Splash Happy: 2021 Guide to Twin Cities Beaches, Pools, Water Parks & Splash Pads

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

water safety, three swimmers posing

Anoka County Parks swimming beaches

  • 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.

Carver County Parks swimming beaches 

  • 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.

Dakota County Parks swimming beaches 

Splash Happy: 2020 Guide to Twin Cities Beaches, Pools, Water Parks & Splash Pads

Ramsey County swimming beaches

Ramsey County beaches with lifeguard service are open Memorial Day-Labor Day. Beaches are open sunrise-sunset (park hours). Admission is FREE to swim.

 

Three Rivers Park District swimming beaches

Washington County Parks swimming beaches

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.

water safety
Lake Elmo Park Reserve swim pond

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. The Summer to Remember Adventure returns in 2021. Thanks to our Executive Partner AKASport, it starts June 14 and runs for nine weeks. The summer is full of eight different adventures! Your family can customize your adventure to fit the criteria. Inside, outside, at home, around town. Whatever works for your family. Family Fun Twin Cities will round up the most interesting options, but it’s up to you to complete the adventure. Each week we choose a Weekly Winner at Random. And at the end of the summer, we will choose a Grand Prize Winner.

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:

ROUND LAKE PARK BEACH

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.

RILEY LAKE PARK BEACH

The newly expanded beach at Riley Lake offers a boat launch, picnic tables, grills and a sand volleyball court.

MINNEAPOLIS BEACHES

  • 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.

Splash Happy: 2020 Guide to Twin Cities Beaches, Pools, Water Parks & Splash Pads
Wirth Lake Beach, Minneapolis

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.

PLYMOUTH BEACHES:

SAINT PAUL:

PHALEN BEACH – Complete with a playground, splash pad and water craft rentals. Free, Open 12pm-8pm. 

WOODBURY: CARVER LAKE PARK


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.

Splash Happy: 2021 Guide to Twin Cities Beaches, Pools, Water Parks & Splash Pads
Webber Park Pool, Minneapolis

ANOKA: Anoka Aquatic Center

Sat-Sun & holiday noon-7pm, Mon-Fri 3-7pm. $4-$7/pp.

APPLE VALLEY:

APPLE VALLEY AQUATIC CENTER –  $11/pp.
REDWOOD OUTDOOR POOL  $5/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.

Twin Cities waterpark
Cascade Bay Waterpark, Eagan

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.

Find your new splash happy spot with Family Fun Twin Cities guide to splash pads, beaches, pools and water parks.
Battle Creek Waterworks Waterpark, Maplewood

MAPLE GROVE: Grove Cove Aquatic Center Outdoor Pool

10am-6pm. $7-$8/pp or $26-$30/family. 

MINNEAPOLIS SWIMMING POOLS & WATERPARKS:

WEBBER NATURAL SWIMMING POOLWater treated with plants instead of chemicals. Zero-depth entry for the littlest swimmers. FREE admission.
JIM LUPIENT WAERPARKPre-season hours, $3-$5/pp. 

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 REGIONL 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.  

Como Pool Waterpark
Como Regional Park Pool, St Paul

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.

Phalen Park Splash Pad

APPLE VALLEY

BLAINE

BLOOMINGTON

BURNSVILLE

  • 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.

Find your new splash happy spot with Family Fun Twin Cities guide to splash pads, beaches, pools and water parks.

CHAMPLIN

CHASKA

COLUMBIA HEIGHTS

COON RAPIDS

COTTAGE GROVE

CRYSTAL

DELANO

EAGAN

EDEN PRAIRIE

Splash Happy: 2020 Guide to Twin Cities Beaches, Pools, Water Parks & Splash Pads

HOPKINS

MAPLE GROVE

 MINNEAPOLIS

Check out our master list of free Minneapolis wading pools to see which pools best fits your needs.

OTSEGO

ROBBINSDALE 

ROSEMOUNT

ROSEVILLE

SHAKOPEE

SOUTH ST. PAUL

ST ANTHONY VILLAGE

ST LOUIS PARK

ST PAUL

WEST ST. PAUL 

WOODBURY


Quick List of Free Outdoor Pools, Beaches and Water Parks in the Twin Cities


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.

16 thoughts on “Splash Happy: 2021 Guide to Twin Cities Beaches, Pools, Water Parks & Splash Pads”

  1. Any chance we could get captions for the photos? I can’t tell if the photo is of the location listed above or below it.

    Thanks for the great list!

    1. I will try to add captions today. The pictures are below the corresponding waterpark/splash pad except for Como Park Regional Park Pool, which is to the right of the Como Pool description. The picture of the playground with the dinosaur bone dig is in Elm Creek Park Reserve adjacent to the Elm Creek Swimming Pond in Maple Grove. There is only the $5 charge to swim; the playground, nature center and historic site are free. Thanks for reading!

  2. You didn’t list the Cottage Grove splash pad. 🙁 it’s off 70th in Cottage Grove and is WAY nicer/bigger than the Woodbury one. It too is free and has been open since last week.

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