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Free Splash Pad Water Parks Near Minneapolis

By July 8, 2010

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Forget the $20 admission water parks. And there's only so much splashing kids can do in a wading pool. Babies, toddlers and kindergartners can be entertained for much longer at a splash pad, a space with sprinklers and spraying water to run through and play in.

I took two toddlers to the splash pad at Kelley Park in Apple Valley today to bounce around in the water and climb all over the playground. You know that kids have played to exhaustion when one of them falls asleep the moment you drive off, and the other is silent for the whole half-hour ride home. A fun-filled morning and a peaceful car ride home - splash pads are a hit for me!

Here's where to find free splash pads around the Twin Cities.

In St. Louis Park, the Oak Hill Splash Pad has a rainbow of sprinklers, bubblers and water jets. This is the closest splash pad  to Minneapolis.

Nicollet Commons Park in Burnsville has a plaza with collection of spraying fountains.

Kelley Park in Apple Valley has a cool collection of water sprayers, sprinklers and fountains, and a large dry play area right next to the water for double the fun. The layout also makes it easier for parents to keep an eye on their kids.

edit to add: St. Paul installed their first splash pad this summer at Lewis Park, in Midway St. Paul.

Done all the free splash pads? For an admission charge, many water parks in the Twin Cities have splash pads as one of their amenities, and the Minnesota Zoo has a new splash pad too.

August 23, 2010 at 9:47 pm
(1) Splash Pads says:

Kelly park is awesome, I take my kids there all the time!

July 8, 2011 at 12:18 pm
(2) Amy J says:

The Oak Hill Splash pad now charges $1 per person for non-residents and only allows groups of more than 7 during certain times during the week!

July 19, 2011 at 10:49 am
(3) Melanie says:

Cedarcrest Park in Bloomington also has a free splash pad.

8700 Bloomington Avenue (86th & Bloomington Ave)

July 19, 2011 at 9:46 pm
(4) Tim F says:

Oak Hill only charges the $1 during daytime hours. After 4pm it’s still free (check their website for details). We went there tonight – it was free but I would have gladly paid the $4 for the entire family to enjoy cooling off from this wicked heat wave!

June 27, 2012 at 5:06 pm
(5) Mandi says:

Splash Pads in Burnsville is my favorite!! Its off of Nicollet Ave. There are so many things going on in that park for families!

July 11, 2012 at 8:30 am
(6) sara says:

Eden Prairie now has one at Miller Park too with another being added at Riley (I hear)!

July 25, 2012 at 9:30 am
(7) Amy says:

There is also one in East Bloomington – 86th Street and 14th Ave. At Cedar Crest church.

August 8, 2012 at 5:45 pm
(8) Erica says:

The splash pad in Cottage Grove just opened this Summer my 8 1/2yr old gets BORED really fast but my 16 month old LOVES it!!

December 12, 2012 at 10:11 am
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June 24, 2013 at 12:27 pm
(10) Kristin says:

Lewis Park isn’t in the Midway; it is actually closer to North End or Frogtown. People really don’t seem to know where the Midway is but it is west of Frogtown.

July 18, 2013 at 4:51 pm
(11) Julie says:

Turtle pond in Columbia heights. Off of 35th and university ave (35th & ne main st to be exact). Not the best but does the trick and best off all it’s free!

July 19, 2013 at 5:02 pm
(12) Amorita says:

Don’t forget the playground with the splash pad at Hyland lake park reserve in Bloomington, also they have them at comi and mn zoo, and I recently heard there is one at minnehaha falls. Possibly one at lake Harriet too…put in last year. Not confirmed on those, so call ahead

August 28, 2013 at 11:23 am
(13) Samantha says:

I’d call Wabun’s wading pool a small splash pad. It’s in Minneapolis, close to Minnehaha falls and its free. My 1 1/2 year old loved it!

December 26, 2013 at 8:52 pm
(14) Jaqueline Friedberg says:

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