Tony Schmidt Regional Park is part of the Ramsey County park system. Its amenities include a guarded beach, two playgrounds, space for picnicking and birthday parties, a sports field and fishing. Both playgrounds have standard park equipment on sand with benches for sitting. There are also nearby shady areas to spread a blanket if you prefer supervising from out of the direct sun.
Lake Johanna Beach
Ramsey County beaches and water parks season usually runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Lake Johanna spans over 200 acres and is on the south side of Tony Schmidt Park.
The beach has the same hours as the park -- 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes past sunset. Lifeguards are on duty daily from noon - 8 p.m. during beach season, but can vary due to weather or low attendance. This beach has nearby trees and a shaded shelter. It's an especially good beach for families with younger children - the swimming area is on the small side and shallow a long way out. Also, the playground is very close to the sand, making it easy for kids to go back and forth.
When packing for a day at the beach, there are a few things to note. Proper swimming attire is required. Everyone will need swimsuits. Glass bottles and containers are prohibited. If you are bringing these things in your picnic, leave them in the car. Grilling is also not permitted in the beach area, so it may be a good plan to have your picnic elsewhere in the park during a swim break. The grilling area is between the parking lot and the beach. This is not a dog-friendly outing. Pets are not allowed in the beach areas.
Birthday Parties at Tony Schmidt Regional Park
There are two rental options for birthday parties at Tony Schmidt Park. Reservations for either can be made through Ramsey County Parks. Note that groups planning to use the beach are required to secure a free reservation permit. I'm not sure this applies to birthday parties, but it is a good question to ask when booking your reservation.
The Pavilion costs $279 plus tax and a refundable deposit of $200. It can hold up to 125 people and has plenty of covered and uncovered seating. It also includes:
- Two large grills.
- Kitchen including two-burner stove, four electrical outlets, two sinks and a large commercial-grade refrigerator/freezer.
- Serving ledge with electrical outlets.
- Drinking fountain.
- Handicap-accessible restroom.
The picnic shelter rents for $151 plus tax and seats 75 people. It has 10 large picnic tables plus two more unsheltered tables. The rental includes use of a grill, electricity, a drinking fountain and a restroom.
Lake Johanna Fishing with Kids
This lake is not one of the DNR's Kids Fishing Ponds designated by its Fishing in the Neighborhood parks. This is probably due to the DNR's opinion that "[a]nglers can be hampered by competition with other boaters and dense vegetation growth at certain times of the year." However, Ramsey County provides a fishing pier at this park and, according to the DNR, fish species include bullhead, crappie, bluegill, sunfish, largemouth bass, northern pike, pumpkinseed, tiger muskellunge, walleye, perch, dogfish, and carp.
Lake Josephine County Park in Roseville is a nearby beach option - only about 3 miles away.