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 splash 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!
Keep them coming. New splash pads are built every year! Please feel free to leave a comment if you know of any other great places to splash in the Metro.
MINNEAPOLIS SPLASH PAD & WADING POOL SITES – CLOSED FOR 2020
April 2, 2020: Minneapolis Parks has announced that they will not be opening any water features this summer – this includes splash pads and wading pools. We will keep you updated on other municipalities, but this is likely the direction we are heading for the entire metro.
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. This is the new design for wading pool/ splash pad Minneapolis Parks are heading toward. (Joy says, “Of all the splash pads near me, this is our hands-down favorite. The mix of pool and splash pad is perfect.) 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, the Wabun splash pad pool 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 (Closed in 2020)
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 (Closed in 2020)
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. (Joy says: “This is a splash pad near me, so we visit sometimes, but I find the wet concrete scares me when the park is busy).
Find a directory of all Minneapolis Parks wading pools here.
MAKE A BACKYARD SPLASH PAD
Make your own with a pop bottle. Has anyone actually done this? How does it work? Let us know.
Or buy one ready to go:
SAINT PAUL AREA SPLASH PADS
Conway Recreation Center
This simple splash pad opened June 2013 near the eastern boundary of St Paul. Enjoy the fountains, playground equipment, and a community recreation center that offers open gym and free summer meals for kids. The Sun Ray branch of the St Paul Public Library, with a lovely children’s space, is steps away from the park 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.
TWIN CITIES WEST METRO SPLASH PADS
Cedarcrest Park Splash Pad
The small splash pad and playground is located adjacent to the Cedar Valley Church. This splash pad has a rubber tile floor. Park free in the church parking lot.
Miller Park Splash Pad
This park has it all: a splash pad, sand and water play, and an exceptionally accessible playground for younger children. Daily 10am-8pm
Round Lake Splash Pad
Brand new in 2013, this splash pad has a marine-themed rubber surface to keep slips to a minimum. There are fun interactive features as well as traditional bubblers and fountains. Very close by is elaborate new playground equipment, shaded seating and a sandy beach on Round Lake. Daily 10am-8pm.
Burnes Park Splash Pad
This large splash pad is operated on a touch system and turns off when not in use. Open Mon-Sat: 9am- 9pm; Sun: 12-9pm.
Manor Park Splash Pad
A colorful splash pad with buckets, fountains, and limited shaded seating for adults. There is a decent distance between the splash pad and the playground, so don’t expect it will be easy to watch kids going to and fro. Daily 10am-8pm
ST LOUIS PARK
Oak Hill Splash Pad
This splash pad in Oak Hill Park got so popular (and for good reason!) it charges $1 per person for non-residents. It’s one of the largest and most elaborate splash pads in the metro with interactive bubblers and nozzles. Daily 10am-8pm.
DAY TRIP TO BUFFALO
Downtown Buffalo Splash Pad
Buffalo’s splash pad is made up of simple fountains within easy walking distance of downtown. Families will find nearby picnic tables and and a the music trail full of oversized instruments.
TWIN CITIES EAST METRO SPLASH PADS
Highlands Park Splash Pad
When the city’s public pool closed in 2011 it was replaced with this brand-new splash pad. Water guns and spray nozzles keep the kids cool when the temps rise. Daily 9am-9pm.
HealthEast Sports Center
Located on the grounds of the Sports Center and next to Madison’s Place inclusive playground, this new splash pad features dumping buckets and “flower showers” on one side and an area geared towards younger children on the other with smaller bubblers. Bring a picnic for the grassy shaded lawn behind the restroom building. (Note: We’ve had a reader comment on the crowds. Does anyone have suggestions for more East Metro options? If not, maybe its time to lobby for more splash pads.) Daily 9am-9pm. POSTPONED OPENING IN 2020.
TWIN CITIES SOUTH METRO SPLASH PADS
Nicollet Commons Park
Our pick for one of the best “splash pads” in the city! The layout is that of a circular plaza admist a city shopping district with a shallow stream running around it. There are lots of natural elements – rocks, fountains, and small waterfalls to play in – just be wary of slippery surfaces. There is plenty of street parking nearby if you don’t mind walking a couple of blocks and lots of places to pick up lunch to eat on the grassy amphitheater-style seating. Open during park hours, 5am-midnight
Burnsville Lions Playground Splash Pad | Cliff Fen Park
This pad made a splash when it opened summer of 2015 with a brand new playground to boot. Daily 9am-9pm.
Chaska Community Center Splash Pad
$6.50-$9/pp admission to the Community Center is required to access the pool and splash pad. For free summer swimming, try Chaska’s Clayhole Swim Beach. Daily 9am-9pm
Interactive fountains to splash in, lit at night. The park is also home to the Clayhole Swim Beach and a concession stand.
Eagan Central Park Splash Pad
This Eagan splash pad opened in July of 2018 near the city’s Community Center. Market Fest is held Wednesday nights during the summer for locals to shop within clear view of kids playing in the splash pad.
Rosemount Central Park Splash Pad
Toddlers and preschoolers will love manipulating the stream through the moving “Water Journey” and splashing about in the nozzles and fountains. The pad has been designed to re-use water for irrigation in nearby fields. Daily 9am-9pm.
SOUTH ST. PAUL
Lorraine Park Splash Pool
The interactive zero-depth entry pool is ideal for little waders, containing a slide, sprayers and changing facilities. Daily 12:30-7pm for all ages, Toddler Time 11am-12:30pm weekdays. $2-3.50/pp.
WEST ST. PAUL
Harmon Park Splash Pad
A complete 2016 makeover of the park included the installation of a splash pad, a new playground, ballfields, and space to host gatherings. We can’t wait to check this one out! Daily 9am-9pm.
TWIN CITIES NORTH METRO SPLASH PADS
Lakeside Commons Park & Beach
The simple splash pad is located within Lakeside Commons Park and admission includes access to the sandy beach, playground equipment, and picnic space. Free to Blaine residents, $5/pp admission to non-residents. Daily 10am-6pm.
Andrews Park Splash Pad
Daily 10am-7:30pm, closed July 4
Huset Park West Splash Pad
Scoot through the spraying hoops and watch out for the dump buckets (or don’t!) A playground and picnic shelter are located conveniently nearby. Open daily 10am-7pm.
Boulevard Plaza Splash Pad
A Grand Opening was held June 2018 to celebrate the city’s first splash pad. Bring a picnic to enjoy at the shaded tables. Open daily, 10am-8pm.
Becker Park Interactive Fountain
New in 2020. Becker Park’s new accessible playground includes a side open splash pad with resilient surfacing.
Central Park of Delano
Recommended by a reader, this is a pay splash pad with an on-duty attendant during open hours. Open daily 12-8pm. $3/pp (season pass available).
Central Park of Maple Grove
A brand new (and pretty sweet) playground is also onsite with challenges for a wide variety of ages and abilities. Interactive fountain open daily 10am – 8:30pm, 8:45pm – 10pm – show mode with lights.
Prairie Park Splash Pad
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