Nothing screams summer fun for youngsters like a long day at the playground. But if you've seen one too many days at your local, go-to park, it's time to branch out. Check out one of these other fun playgrounds in the Twin Cities, or better yet, start a "park tour." Each playground listed here offers very different atmospheres and play structures. But each are unique and all will burn off plenty of your child's summer energy.
Teddy Bear Park
S. 2nd St. and Nelson St.
Stillwater, MN 55082
With the charming city of Stillwater as its backdrop, Teddy Bear Park couldn't be more adorable. This park is speckled with teddy bear statues throughout (hence the name), plus lots of unique equipment perfect for the seven-and-under set. There is a spider web rope climbing area, a treehouse slide, trains to explore and more. Parents will love the clean equipment, ample amount of seating and the cute, nearby building with restrooms and a party area.
Elm Creek Park Reserve
12400 James Deane Parkway
Maple Grove, MN 55369
Your kids will think they've hit the mother lode at this massive park. The youngest of your crew will enjoy the group teeter-totters and colorful running spaces. The older kids will love the zip line, innovative swings and super-fast tunnel slides. The Elm Creek Park Reserve as a whole is really clean and bright. Plus the area has tons of other entertaining options for the family, including trails for biking and hiking, a chlorinated swimming pond and a picnic area.
Franconia Sculpture Park
29836 St. Croix Trail
Franconia, MN 55074
While this park doesn't boast tons of playground equipment, it is a must-see on sheer creativity alone. The entirety of Franconia Sculpture Park is designed by student and established artists, including the playground area. Here you will find a unique play structure that includes swings and nooks-and-crannies for kids to hide in. After your clan has had their fun on this literal work-of-art, check out the other sculptures throughout the park. Many are interactive, imaginative and encourage climbing.
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Hyland Play Area
10145 Bush Lake Road
Bloomington, MN 55438
The kids will be able to burn energy for hours at this large, award-winning park. The Hyland Play Area in Bloomington is equipped with lots of tunnel chutes, some up to 50 feet long. You'll also find rope climbers, swings and lots of grass to run. There is an area designed especially for disabled children and plenty of safe spaces for the youngest tykes too.
French Regional Park
12605 Rockford Road
Plymouth, MN 55441
The playground at French Regional Park is a large, interconnected system of rope nets and wooden posts. This seems simple enough, but the kids absolutely love the climbing and tests of balance and strength. There are also areas for toddlers that are safe yet fun. Make sure to bring good climbing shoes and band-aids for tiny hands that may get blistered.
Cortney Mohnk is a freelance writer covering all things Minnesota. She is also a public relations and event planning professional. Her most important job is mother to her young daughter, who is her partner-in-crime when checking out the family entertainment scene in the Twin Cities. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.
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