At close to 70,000 square feet, this is Minnesota’s biggest indoor water park. Paths flow well between the 24 rides and slides, which radiate from the faux Split Rock Lighthouse in the middle. Younger children will want to camp out at Fort Snelling, a sprawling multi-level play area with several short slides, water canyons, geysers and a giant water bucket. The second mellowest activity is the lazy river, which winds its way past the activity pool with float pads to hop across and basketball hoops to shoot in the water. The river shoots through the wave pool and winds its way toward the slide area and into a tunnel before completing the loop.
Slides range from five to 10 stories in height. Two side-by-side body tubes let siblings or parents and kids race each other to the end. For a great view of them swooshing through the slides, look out the window and watch them zip past in the translucent tubes. There also are two tube slides for swiftly turning fun, and the Eagle’s Nest raft ride that sends a family of four flying down 10 stories for guaranteed shrieks and laughs.
The final ride-a Flow Rider surf simulator-shoots out water at 30 mph for wannabe body surfers. It’s tricky to master with any shift in balance blasting riders back uphill, but that’s part of the fun for athletic parents and kids.
11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Note: Guests of the Radisson Hotel Bloomington by Mall of America enjoy private access from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., Memorial Day to Labor Day.
For non-hotel guests (who enjoy discounted admission), water park passes start at $27.95 for four to five hours or $44.95 for all day. The park may occasionally offer half-price tickets if, for example, it has slides scheduled for maintenance but other rides are open.