Waite Park is a true neighborhood park. The closest restaurants and coffee shops are several blocks away in Audubon neighborhood. However, it has plenty of green space for running and picnics. It also has grills for cooking out. Connected to Waite Park Community School, many of the park's programs are in collaboration with the school's after-school and summer programs.
Waite Park Outdoors
The playground is newer and divided into three skill levels, including a tot lot. The recommended ages for each playground level are a little overprotective (in my opinion), but they aren't policed.
The pool is a zero-entry style with a splash-pad type water sprayer on the shallow end. Because Waite Park School uses the playground, the pool traditionally opens the weekend after school releases for the summer and closes when school resumes in the fall (or Labor Day, whichever comes first).
There are basketball courts, tennis courts and multi-use sports fields also available, and generally not in use until early evening.
Waite Park Indoors
The recreation center shares space with the school of the same name. Amenities include a community kitchen, computer lab with a foosball table and bumper pool table, a craft room, a very small gymnasium, and other public use spaces.
The Rec Center offers many Community Activities. We have taken advantage of the family gym time. It is always fun and the park offers a full range of indoor play equipment. However the staff is young and rather clueless about the park's offerings and will cancel family gym for sports practice, which can be very disappointing for the kids. We've also been waiting for the Active Passes that we signed up for at Waite Park for 3 years (apparently their printer is always down), but we've never been stopped from using the facilities.
Waite Park's Recreation Center offers drop in usage of board games, computer lab, foosball and billiards. However, again, with the inexperienced staff, it is a good idea to have a copy of the current recreation guide to show them that board games are for the public, and not just for the after school program, and if the billiard balls or foosball are missing, they don't have back-ups.
Birthday Parties at Waite Park
Free Summer Meals
Waite Park has participated in the Free Summer Meals program. Most years, youth under 18 can receive a free lunch on weekdays between mid-June and mid-August. Please call ahead or check the official website to confirm this program. Read more about the Summer Meals program here.