Nature Lodge

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 West Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department COVID-19 Information

Business Hours:
Monday-Friday  8am-5pm
Building may be staffed on evenings and weekends if an event is scheduled.

The Nature Lodge located in the Raccoon River Park offers a unique rental space in a natural setting. The building sits along the northwest shore of Blue Heron Lake and provide a place to get away from the demands of city life to slow down and relax. View from the Lakeview Room

Whether you are planning a company retreat or a special wedding reception, this quaint location provides you with all the convenience of modern living with an elegant, yet rustic appearance. The facility seats up to 120 people comfortably.

Rental Rates

The rental rates for the Lakeview room are:

1/3 room
2/3 room $60.00/hour
Full room $90.00/hour
Sunday through Friday there is a 4 hour minimum rental. Saturdays there is a 10 hour minimum rental from April-October and a 5 hours minimum rental November-March.

All groups are required to set up tables and chairs provided. At the end of the event they are responsible to either clean the room and leave it as they found it or pay a cleaning fee. Groups serving alcohol must pay the cleaning fee. The fee is dependent upon the amount of space that they rent.

View Pictures of the Lakeview Room


Weekday Rentals

Are you tired of always having to sit in a boring conference room for staff development? Think a change of scenery would help inspire your team? Located on the shores of Blue Heron Lake in the beautiful Raccoon River Park, this relaxed atmosphere is perfect for creative thinking and interactive conversations away from the distractions in your office. Our versatile rental space is available weekdays 8am-5pm. Call 222-3424 for more information.

Your Rental Fees Include (all available on a first-come, first-served basis):

  • Room Set Up for small groups
  • Wireless Internet Access
  • Multimedia Projector
  • Portable Screen
  • Kitchen Facilties
  • TV/DVD/VCR System
  • Flip Chart Holder
  • White Board
  • Patio Access overlooking Blue Heron Lake 


Weekday 8am-5pm Rental Rates:
The rental space can accommodate groups from 10-120 people. The Lakeview Room is a versatile space that can be divided into smaller spaces depending on your group’s needs.  It can be divided into 3 sections, each renting for $20 / hour. Call 222-3424 and make your reservation today.

lakeview c standard set up    Lakeview classroom setup



Birthday Parties at the Nature Lodge

Birthdays are special, and we have some great ways to celebrate them for kids 5-7 years old! Choose from various themes and leave the planning details to us!

Our parties include:

  • set up
  • a reserved space for your event
  • a party host or hostess
  • a theme related activity
  • cake, ice cream, juice and paper goods
  • and most importantly.... the clean up!!

All parties cost $150 for the first 12 participants (including the birthday child) and are two hours in length. An additional fee of $15 per child will be charged for parties larger than 12, with a maximum of 15 participants.
** PLEASE NOTE: All party participants must meet the minimum age required for each specific party!!**

To schedule your special date, please call 222-3424. Reservations must be made at least 2 weeks in advance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I get to the Nature Lodge?
A: The Nature Lodge is at 2500 Grand Avenue in West Des Moines. The easiest way to get there is take the Grand Ave. exit east from I-35 south and proceed two miles. The park entrance is on your right hand side.

Q: If I rent the Nature Lodge, can I get in early to set up?
A: Your rental time includes your set up time! If you or your caterer need to get in early you need to rent that time.

Q: What are your regulations regarding alcohol?
A: You can only serve wine or beer. No bottles are allowed. If you do serve wine or beer you will need to have an off duty West Des Moines Police Officer present. They charge $50 per hour with a 3 hour minimum. If you serve alcohol you must pay the cleaning fee.

Q: Are the tables and chairs included in the rental amount?
A: Yes they are, however, you are responsible for setting up the tables and chairs for your event.

Q: Do I need to clean up the room when I am done?
A: You can either clean the room and leave it as you found it or you can pay a cleaning fee. The cost of the fee is dependent on the amount of space that you rent. If you serve alcohol you must pay the cleaning fee.

Q: What time do I need to be out of the building?
A: Your contract will state an ending time. You need to be sure that you are cleaned up and ready to leave the building at this stated time.

Q: What kind of audio/visual equipment do you have?
A: We have a TV/VCR/DVD, a screen and a projector. Please inquire about the associated charges.

Q; What sort of decorations are allowed?
A: Free-standing only. Nothing can be taped or affixed to the walls or windows. No glitter or confetti is allowed. Contact us at 515-222-3424 with further questions.

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