As the line between late spring & early summer starts to melt away in the rising temps, it’s time to update our master list of best places to swim & splash in the Twin Cities: best beaches, best swimming pools, wading pools, fun water parks and splash pads. Scroll to the bottom for a quicklist of FREE pools, beaches & waterparks. Find your new splash happy spot in Minneapolis, St Paul & the surrounding Twin Cities Metro.
Get started planning your best summer!
Everything under the sun you need to know about family fun this summer in the Twin Cities. Beat boredom and fill your long school break days exploring the best the Twin Cities has to offer in the way of parks, swim spots, community entertainment and local festivals with our Ultimate Summer Events Guide.
Twin Cities swimming beaches – BY COUNTY
- CENTERVILLE LAKE BEACH
- COON LAKE BEACH, EAST BETHEL
- LAKE GEORGE BEACH, OAK GROVE
A $6 vehicle permit is required for swimming beaches located in Anoka County parks.
- BAYLOR REGIONAL PARK BEACH, NORWOOD YOUNG AMERICA
- LAKE MINNEWASHTA PARK BEACH, EXCELSIOR
- LAKE WACONIA REGIONAL PARK BEACH
Carver County beaches are FREE; vehicle fees were eliminated in 2019.
- LAKE BYLLESBY BEACH, CANNON FALLS
- SCHULZE LAKE BEACH, EAGAN
- LAKE GERVAIS COUNTY PARK BEACH, LITTLE CANADA
- LAKE JOSEPHINE BEACH, ROSEVILLE
- LAKE MCCARRONS BEACH, ROSEVILLE
- LONG LAKE REGIONAL PARK BEACH, NEW BRIGHTON
- LAKE JOHANNA BEACH, ARDEN HILLS
- LAKE OWASSO COUNTY PARK BEACH, SHOREVIEW
- TURTLE LAKE COUNTY PARK BEACH, SHOREVIEW
- VADNAIS-SNAIL LAKES BEACH, SHOREVIEW
- WHITE BEAR LAKE BEACH
Ramsey County beaches with lifeguard service are open Memorial Day-Labor Day. Beaches are open sunrise-sunset (park hours). Admission is FREE to swim.
- BAKER PARK RESERVE BEACH, MAPLE PLAIN
- BRYANT LAKE REGIONAL PARK BEACH, EDEN PRAIRIE
- CARVER PARK RESERVE BEACH, VICTORIA
- CEDAR LAKE FARM REGIONAL PARK BEACH, NEW PRAGUE
- CLEARY LAKE REGIONAL PARK BEACH, PRIOR LAKE
- ELM CREEK SWIM POND – Chlorinated with a sand beach. Close to an elaborate playground & nature center. $5/pp.
- FISH LAKE REGIONAL PARK, MAPLE GROVE
- FRENCH LAKE REGIONAL PARK, PLYMOUTH
- LAKE MINNETONKA SWIM POND, MINNETRISTA – Chlorinated with a sand beach. $5/pp.
- LAKE REBECCA PARK RESERVE, ROCKFORD
- BIG MARINE LAKE BEACH, MARINE ON ST CROIX
- LAKE ELMO PARK RESERVE SWIM POND
- POINT DOUGLAS BEACH, HASTINGS
- SQUARE LAKE BEACH, STILLWATER
- ST CROIX BLUFFS BEACH, HASTINGS
Washington County Beaches are open 9am-8pm. A $7 vehicle permit is required w/ the exception of Point Douglas Beach. Each first Tuesday of the month is FREE entry day!
Note: The LAKE ELMO SWIM POND at Lake Elmo Park Reserve will open June 12, 2021.
TWIN CITIES SWIMMING BEACHES – BY CITY
BLAINE: LAKESIDE COMMONS PARK & BEACH
Public beach, splash pad, playground, and water rentals. $5/non-res, residents FREE.
BLOOMINGTON: BUSH LAKE BEACH
Make a day of it with close proximity to the ginormous Hyland Lake Park Reserve Play Area and a visit to the Richardson Nature Center.
BURNSVILLE: CRYSTAL BEACH PARK
Located on an isthmus between Crystal & Keller Lakes, its highlight is a swimming beach open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.
CHASKA: CLAYHOLE SWIM BEACH
Firemen’s Park surrounds Clayhole Lake and Swim Beach. We rate this one of the best beaches for families in the Twin Cities.
EDEN PRAIRIE BEACHES:
Kids will go crazy for the marine-themed splash pad and treehouse play equipment at the Round Lake Play Area. Older kids might find it fun to rent youth kayaks ($5/hr) or stand-up paddleboards ($8/hr) for Round Lake Beach.
