Summertime in Minnesota is defined by soaking up the sun on sandy beaches, water skiing, and kayaking across the lake or zooming down the waterpark slide. Minneapolis Northwest wants to help you beat the heat all summer long by highlighting a few “cool” spots around the area.

Elm Creek Swimming Pond


Need to feel the sand beneath your feet? Then a trip to Elm Creek Swimming Pond is a must for fun in the sun! Located in Elm Creek Park Reserve, the beach is an oasis for those who want to build sand castles, go swimming and work on their tan. Complete with a changing shelter, concessions and bathroom facilities, the Elm Creek Swimming Pond in Maple Grove is open Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Bunker Beach Water Park


If tubing and zooming down the waterslide is more your speed, then Bunker Beach in Coon Rapids is the place to be. As Minnesota’s largest outdoor water park, Bunker Beach features a huge 25,000-square-foot wave pool, waterslides, a large adventure pool with zero-depth entry and a fun interactive play area. Voted best outdoor water park in Minnesota, Bunker Beach also has volleyball courts, tube rentals, a sand play area, and concessions. With so much to do, staying cool is the only option at Bunker Beach, opening June 5!

Central Park Splash Pad

Central Park Splash Pad

For a cooldown where you don't have to submerge, check out the unique splash pad at Central Park in Maple Grove. The surface is flat and completely accessible, so everyone is welcome to make their way through the flickering streams of water spouting up from the ground. LED lights built into the ground light up in dazzling colors each night, also illuminating the water. Visiting the splash pad is definitely cool in more ways than one. 

Fish Lake Regional Park


The serene beauty of Fish Lake Regional Park in Maple Grove is calling your name. Surround yourself in nature and hit the open water this summer. No boat? No problem. Fish Lake provides watercraft rentals so you can enjoy kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddle boarding, row boats, and paddleboats. And a section of sandy shoreline beckons swimmers and sunbathers of all ages. Open year-round, Fish Lake Regional Park also has picnic areas to enjoy a meal with family and friends.

Grove Cove

Maple Grove Community Center pool

Another great local pool option is Grove Cove at the Maple Grove Community Center. The outdoor leisure pool features a lazy river, tumble buckets, a log walk, tot slides, and water sprays. The indoor pool a zero-depth beach area, water spray activities, a 130-foot waterslide, and a tot slide. All swimmers need to make a reservation, and there are separate signups for the lap and swim pools. The outdoor pool is open Saturday and Sundays, 12 - 6 p.m.

Venetian Waterpark


If rainy summer days have got your outdoor plans on hold, you can get your swimming fix by visiting the Venetian Indoor Waterpark at the Holiday Inn and Suites Maple Grove. As its name suggests, this unique 25,000-square-foot waterpark will transport you to the Mediterranean…but you can leave the passport at home! There are four-story waterslides, Bambini Piscina (a toddler/child’s pool with zero-entry levels), basketball hoops and even an arcade for the gamer in your group. A separate spa provides a nice escape where you can relax and view the stars above on the streets of Venice.

Share your waterpark, beach or lake adventures using #WeLoveMNW on FacebookTwitter or Instagram and you could be featured on our website