Twin Cities Business Listing

4801 South Minnehaha Park Drive, Minneapolis, MN 55417
* Wabun Picnic Area, 4655 46th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55406
* John H. Stevens House Museum, 4901 Minnehaha Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55417
* Princess Depot, Minnehaha Park Hwy 55 &, Minnehaha Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55417
* Longfellow House, 4800 S Minnehaha Dr, Minneapolis, MN 55417
Admission: $0.00
Pay Lot. Annual Permits Also Available
Concessions Available
Hours of Operation:
Mon. 06:00 AM – 12:00 AM
Tue. 06:00 AM – 12:00 AM
Wed. 06:00 AM – 12:00 AM
Thu. 06:00 AM – 12:00 AM
Fri. 06:00 AM – 12:00 AM
Sat. 06:00 AM – 12:00 AM
Sun. 06:00 AM – 12:00 AM
Park Hours: 6 am-midnight in developed areas; 6 am-10 pm in undeveloped areas

Minnehaha Regional Park is one of the most iconic visitor destinations in Minnesota. Besides the obvious reason to visit — Minnehaha Falls, the 53-foot waterfall — the park is the home of several historical sites, hiking paths that overlook the falls and meander close to them, and a family-friendly picnic area with a playground and wading pool that’s fun in pleasant weather. There is also a free 9-hole disc golf course that can be fun for the whole family. There is so much to do that you could spend multiple days exploring the park.

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Minnehaha Falls

Visitors to the Twin Cities love to stop and see Minnehaha Creek plunge down limestone bluffs in an impressive 53-foot drop shortly before the creek enters the Mississippi. Older kids will enjoy exploring around the falls area and all ages can cool their feet in a lovely, natural wading pool downstream. The water here is calm, very shallow, and studded with rocks for stepping across. Take caution if you choose to go exploring off the paths in this area; it has been known to have poison ivy and/or chemicals to kill poison ivy. Watch for warning signage before leaving the paths.

If you want to add a little historical background and poetry to your visit, the name “Minnehaha” means waterfall in the Dakota language. Depending on how far you are driving to see the falls, you could listen to the entire three hours of the Song of Hiawatha or just the part about Minnehaha.

Minnehaha Regional Park Picnic Area, Playgrounds & Pool

Wabun Picnic Area is about a half mile walk from the falls within Minnehaha Park and overlooks the Mississippi River. There are actually three different paths you can take from the falls to the picnic area, all approximately a half mile. The distance from the falls makes it a relatively safe area to let toddlers and preschoolers play without feeling the constant need to hold their hands. Wabun Picnic Area has a wonderful, popular wading pool (with a cool spraying rock structure) and terrific playground equipment. My youngest loves the updated toddler play area with a shaded sandy play area and the swaying vintage camper trailer, a nod to the park’s roots as an auto tourist camp. Read more about a visit to Wabun Picnic Area here.

Closer to Minnehaha Falls and the creek is a smaller, sandier playground. Its formal name is “North Plateau Family Play Area” but show me a Minneapolitan who knows that. The play elements here are freestanding as opposed to the large structure at Wabun Picnic Area.

Dining at Minnehaha Regional Park

Sea Salt Eatery is located at the main pavilion in Minnehaha Park. Most of what you’ll find on the menu is fish and seafood (mostly in tacos or fried in baskets). We’ve enjoyed our meals there but confide you’re better off packing a picnic if picky children are in your party. They might be consoled to know Sea Salt serves Sebastian Joe’s ice cream.

Wheel Fun Rentals at Minnehaha

The vendor rents surrey bikes (seating up to 6 people at $30-$50 per hour), choppers and quad sport bikes at the Minnehaha Falls location. This might be an ideal way to travel the park’s paved trails with younger kids or those with limited mobility.

Disc Golf at Minnehaha Regional Park

The park has a FREE 9-hole disc golf course with the following features:

  • Par 3
  • 57 to 83 yards
  • Concrete tees
  • Flat layout and tree obstacles

Fun With Dad: Disc Golf in the Twin Cities

Minnehaha Regional Park’s Longfellow Gardens

Found on the northwest side of the park, Longfellow Gardens is attempting to go natural and pesticide free. The gardens are so beautiful in the summer that many people choose to have weddings at this location. It has a mix of annuals and perennials and MPRB gardeners are working with the natural setting to choose plants. Visit anytime between June and September to view the peak growing season.

Historical Sites within Minnehaha Regional Park

If you are interested in a learning more about the history and beauty of the park, the Minneapolis Parks Foundation, created a walking tour of Minnehaha Falls. It incorporates the Longfellow House along with the falls, the site of a former zoo, the ruins of a mill dam, a former quarry and the point where Minnehaha Creek meets the Mississippi River. The Stevens House and Princess Depot are found along the Fort Snelling State Trail.

John H. Stevens House

This house was originally owned by the early settler it is named after. While it originally sat on St. Anthony Falls, it has since been moved to to Minnehaha, where it is maintained by the parks department. It is open to the public from noon to 4:00 p.m. on Sundays and Holidays from Memorial Day to Mid-September. Admission is $1 for adults and free for children.

Princess Depot

Princess Depot was once part of the first railroad line. Now it is part of the transportation museum. It is free and open to the public on Sundays between 1:30 p.m. and 5:30 pm. from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day.

Longfellow House

The Longfellow House was built in 1906 as a replica of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It is free and open to the public on weekends from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Interestingly, it is air conditioned, which doesn’t seem very historical, but is good to know on those 90 degree days.

EXPLORE MORE HISTORY: 61 Twin Cities Museums & Historic Sites

Princess Depot in Minnehaha Regional Park, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Princess Depot

Birthday Parties at Minnehaha Regional Park

This park has 8 picnic shelters (mostly in the Wabun Picnic Area) that could be rented for birthday parties or other events. Prices range from $75 for a half-day in a smaller shelter to $450 for a full day in the largest shelter. All of the listings and more details can be found HERE.

PARTY ON: Twin Cities Birthday Parties for Kids in the Park

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