When I was in the UK a couple of years ago, one thing I noticed was number of sculptures throughout most cities and towns. The Brits like to honor people in history and in the arts by portraying their likenesses in metal or stone.
While we don’t have the same fascination of immortalizing someone on every street corner, we Minnesotans do have fun with sculpture parks themselves. We have more than a handful of them within the Twin Cities metro featuring beautiful and unusual sculptures in natural outdoor settings. Bonus, many of these parks are also dedicated to sustainability and conservation of natural resources with special stormwater management and native plants incorporated into their beautiful landscapes.
Find Minneapolis sculpture parks, St. Paul sculpture parks, sculpture parks in the suburbs and sculpture parks throughout Minnesota all presented neatly in this guide. Note that some sculptures are meant to be interactive and others are not. We recommend reading the signs before letting kids go wild, but when it is appropriate, the full-sensory experience is an ideal way to introduce kids to art. Indoor voices not required!
If we have missed your favorite sculpture park, please let us know so that we can add it to the list.
Minneapolis Sculpture Parks
Walker Art Center, 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis, MN 55403
Hours: Open 6am to 12 midnight every day.
Admission: FREE (The Walker Art Center has separate admission fees)
Family-Friendly Extras: Print the Walker’s fun self-guided Minneapolis Sculpture Garden tour sheet and bring some colored pencils for immersive stops along the visit.
Not only will you take in the iconic giant Spoonbridge & Cherry and a giant blue rooster, you will see geometric sculptures and abstract sculptures and realistic sculptures. This is a great place to bring kids!
Second Street and 11th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55415
Hours: Always Open.
Family-Friendly Extras: Park activities like biking, sledding, tossing a Frisbee, yoga, and river-gazing are encouraged. These sculptures are not for climbing. Print the Fabled Falls Forgotten Walls Quest for a family adventure through nearby Mill Ruins Park.
“The focal point of the park is the sculptural observation mound at the center of a spiral walkway, rising out of a green lawn with over 200 mature trees.”
4801 S Minnehaha Drive, Minneapolis, MN 55417
Hours: Open 6am to 12 midnight every day. (Some less developed areas of the park are only open until 10pm)
Admission: FREE. Parking lots are metered.
Family-Friendly Extras: Bring a picnic and swimsuits to visit the Wabun Park Picnic Area & Wading Pool when your little ones tire of looking at art.
This Minneapolis park is beautiful with trails, historic buildings, gardens, and a historic statue of Hiawatha and Minnehaha. This is probably one of the most beautiful parks in Minneapolis (and there are a lot of beautiful parks).
Money-Saving Mom visited in June 2019 and said, “One good thing about the rain? It meant that we got to see Minnehaha Falls when it was raging. And I do mean raging! This was the highlight of the day — and maybe even the trip!”
2500 County Rd E, St Anthony, MN 55421
Hours: Open 5am to 10pm every day.
Admission: FREE. Both Free and Paid tours are sometimes available through Three Rivers
Family-Friendly Extras: Bring your phone and scan codes throughout your walk. Not only can you learn more about the art you are viewing, you can also hear poems and learn about conservation efforts at Silverwood. Although it is fun to visit on your own anytime, one Sunday a month, the park offers FREE art, activities and tours geared towards families. These are usually drop-in events, so check our calendar for the next family-friendly Sunday.
This park is a unique Three Rivers Park as it features the arts and nature in unity. The 1 mile loop around the park takes you through diverse ecosystems with sculptures punctuating the surroundings.
Check out the overview of Silverwood Park:
St. Paul Sculpture Parks
476 Smith Ave N., St Paul, MN 55102
Hours: Open Sunrise to 11pm
Family-Friendly Extras: Wear your walking shoes and explore the area.
This park is home to three large sculptures that represent the wide variety of cultures in St. Paul. It is on the north end of the Smith Avenue Bridge. If you head south across the bridge, you will end up at Capitol View Park with breathtaking views of St. Paul.
109 W 4th St., St. Paul, MN 55102
Hours: Open Sunrise to 11pm
Family-Friendly Extras: Look for Winter Carnival Family Days. This park is across from the Landmark Center and Saint Paul Central Library and is only a couple blocks from the Science Museum of Minnesota.
Urban yet lovely, Rice Park is typically home to the famous St Paul Winter Carnival Ice Sculptures in January & February. The rest of the year, there is a beautiful fountain to view.
387 Marion St, St. Paul, MN 55103
Hours: Always Open.
Family-Friendly Extras: Print the Western Sculpture Park art map before visiting for a few details about each piece.
Located in the heart of the historic Rondo Neighborhood, Western Sculpture Park hosts 15 quirky sculptures to explore. Easy to walk through and enjoy at a leisurely pace.
Twin Cities Northeast Metro Sculpture Parks
9836 St Croix Trail N, Shafer, MN 55074
Hours: 8am-8pm Daily.
Admission: FREE. Some events will have vehicle fees.
Family-Friendly Extras: Some sculptures, like the playground featured below are meant to be climbed on – others are not – so check the signs as you go so you know when it is okay for the kids to use all their senses to absorb the art.
Find a sculpture that moves or a sculpture that you can crawl inside of. Breathe the fresh air. Grow an appreciation for beautiful works of art at this funky sculpture park that is continually refreshing its pieces. Franconia is a big place, so consider bringing a wagon for small children or they rent golf carts if a bigger person in your group has mobility issues.
Twin Cities Southeast Metro Sculpture Parks
1220 Diffley Rd, Eagan, MN 55123
Hours: Open May-October; Tuesday-Sunday. The park opens at 9am and closes at 8pm May-Labor Day, 7pm through September & 6pm through October..
Family-Friendly Extras: Caponi has a guidebook available to print or borrow with a map and details about each sculpture. Look for family-friendly events throughout the summer.
Take a stroll along the Sculpture Trail and enjoy 20 different works of art. Or hike through the woods on the Nature Trails. These art parks are educational enrichment for your mind, body, and spirit.
Twin Cities Southwest Metro Sculpture Parks
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, 3675 Arboretum Dr., Chaska, MN 55318
Hours: 8am-5pm Daily (Reservations are currently required)
Admission: Included with arboretum admission – $15/adults; kids Free.
Family-Friendly Extras: Traditionally, the arboretum offers family activities on weekends.
Where can you get wild animals, beautifully sculpted gardens, and art pieces all on top of a hill? On the High Point at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. A visit to the arboretum is worth your time and cash. There is so much to do and see.
Minnesota Sculpture Parks Worth the Road Trip
U.S. 10, New York Mills, MN 56567
Hours: Open 9am-10pm daily.
Family-Friendly Extras: Since this is a nearly 3-hour drive from the Twin Cities, consider making it a family fun weekend.
Located in Otter Tail County, New York Mills is an hour northeast of Fergus Falls. There the sculptures are designed and built by local artists. This sculpture park is home to the world’s largest tractor sculpture. Most recently added is The Barn.
163 Tower View Drive, Red Wing, MN 55066
Hours: Open 8am-10pm daily.
Family-Friendly Extras: The Best Things To Do With Kids in Red Wing.
This 30+ piece sculpture garden sprawls across 15 acres on the Anderson Center grounds surrounding the residences and buildings on campus. Lots of these sculptures are huge, colorful, and thought-provoking.
The Twin Cities is alive with imagination, and we have the privilege of going out and experiencing for ourselves! If you have a favorite sculpture garden, we would love to hear about it. Leave us a comment, share a new sculpture garden, tell us your favorite artwork in a garden we’ve covered or share resources for making your visit more fun. We’ll share with the community.