Top Places to Go Swimming in Minneapolis

Whether you are looking for a way to beat the wintertime blues, or it’s summer and you want to enjoy the sunshine—spending a day in the water can be just the thing you need. Enjoy all the indoor and outdoor swimming pools and lakes Minneapolis has to offer. Just grab your bathing suit and a towel and get ready to dive into our favorite swimming spots.

Indoor Swimming

We have all types of indoor swimming pools here. Looking to swim some laps? Check. Are you new to swimming and wanting lessons? No problem. Indoor water park? Look no further.

The Phillip’s Aquatic Center is the Minneapolis park system’s first indoor swimming facility. Located in the Phillips Community Center, this facility features 6-lane competition and 4-lane teaching pools. Daily admission is available for purchase along with monthly and seasonal passes.

Another great location for indoor swimming is the YMCA. The Minneapolis YMCA Branch has multiple locations with swimming pools in Downtown, Midtown and Uptown and where day passes, monthly passes, and yearly memberships are offered.

Are lazy rivers and water slides more your thing? The Great Wolf Lodge is a hotel and family-friendly resort featuring a large, 84-degree indoor water park, a wide range of dining options, and an adult-friendly wine service. Water park passes are included for hotel guests, but if you prefer to make it a day trip, passes are available for purchase online. The Great Wolf Lodge is located about a mile from the Mall of America, and has a shuttle service to and from both locations.

Outdoor Swimming

You can’t beat a Minnesota summer! So when the weather starts heating up, you’ll want to get outside—trust us. We are sure you have heard about all of the lakes we have, but we have other local spots waiting to be explored as well.

The Webber Natural Swimming Pool at Webber Park is a non chlorinated, free swimming pool with a grassy sun-bathing area, outdoor shower towers and outside lockers. The pool is unique in that it uses filters and plants instead of chemicals to mimics the natural cleaning mechanisms of a pond or a lake.

Wading pools are a fun and safe way to spend time with your little ones. The Minneapolis parks system offers 62 neighborhood wading pools that are open from Memorial Day through Labor Day. A few popular wading pools are Bryant Square Park, Loring Park, and Powderhorn Park.

For a little more adventure, check out Jim Lupient Water Park located in the Northeast Athletic Field Park across from the Quarry Shopping Center and many fast food restaurants. Similar to the wading pools, the water park is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day. These water parks are open when the temperature reaches above 65 degrees, which isn’t rare during a Minneapolis summer. Be sure to check hours and operation and admission prices prior to arrival. This location features two large water slides and a tube slide, a log water walk, and a spray pool for younger kids. There is also water volleyball, lap swimming lanes, and a sun-bathing area.

Another popular water park is the North Commons Water Park. This spacious location features three-story slides, a water playground, and “Funbrellas” for shade when you need a break from the sun. It also has a wading pool for the little ones.


Pack your beach towels and sunscreen and head to one of Minneapolis’ 12 public beaches. These beaches are open during regular park hours and can get busy during the hot summer days so we suggest getting there early.

Located in the largest park in the Minneapolis park system, Theodore Wirth Park Beach, is fun for all ages. This beach is equipped with a sand volleyball court, tot lot playground, picnic area with grills, and a fishing pier. The newly renovated Trailhead is located just off the Cedar Lake Trail, and has lockers, bathrooms, showers, bike rental/repair, golf club rental, a store, and a restaurant. It also has an information desk where all your questions can be answered. Grab food from Mill Valley Market, or head down the street to Lunds & Byerlys to stock up on picnic food. There are four grills located in the park which makes having a picnic after a full day of swimming a breeze! 

Bde Maka Ska, the largest fixture in the Chain of Lakes, consists of 3 different beach areas, 32nd Street Beach, North Beach, and Thomas Beach. Street parking and metered parking is available near all three beaches. Thomas Beach is located near the Bakken Museum, and hosts three sand volleyball courts-all you need to bring is your own volleyball and some teammates. There are also grills, picnic tables, and plenty of space for big gatherings.  32nd Street Beach features a playground and plenty of space to run around, this beach is ideal for families. It’s also conveniently located near the Grand Rounds biking path. Bring or your own bike or rent a Nice Ride and cruise the city. North Beach is near the Midtown Greenway and Dean Parkway, perfect for bike riding and walking. This also has a playground and tot lot for the little ones. No need to worry about street parking, this location has a pay parking lot. It’s also located near the Bde Maka Ska Pavillion, where canoes, kayaks, paddle boards, pedal boats, bikes and more through Wheel Fun Rentals. 

Lake Hiawatha Beach is a smaller beach that features a fishing dock, a wading pool with a zero-depth entry for children, and a playground nearby. If you are looking for a leisurely activity, there is a walking and biking trail. For something sporty, check out the golf course, basketball courts, and baseball fields. Pack a picnic basket and use one of the many grills this park has to offer for a full day of fun.

Lake Nokomis has two beach spots for swimming, 50th Street Beach and the Main Beach, where you can visit Sandcastle for some food and concessions or dry off for a bit at the playground.

Lake Harriett consists of the North and South beaches. Nearby these beaches is the Lake Harriett Band Shell where you can see live music and Bread & Pickle, a restaurant serving locally farmed and sustainable picnic foods and local craft beer & wine.

Cedar Lake has three different beaches that are a little more laid-back and less busy; the perfect spot to relax and work on that sun tan. Check out East BeachPoint Beach, or Cedar Lake South Beach.