When you don’t own a swimming pool, and you’re not really in a beach kind of mood, the next best way to beat the heat is at a public pool or waterpark. Here’s a roundup of popular Twin Cities’ area pools and waterparks, both indoors and outside. *Rates and hours for summer 2015.
Family Aquatic Center
14421 Johnny Cake Ridge Rd., Apple Valley, MN 55124
Hours: Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. from June 6 through August 30 (weather permitting)
Admission: $9 daily; $6 after 5 p.m., free for infants one and under. Food and drink allowed inside.
Features: Waterslides, water walking, lazy river, lap pools, diving board, picnic area.
Bunker Beach Water Park (outdoors)
701 County Road A, Coon Rapids, MN 55433
Hours: Open daily, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (subject to change, due to inclement weather), from the first Saturday in June through Labor Day.
Admission: $15 for guests over 48 inches; $12 for guests under 48 inches and those 62 and over; free for kids under age one. Admission reduced by $3 after 4 p.m. Everyone must pay the admission fee, spectators/supervising adults included. Vehicle entrance fee of $5, lockers available for rent (ranging from $6 to $9).
Features: Two body slides, four tubing slides, a lazy river, an intense wave pool (one reviewer advised women to wear a one-piece in the wave pool, or risk a wardrobe malfunction), kiddie pool, playground, sandbox, concessions (no outside food or beverages), showers, lounge chairs. No water toys, water wings, noodles, snorkels, or balls allowed inside the park. There’s very little shade, so don’t forget sunscreen!
Bloomington Family Aquatic Center (outdoors)
201 East 90th Street, Bloomington, MN 55420
Hours: Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. from June 6-August 23, after August 23, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekends only, Saturdays and holidays, and Sundays 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Admission: $9.50 all day for guests ages 6-54; $7.50 ages 2-5 and 55+; and free for infants age one and under. Rates are discounted by $2 after 4 p.m.
Features: A zero-depth entry pool, interactive play features, waterslides, diving boards, a newly renovated bathhouse and concession stand.
Water Park of America (indoors)
1700 American Blvd. East, Building B, Bloomington, MN 55425
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Admission: You can purchase tickets either for all day, morning only (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.) or twilight (4 p.m. to 10 p.m.). All-day admission is $39.95. Discounted online admissions tickets available.
Features: Zero-depth activity pool, lazy river, wave pool, waterslides, family raft ride, 10th floor body slide (the tallest indoor waterslide in the country!), 5th floor tube slide, hot tub, concessions, indoor arcade.
Cascade Bay Waterpark (outdoors)
1360 Civic Center Dr., Eagan, MN 55122
Hours: Open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. through Labor Day, unless otherwise noted.
Admission: $10 for guests over 42 inches; $8 for guests under 42 inches and those over 62 years; free for guests 18 months and younger. Mini golf fee additional $2/guest (unlimited golf for $4). Two dollar discount after 4 p.m. Resident and non-resident season passes available at the Eagan Community Center.
Features: Large sand/play area, lazy river, fast and slow waterslides, mini golf, zero-entry wading pool for the little ones, shaded cabana area/sunny grassy area, concession stands (you aren’t allowed to bring your own food). Locker rentals. Free parking.
Edinborough Park (indoors)
4801 West 50th Street, Edina, MN 55424
Daily admission: $7 + tax for Adventure Peak + Great Hall (gymnasium). Adults are admitted free with a paid child’s admission. And don’t forget socks—or it’ll cost you $2.50/pair.
For just the swimming pool: $7 + tax
For the play area + swimming pool: $12 + tax
Hours: The playpark is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Open swim from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. Friday, 2:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and again from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Check the website for holiday hours.
Features: Indoor atrium, gymnasium (basketball, scooters, cars, bouncy house), large Adventure Peak play structure (maze, tunnels, slides), concessions, locker room, swimming pool.
Edina Aquatic Center (outdoors)
4300 W. 66th Street, Edina, MN 55435
Hours: Monday through Friday 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Admission: $10; $8 after 5 p.m.
Features: Olympic-sized swimming pool, waterslide tower, surf simulator, children’s pool with slides and rides, treehouse-themed playground.
Richfield Outdoor Pool
630 East 66th Street, Richfield, MN 55423
Hours: Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday noon through 7 p.m. from June 5-August 23.
Admission: $8.75 for guests 1-54; 55+ $7.75; free for infants one and under. Admission is discounted by $1 after 4 p.m.
Features: A zero-depth-entry children’s wading pool with water play equipment, a 50-meter main pool with wheelchair accessible ramp, double waterslide, one-meter diving board, water volleyball and two 25-yard lap lanes.
Soak City Waterpark/Valleyfair
1 Valley Drive, Shakopee, MN 55379
Hours: Open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., some modified hours in August. Last day of the season is September 7.
Admission (without discounts): Ranges from $30 to $45. Valleyfair admission + fast lane combo is $67. Season pass and military discounts available. (Discounts also available online and at Dairy Queen and Cub Foods.)
Features: Two 90-foot speed slides (among the tallest in the world), 65-foot Breaker’s Pipeline, body slides, wave pool, tube rides, sand volleyball, barefoot beach splash pad, splash station for the little ones. Swimwear required—no water shoes. Complimentary lifejackets available. Limited lockers (cash and credit cards accepted). Parking fee. Limited “wave-side” cabanas available for rent. Single innertube rentals available for $3, plus refundable $2 deposit.
Shoreview Community Center Playground/Tropics Indoor Waterpark (indoors)
4580 Victoria St. N., Shoreview, MN 55126
Waterpark hours: Noon to 8 p.m. Monday and Wednesday, noon to 9 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, Friday noon to 9:45 p.m., Saturday noon to 7:45 p.m., Sunday noon to 6 p.m.
Playground hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Admission: Daily pass to waterpark and playground = $9.95 for adults 18 and over; $8.95 for youth one to 17; free for those under one with a paid adult. Family pass, limited to six (two adults + up to four kids) is $34.75. Indoor playground only is $5.
Features: Indoor playground and waterpark area, large pool, water basketball, three-story “Shark Attack” twisting indoor/outdoor waterslide, shallow kids area, swimming lanes, hot tub.
St. Louis Park
St. Louis Park Aquatic Center (outdoors)
3700 Monterey Dr., St. Louis Park, MN 55416
Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Admission: Free for infants one and under; $5 for 1-5 years, $9.50 for 6-54 years, $5 for 55+, and $5 after 4:30 p.m
Features: Waterslides, lap pool, water playground, obstacle courses, wet sand playground, concession stand, picnic gazebo.
Como Regional Park Pool (outdoors)
1151 Wynne Ave., St. Paul, MN 55103
Hours: Open swim hours 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; noon to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Admission: $5 for guests under 48 inches; $6 for guests over 48 inches; family pass (up to five members) $20; deck-free (non-swimming guests) $3; free for infants one and under.
Features: My husband took our kids to the Como Pool last year and they loved it. There’s a splash pool, lap pool, climbing wall “cliff diving”, lazy river, diving board, and zipline at this new pool area (remodeled in 2012). Concessions available; free life jackets for rent. *Tip: Go before noon, when there can be a long line to get in. Bring your own lock or rent one for $1.
What are your favorite public swimming pools in the metro area? Which ones did I miss?