Belles’ Play Garden opens at River’s Edge

Belles’ Play Garden is now open at Tom Hanafan River’s Edge Park, 4250 River’s Edge Parkway.

The play area opened Sunday following a dedication ceremony accompanied by food trucks, musical entertainment, inflatables, face painting, balloon artists, an outdoor movie and the reopening of the River’s Edge splash area via a Council Bluffs Fire Department hydrant party.

The 2,000-square-foot area near River’s Edge Pavilion, on the east side of the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, features a children’s play area with Missouri River-inspired play and educational elements, interpretive seating and rich native plantings.

“It’s beautiful, we’ve got a great night planned and I hope you enjoy it,” Mayor Matt Walsh said during the dedication ceremony.

Belles’ focal point is a 15-foot-tall pelican play element with climbing structures, a slide and a lookout perch with sweeping views of the Omaha skyline and Missouri River banks.

Made possible by the Go Play initiative — co-founded by Rick Knudtson and Heather Tomasek, and Marlina and Dusty Davidson – Belles’ is named after both couple’s daughters: Ella “El Belle” Knudtson and Annabelle Davidson.