Discover a new outdoor play space! We can help you find some of the best playgrounds Minneapolis, St. Paul and greater Minnesota. Looking for specifics like a playground, swimming spot or bike trail? Want to find the perfect place to a pitch a tent or your city’s best sledding hill? Search by all of these amenities and more in our Twin Cities Parks & Playgrounds Search by selecting a category from the drop down menu or typing in the keyword of your choice in the search box. You can even enter an address and select a radius to search by city or region of the Metro.
Plus, find park hours, fees, directions, pictures and other extras.
Phalen Regional Park is an expansive park in the City of St. Paul. Its features include paved trails, a tot lot, a fire ring, a free beach, golf course, a recreation center, sports courts and barbecue grills which are located around the site. It is a beautiful park for family walks.
Winter Fun at Phalen Park
Family fun at Phalen Park doesn't end when the snow starts. Try these fun family activities:
Outdoor Skating Rinks & Warming Room
Rinks in St. Paul Parks are free and open from approximately mid-December through Mid-February, dependent on Weather and ice quality. However, this is one of four St. Paul Parks with refrigerated outdoor skating rinks, allowing it to open earlier in the season and stay open later into the spring. Find the rink at the rec center.
Cross Country Skiing
Groomed cross country ski trails are maintained on Phalen Golf Course. Saint Paul is one of the few places in Minnesota where cross country skiing is FREE and does not require a trail pass. Bring your own equipment. Find trail conditions here.
Phalen Recreation Center
The Recreation Center is located at 1000 E Wheelock Parkway. Its one of the locations on the map below. The facility holds a large gym, a kitchen and a multi-purpose room. The Rec Center hosts weekly tot times. As with all recreation center activities, it is important to call ahead. Activities and hours are subject to change.
Monday - Thursday: 2pm - 9pm
Friday: 2pm - 6pm
Saturday: 9am - 1pm
Monday - Thursday: 12:30pm - 8pm
Friday: 12:30pm - 6pm
Saturday: 9am - 1pm
Free Summer Meals at Phalen
Phalen Park has traditionally been a Free Summer Meals site. Meals are 100% free to children under 18 who stop by during meal times. No sign up is required. Other meal sites are also conveniently located in many schools, parks and recreation centers. For more information, call 651-793-6600.
Phalen Park Beach & Splash Pad
You will find the beach across the golf course from the Rec Center (also on the map below). It is free to use and open daily from early June through late August from 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. It offers beach volleyball and a locker room for changing. During the summertime the lake is the site of sailing lessons, swimming lessons, and canoe & kayak clinics. Lifeguards are employed at this location. New in 2017, a splash pad has been erected adjacent to the beach. This is also free to use.
St. Paul Changsha Garden in Phalen Park - Under Construction
In 2016, the Changsha sister-city China Friendship Garden was added to this park. This garden recognizes the sister city relationship between St. Paul and Changsha in the Hunan Province of China. The garden integrates Chinese garden design principles within the natural setting of Phalen Regional Park.
Construction began in July of 2018 during the Dragon Festival. A grand opening ceremony is expected in fall of 2018. .
“This project will strengthen Saint Paul’s longstanding friendship with Changsha and transform a section of Phalen Regional Park into a beautiful space for community members to connect with and celebrate our rich cultural diversity for generations to come,”
--Mayor Melvin Carter.
For more outdoor play ideas:
- 10 of the Best Twin Cities Playgrounds
- 20 Twin Cities Beaches, Parks & Playgrounds to Try This Summer
- Nature Playgrounds in the Twin Cities - Get Back to Green
Check out our Parks and Playgrounds Pinterest Board.
The Family Fun Twin Cities Parks & Playgrounds Search directory is your one stop for the best Twin Cities Park Guide! We share some of the best playgrounds in the Twin Cities in this directory. We are so passionate about how awesome are parks are, that we don't want you to stop with 10 parks or even 150 parks! There are so many parks in the metro area, you could visit a new one every day for some free Twin Cities family fun and still not have seen them all in 5 years.
We've currently reviewed over 400 parks in this directory, but we would love to hear from you! What do YOU think are the best parks in the Twin Cities? How about the best parks in Minnesota? What parks did we completely miss? What is your favorite little unknown gem? We really want to share all your favorite indoor playgrounds and outdoor parks! Let us know and we'll add a review here.
Twin Cities parks are great for hiking, biking, rollerblading, kayaking, canoeing and other fun physical games. But, they are also just great for hanging out in a hammock and picnicking while the kids explore and enjoy some of the best playgrounds in Minnesota. Let's enjoy our parks:
In Minnesota indoor playgrounds are a necessity! I know we think of outdoors when we think of parks, but with our long, dark and cold winters, some indoor active games are a must. You can even have indoor picnics at these parks. This such a great way to stretch the summer feeling into the winter! Check out some of the best indoor playgrounds in the Twin Cities this winter.
Outside Parks and Outdoor Waterparks
Minnesota has these, too! And during our short summer, we want to take advantage of them as much as possible! best In fact, the Minneapolis and St. Paul Parks are some of the best outdoor playgrounds twin cities - actually in the country. They win awards - every year! Look and See. Every. Single. Year. So get out to our area parks, make up some fun games to play.
Some of the best beaches in the Twin Cities are hidden little gems. Anne has her favorite 20 Twin Cities Beaches, Parks & Playgrounds to Try This Summer. She revises the list every year to keep us in the know.
Shakespeare in the Park at Twin Cities Parks
One of my favorite ways to enjoy our parks is with a play or musical in a park. It doesn't really have to be Shakespeare, it can be the latest Disney princess musical or even a puppet wagon. In fact, sometimes Open Eye Figure Theatre's driveway tour has some park stops. Watch our Performing Arts page each summer to find these fun, free park events.
Music in the Parks - Minneapolis, St. Paul, Suburbs
Nothing says easy summertime fun like music in the parks! The best thing is, there is seriously a concert every night of the week from Memorial Day until Labor Day. Obviously, some get cancelled due to weather, but pick any nice night, take a look at the Family Fun Twin Cities calendar and you can find music in a park. No sign up, no tickets, no money, no commitment. Show up, bring a picnic, play at some of the best playgrounds in Minnesota and relax to great music.
Movies in the Parks at Twin Cities Parks
One thing I love about Movies in the Park is that they tend to screen at some of the best playgrounds in Minneapolis and the greater Twin Cities. I love to make it a full evening with a picnic and some fun outdoor kid games and Park Games for Kids. This is a good time to see newer kids movies that you didn't catch in the theater or to introduce your kids to your own childhood favorites without having to gamble on library DVD quality.
Active indoor games for preschoolers are something we are always on the search for when the weather is uncooperative. The parks have a lot to offer with their tot times and open gym slots. For instance, they often offer riding toys, hula hoops, games to play with preschoolers, balls of all kinds, climbing structures, fun games for toddlers, etc.
Looking for the Best Playgrounds and Parks Beyond the Twin Cities?
If you are traveling outside the metro, you'll want to check out some of our favorite day-trip parks. If you are going further than that, we have a list of great family-owned websites to direct you to the best parks around the country so you don't have to depend on national websites or random internet searches.