Closer to the Center of the Twin Cities (But more North), you will find North Mississippi Regional Park just off Interstate 94, spreading north and south of 49th Ave, you will find this long narrow park on the banks of the Mississippi River. From the playground proper, you can’t see the river, but it’s there–on the other side of the trees. This park is the collaborative effort between the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and Three Rivers Park District.
I am not kidding about the long and narrow park. When Mississippi Drive borders one side and the Mighty Mississipp’ borders the other, it’s not a broad park. What it loses in width, it makes up for in length. The park is between 1/2 to 1 mile wide (it varies), but approximately 12 miles long between 42nd Ave. and 53rd Ave.
My kids wanted you to see the Rock Table. “Mom! We should have had our picnic on around the rock table!”
It is filled with access to the river, reconstructed prairie, the Carl Kroening Interpretive Center, and the reason we came on this day:
The Play Area.
What a play area it was!
The four main features of the park included
- the climbing equipment–the traditional playground. It was huge.
- the sand toys–again huge. Probably one of the best “sandboxes” in town.
- the big, grassy field. To just run! Run! Run! (A mom’s dream come true!)
- the unique wading pool! With zero depth entry and a rock from which streams of water poured, the kids could hardly contain themselves.
The playground itself was huge. My kids climbed and played and swung and ran around. The playground is easily accessible for the disabled. If you have a wheelchair with you, you will want to avoid the sand box *plenty of paths around it), but the play equipment has ramps on one side and climbing apparatuses on the other.
They ran through the grassy field with their aunt. It’s the perfect place for a pick up game of ultimate frisbee or soccer. Or you can simply frolic!
They dug in the sand to their hearts content. A spigot to make wet sand was available and you could create channels and rivers or a fort with a moat.
Like I said, though, my kids couldn’t wait to get in the water. And I couldn’t blame them. This is one rockin’ wading pool. It’s absolutely frigid, but for the dog days of August, it’s a perfect retreat for both adults and kids.
By 3:00 pm, we were the only ones left in the entire play area.
- The bathrooms were fairly clean and nice. They had a funky odor, but I didn’t want to explore what that was.
- There was so much to choose from to do.
- Picnic tables for everyone. Those in wheelchairs, those who are less than four feet tall, and those in a large group.
- The cool wading pool.
- The play area is so big that there were times when I couldn’t see my children. I would have physically followed them around except that I didn’t want to lug 3 heavy bags with me.
- Did I mention the wading pool water was cold? Refreshing? Yes! The temperature of Lake Superior? Pretty comparable!
North Mississippi Regional Park Play Area is definitely fun. The wading pool is definitely this family’s favorite part!
North Mississippi Regional Park
Hours: 6:00 AM–10:00 PM
5114 North Mississippi Drive
Minneapolis, MN 55430