The newly expanded beach at Riley Lake offers a boat launch, picnic tables, grills and a sand volleyball court.
- Bde Maka Ska 32nd Street Beach – Unguarded.
- Bde Maka Ska North Beach – Unguarded.
- Bde Maka Ska Thomas Beach – Guarded daily from noon to 7pm.
- Cedar Lake East Beach – Unguarded.
- Cedar Lake Point Beach – Unguarded.
- Cedar Lake South Beach – Unguarded.
- Lake Harriet North Beach – Unguarded.
- Lake Harriet Southeast Beach – Unguarded.
- Lake Hiawatha Beach – Unguarded.
- Lake Nokomis 50th Street Beach – Unguarded.
- Lake Nokomis Main Beach – Guarded daily from noon to 7pm.
- Wirth Lake Beach – Guarded daily from noon to 7pm.
Usually open Memorial Day weekend; lifeguards in early June 2021.
MINNETONKA: SHADY OAK BEACH
Beach, sand play and water play areas, playground equipment and a fossil dig. $3-$6/pp, discount after 6pm.
NORTH ST PAUL: SILVER LAKE BEACH
A large expanse of sandy beach and the swimming boundaries are relatively small.
- MEDICINE LAKE EAST BEACH
- MEDICINE LAKE WEST BEACH – Bring a picnic to grill, a volleyball to play and maybe your fishing gear.
- PARKERS LAKE BEACH – There is a nearby playground and space to picnic.
SAINT PAUL: LAKE PHALEN PARK BEACH
Complete with a playground, splash pad and water craft rentals. Free, Open 12pm-8pm.
WOODBURY: CARVER LAKE PARK BEACH
Clean, sandy & threaded with hilly little bike trails.
Want the best? For more beachy ideas, try our list of 20 Twin Cities Beaches & Playgrounds To Try This Summer.
Is This Beach Safe to Swim In?
Each year, beaches get closed because of high bacteria levels – particularly E. coli – or blue green algae growth. So how do you know whether the water quality of a beach is safe for swimming? Many municipalities and park systems routinely monitor and proactively close beaches if bacteria levels exceed state guidelines, usually before any sickness is reported. This information is publicly available online. To avoid disappointment, you may want to check before heading out. The Minnesota Department of Health has conveniently created a list of public beaches that are regularly monitored.
TWIN CITIES WATER PARKS & OUTDOOR POOLS – BY CITY
Whether you prefer a water park or swimming pool, find the best outdoor pools in Minnesota.
ANOKA: Anoka Aquatic Center
Sat-Sun & holiday noon-7pm, Mon-Fri 3-7pm. $4-$7/pp.
BLOOMINGTON: Bloomington Family Aquatic Center
Tot Open Swim, Mon-Fri, 11am-noon for ages 0-6. $7.25-$10/pp, discount after 4pm.
COON RAPIDS: Bunker Beach Water Park
Wave pool, waterslides, lazy river. $9-$15/pp, discount after 4pm.
CRYSTAL: Crystal Cove Aquatic Center
$6-$8/pp, discount after 5pm.
EAGAN: Cascade Bay Water Park
Sand and water play areas dedicated to little ones, slides, a lazy river and mini golf. $7-$11/pp, discount after 4pm.
EDINA: Edina Aquatic Center
Wave simulator, cable zipline ride, pirate-themed kiddie pool, and an outdoor playground. $9-$11.50/pp, discount after 5pm.
MAPLEWOOD: Battle Creek Waterworks
Sand play area, 3-story waterslide, zero-depth entry. $5-$7/pp, discount after 6pm.
MAPLE GROVE: Grove Cove Aquatic Center Outdoor Pool
10am-6pm. $7-$8/pp or $26-$30/family.
MINNEAPOLIS SWIMMING POOLS & WATERPARKS:
NEW HOPE: New Hope Aquatic Park
Open June 5th – August 15, 2021, 12-8pm weekdays; 11am-7pm weekends. $8-$10/pp.
RICHFIELD: Richfield Outdoor Pool
$8-$10/pp, discount after 4pm.
SHAKOPEE: SandVenture Aquatic Park
Chlorinated water with a sand bottom and beach, slides and special discount days. $3-$7/pp, discount after 5pm.
SOUTH ST PAUL: Northview Pool
Located in Northview Park, the pool has a diving board, a climbing wall, a bathhouse and concession stand. Admission is $4/pp.
ST LOUIS PARK: St. Louis Park Outdoor Aquatic Park
Aqua obstacle course, slides, wet sand play area and splash playground. Tot Time is Mon-Fri, 10-11am. $5.50-$9.50/pp, discounts after 4:30pm.
