If you’re looking for a few new places to cool off this summer, we’ve put together a master list of all the Twin Cities Metro-area splash pads we could find. The pads are organized by region for your convenience and nearly all are free of charge (except where noted). With a few more elaborate exceptions, these aren’t so much swimming holes as simple spots where you might beat the heat with your youngsters. Stay cool! Please feel free to leave a comment if you know of any other great places to splash in the Metro.
MINNEAPOLIS AREA SPLASH PADS & WADING POOLS
Check out this handy Pools Dashboard on the Minneapolis Parks website. It gives you real time closure information for pools, leaving less chance of disappointment when you get there.
Waite Park Wading Pool & Splash Pad
Cool off at the newly-renovated Waite Park wading pool and check out its zero-depth entry, new shade structure and interactive water features. Open 10am-9pm.
Located on a public green space near the heart of downtown Minneapolis, these splash fountains are on the small side, but definitely do the trick on a hot day. Plus, there’s all kinds of programming at The Commons during the summer to satisfy all ages: a farmers market, live music, free lawn games, movies, public art and food trucks. Daily 6am-10pm
Franklin Steele Square
A little urban oasis near the southern cusp of downtown Minneapolis. Daily 10am-9pm
Lake Hiawatha Wading Pool
Lake Hiawatha Park’s water play space could be more accurately called a wading pool, but there is a zero-depth entry end lined with water jets. The water is about two feet at its deepest and features spraying cattails. There is also a sandy playground with a tot lot onsite. Daily 10am-9pm (10pm if temp is 85 degrees at 6pm)
Wabun Park Wading Pool
Similar to Lake Hiawatha’s pool, Wabun also has a zero-depth entry and maxes out at 2 feet — perfect for toddlers, preschoolers, and even those kids just learning to swim. A pair of short bubblers in the shallow end and a spraying arched rock structure keep everyone cool. There’s also a great playground adjacent that’s easy to keep an eye on older kids from and shaded picnic pavilions. Open 10am-9pm.
Emerald Park Splash Deck | St Anthony Village
This extra neat and tidy little park has a primary-colored splash pad with jumping fountains and dump buckets, an impressive number of picnic tables (including 4 in a pavilion), plenty of shaded benches, grassy lawns and clean bathrooms. Open during park hours.
Central Park Splash Deck | St Anthony Village
Local parents of toddlers and preschoolers: if all your kids aim to do is get wet, this mini-park will do. Skip Emerald Park and head here for less elaborate fountains and a sweet little playground.
Find a directory of all Minneapolis Parks wading pools here. Pools will be open 10am-9pm daily, starting Memorial Day Weekend 2018.
SAINT PAUL AREA SPLASH PADS
Conway Recreation Center
This splash pad opened June 2013 near the eastern boundary of St Paul. Enjoy the fountains and new playground equipment. Sun Ray Library is steps away if you need a quiet book break. Daily 9am-9pm.
St. Paul’s first splash pad features fountains and jets plus fun new playground equipment. We love the synthetic turf surfacing on the playground, but I’d advise you to keep your shoes on. (Note: We have more than one reader caution about this park in the comments below. If you’ve had good or bad experiences with any of these parks, we would love to hear. Leave us a comment.) Open 9am-9pm.
New in 2017! Kids can make a quick dash from the splash pad fountains to the large and sandy Phalen Park beach. Daily 9am-9pm.