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
Waite Park Wading Pool & Splash Pad | Open during park hours | Cool off at the newly-renovated Waite Park wading pool and check out its zero-depth entry, new shade structure and interactive water features.
The Commons | Daily 6am-10pm | 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.
Franklin Steele Square | Daily 10am-9pm | A little urban oasis near the south cusp of downtown Minneapolis.
Lake Hiawatha Wading Pool | Daily 10am-9pm (10pm if temp is 85 degrees at 6pm) | 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.
Wabun Park Wading Pool | Open daily during park hours | 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.
Emerald Park Splash Deck | St Anthony Village | Open during park hours | This pad’s got dumping buckets and colorful arches that dispense cooling sprays. A small playground with a pirate ship to climb and shaded picnic pavilion are conveniently adjacent.
Central Park Splash Deck | St Anthony Village | Less than a mile from Emerald Park is Central Park with a less elaborate splash deck and a smaller 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 | Daily 9am-9pm | This pad opened June 2013. Enjoy the fountains and new playground equipment.
Lewis Park | 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.)
Phalen Park | Daily 9am-9pm | New in 2017! Kids can make a quick dash from the splash pad fountains to the adjacent Phalen Park beach.