We had a blast today, during what is supposed to be the only day this week without rain, playing at the Oak Hill Splash Pad in St. Louis Park with our church play group friends!
If you live in the Twin Cities, this place is definitely worth checking out. It's completely free, and fully fenced in, so you can really let your kiddo's run wild. There's a great playground right there as well, if getting drenched isn't their thing. Sammy wasn't so crazy about getting his head wet last year at 1 and a half, but this year, he was LOVING it, as you can see...
There are plenty of benches and lounge chairs around the perimeter, as well as a few large umbrellas, and bathrooms both indoors and portable. Just outside the fence you can enjoy a picnic on a table or in the shady grass. The water park is open June 1st through August 31, and is located at 3201 Rhode Island Avenue South in St. Louis Park.
If you live south of the river, Nicollet Commons Park in Burnsville is a fantastic splash pad type park as well, also completely free! This one is very different but also very fun. It is NOT fully fenced, and is very spread out, so it can be a challenge if you have more than one kid to keep track of. It is not painted all colorful and playground-like, like the previously mentioned park...if you walked through it and didn't see kids playing in it, you might think it's just a pretty park full of water features and not know that it's actually meant for kids to play in.
This park is very spread out, and features waterfalls, fountains, rivers, and all kinds of fun areas for kids to get wet. It was surprisingly not busy, even when we went on a very hot Saturday afternoon last month. I'm thinking that either not a lot of people know about it yet, or people are just too afraid to let their kids climb on waterfalls that go over jagged-edged rocks. ;-) Yes, there are quite a few jagged cliffs at this park, so you definitely want to keep an eye on your kids and make sure they don't get hurt. But, there are other areas of the park (again, spread out) that are more harmless if you can keep your kids in one area.
This park is surrounded with a lot of nice grassy areas where you can spread out on a blanket for a picnic, as well as a few picnic tables. Water features are running from mid May until the first week of October, and close from 5:00-9:00 am for maintenance.
I know I'm planning on chasing around these little wet footprints a lot this summer!