Lauridsen Skatepark

Skate enthusiasts of all skill level will feel right at home in Lauridsen Skatepark. Located at the north end of the Principal Riverwalk along the riverfront, it’s the country’s largest open skatepark with 88,000 square-feet of skatable space. This spot is now a USA Skateboarding Certified park, making it one of a handful of parks officially sanctioned to host global skateboarding events and competitions. Best of all, it’s free and open to everyone seven days a week from 6 a.m.-10:30 p.m. 

About the Park

Lauridsen Skatepark began in the early aughts as a community project to fill area kids’ recreational and social needs. After 17 years, the Olympic-caliber park featuring street courses opened in 2021 — and has since gone on to host the 2021 and 2022 Summer Dew Tours — a qualifying event for Olympic skateboarding. Fun fact? The Dew Tour held at Lauridsen Skatepark was the only U.S.-based global Olympic skateboard qualifying events for 2021. 

An exciting extension of the city’s beautiful 15 acre Principal Riverwalk — a recreational district of trails for walking, jogging and biking along the banks of the Des Moines river  — Lauridsen Skatepark boasts everything aspiring and established skaters could want in a skatepark, including a skate promenade, amoeba pool, and flow bowl. 

The Skate Promenade

The nearly quarter-mile skate promenade was previously used as a trail for Riverfront Road and contains numerous one-of-a-kind spots for tricks and street skating features. Wanna carve the corners and run up the ramps? The 38-foot wide space offers skaters a plethora of fun skating components, including a mini-ramp, banks, curbs, cantilevered quarter pipes, A-frame rail, and ledge-gap. And for a literal wow factor: it also includes a large red metal sculpture that reads “WOW,” that’s designed to be skated on. 

The Amoeba Pool

A nod to the empty pools skaters have frequently used for skating, the amoeba pool is a legit pool crafted expressly for skating. Made with pool tile and coping, its depths range from 5-feet, 10-inches in the shallow end to 8-feet, 6-inches in the deep end.

The Junior Flow Bowl

Beginners and intermediate skaters will appreciate this junior-sized course, which is designed to help folks learn transition skating from flat-ground to ramps and inclines. Its facilities feature extensions, escalators, pump-bump, layback walls and more — all at a depth range of four to seven feet.

Fun Year Round

Lauridsen Skatepark is also home to multiple annual events. Arguably its most popular, the Skate DSM Streetstyle Open, is modeled after the international skate competition, the Copenhagen Open. The multi-day open street contest takes place at locations throughout downtown Des Moines and features skaters of all skill levels, so you could catch a glimpse of some stars of the skateboarding world. Hosted by local nonprofit Skate DSM and sponsored by local nonprofit Catch Des Moines, the event showcases the extraordinary talent of this unique sport. 

Another great thing about the skatepark? Its location in the heart of downtown Des Moines means you’re a quick stroll away from beloved attractions and world-class eateries. 

Botanical Garden

Fun is in bloom, no matter the season, at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden. Explore and…


Adventureland is an amusement park, water park, and craft beer destination all in one. With more than…

Blank Park Zoo

Iowa’s largest zoo is where the wild things are. For kids, that means giraffe feedings, sea lion…

Jordan Creek Mall

Known as the premier shopping destination in Iowa, Jordan Creek Town Center is more than just a mall…

Top Things To Do

Catch the top things to do in Greater Des Moines. A city where you can enjoy a day picking pumpkins…

Free Things To Do

There is no shortage of free things to do in Des Moines! If arts and culture is your thing…