ROUND LAKE PARK SPLASH PAD
EDEN PRAIRIE, MN
Sadly, August is flying by. Before the cold air rolls in (because we all know it rolls in overnight in Minnesota), be sure to get a splash pad checked off your summer bucket list. And, boy, have I got a good one for you. I joined my friend for a play date at Round Lake Park Splash Pad in Eden Prairie and was pleasantly surprised by the place because it’s more than just a splash pad. Attached to the water area is a very nice playground (one for bigger kids, one for little ones) and shaded tables, all within eyeshot of a lovely sandy beach. There’s definitely enough here to keep kids of all ages busy for a good long while. Now, how do we keep summer around that long?
What is it?
Round Lake Park Splash Pad was built in 2013, so it’s fresh and well-kept, as is most of Eden Prairie. The splash area has bubblers and spray arches and some dripping palm trees, and the rubber matting is a relieving touch for parents who are tired of constantly yelling, “Don’t run or you’ll break your head open!” There are two playgrounds – one for the younger crowd and a bigger one for older kids. The Round Lake Park Beach is right nearby too if the free splash pad isn’t cutting it.
Fit for what ages?
As I mentioned, there is something for every age at Round Lake Park. Sometimes, my kids don’t love a splash pad when they involve giant dropping water buckets or water shooters manned by deliberately evil children. But, this splash pad has none of that. Nothing is “scary” and it’s spacious and gradual and totally non-intimidating for toddlers. And, it’s pretty slip-free (bonus!). The toddler playground is tiny…but so are toddlers, I suppose. The bigger play structure is elaborate with slides, bridges and climbing options in varying sizes and difficulty level.There’s also a spinning rope structure that my kids both enjoyed (ages 2 and 5), although the speed they went was not even close to the same. Overall, Round Lake is good for any age child. No age-restriction warnings necessary for this one.
How much are we talkin?
Round Lake Park splash pad, playgrounds AND beach are completely free. Only thing that could cost you money here is a watercraft rental (canoes, kayaks and paddleboards available). Doesn’t get much better than that, eh, frugal friends?
Want some tips?
The important stuff: There are nice bathrooms inside the building atop the hill behind the splash pad. Each water apparatus in the splash pad is set on a timer, so if something (or all of it) goes off, we the people are in charge of starting it up again. This can be done by pushing the button on the back of the giant red megaphone thingy (descriptive enough for you?). The beach is walking distance from the splash pad, but I recommend choosing to do one or the other. Kids get sandy on beaches and splash pads aren’t fun when covered in sand. Get my drift? If you do the beach, enjoy it because it’s a good one. Lifeguards are on duty daily from 11am-7pm. There are a few large beach umbrellas so come early and grab your spot via an old blanket and a cooler full o’ goodies. The beach water is relatively shallow and very accommodating for young ones. The wood chip-based playgrounds are really fun for kids and they do tend to get wet since so many kids jump from one area to another here, so swimsuits are a good decision until you’re absolutely ready to leave. Athletic, are you? Take advantage of the outdoor ellipticals (pictured below). I thought these were a nice touch, although I never actually used one. Parking is free and the lot is large. Everything is nice and close (the parking lot to the splash pad…the splash pad to the beach) so you won’t look ridiculous walking 10 miles carrying your coolers, blankets, swim noodles, pails and shovels, and babies. This place was a nice little treasure during a week when my paycheck and sanity just weren’t going to make it.
Hours and Location
16691 Valley View Road | Eden Prairie, MN 55346
The Splash Pad is open daily from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Memorial Day through Labor Day. Hours beyond Labor Day will depend on the temps.