Park Series: Keewaydin Park

Keewaydin Park
South Minneapolis, MN

Take a Video Tour of Keewaydin Park:

When it comes to “letting your kids fly” or “protectthem with your annoying, hovery, ridiculous mama-wings,” I think I land somewhere in the middle. I want them to try hard things but I don’t want to run them to the emergency room. I want them to step out of their comfort zones but I don’t want their self-esteem to plummet. I want them to grow wise and learn lessons the hard way, but I want them to do it safely, smartly, and with a soft fall.

So what does this have to do with a park, you ask? Well, the new Keewaydin Park has a bouldering structure and some other climbs and challenges that will make you hold your breath, but only for a second because, baby, they are certain to fly.

I took my youngest to Keewaydin Park the other day to check out their new redesign (as of August 2023) and it is pretty epic. The park, located in South Minneapolis near Lake Nokomis, has something for everyone. We stayed a looong time and he could’ve stayed even longer (he was even upset we didn’t bring his swimsuit for wading or a basketball to play hoops). Get all the details below, or take a virtual tour by watching the video above.

What to Expect?

  • All ages will enjoy the playgrounds – there are two playgrounds near each other separated by a wading pool and basketball hoops. All are open to the public and both playgrounds are super fun!
  • The more “natural” playground has ground of green turf and wood chips. There is tons of shaded seating thanks to the trees and plenty of space for running and climbing on the equipment. The equipment here might be for slightly older children (think 5 or 6+) while the super colorful, more “classic” playground has more options for younger kids.
  • The colorful playground has ground of all wood chips.
  • Cement paths connect the parks with a rec building in between them, which has restrooms.
  • There are two big free parking lots right next to each playground plus tons of free street parking. There’s also lots of grass for a blanket and snack break.
  • The parks are not fenced in but they aren’t directly next to the road so if you’re worried about a runner, just make sure to watch them before they get to the (not-very-busy) streets.
  • Bike racks are everywhere and there is also a baseball field, so if biking or ball are your thing, don’t hesitate to bring them along.
  • Pack a swimsuit if your kids like to wade. Keewaydin has a very nice and clean wading pool. It is 1.5 feet deep and was actually kind of warm. There’s nothing exciting about it other than the fact that it’s water and it’s big.
  • My 7-year old could’ve spent all day on the bouldering rock and the ziplines. The ziplines were nothing out of the ordinary but I was shocked by the “realness” of the bouldering rocks. That sucker was HARD and getting up was genuinely a challenge. I had so many visions of kids missing their grip and skidding their chins along the boulder on their way down, but guess what? It never happened. And a LOT of kids climb that boulder while we were there.
  • BUT – that being said, there are quite a few spots where kids could lose their balance and fall hard (and far) to the ground. Just keep an eye on them because, yes they bounce, but not always.
  • The park is lined with hard rocks that were super fun to run and skip on. We created a full playground obstacle course and there were plenty of challenges to be had.
  • I think my preteen and teen would’ve gotten bored here after a short while, but that’s where the hoops and pool and benches come in handy. Keewaydin would be a pretty great full-family stop for an hour of your day.

What to Bring?

  • Wear good close-toed climbing shoes. Flip-flops might not do the trick with some of these obstacles.
  • Because of the ample amounts of shade, sunscreen was not necessary for my little guy. Unless you’re doing the wading pool…
  • Swimsuit and towel if you want to wade in the adorable wading pool.
  • There’s a small sand area too if you have sand-loving kids. Maybe sand toys?
  • Basketballs, baseballs, bats, bikes. There are sidewalks, a field, and a basketball court all there for the using.
  • Band-aids. Read above re: chin scrapeage 🙂
  • Snacks. Because you can never not have snacks.

After the park, consider walking the sweet neighborhoods to Berry Sweet Cafe family kitchen or the Nokomis Library. If you want to make a day of it, head 3 minutes west to Lake Nokomis Beach for a swim, rent a bike or kayak from Wheel Fun Rentals, grab a donut from Mel-O-Glaze or a Banana Fudge Shake from The Painted Turtle. My kid and I ran across Crema Coffee + Cream on our drive home and splurged on a salted caramel iced latte and a dirt-n-worms ice cream sundae. It was a good decision.

How to Get There?

Keewaydin Park
3030 E 53rd St
Minneapolis, MN 55417

Want more parks?

Check out all the parks we’ve visited and loved in the blog’s “Park Series” section. And don’t hesitate to reach out to me to suggest a stop we should visit and write about too!

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