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 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.
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 | 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.
WEST METRO SPLASH PADS
Cedarcrest Park Splash Pad | The small splash pad and playground is located adjacent to the Cedar Valley Church. Park free in the church parking lot.
Miller Park Splash Pad | Daily 10am-8pm | This park has it all: a splash pad, sand and water play, and an exceptionally accessible playground for younger children.
Round Lake Splash Pad | Daily 10am-8pm | 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.
Manor Park Splash Pad | Daily 10am-8pm | 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.
ST LOUIS PARK
Oak Hill Splash Pad | Daily 10am-8pm | 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.
EAST METRO SPLASH PADS
Highlands Park Splash Pad | Daily 9am-9pm | 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.
Bielenberg Splash Pad | Daily 9am-9pm | Located on the grounds of the Bielenberg Sports Center, 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.)
SOUTH METRO SPLASH PADS
Nicollet Commons Park | Open during park hours, 5am-midnight | 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.
Burnsville Lions Playground Splash Pad | Cliff Fen Park | Daily 9am-9pm | This pad made a splash when it opened summer of 2015 with a brand new playground to boot.
Chaska Community Center Splash Pad | Daily 9am-9pm | $6.50-$9/pp admission to the Community Center is required to access the pool and splash pad.
Firemen’s Park | Downtown Chaska | Interactive fountains to splash in, lit at night!
Eagan Central Park Splash Pad | Daily | Brand new in July of 2018. Find it near the Eagan Community Center.
Rosemount Splash Pad at Central Park | Daily 9am-9pm | 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.
SOUTH ST. PAUL
Lorraine Park Splash Pool | Daily 12:30-7pm for all ages, Toddler Time 11am-12:30pm weekdays | $2-3.50/pp | The interactive zero-depth entry pool is ideal for little waders, containing a slide, sprayers and changing facilities.
WEST ST. PAUL
Harmon Park Splash Pad | Daily 9am-9pm | 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!
NORTH METRO SPLASH PADS
Lakeside Commons Park & Beach | Daily 10am-6pm | Free to Blaine residents, $5/pp admission to non-residents | The simple splash pad is located within Lakeside Commons Park and admission includes access to the sandy beach, playground equipment, and picnic space.
Andrews Park Splash Pad | Daily 10am-7:30pm, closed July 4
Huset Park West Splash Pad | Open daily 10am-7pm | Scoot through the spraying hoops and watch out for the dump buckets (or don’t!) A playground and picnic shelter are located conveniently nearby.
Boulevard Plaza Splash Pad | Grand Opening event 6/12/18 to celebrate the city’s first splash pad. Free ice cream for the family and public works equipment on display. 6:30-8pm.
Central Park of Delano | Recommended by a reader, this is a pay splash pad with an on-duty attendant during open hours. $3/pp (season pass available). Open daily 12-8pm.
Central Park of Maple Grove | Interactive fountain open daily 10am – 8:30pm, 8:45pm – 10pm – show mode with lights. A brand new (and pretty sweet) playground is also onsite with challenges for a wide variety of ages.
Prairie Park Splash Pad | Daily 9am-9pm
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