I've only been to Water Works once, on a picnic with the kids. The road was winding, and it was hard to find out where we should park and where we should walk. I must not be the only one who wasn't really sure how to use the park, because they developed a new annual event this year called LAUNCH. Des Moines Water Works, which is our public water company, describes the event as "a new annual and FREE event aimed at drawing new and current users into Water Works Park to explore its many recreational opportunities." It ran from 11am to 6pm today, and we arrived around 2:30pm.
The event was very small, probably because it was the first year. There were maybe 50 people in attendance. We checked out some of the booths. The kids got a free frisbee. They also learned about keeping rivers healthy, and how wetlands can prevent flooding downstream. They each won a piece of candy. I won a coffee traveler mug. We played a little corn hole (or "bags," as they call it here in Iowa) and lawn Jenga (well, the kids built with the over-sized Jenga blocks anyway). They had many other lawn games, too, including lawn Connect-Four, frisbee, ultimate frisbee, and more. Some people were also playing soccer. We checked out some horses.
We enjoyed ourselves at the event, as it was laid back and uncrowded. I learned that you can walk through any part of the park and don't have to walk on the street (there aren't any paved paths). There didn't seem to be ample parking, though, and we never did figure out how to get to the river. A temporary pedestrian bridge was supposed to open today, but it's underwater. It's delayed opening is next week, so maybe I'll try to figure out how to get to it next week to check it out.
Before we left, we stopped and listened to some music played by The Other Brothers. It was pretty good. I took a very quick video of the event from near the stage: