Offering summer fun all the year round, indoor water parks have been a hit in the Midwest for over two decades. Minnesota has some of the most appealing ones, offering imaginative water rides, themed settings and heaps of good old family fun. From a relatively small water park with the ambience of Venice to the largest water park in the entire United States, families will discover a variety of aquatic adventures in the North Star State. Notable for their safety practices, clean environment and fun-filled attractions, these parks make the top-five list for indoor water parks in Minnesota.

#5 Venetian Indoor Water Park

Set within the grounds of the Holiday Inn and Suites in the Maple Grove area in northwest Minneapolis, The Venetian Indoor Water Park provides a Mediterranean-themed environment that’s particularly warm and welcoming on a chilly Minnesota day. A small-scale venue, the 25,000 square-foot park features four water slides, two of which are four stories high. The Bambini Piscina is designed especially for young children, with a beach-entry pool with three slides, two water guns and numerous floor geysers. Older children will enjoy playing water basketball in the activity pool. The ceiling of the indoor park is designed to recreate the starry sky of Venice at night.

#4 Wild Woods Indoor Water Park

Also in the Maple Grove area, the Wild Wood Indoor Water Park is part of the Holiday Inn at Elk River resort. The Western-themed park features a Log Walk where kids can test their balance before tumbling into a pool. The 30,000 square-foot park includes three four-story tube and body water slides, a lazy river and both an activity pool and a zero-entry pool. Buddy’s Playland is designed for smaller children, with a beach-entry pool complete with aquatic toys and activities.

#3 Big Splash Indoor Water Park

Nestled within 75 acres of woodland yet only about 30 miles away from Louisville, the 154-room Big Splash Indoor Water Park and Resort features a giant retractable roof that takes advantage of the resort’s nearly 360-degree scenic views. The 40,000 square-foot, glass-enclosed park boasts four tube water slides and an activity pool. There are also bouncers and a wading pool for the little ones. A lazy river ride circles almost the entire park. Designed with an island theme, the park also feature a tropical hot tub that seats 25 people.

#2 Paul Bunyan Indoor Water Park

High technology is the theme of the Paul Bunyan Indoor Water Park. Located within the 100-room Lodge at Brainerd Lakes, the park’s main attraction is its tube slide that features an array of holographic images, video and sound effects. Made from a clear acrylic material, riders on the slide can view sun shining over the structure in summer and snow falling in the dead of winter. The 30,000 square-foot park also has a lazy river and a zero-entry pool with an interactive, aquatic tree house play area.

#1 Water Park of America

The nation’s largest water park, the Water Park of America is located adjacent to the Radisson Hotel near Bloomington’s famous Mall of America. Encompassing 70,000 square feet of aquatic adventures, the park’s main attraction is a massive, 10-story tall suite of water slides that together cover more than a mile. The series of slides include an enclosed, clear acrylic tube slide that shoots family-sized rafts downwards for 100 feet. The park also boasts the state’s first surf simulator, a wave pool for surfboarders. Other features include a long lazy river ride, an activity pool and the Fort Snelling play area for smaller children where a massive 500-gallon bucket dumps water every two minutes and 15 seconds on the giggling children below.

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