north of Grand), at the intersection of Robert D. Ray Drive and East Grand Avenue.
Take the D-Line to Brenton from anywhere downtown. The D-Line is a free DART bus route that runs a loop around downtown every 10-15 minutes. Operating hours are Weekdays, 6:30 am to 6 pm, and Saturdays, 10 am to 5 pm.
Parking at Brenton
- Street parking is available along Robert D Ray Drive.
- Free parking is available at the Armory on the north side of Brenton after 5 pm Monday thru Friday and on weekends.
- A city parking ramp is at 402 East 2nd Street, a block south of Brenton, for $1 per hour ($10 max). Parking is free on Sundays.
- Metered parking at $1.25/hour is along East Grand Avenue and other city streets. Parking is free on Sundays.
Brenton Skating Plaza Parking Map
More about Brenton Skating Plaza
The Brenton Foundation donated the skating rink. And in 2006 it became the first open-air ice skating rink to open in Iowa. The 120’ x 60’ rink has a capacity of 220 skaters. It takes 8000 gallons of water to create the 2 inches of ice on the surface, cooled by miles of piping run under the rink.
What about ice skating lessons? Check the website for Learn to Skate Sessions
Things To Do Nearby
Rent a bike in front of Brenton Skating Plaza through BCycle (or bring your own bike)! Hop on the Principal Riverwalk to connect to several trails going in any direction throughout Des Moines and beyond.
Before you hit the ice, check out the State Historical Building, about five blocks east of Brenton. There you can learn about Iowa’s history through the building’s exhibits and collections. Best of all? It’s free!
You won’t want to miss the Historic East Village shops and restaurants within walking distance of the skating rink. Visit Zombie Burger for a post-apocalyptic burger and shake. And check out Raygun, a screenprinting company with witty, one-of-a-kind t-shirts and more.
Head west on Grand to explore the Pappajohn Sculpture Park to see over four acres of unique artwork.
There you have it. Brenton Skating Plaza is the place to go for outdoor ice skating in Des Moines! So whether you live in the area or are visiting, it belongs on your list of Des Moines’ places for wintertime fun!