This Epic Playground Is Less Than An Hour Away From Central MN
The Elm Creek Park Reserve has an awesome swimming area but I feel like the giant playground is the real star of the show! There are unique things to do for kids of all ages. The massive play structure at the top of the hill features many ladders of varying steepness along with four big tube slides.
There are also a couple of smaller slides on the outside of the structure. Off to the side the park has a lot of things that I personally haven't seen before, like a zip line with the child user strapped in to a seat as opposed to holding on a dangling. It was a nice feature for my kid who isn't quite big enough for the bigger zip line stuff at other playgrounds. There were lots of climbing areas with the centerpiece being a black-and-yellow pyramid with a cargo net-like exterior.
On the lower level of the playground is a dinosaur's dream with an allosaurus skeleton buried in the sand for kids to dig up. It's actually a pretty big skeleton, too! We grabbed our beach shovel from the car and our kid went to town!
There's also a really big tunnel of what looks like dinosaur ribs in that same area of the park. Trust me, you can't miss them! The park (and parking) is free at Elm Creek Park Reserve. They also have trails for biking, picnic areas and there is that beach (which costs $5 for admission).