Twin Cities Parks & Playgrounds Search

Please check ahead before heading to Twin Cities Parks in 2020. Many amenities are temporarily closed to support social distancing.

Discover a new outdoor play space! 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 our 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.

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Wargo Nature Center, Lino Lakes

7701 Main Street, Lino Lakes, MN 55038
651-429-8007
Admission: $0.00
Vehicle Entry Fee: $6/day; $30/year
Some activities have a fee: Register for Activities
Hours of Operation:
Mon. Closed
Tue. Closed
Wed. Closed
Thu. Closed
Fri. Closed
Sat. Closed
Sun. Closed
2020: Closed Due to Covid 19. Open for Fall Nature Preschool Programs.
Details:

The Wargo Nature Center is part of the Rice Creek Chain of Lakes Regional Park. It was built to facilitate awareness, knowledge, and appreciation of natural and cultural environments and their resources. With a goal of fostering responsible stewardship and lifelong learning in people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds the center offers environmental and recreational programs for families throughout the year. Families will enjoy the displays, the touch and see room, and the outdoor areas, including the nature playground. 

Pro Tip: Sign up for the Wargo newsletter to get advance notice on events that require pre-registration. For Covid-19 Updates see the Anoka County Parks page.

Anoka County Parks Summer Camps

Anoka County Parks hosts summer camps at Wargo and other parks across the county. Camps run all summer and range from one day to five days. These camps are featured in our annual summer camp guide, where we update dates and prices each year. Find more information and register here.

Preschool Nature Play at Wargo Nature Center

Preschoolers and their parents can enjoy a nature play program from 10am to 11:15 am on the first Thursday of each month. Parents and their 2-5 year old child can explore nature through outdoor play, stories, and crafts. All programs involve outdoor exploration, so families should dress appropriate for the weather and play. The cost of these programs are $3/child and $3/adult +tax.

Find more preschool programs in our Guide to Twin Cities Preschools

Annual Events at Wargo Nature Center

  • January • Snow Day • Includes a variety of winter activities: snowshoeing, ice fishing, kicksledding, cross-country skiing, winter crafts, live animal displays. FREE.
  • March • Maple Syrup Festival • Learn about the tradition of gathering maple sap and cooking it down to make maple syrup and sugar. $5/person. Pre-registration is required.
  • April • Earth Day Celebration • Activities include a climbing wall, light refreshments, an art project and a learning fair. FREE.
  • October • Wargo Fall Festival • Celebrate fall with Wargo's cider press, play pioneer games, and try out some self-guided nature activities.
  • October • Little Goblins Costume Party • An event for children 8 years and younger and their parents. Kids and parents are encouraged to dress in their favorite, family-friendly costume. Event includes themed carnival games, crafts, refreshments, photo backdrop and a flashlight hike. $8/child. Pre-registration is required.


Equipment Rental for Family Fun at Wargo Nature Center

All rentals are dependent of proper weather, are first come, first served, and must be returned a half hour before the close of the nature center. Parents or other adults must be with children. Families can rent:

  • Canoes ($10 hour or $30 / day.)
  • Kayaks ($10 / hour for single and $15 / hour for tandem, and $35 / day for single and $40 / day for tandem.
  • Snowshoes / kicksleds ($5 for up to two hours - at site only.)
  • GPS Units ($5 for up to two hours - at site only.)

Homeschool Programs at Wargo Nature Center

Homeschool programs are held monthly from October through May and offer both a morning and an afternoon session for three different grade levels, K-2, 3-5 and 6-12. Preregistration is required and each program costs $5/child.

Birthday Parties at Wargo Nature Center

Families can book Wargo Nature Center for birthday parties for children ages 5+. The Fee is $100 per group and includes access to the entire nature center, 2 hours of private classroom space, including a 45-minute naturalist presentation, which may include live animals, outdoor exploration and/or crafts. The birthday child can choose the topic from a list of available programs. Call 763-324-3350 for more info. 

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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.

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. Want to get even greener? We have a big list of the best nature playgrounds for kids and families in Minneapolis and beyond.

Quick List of the Best Twin Cities Parks by City

Want to explore what we consider to be the very best parks in each community of the Twin Cities Metro Area? Consult our quick list below:

Bloomington Parks

Burnsville Parks

Chanhassen Area Parks

Eagan Parks

Inver Grove Heights & South St Paul Parks

Maple Grove Parks

Minneapolis Parks Nearby Nature Activities

Roseville Parks

Woodbury Parks

Inside Parks and Indoor Waterparks

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.

Beaches

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.

Tot Times

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.

For more outdoor play ideas:

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