One question we hear frequently is this: In the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” why go to a water park? The answer to that question is simple. Every single one of the best water parks in Minnesota features unique slides and amazing rides that will delight visitors of all ages. Another benefit of water parks is that, in addition to the many great outdoor parks, there are parks located indoors, which means that you can visit them even on cold Minnesota days.
So if your family wants to get wet, Minnesota has no shortage of opportunities. Let’s dive in and explore the 15 best water parks in Minnesota.
Best Water Parks in Minnesota: Indoor
Even if the sun isn’t out and snow is blanketing the ground, your family can still enjoy all of the fun that a water park has to offer when you opt for some of the best indoor water parks in Minnesota.
The great news is that there are all types of indoor water parks in Minnesota. Whether you’re looking for special pools, slides, and fountains for little kids, or adult-sized pools with super slides and inner tube rides, you will find something for every member of the family.
1. Great Wolf Lodge
Perhaps the most well-known indoor water park, Great Wolf Lodge is open year-round. The best thing about this great resort-style destination is that there is on-site lodging, so you don’t have to head home after an exhausting day of fun.
The water park maintains the perfect temperature of 84 degrees at all times and boasts more than 75,000 square feet of action. You can enjoy the Wolf Rider Wipeout surfing simulator, a family raft ride on the River Canyon Run, and exciting play on a massive treehouse that doubles as a water fort. Don’t forget to check out Slap Tail Pond, the huge wave pool.
Besides the water park adventures, there are also other activities available at Great Wolf Lodge. Your family can participate in a MagiQuest adventure, get your old-school video gaming on at Northern Lights Arcade, and go climbing on the Rustic Ridge Climbing Wall or Howler’s Peak Ropers.
For the grown-ups, there is a lounge/tavern and exercise room. There are even meeting rooms and catering on-site if you need to combine business and vacation time.
Moreover, Great Wolf Lodge can accommodate groups of 40 or more people. All of these reasons make it one of the best water parks in Minnesota.
2. Big Splash at Arrowwod Resort
Another Minnesota water park that is open year-round, Big Splash is located in the Arrowwood Resort and Conference Center in Alexandria, Minnesota. This huge indoor water park has more than 38,000 square feet of water fun and boasts three waterslides that are four stories tall.
It’s not all about excitement, however. You can also enjoy a relaxing float down the Lazy River in an inner tube or chill out in the tropical whirlpool spa.
To liven things up, head over at the basketball shootout, blast water in the children’s play fort, or enjoy the lily pad water walk. Another super popular attraction at Big Splash is the 500-gallon splash bucket called Calypso Cabana.
If you want to an outside activity, you can rent a boat at the marina or enjoy a 45-minute trail ride on horseback.
3. Rapid River Lodge Water Park
In Brainerd, you can enjoy river rapids tubing and a unique 250-foot tube slide. There is also a separate kiddie pool that is safe for the tiniest water park enthusiasts, as well as an indoor/outdoor hot tub.
Like the other two indoor water parks on this list of best water parks in Minnesota, the Rapid River Lodge Water Park is attached to a resort, so you can stay where you play.
4. Venetian Waterpark at the Holiday Inn
Maple Grove, MN
If you book a room or suite at Osseo’s Holiday Inn, you’re going to be pleasantly surprised that the hotel has its own indoor water park called the Venetian Indoor Water Park. Styled to look like beautiful Venice, Italy, this 25,000 square-foot park has tall buildings that are framed by beautiful pools that are crystal clear.
An activity pool offers water basketball, and two massive slides wind along to give you tons of excitement. For relaxation, you can pass the time soaking in a gigantic hot tub.
For young children, there is a zero-depth entry wading pool, a ship slide, and other interactive activities.
When you are ready for some non-water activities, you can enjoy the arcade. With so much to offer, its easy to see why we consider this one of the best water parks in Minnesota.
5. Paul Bunyan Water Park at Arrowwood Lodge
The Paul Bunyan Water Park in Baxter will satisfy all of your quests for fun family activities. With more than 30,000 square feet, this water park offers something for people of all ages, from toddlers to adults.
For an adrenaline rush, you need to check out the high body slide, which is a whopping four stories high. Also, the tube slide is tons of fun.
The little ones will enjoy the zero-depth kiddie pool and giant playhouse structure that has water cannons. Like the other water parks on this list of the best water parks in Minnesota, Paul Bunyan Water Park has a huge indoor/outdoor hot tub, and you can also relax on the calming waters of the lazy river.
Other activities include water basketball and the can’t-miss Gold Mine Arcade.
6. Three Bear Waterpark at Holiday Inn Express
Located in Brainerd, the Three Bear Waterpark is a great park for both thrill-seekers and small children. The slides are huge, and the popular Polar Express is 300 feet of turns and speed.
Like most of our listed water parks, Three Bear has a lazy river, but you can also grab a tube to blast down the Grizzly Express slide, which is an astonishing 300 feet.
For young riders, there is a plunge slide, and even a tot slide for the tiny folks. When the littlest visitors are finished getting some thrills in, they can enjoy their time in their own activity pool. In the children’s area, there is also a 1,000-gallon dumping bucket.
The park offers water basketball, and when you’re done getting wet, you can take the family to play laser tag.
7. Great River Water Park
St. Paul, MN
The Great River Water Park is an indoor water park in St. Paul and has a 25-meter pool with a diving board, twisty water slides, huge floats, an activity pool for the kiddos, and a sauna.
This is a great water park to visit if you’re interested in water fitness classes. While there, you can even sign the non-swimmers up for swimming lessons. You’ll quickly see why Great River made our list of the best water parks in Minnesota.
