If you’re considering a move to Des Moines, Iowa, and are in search of the perfect family-friendly cities, you’ve come to the right place. Des Moines is known for its welcoming communities, excellent schools, and a variety of family-oriented amenities. 

In this blog post, we’ll take you on a journey through the top 10 family-friendly cities in Des Moines. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or simply looking for a change of scenery, this list will help you find your dream cities.


Beaverdale is a charming neighborhood in Des Moines.  Known for its tree-lined streets and unique architecture. This neighborhood has a strong sense of community, with events like the Beaverdale Fall Festival bringing neighbors together. With excellent schools, parks, and locally-owned businesses, Beaverdale is a great place to raise a family. For more information on Beaverdale homes, check out available homes for sale here.


Waukee is a rapidly growing suburb of Des Moines, making it a popular choice for families. The Waukee Community School District is highly regarded, and the city offers numerous parks and recreational activities. Waukee also boasts a strong sense of community, with regular events like the Waukee Arts Festival.

Waukee is not only one of the fastest-growing suburbs in Des Moines but also one of the most family-oriented. Its school district is a point of pride for the community, consistently receiving high ratings for its academic excellence and extracurricular programs. Waukee High School, in particular, has garnered attention for its exceptional educational opportunities.

In addition to its educational merits, Waukee offers an array of family-friendly amenities. The city’s parks and green spaces are meticulously maintained, providing ample opportunities for outdoor activities and relaxation. One highlight is the Raccoon River Valley Trail, a scenic path for hiking and biking that connects Waukee to other communities in the area.

Waukee also hosts a variety of events throughout the year that foster a strong sense of community. The Waukee Arts Festival showcases local talent, and the city’s Fourth of July celebration is a must-see spectacle of fireworks and festivities.

When it comes to housing in Waukee, you’ll find a mix of established cities with mature trees and newer developments. The real estate market is diverse, catering to a range of budgets and preferences. Whether you’re looking for a spacious family home or a cozy townhouse, Waukee has something to offer.

West Des Moines

West Des Moines is a diverse and thriving community known for its excellent schools and family-friendly amenities. Jordan Creek Town Center provides shopping and entertainment options, and the city’s parks offer endless opportunities for outdoor fun. West Des Moines consistently ranks as one of the best places to live in Iowa.

West Des Moines, often referred to as WDM, is a bustling suburb that seamlessly combines the comforts of suburban living with the convenience of a thriving urban area. It’s not surprising that West Des Moines is frequently recognized as one of the best places to reside in Iowa.

One of the standout features of West Des Moines is its school system. The West Des Moines Community School District is renowned for its commitment to education, with top-rated schools at every level. Families can be confident that their children will receive a high-quality education in a supportive environment.

When it comes to recreational activities, West Des Moines has no shortage of options. The crown jewel of entertainment and shopping in the area is Jordan Creek Town Center. This massive shopping complex features an array of stores, restaurants, and entertainment venues, making it a popular destination for families looking for a day out.

West Des Moines is also home to numerous parks and green spaces. Raccoon River Park, for example, offers a large lake for fishing, a beach for swimming, and walking trails for leisurely strolls. The city’s commitment to green spaces ensures that families have plenty of options for outdoor activities close to home.

As for housing, West Des Moines provides a wide range of options to suit various preferences and budgets. You can find everything from modern apartment complexes to spacious single-family homes. The diversity of housing options contributes to the cities’ appeal, making it accessible to families at all stages of life.


Ankeny, located just north of Des Moines, is another top choice for families. This city has experienced significant growth in recent years, with a strong job market and highly-rated schools. Ankeny offers a variety of recreational activities, from parks to sports leagues. To learn more about the real estate options in Ankeny, check out our available listings here.


Urbandale is a well-established suburb with a reputation for safe cities and excellent schools. Families in Urbandale enjoy access to parks, golf courses, and a variety of community events. Explore the Urbandale housing market in our blog post here.


Clive is another thriving suburb known for its quality of life and family-friendly atmosphere. The Clive Greenbelt Trail offers miles of scenic walking and biking paths, and the city hosts events like the Clive Festival. For insights into the Clive real estate market, check out our blog post here.


Johnston is a fast-growing community with a strong emphasis on education and outdoor recreation. The Johnston Community School District consistently ranks among the state’s best, and the city’s parks provide ample opportunities for family adventures. Learn more about Johnston’s real estate opportunities here.


Grimes is a small town with a big heart. Known for its friendly atmosphere and strong sense of community, Grimes offers a great environment for families. The town has experienced growth in recent years, leading to improved amenities and schools. Explore the Grimes real estate scene in our blog post here.


Altoona, located to the east of Des Moines, is a city on the rise. Home to Adventureland Park and Prairie Meadows Casino, Altoona offers entertainment options for the whole family. The city’s school district is known for its commitment to excellence. Discover more about Altoona’s real estate market here.

Pleasant Hill

Pleasant Hill, just southeast of Des Moines, is a tranquil suburb with a strong focus on family life. With beautiful parks and a close-knit community, Pleasant Hill provides a peaceful escape from the city while still offering convenient access to amenities. Find out about Pleasant Hill’s real estate options here. 


Des Moines and its surrounding suburbs offer a plethora of family-friendly cities, each with its own unique charm. Whether you’re drawn to the established community of Beaverdale, the thriving culture of West Des Moines, or any of the other fantastic cities on our list, there’s a perfect place for your family in the Des Moines area. 

If you’re ready to explore these cities in more detail, contact The Cornerstone Collective Real Estate Team. We’re here to help you find your dream home and the ideal community to call your own.