Des Moines opens second concession stand at Gray’s Lake Park due to high attendance

Gray’s Lake second concession stand, now open — Courtney Guein/Little Village

Seeing increased park attendance, Des Moines’ Gray’s Lake is reopening its second, beachside concession stand after a decade of vacancy on the northside of the lake.

Jennifer Fletcher, spokesperson for the Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department, tells Axios Des Moines that the department has seen a spike in park-goers since the beginning of the pandemic. This follows national and statewide trends in recreation, though funding for public parks — specifically Iowa’s popular state parks — has plateaued.

The existing concession stand on the lake’s terrace will continue to serve Gray’s Lake visitors as well.

No alcohol will be served, but you can have your choice of hotdogs, ice cream, drinks or snacks at both stands. Standing paddleboards can be rented at the beach concession stand. Life vests are free to rent.

For other watercrafts, you can rent two or three person canoes, double kayaks, four-person pedal boats and row boats at the terrace concession stand.

Rentals are $8 for a half an hour or $15 an hour. All rentals must be returned 30 minutes prior to closing time.

At the 166.6-acre Gray’s Lake Park, visitors can stroll or bike the trails surrounding the lake, enjoy the beach, hit the water on a boat or paddleboard, walk the dog, or take the kids to the playground.

Until July 31, the concession stands will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Aug. 1 through Labor Day (Sept. 5), hours are 1-8 p.m. weekdays but remain 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends.

Gray’s Lake Park is located at 2101 Fleur Dr, Des Moines is open to the public from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day.