Roseville Family Fun: 10 Close-To-Home Parks to Explore This Summer

This summer we are exploring ways to have fun close to home. Why cross the metro when there is fun at your doorstep? Today, we’ve pulled together some Roseville Family Fun just north of the border between Minneapolis and St Paul. Often thought of a shopping suburb, Roseville is filled with lush green parks and brimming with ways to entertain your kids.

Note: In 2020, we are facing unique closures and delays. While we are writing this article for now, we also hope it will prove useful in the future. We’ve listed projected opening dates for anything that is currently closed. For an up-to-date listing of what is and isn’t open in Roseville Parks, check the city website.

1. Plan a family night out at Roseville Central Park

Roseville’s Central Park sprawls with things to do for the whole family. The park grounds are so large, the city has divided them into six segments (connected by foot & bike paths), each with its own unique fun features. For a night out that will please everyone on the guest list, hit up the Lexington Avenue section of Central Park. Bring a picnic and spread out on the grassy amphitheater to catch one of the many musical acts that play on summer evenings. When kids need to wiggle they can head to the large playground or bring bikes to tool around Bennet Lake.

Learn more: More Ideas for Family Fun at Roseville Central Park.

2. Make it a beach day at Lake Josephine County Park

Lake Josephine has all the makings of a swell day at the beach. The sandy area is rather small, but, there are some shady, grassy spaces where families could camp out close to the sand. As a definite bonus for families with young children, there are strategic spots where a parent could watch both the beach and the playground. Oh, and you can choose whether or not you’d like to share this tip with the kids: there’s a DQ within walking distance.

Learn more about Lake Josephine County Park or find our list of the best beaches in the Twin Cities to spend a summer day.


3. Indoor & outdoor fun at Harriet Alexander Nature Center

Indoors, kids are greeted by touch-and-see exhibits, a nature library and live animals. Poke into the giant cottonwood tree, modeled after an ancient tree found right on the nature center grounds. What will your little one discover?

Outdoors, take to the boardwalks to explore the 52-acre nature preserve up close.

Learn more about family fun at Roseville’s Harriet Alexander Nature Center.


4. Go back in time at Reservoir Woods Park

A century ago, a vast underground reservoir was dug in this natural space to supply water to a growing city of St Paul. Today, there is still a (smaller) water supply structure in the park, but the rest of Reservoir Woods has been left exactly as it was before the suburbs sprang up. There are rolling hills, wetlands, prairie grasses, thick stands of pines, winding trails and lots of critters that call the woods home.

Learn more about what you might find at Roseville’s Reservoir Woods Park.


5. Count all the wildlife at Villa Park

I visited Villa Park first for a quiet walk without children so when I returned with them, I knew what to expect – a surprising amount of wildlife for a park resting in a residential neighborhood. In fact, we challenged ourselves to find ten different species among the placid string of ponds draining into McCarrons Lake. Tread quietly and you might find deer, wild turkeys, a cacophony of frogs and toads (my kids’ favorites), great blue herons and a big ‘ol snapping turtle.


6. Cool off in the Rosebrook Park wading pool

If a day at the beach is not in the cards, a quick splash at Rosebrook Park might do. It flies solo as the only park in Roseville to feature a wading pool. It’s a no-frills, box-style pool but it works for a few youngsters to cool off on a hot afternoon. There is also a small playground and plenty of grassy green space.

The wading Pool is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day, weather-dependent. Monday: 1pm-9pm & Tuesday-Sunday: 10am-9pm.


7. Have a quiet picnic & bike ride at Langton Lake Park

Do you have a kid in residence who’s just learned to ride a two-wheeler? Pack up the bike and a picnic lunch and head to Langton Lake Park for the afternoon. The lake has a quiet, forgotten feeling and an easy bike loop for those needing pedal practice. There’s also a small play structure and picnic table at the parking lot (Cty Rd C2 & Arthur Place – note this park has 2 different lots).


8. Stop and smell the roses at the Muriel Sahlin Arboretum

Slow down and enjoy the simple pleasure of summer blooms. You’ll also find tranquil paths, benches, educational displays and this lovely fountain. The arboretum is within easy walking distance of the Harriet Alexander Nature Center to make an afternoon of it.


9. Plot a vegetable garden at Oasis Park

This Roseville park is an oasis for residents who may not otherwise have a space to plant a garden. Interested gardeners reserve a single ($20) or double ($30) plot through Roseville Parks & Recreation. We had a friend who tended a plot here one summer and enjoyed learning about gardening while meeting for picnics. The park also has a large playground and a huge grassy field for free play.

Learn more about the Oasis Park Community Garden Plots.


10. Roseville In Bloom near Lake McCarrons County Park

This summer, Roseville is blooming with a free public art event that scatters 20 six-foot-tall artist-designed blooms throughout the city. You can seek out one of these roses at 1745 Rice Avenue, or the intersection of Rice & McCarrons Blvd. While you’re in the neighborhood, Lake McCarrons Park features a sandy beach, play equipment, grills and picnic shelters.

Learn more about Roseville’s Lake McCarrons County Park and more about this summer’s Roseville In Bloom art scavenger hunt.

Roseville Family Fun with Roseville in Bloom

Roseville Family Fun with Roseville in Bloom


Did we miss your favorite park for Roseville Family Fun? Leave us a message and let us know what park you love and why you love it. We’ll share with the community.

More Close-To-Home Park Articles

  1. Minneapolis Parks Nearby Nature Activities: Summer 2020
  2. Eagan Family Fun: 10 Close-To-Home Parks to Explore This Summer
  3. Burnsville Family Fun: 9 Close-To-Home Parks To Explore This Summer
  4. Maple Grove Family Fun: 10 Close-To-Home Parks to Explore This Summer
  5. Woodbury Family Fun: 19 Close-To-Home Parks to Explore This Summer

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