Urbandale is a great place to live!
I have lived in Urbandale for 10 years and I love it here. Urbandale is a great suburb to the capital city Des Moines. We are on the city border to Des Moines, Waukee, Clive, Grimes and Windsor Heights. We have the best emergency services in the tri county area. I would venture to say the entire state. Our police, EMT and fire departments are second to none. (no I am not related to anyone or have any personal interest) I feel very safe. We have raised 2 of our 3 girls here and plan on staying. The school system is great! the teachers here really care about the students and the district as a whole encourage parent involvement. The government in our city is very fair and works hard for us. We have good roads, infrastructure and public services are great. We have lots of enjoyable parks in our town that are kept very well by the city. The Des Moines are is very quaint with a big city feel. We have some awesome parks and bike trails. We have one of the best bicycle trail system in anywhere I have ever been. You can google it. We have Saylorville lake just north of town that is a nice retreat to fish, swim, boat or just drive around. We like to take our family there on spring and fall days to play. We have Big Creek Lake, Moffit and other smaller lakes as well for spring, summer and fall activities. There are affordable boat rentals at Easter Lake, Grays Lake. All nuzzled in the city scape for a nice escape from daily grind. Our parks have good handicap accessible playgrounds, basketball courts and picnic areas. If you love to picnic Des Moines area is great. WE have beautiful trees, lots of greenery and plush scenery all around. Heat in the summer can be humid and our thunderstorms can be severe with tornado warnings and high winds. But mostly our weather though it does vary from season to season it is livable. Not bad. Our winters are cold but not unbearable. We do get snow but in over 10years the most we have ever gotten here is 12 in and that was only twice. I have had a nice garden in my back yard for the last five years that I grow my own tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers. The soil is great here to grow your own fruits and vegetables. I have family members who grow strawberries, blueberries, lettuce, basically anything you think of we can grow. I even have friends that have greenhouses and grow things in the winter months.
Energy bills are good my average in the winter is $97 and winter is $145. I dont run my heat high in winter I keep it at around 63-65 during day and 67 at night and summer i keep the house at 65. Id rather grab a blanket and fuzzy socks and cuddle on couch than have a high heat bill. We have an electric fireplace and that is amazing. If you are religious, we have all kinds of faith here. Christian lots of denominations a church on every corner literally in some areas, also muslim, buddist, metaphysics, scientology, Catholic, and if you are not a person of faith we have lots of scientific groups and venues in town. If you love Garage sales, we have a great area for fun shopping cheap. We have Merle Hay Mall here in Urbandale, its an ok mall, there is a movie theater, Target and Kohls and lots of other shops. There are several other malls in the area biggest would be Jordan Creek in West Des Moines, Iowa or the Altoona Outlets of Des Moines mall. There is no lack in shopping in this area. Lots of special interest groups on Instagram or Facebook. If you like to be healthy, we have lots of great eateries that cater to vegan, vegetarian and healthy lifestyle. We have a bunch of yoga shops, gyms and walkways.
If you love sports we have USHL hockey league Buckaneers and AHL Iowa Wild hockey, we have the Des Moines Mennace soccer team, we have an indoor football team the Barnstormers. We have the Iowa Wolves basketball in the NBA G league and the Iowa Cubs AAA Baseball team. If you have kids in sports we have a plethera of choices in all sports even golf. Your kids can earn scholarships in almost any US sport you can think of. My daughter got a 75% scholarship for Track & Field at local private college for Throwing shotput, discuss and weight.
We have a lot of awesome colleges in the area. From the affordable community colleges like Des Moines Area Community College or DMACC for short or the elite like Drake University for Law, education or music or Grand View University for medical, graphic arts, communications, education or sports. We have two state colleges not far Iowa State and Iowa University. UNI is a further drive but still a good choice for your high school students looking not to go far from home. Simpson college is just south of town and Des Moines University is an amazing school as well.
The food scene is outstanding here. We have posh eateries and the best hole in the walls ever in the Des Moines area. In Urbandale we are lacking the posh and high end dining here, we have mid to lower eateries here. But some very good food just the same for a suburb. If you are foodie, you will not be disappointed in groups on social media, publications or places to try.
Fun stuff for families. We have a lot of outdoor opportunities for healthy living for families. Tons of parks to have picnics, play frisbee, fly kids, take walks, swim, softball, basketball... all the outdoor fun stuff available here. Indoor, we have climb Iowa, indoor pools private and public. We have trampoline places, indoor go carts, arcades, bowling isles and movie theaters. Plenty to keep you busy. We have a painted rock club for people who like to be creative and paint rocks and hide them for others to find and then post on Facebook. Something fairly affordable and fun to get involved with. We have outdoor yoga groups that are free to minimal fee that meet in parks in the good weather months.
We have Cutty's camp ground which is a private membership resort here in town just across the Urbandale border into Grimes. They have a lake, indoor heated swimming pool, hot tub, sauna, club house with huge kitchen for parties. Tennis, basket ball courts, two outdoor pools, shower houses, rental houses and chalets for your families adventures. Lots of lots for your RVs they even have permanent spots or semi permanent spots to park your RVs. There is a cafe and ice cream shop, mini golf, a rec center for adults and outdoor stage, outdoor movie screen, paddle boats, fishing, Disc golf. Area to pop up a tent. Kiddie pool for toddlers. jungle gyms and play areas all around. Activities for families in spring summer and early fall. great place to be a member. If you want a tour tell them I sent you talk to Ron. They will give you two nights free for only taking 40minutes to tour the place. LOW sales pressure.. nothing intrusive.
There are tons of other camping sites around Jester Park, Saylorville has tons of different places Cherry Glenn, Prairie Flower, Bob Shetler, and Acorn Valley. And lots and lots of others close to town like Browns Woods, Yellow Banks, and Thomas Mitchell just to name a few.
We have live theater here at the Des Moines Playhouse and then the Des Moines Civic Center. Lots of concerts at the Wells Fargo Arena or Hoyt Sherman. Then smaller venues like Val Air Ballroom or Wooleys or Noce. Live music scene is ok. We have some great local bands of all different types.
One of my only cons is only a couple places to truly go out dancing. We need more dancing places. WE do have some amazing dance studios and dance instructional places, you'd think we have more places to dance once we learn... but we dont.
Urbandale itself is a very friendly place to live. Commute into city is about 15-17mins.
I think this review is long enough. If you have any question please comment. I will try to reply.
Michelle | Urbandale, IA