Get to Know: Waukee

As one of the fastest-growing cities in Iowa, Waukee is a western Des Moines suburb with ample opportunity. Waukee Triumph Park is just one example of how Waukee is embracing its growth to create great amenities for those living in the community. The park includes green space, an inclusive playground, an 11-acre pond, ball fields and an ADA-compliant fishing pier, among other features. Waukee Towne Center will become a retail and entertainment complex — construction for anchor retailer Target starts in the spring of 2023, while KeeTown Loop is set to open in 2023, becoming home to a Live Nation music venue. Both the Heart of the Warrior Trail and Raccoon River Valley Trailhead are in Waukee, the latter features the Waukee Railroad Pergola, a centerpiece of the corridor. Looking for beauty and botany nearby? The Brenton Arboretum is a short drive to walk themed trails amid a stunning landscape.  

Waukee Town Sign

Waukee at a Glance 

  • Population: 26,495 (2021, US Census Bureau) 
  • Location within Greater Des Moines: West 
  • Distance from Des Moines: 14.9 miles 
  • Type of Community: Suburb 
  • School District: Waukee Community School District 
  • County: Dallas 

Waukee in One Sentence: The fastest growing, large city in Iowa, Waukee is a vibrant city with fantastic schools, miles of trails, ever-expanding parks and amenities, well-maintained roads and an abundance of friendly people.

The Top Five Best Things About Waukee: 

  1. The growing business community.
  2. The Palms Theatres & IMAX 
  3. 17 Parks and 23 Miles of Trails (Including Triumph Park & Raccoon River Valley Trail) 
  4. Waukee Community School District 
  5. It has a hometown feel. 

Hidden Gems And Unexpected Finds in Waukee: Waukee was the first fully fiber connected community in the Des Moines metro. You’ll find an ADA accessible fishing pier at Triumph Park. The APEX program draws on the expertise of business partners to bring real-world experience to high school students. 

Community Traditions and Annual Events: 

Waukee Town Sign
  • Waukee Wake Up: This community coffee hour, on the first Wednesday of each month, is hosted by the Waukee Young Professionals and features networking, a short presentation and free coffee.
  • FamilyFest: Check out Waukee area businesses, enjoy games and prizes, and jump on inflatables at this free event held every January. 
  • Waukee’s Celebration of Independence: The Waukee community comes together for a three-day Fourth of July celebration that includes a parade, carnival, fireworks and other activities. 
  • Public Safety Day: The Waukee Police and Fire Departments join forces annually to host Waukee Public Safety Day. The event features an array of safety activities and demonstrations. 
  • Waukee Area Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Bus Tour: This annual bus tour draws hundreds of business and community members together to learn about the latest developments in Waukee. The tour covers city, school, business and residential development. 
  • WinterFest: Bring on the holiday cheer with Waukee's free, annual WinterFest celebration the first Friday of December. 

Best Ways to Get Connected: 

  1. Become a member of the Waukee Area Chamber of Commerce.  
  2. Volunteer with Waukee Area Christian Services.
  3. Join the Waukee Rotary or Lions Clubs. 
  4. Serve on one of the City of Waukee’s boards and commissions. 
  5. Join the upcoming Waukee Leadership Institute class. 

Get to Know Community Leader: Courtney Clarke, Mayor of Waukee. 

Big Things on the Horizon for Waukee: The City of Waukee is planning for a new Public Safety Building to house the growing police and fire departments. Pierson Commercial is planning a 300,000- square-foot shopping and retail center featuring Target with space for trending shops, entertainment, exercise, food, drink and lodging. The City is reviewing proposals to create a mixed income housing subdivision that will support affordable housing needs for low- and moderate-income households. Kettlestone will see the development of KeeTown Loop, a 27-acre entertainment district with a Live Nation venue expected to draw in around 350,000 visitors annually. 

If you’re coming to check out the community, be sure to spend your day …Kickstart your day with some caffeine at The Coffeesmith or Hyper Energy Bar. Take a selfie on top of spaghetti at Alice Nizzi Park. Explore the Coal Mine Museum at the Waukee Public Library. Grab a lager at Kinship Brewing Company. Enjoy some Mediterranean cuisine at Fresh Mediterranean Express. Play a round of golf at Broheim's Indoor Golf & Pub or outdoors at Sugar Creek Golf Course. Check out the new, inclusive Triumph Park. Get some retail therapy at The Style Bar Boutique and break a sweat at SPENGA – Waukee or enjoy some ice cream at Home Sweet Cone or Waukee Ice Cream Shoppe. Treat yourself to a manicure at The Nail Lab and relax with a facial at Kissed Peach Wax Saloon. Sing karaoke at Mickey’s Irish Pub. Cook your own steak at Rube’s Steakhouse. Grab a snack at the cookie vending machine at Echo’s Cookies. 

Some of the ways Waukee advances diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI): Waukee strives to ensure everyone is welcomed, connected, and supported in our community. Waukee Community School District seeks to affirm uniqueness and difference, create a culture of acceptance and growth, amplify student voices and support the social-emotional needs of students. The City of Waukee continues to produce diverse candidate slates and diverse perspectives on their boards and commissions. The community also features many public amenities that are accessible to all including Triumph Park which features an Epic Inclusive playground and an ADA fishing pier. 

Waukee biking