Best Water Parks in Minnesota: Outdoor
When it gets warm, you and the family are probably itching to go outside. Check out these popular outdoor Minnesota water parks.
8. Bunker Beach Water Park
Coon Rapids, MN
Since it is an outdoor park, Bunker Beach Water Park in Coon Rapids is open seasonally. However, you will want to make the most of those warm summer months and pay this exceptional park a visit.
Besides enjoying the giant wave pool, you can also slide down all of the six twisting and challenging slides and splash into the cool water below. For the kids, there is a kiddie area that is wet and wild, as well as a fun sandbox play area.
To wind around the park, grab a tube and float along the 900-foot lazy river. For a lily pad crossing activity, the kids will love the Wiggly Water Walk at the Plunge Pond.
Want to try out some challenging water climbing walls or play water basketball? Then just head over to Rocky Bay. The park also has an excellent sand volleyball court. You’ll quickly agree Bunker Beach is one of the best water parks in Minnesota.
9. Hastings Family Aquatic Center
Located in Hastings and open from June through August, the Hastings Family Aquatic Center may have just what you’re looking for in a fun family adventure in the warm summer months.
The park features a 200-foot water slide that will have everyone’s hearts racing, and the drop slide is guaranteed to thrill.
The pool has zero-depth entry, so even young children and non-swimmers can feel safe playing in the water. There is also a kiddie play structure on-site.
10. Soak City
There is so much to do at Shakopee’s Soak City that you will feel the need to revisit as soon as you leave so that you can make sure you didn’t miss a great attraction. For one thing, there is a 350-gallon wave pool. However, equally popular is Barefoot Beach, which has a splash pad that is nearly an acre in size.
For younger children, you will want to check out Splash Station, but if you’re an adrenaline-junkie or thrill-seeker, you will love the amazing rides offered at Soak City. For example, Breakers Pipelines has a trap door that opens, plummeting visitors down a 65-foot ride.
For speed, the attraction to visit is Breakers Plunge, which has two speed slides that seem to drop nearly straight down. After you’ve satisfied your addiction to danger, you can relax on the tranquil waters of Ripple Rapids, the lazy river. Soak City is easily one of the best water parks in Minnesota.
11. Kamp Dels
This delightful 38,000 square foot water park has the distinction of being located in Waterville (you know Waterville had to have a water park). At Kamp Dels, your family can enjoy the wonderful play area for the little ones, as well as the two swimming pools on-site. However, there is plenty of fun for adults and big kids because Camp Dels has pool volleyball and a climbing wall, along with waterslides.
One benefit of Kamp Dels, which is located on Lake Sakatah, is that you can camp at the park, whether in your own tent or in one of the park’s lakeside cabins.
When you’re not enjoying the fun water park, you can go fishing or play mini-golf. There is also a petting zoo at the park and a playground, making this an all-around enjoyable family fun center and one of the best water parks in Minnesota.
12. SandVenture Aquatic Park
Located in the scenic area around Shakopee, SandVenture Aquatic Park isn’t as huge as some of the larger parks on our list. However, what it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in features.
You can build sandcastles on the beach or enjoy sunbathing. When you’re in the water, you’ll be delighted that the crystal-clear water has a sandy bottom.
For excitement, you can enjoy the two drop slides or the 300-foot waterslide.
13. North Commons Water Park
If you’re looking for fun in Minneapolis, check out the North Commons Water Park in the summertime. There are some great speed and loop slides that will have you laughing and screaming all at the same time.
For the children, there is a water playground that has lots of fun and interactive features, including water umbrellas and geysers. They will also enjoy the shallow pool. While you’re there, be sure to sign them up for swimming lessons.
14. Cascade Bay Water Park
For fun on the water and dry land, a visit to Cascade Bay Water Park in Eagan is a must. One of the most popular attractions is the giant sand play area. However, this park has one of the best kiddie areas, with fountains, bubblers, slides, splashing buckets, and more.
If you want a thrilling ride, don’t worry. You will find plenty of those at Cascade Bay, too. However, the kids don’t miss out on fun slides because the park has the Captain’s Ship Slides.
There is also a huge lap pool and a lazy river that will give you the relaxation you crave. This park also has something that makes it unique: a mini-golf course.
Conclusion: The Best Water Parks in Minnesota
Whether you’re craving a fun day at a water park in the heat of the summer or hoping to forget about winter for a few hours in the colder months, there is a Minnesota water park waiting for you. Hopefully, you found the perfect destination on this list of the best water parks in Minnesota. Did you see your favorite water park on the list? If you do, tell us what you love most about it in the comments.
Ready for more Minnesota advice, info, and guides? Whether you’re a local or a passerby, discover the best of Minnesota that our great state has to offer!
Looking for some warm weather recommendations? Discover spring and summer in Minnesota for best destinations, travel recommendations, small (and big!) town events, and more!
Looking for more autumnal activities? Then visit our Minnesota Fall page to find inspiration for sweater weather fun!
- About the Author
- Latest Posts
Born in Madelia, MN, to a now 5-generation Minnesota family, Ryan’s MN roots go deep.
A painter by day, Ryan founded Life in Minnesota in 2013 with his wife Kelly to chronicle their musings on everything Minnesota. Ryan and Kelly are raising their 7 kiddos in Maple Grove, MN.
When he’s not shuttling his kids around to hockey practice, you might find him in the shop working on his leatherwork. Undoubtedly, there will be a family trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area every summer, and of course weekends at Grandpa’s cabin up north in the summer.