Do your kids like to play in the dirt? Build tree forts? Climb cliffs and careen through tunnels?If you’re nodding your head YES right now, you need...
Twin Cities splash pads!
Need to cool off this summer? Take a tour of the area's top splash pads!
Andrews Park Splash Pad
This splash pad features boat motifs (including sprayer masts), rings, water-table-like attractions for early walkers, flower showers, a sunshade and numerous benches and picnic tables, too.
This popular park’s interactive fountain encompasses a 2,100-square-foot plaza with 49 jet sprays and 18 arching sprays. LED lights turn the fountain into a light show once the sun goes down.
The adjacent playground features a 120-foot-long climbing wall, a 24-foot- tall climbing tower, a great lawn, trails, a garden with a labyrinth, and a new building with a concession stand, restrooms and a large lounge area.
Huset Park West
This neighborhood park features four ball fields, new playground equipment and a picnic shelter, plus a splash pad water feature with large walk-through rings, a deck that shoots water and ample nearby seating and picnic space.
Large and dotted with spinning sprayers, this northwest-metro splash pad sits next to a playground (including swing sets), a sunshade, picnic tables and a 40-acre park with baseball fields and disc golf course.
Como Town Splash Zone
Let the kids play in water fountains, bubblers and jets, plus sprayers and water buckets.
Similar to the Maple Grove interactive fountain, this splash pad features sprays and splashes that emerge from a concrete plaza, conveniently sited next to a new-in-2013 playground with features geared toward ages 2–5 and 5– 12, plus ample benches and shade trees.
West St. Paul
Sprayers high and low let kids cool off here after you hit the 19-acre park’s baseball/softball diamonds, batting cages, picnic areas, soccer field, playground and concession stand.
HealthEast Sports Center
This splash pad is part of the facility formerly known as the Bielenberg Sports Center. Bubblers and water buckets spray and splash runs only when activated by a button on a special flower.
Every four minutes, kids get to restart the show. There’s a larger platform with dumping buckets, nozzles and flower showers, plus a smaller, separate platform for toddlers. Also on site is an all-inclusive playground for all abilities called Madison’s Place.
Cottage Grove shut down its expensive-to-run, 50-year-old public pool in 2011 and, in 2012, replaced it with a new splash pad with numerous overhead and waist-level sprayers. And it’s been a hit! Seating is limited, however, so parents should bring lawn chairs. Nearby, you’ll find open grasslands, paved trails, baseball and soccer fields, tennis and basketball courts, and picnicking near a pretty pond.
This is another plaza-style splash pad with simple sprays and jets that shoot out of a concrete plaza. Nearby you’ll find newer playground equipment — built in 2008 with soft, synthetic surfacing — including a tot lot for younger kids.
Parque de Castillo
Redesigned in 2018, this park features a new play area, a splash pad, public art, grills and picnic area. It’s adjacent to the new Gilbert de la O baseball and multi-use fields as well as El Rio Vista Recreation Center.
This splash pad has a view of Phalen Lake, complete with plenty of bench seating for grownups and easy access to the beach and the rest of the full-service park.
Burnsville Lions Playground
New in 2015, this 2,000-square-foot splash pad is at Cliff Fen Park next to a huge playground (new in 2013) with more than 87 play pieces that can accommodate up to 265 kids. This site also offers access the Minnesota Valley Wildlife Refuge.
Located in Bloomington near Cedar Valley Church (which allows visitors to use its parking lot) this splash pad is the highlight of the park, which also includes a playground, softball field, tennis court and volleyball court. Bonus: This splash pad features new rubber tiles designed to increase safety and comfort.
This spash pad has multiple ground spraying features as well as overhead fountains and buckets. Near the Festival Grounds Pavilion, the area features a rock seating wall on the west edge of the splash pad as well as a sun shelter with picnic tables.
Kelley Park Splash Pad
Kids can’t resist running through the sequence of huge blue rings that spray and mist here, creating a virtual tunnel of fun. There’s also a gazebo decked out with picnic tables, plus a beautiful, rubber-matted playground. No wood chips here!
Nicollet Commons Park
Here you’ll find a grand, meandering waterfall that slow falls over beautiful rocks and clear water, surrounded by various plants and trees — and usually filled with kids splish-splashing in the water.
A regular, timed sprinkler display in the heart of the square adds a thrill of anticipation — a joyful place to spend a hot summer day.
You’ll find grassy hills near the action for picnicking and relaxation. You’ll also find oodles of summer concerts plus Friday- night movies at the commons, which includes a 250-seat amphitheater.
Rosemount Splash Pad at Central Park
New in July 2014, this water spot is perfect for toddlers with its 3,700 square feet of ground nozzles that spray water up out of the splash pad’s rain deck, plus a moving water feature — the Water Journey — that allows smaller children to direct water as it flows through a maze. There’s plenty of seating for parents and a covered shelter with picnic tables, too.
Valleyfair’s Barefoot Beach
This family-friendly splash pad — free with admission to Valleyfair as part of its Soak City water park — features almost an entire acre of water-play elements, including a tipping bucket, slides and geysers. Kids must be fewer than 54 inches tall or accompanied by a supervising companion. Day passes to Valleyfair start at $35 online.
This playful splash pad — with sprayers high and low — blends seamlessly into the Miller Park Barrier-Free Playground, which boasts accessible pathways and surface structures that give children and adults of all mobilities the opportunity to reach all levels of the play structure.
Mike and Jenny Garvin came up with the idea for the playground in hopes that their daughter, Ashley, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, could play alongside other children her age.
Check out a list of inclusive Twin Cities playgrounds designed for all abilities at tinyurl.com/playgrounds-for-all.
St. Louis Park
This well-known interactive destination is ideal for no-plunge fun, complete with sprayers, sprinklers, tip buckets and more. It’s located in Louisiana Oaks Park off Highway 7, featuring sprawling lawns, beautiful trees and a playground. It’s free for residents and $1 for non-residents.
Round Lake Park
Adjacent to a lake, a beach and a playground, this is Eden Prairie’s other splash pad, built in 2013, featuring palm tree sprayers and a soft rubber matting surface for slip-free fun.
Water parks, too!
Also, be sure to check out our list of two dozen water parks (great for all ages, including older kids) in our Family Directory here and here (click on water parks on the left or just search water parks).
Amanda Williams lives in rural Minnesota with her two energetic sons and husband. She is a family travel writer and considers every day an opportunity for a grand adventure — after a good cup (or two) of coffee, of course! Sarah Jackson is the editor of Minnesota Parent. You can reach her at email@example.com.
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