SandVenture Aquatic Park – The Ultimate Summer Guide

SandVenture Aquatic Park - View of the drop slides, pool, and beach

Introduction to SandVenture Aquatic Park

SandVenture Aquatic Park is a unique pool and water park in Shakopee, Minnesota. This awesome sand-bottom outdoor pool was modeled after area lakes and offers a sand beach and a number of waterslides.

It offers the best of both worlds: swimming pool and water slides for splashing around and sand for building sandcastles!

SandVenture Aquatic Park is the perfect place for a relaxing summer day. We recently took our six and nine-year-olds there, and we had to drag them out of the park after four hours!

Key Amenities

SandVenture Aquatic Park - View of the beach, sand bottomed pool, and main building

SandVenture Aquatic Park is part of Lions Park in Shakopee, MN. In addition to the water park, Lions Park also hosts a disc golf course, splash pad, Fun For All Playground, and a log cabin for rent.

The most popular though is SandVenture Aquatic Park.

And at SandVenture Aquatic Park, the main attraction is the unique sand-bottomed, chlorinated pool. It is huge and covers all depths, so kids of all ages can find a spot that is fun for them.

Other amenities include:

  • 300-foot waterslide
  • Two 12-foot drop slides
  • Diving board
  • Smaller toddler slide
  • Concession stand
  • Men’s locker room
  • Women’s locker room
  • Family changing area
  • Plenty of picnic tables
  • Shade canopies
  • Sensory play area for little ones with a play structure
  • Beach volleyball net

Younger Kids

SandVenture Aquatic Park - little kids area with ship-themed play structure and sensory table

SandVenture does a good job of having different activities for different age groups. That being said, we found that the park is more geared to those younger kiddos. It is a toddler’s paradise!

The pool is a zero-depth entry pool, so little ones can walk in right from the beach. Much of the pool is quite shallow, so it will feel infinite from those little eyes, and they will love the sandy bottom.

There is also a small boat-themed play structure, a sensory table, and more sand than they could ever know what to do with. As they get a little older, there is also the toddler slide, which even our six-year-old enjoyed. 

Older Kids

SandVenture Water Park - older kids playing int he sand-bottom pool with waterslides int he back

The real delineator between the younger and older kids is whether they are older than 6 AND over 48” tall. Once they hit 7 years old, the parent does not have to be within arm’s reach and once they are over 48” tall, then they can use all the amenities.

Our kids were both over 48” tall, so could go anywhere. To my surprise, they loved the drop slides and the diving board more than the 300 ft water slide!

Another great part is they let kids throw balls, which often is frowned upon at public pools. Our oldest is baseball obsessed, so we spent at least two of those hours playing catch, keep away, 500, and monkey-in-the-middle. They even made a baseball field out of sand and rocks on the beach!

Concessions

SandVenture Waterpark - view of the limited concession offerings

The concession stand sells your typical public pool treats like candy, soda/Gatorade, ice cream, slushies, hot dogs, etc. It is nothing to write home about, but also is not terribly expensive.

Outside food is NOT allowed in the pool area. We brought our own snacks and snuck out to the car during a safety break. If you do leave the pool area, just make sure you get a stamp, so you can get back in!

There are plenty of picnic benches available in the adjoining Lions Park if you bring your own lunch. Lions Park also has a splash pad and is a quiet place if your kiddos need some downtime. 

Safety & Lifeguards

SandVenture Aquatic Park in Shakopee, MN - Kids taking a swimming break on the beach

Safety is definitely a focus at SandVenture Aquatic Park. It is staffed with American Red Cross trained and certified lifeguards and ten-minute safety breaks are held at 1PM, 3PM, and 5PM

We did find that the lifeguards were quite strict and a little whistle happy. While we 100% appreciate the focus on safety, it felt like the whistles were always blowing and kids didn’t really seem to be paying much attention. My son said it felt like the story of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf…”

That being said, they were all very friendly and were doing a wonderful job. Just be forewarned that your kids likely will get the whistle blown at them, especially if they are older and rowdier. 

Important Rules

Like any public pool, they try to keep a lid on rowdy and rough behavior while still allowing everyone to have a good time. Below are some of the rules that seem to be the most important. Most are common sense. 

  • All kids must have their own adult supervision
  • If your kids aren’t potty-trained, they must have a swim diaper
  • Goggles and life jackets are allowed while swimming but NOT on the slides or diving board
  • Kids must be 48” tall for the diving board and slides (apart from toddler slide) OR must pass a swim test
  • Kids cannot go into water past their shoulders without an adult next to them
  • You cannot take buckets of water up on to the sand to make sand castles
  • Kids 6 and under must have an adult within arms reach
  • Only U.S. Coast Guard-Approved life jackets are allowed

Full rules are available on their website and are worth reading in advance.

Hours of Operation

SandVenture Aquatic Park holds regular hours daily from 11AM to 7PM. The park is open from early June through late August (dates vary, so check the website each year). 

In the event of thunder, the park will be closed for one hour following the last sound of thunder. If the temperature is below than 65 degrees or the number of swimmers is fewer than 15 at 1 p.m., 3p.m., or 5 p.m., the Aquatic Park may close at their discretion.

If the weather is questionable, please call them at 952-233-9502 or check their Facebook page.

There is a separate Splish and Splash Tot Time for kids up to 6 years old. It is held before the park opens from 9:15-10:45 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The cost is $5 per child, and parents are free. 

Location and Cost

Waiting in line at SandVenture Aquatic Park on a hot summer day in Shakopee, MN

SandVenture Aquatic Park is located at 1101 Adams St., Shakopee, MN 55379, which is about a half hour southwest of the Twin Cities. It is an easy trip from anywhere on the western side of the Twin Cities.

Daily admission is very reasonable. Kids under 2 are free, kids under 48” tall are $5, and kids over 48” tall and adults are $7. 

There are discounted prices if you arrive after 3PM and punch cards and season passes are also available. 

Things to do Nearby

Our favorite is to swing by Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store, which is located 15 minutes south in Jordan, MN. It definitely is a good motivator to ensure good behavior all day!

If you have the patience of a god, Valley Fair is also right down the street. We’d really recommend splitting these up into two days, though. There is just too much to do at both!

Shakopee has a bunch of great restaurants, ranging from McDonald’s and Panera (our family fav), to local hangouts like Turtle’s Bar and Grill and Wampach’s Restaurant

Check Out More Kid-friendly Travel Articles

Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store – The ultimate guide to visiting MN’s largest candy store.

La Crosse, WI – 35 fun things to do with kids in La Crosse, Wisconsin

Patillas, Puerto Rico – A weeklong, family-friendly itinerary for Puerto Rico

Valencia, Spain – How to relax and live like a local with kids!

Iceland – Iceland is expensive. Learn how we visited with kids and a budget!

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The Quill Family

We are the Quills! An ordinary family sharing our extraordinary travel experiences. 

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