Warm weather is officially here, and we couldn’t be more excited about it! This means an end to days spent indoors and a beginning to many hours spent enjoying Mother Nature.
Roseville is full of parks for all the days when it’s simply too nice to be inside. Younger children will enjoy the playgrounds at many of the city’s parks, while older kids and adults will love the many sports fields and courts. The parks also support 67 miles of trails and walkways for those who just want to take in the scenery. An exceptional place to do this is Reservoir Woods. This 115-acre park remains pristine and forest-like with trails through hilly terrain with lots of pine trees, wetlands, prairie grass, and savanna. It is also home to the Woodview Off-Leash Dog Park, where dogs and owners alike will delight in five acres of fenced-in space and soft-trail dog exercise areas. Amenities vary by park; you can view each park’s amenities here.
For those who want it all, Central Park is the place to be. Divided into 6 main areas which are connected by walking and biking trails, it is home to multiple sports fields, a lake with a fishing pier, playgrounds, an amphitheater (which features musical performances throughout the summer), and more. Central Park is also home to the Harriet Alexander Nature Center, where you’ll find a double loop boardwalk through 52 acres of marshes. Inside the interpretive center, you’ll be amazed by the life-size indoor tree and the chance to study plants and animals close-up through exhibits, interactive displays, touch-and-see areas, and live animals. Across the street from the Nature Center is the Muriel Sahlin Arboretum which showcases seasonal theme gardens, walkways, a fountain, and architectural features.
Spend a day at the lake when you visit one of the three parks located in or just outside of Roseville that are operated by Ramsey County. Lake Josephine, Tony Schmidt, and Lake McCarrons County Parks all feature guarded swimming beaches, fishing piers, boat launches, playgrounds and picnic areas.
Venture just a little down the road (about one mile) from Roseville, and you’ll come to Como Regional Park in St. Paul, home to Como Zoo & Conservatory and Como Town Amusement Park. Como Zoo & Conservatory is completely FREE, although donations in any amount are accepted. The zoo is home to a large variety of animals —from anacondas to giraffes to zebras — while the conservatory houses multiple gardens and plants from Minnesota natives to tropical. Daily programs and talks are offered, so be sure to check out the website before your visit to see the day’s listings. The next-door Como Town Amusement Park features more than 18 rides and attractions. However, be aware that unlike the zoo and conservatory, Como Town is not free, and hours vary by day. Como Zoo & Conservatory hours are 10 am-6 pm April through September.
These popular attractions are not Como Park’s only draw. You can also enjoy sports fields, trails, a playground, Como Lake, 18-hole golf, and Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom, which showcases eight native plant communities and informational posts. Walk around the path surrounding the lake or bike it with a bike surrey rental from Wheel Fun Rentals. You can also take in the sights from on the lake when you rent a pedal boat, kayak, canoe or paddleboard! Wheel Fun (Como Lake) opens for the season May 19 (Saturdays and Sundays only) and May 28 daily.
For a change of scenery, Wheel Fun also operates at Minnehaha Regional Park in Minneapolis. Spend a picturesque day at this park which features gardens, historical sites, a playground, a wading pool, its own restaurant, and a waterfall! Surreys, mountain bikes, and more are available from Wheel Fun (Minnehaha) starting May 5 (Saturdays and Sundays only) and May 26 daily.
Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
Just fifteen minutes down the road from us, the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden brings art to the outdoors. Home to the iconic Spoonbridge and Cherry, this collaboration between Minneapolis Parks & Recreation and the Walker Art Center showcases over 40 works of public art. Download and print the interactive self-guided tour which gives background information on some of the more popular works and prompts further thought about the selected pieces. You can also utilize this mobile-friendly map and guide to the artwork.
These are just some of our favorite places to enjoy the warm weather. What are your favorites?