Plunge Into Minnesota’s Water Parks

Although Minnesota is the Land of 10,000 Lakes, don’t forget about water slides this summer

As temperatures reach the upper 80’s and lower 90’s during the next week, the only thing that might cool you down (besides sipping a cold one) is taking a dip in the water. While there is an abundance of lakes to choose from, whether its Bde Maka Ska, Lake Harriet, or Lake of the Isles, what you may not know that the Twin Cities area also has many different water parks to choose from, indoor and outdoor. Although some of these water parks don’t open for a few more days, keep these in mind as summer marches forward.

Soak City

Although Valleyfair is known more for its amusement park rides, don’t dismiss Soak City, its waterpark counterpart. Starting May 26, you can choose to cool off by relaxing in the 1,280-foot-long lazy river or by going the more thrilling route with the wave pool, raft rides, or one of several slides. Let your kids race each other down Breakers Plunge, two nearly vertical open-air body slides that are side by side, or splash around in the 6-foot-deep wave pool that is sure to be a hit for all ages.

Bunker Beach Water Park

Bunker Beach Water Park lives up to its name as it has sand like an actual beach might. Kids can play in the sandbox area, and sand volleyball courts are available as well. After heating up in the sand, get in the wave pool, 900-foot lazy river, or choose between six slides.

Great Wolf Lodge

What used to be The Waterpark of America is now Great Wolf Lodge, an indoor waterpark and hotel located very close to Mall of America. If you are a guest in the hotel—mini staycation, anyone?—venture down River Canyon Run featuring Splash Cinema, where you can choose music and light themes based on movies while you plunge down. Let your kids climb Fort Mackenzie, and make sure not to miss Alberta Falls, the four-story tube slide.

Three Bear Water Park

Hold onto your swim trunks while Big Splash unleashes 1,000 gallons of water from its bucket at Three Bear Water Park in Brainerd. Along with a lazy river and a few tube and body slides, the water park has activity pools with basketball hoops and a food bar within the park if you get hungry. If swimming isn’t for you, get a spectator pass for only $5 so you don’t miss out on the fun.

North Commons Water Park

For water escapades right in Minneapolis, visit North Commons Water Park. Children can start with swimming lessons and stay for the water playground, wading pool, geysers, and funbrellas. When they’re tall enough, they’ll graduate to the speed and loop slides.