Summertime Together: Elm Creek Park Reserve Play Area

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Elm Creek Park Reserve

Hours: 5:00 AM–10:00 PM
Phone: 763.694.7894 (Elm Creek Chalet)

12400 James Deane Parkway
Maple Grove, MN 55369





In the North
Elm Creek Park Reserve is on the far northwestern corner of the Twin Cities. In fact, Highway 610 doesn’t yet go much farther than the exit to get off at the park.

You would be hard-pressed to find a kid who won’t like Elm Creek Park Reserve’s Play Area.  Our family affectionately calls it the Rainbow Park.

After parking in the lot, you cross a bridge or run through the grass to begin this amazing playground experience.  It has all the traditional fun of the playground fort and slides (but on steroids since the slides are 25 feet long).  Beyond that, though, there are so many other features of this playground that are hard to explain, and I am up for the challenge to try.


First of all, we call it the rainbow park because a big chunk of the playground is covered in recycled tires–whatever those rubbery mats are made of–that is a a beautiful rainbow pattern.  The colors are bright.  The mat goes up a steep incline to the base of the slide fort.  At the top of the incline sits a bench with a covering creating a perfect Parent Perch to look over the entire playground and be close to the fort if someone needs help although the fort is designed so well that there is really no need.  Parents can join in playing with their kids instead of rescuing them. 




Right next to the incline is a retaining wall that created a perfect place for my 5 year old to practice her daredevil moves.  There is a giant boulder that has a rope ladder from it to the rest of the playground .  The whole thing is surrounded by a fence with only one opening, so it’s easy to protect your little ones. On top of the retaining wall and over to the side are three “swings.”  They don’t look like swings.  They look like saucers hanging down from 2 bungee cords that can easily fit 4 children.  These are the only swings, but my kids couldn’t get enough of them.  They never sat empty for long.


In front of the incline was a structure designed for younger children.  It looked like a lot of fun, but my 2 year old was so happy that he could play almost completely unassisted with the big kids so I only caught him there once.  In front of that structure was a huge sand box.  So bring your sand toys.  Even if you don’t bring your sand toys, your kids will enjoy excavating a 30 foot dinosaur buried in the box.



There were some rope contraptions for older kids to play on (or adventurous 2 year olds) including a big geometric double helix-type structure.  Some sites call it a spiderweb, but it was like two pyramids wrapped together.  The other rope-like construction was this egg shaped gizmo.  I have no idea what it was exactly, but you climbed in the entrance and up to the first level or top level.  There you sat while someone spun you.  Sometimes the egg was at full capacity with 20 kids and other times only my four.

Off to the side of the main playground was another setup (orange and yellow)  and down at the bottom of the incline was yet another (gray and blue).  These constructions included a zipline with a seat, maneuvering devices, and other general playground fun.

The backside of the play area (behind the fort) are woods and there are walking paths that go around the playground through the rest of the park.  The playground even has plenty of green space with a lawn between it and the bathrooms and plenty of picnic tables.

We spent all day there–the only way we were able to leave was by promising them  ice cream.


  • Plenty of places to be able to supervise your children (i.e. Parent Perches)
  • Many different choices
  • Overall safe environment
  • Lots of picnic tables–in shade and in the sun
  • Beautiful woods as a backdrop
  • Clean and easily accessible bathrooms
  • Spacious enough for crowds of children to play without running over the little ones.


  • So many choices, four children could be in four different areas making it difficult to help them all if they needed it.
  • The comfortable seating made it ideal to forget about your children and just relax
  • With crowds of children, it’s easy to lose track of yours. 

My good friend Dacia brought her kids there last week and was amazed.  She texted me saying that it was “over the top.”  And it is.  It’s amazing and you won’t regret bringing your children for a day.  Pack a picnic and your suits (the man-made swimming pond is located close to the play area, but you don’t even see it) and enjoy the day at this amazing park.

Elm Creek Park Reserve

Hours: 5:00 AM–10:00 PM
Phone: 763.694.7894 (Elm Creek Chalet)

12400 James Deane Parkway
Maple Grove, MN 55369

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About the author

Gianna Kordatzky

I am married to the craziest, most awesome man I know. We have four kids–Ranging in ages from 5-10. You can learn more about my life as a mother and wife at .

I love to throw parties and be with friends. I love to read my Bible and grow closer to God. I love to eat and exercise. I have learned to love coffee.
And I could really use a nap.

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