ST PAUL SWIMMING POOLS:
COMO REGIONAL PARK POOL – Features a zip line, climbing wall, lazy river and separate splash pool. Saturday Tot Time at Como, 9:30 to 11:00am, $8 per parent/child pair. $6-$7/pp.
HIGLAND PARK AQUATIC CENTER – Children’s activity pool, diving well & slide. $6-$7/pp.
TAYLORS FALLS: Wild Mountain
Day passes range from $9.99 to $44.99; Wet and dry rides available. Day passes can include one or both. If you plan to visit more than once in a season, than a season pass will save you money after your second visit.
Budget Tip: If you have a favorite Twin Cities water park, look for discounts on annual passes January – March.
The best twin cities splash pads & wading pools – BY CITY
Find all the details and our MASTER LIST of Twin Cities-area splash pads or click the graphic below.
- KELLEY PARK splash pad
- LAKESIDE COMMONS PARK beach & splash pad
- CEDARCREST PARK splash pad
- BURNSVILLE LIONS PLAYGROUND splash pad (located in CLIFF FEN PARK)
- NICOLLET COMMONS PARK water feature. Pick a Thursday for Rockin’ Readers and Thursday Rockin’ Lunch Hours in Nicollet Commons Park beginning in June. The water feature at Nicollet Commons is open the third weekend in May through the third weekend in September, weather permitting.
- ANDREWS PARK splash pad
- FIREMEN’S PARKS interactive fountains
- CHASKA COMMUNITYN CENTER splash pad – admission to Chaska Community Center Pool required.
- HUSET PARK WEST splash pad (Usually opens the first day of public school summer vacation.)
- MCKENNA PARK wading pool
- RAMSDELL PARK wading pool
- BOULEVARD PLAZA splash pad
- HIGLANDS PARK splash pad
- BECKER PARK interactive fountain
- CENTRAL PARK OF DELANO splash pad
- EAGAN CENTRAL PARK splash pad (9am-8pm, except Wednesdays when it closes at 2pm)
- BURNES PARK splash pad
- CENTRAL PARK OF MAPLE GROVE interactive fountains
Check out our master list of free Minneapolis wading pools to see which pools best fits your needs.
- Many Minneapolis pools have feature fancy splash features including WABUN PARK WADING POOL, LAKE HIAWATHA WADING POOL and WAITE PARK WADING POOL Open daily 10am-9pm.
- THE COMMONS splash pad (downtown Minneapolis)
- FRANKLIN STEELE SQUARE splash pad
- PRAIRIE PARK splash pad
- MANOR PARK splash pad
- ROSEMOUNT CENTRAL PARK splash pad
- ROSEBROOK PARK wading pool
- LIONS PARK splash pad
SOUTH ST. PAUL
- LORRAINE PARK SPLASH POOL– $2-3.50/pp
ST ANTHONY VILLAGE
ST LOUIS PARK
- OAK HILL SPLASH PAD – FREE for residents, $1/non-res.
- CONWAY RECREATION CENTER splash pad
- LEWIS PARK splash pad
- PHALEN PARK & BEACH splash pad
- PARQUE DE CASTILLO splash pad
WEST ST. PAUL
- HARMON PARK splash pad
- HEALTHEAST SPORTS CENTER splash pad
- Both Dakota County beaches. Note that Dakota County Parks require a vehicle permit, which is not free.
- Three Rivers Park District’s 7 unguarded beaches; their guarded beaches have a small fee. Three Rivers does offer a needs based program, which can include free swimming at guarded beaches.
- Washington County Parks beaches. Note that Washington County Parks require a vehicle permit, which is not free..
- All five of Ramsey County swimming beaches.
- All Minneapolis swimming beaches
- Anoka County beaches – 3 locations, $6/vehicle permit.
- Carver County swimming beaches – 2 locations, $5/vehicle permit.
- Lakeside Commons Park & Beach in Blaine. Free for residents only; bring proof of residency. Non-residents pay $5.
- Phalen Beach, St. Paul. – Free, Open 12pm-8pm.
- Webber Natural Swimming Pool – Awesome pool, but we recommend calling ahead before heading out. There is a daily capacity limit and the pool closes when the balance is off.
- All Minneapolis Wading Pools – including the popular Waite Park and Wabun wading pools.
How To Make A Backyard Splash Pad:
2020 might be the year to get creative and make your own backyard splash pad. You could start with a pop bottle sprinkler.
Or you can buy one from Amazon*:
* Links to Amazon are affiliate links and Family Fun Twin Cities receives a small commission on sales through our site.