Have you met “Oscar” the oriole? At this Artventure stop, he’s splashing down the water slide at the Aquatic Park at The Rec Center.
Fun fact: The oriole is the mascot for St. Louis Park Public Schools and we show our Park Pride by wearing orange and black!
Your Recreation Headquarters
This area of St. Louis Park is all about recreation!
The Rec Center boasts two ice rinks, a skate shop, a banquet room and a smaller room for parties and other celebrations. For a cool way to beat the summer heat, rent some skates and take a twirl around the ice. Public skate sessions are held on Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoons.
Connected to The Rec Center is the ROC (Recreation Outdoor Center). In winter, the ROC is home to our outdoor covered ice rank and is host to numerous hockey tournaments. But in summer, the ROC’s concrete floor is the perfect venue for events, from concerts to the Penny Carnival to the annual St. Louis Park Art Fair.
But, of course, the star of summer is the Aquatic Park, which offers 20,000 sq. ft. of family fun. Families with young children will delight in the zero-depth entry area, water geysers, spray arches, tot whale slide and water playground. A large sand-and-water play area, complete with shovels and buckets, will keep little ones entertained for hours. Older tweens and teens will enjoy the drop slides, diving boards, aqua obstacle course (Wibit) and, of course, the two four-story water slides. Choose from a 1-, 2-, or 3-person innertube or make a splash going down the body slide. There are ample sun decks with loungers and adults (18+) can take advantage of daily lap swim times. A full-service concession stand offers summertime favorites and a grassy picnic area is perfect for families who want to bring in their own food.
Visitors will also want to check out this area’s public art. In front of the Aquatic Park / Rec Center is a 27-foot-tall, stainless-steel sculpture entitled “Celebration of Peace.” Designed by St. Louis Park resident Evelyn Raymond (1908-1998), the piece is an abstract ballet of doves flying in a circle, created as a heartfelt wish for peace.
In the atrium of the Rec Center you’ll find “Fun!,” a 9’ x 4’ mosaic created by artist Stacia Goodman using ceramic tiles, grout and found objects, including unclaimed items from The Rec Center’s lost and found and kids toys suggested by visitors. Another tile mosaic, created by artist Caron Bell, is installed at the entrance to the ROC and depicts hockey and soccer players, as well as families walking together.
Head north across 36th street, and you’ll find even more options for fun. REM5 VR Lab, Minnesota’s premier virtual reality lab, offers state-of-the-art VR experiences for all ages and interest levels. Reserve a pod, don VR headset and controllers and immerse yourself in a wide-variety of virtual worlds. Paint in 3D, swim with whales, battle zombies, play a round of golf and so much more. REM5 also serves delicious flatbread pizzas, shareables such as boneless wings and waffle fires, and a variety of Minnesota-made alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. (See special offer!)
Nearby, the Pavek Museum tells the history of electronic communication and provides education on the science of electromagnetism and sound. It features over 12,000 sq. ft. of antique radios, televisions and broadcast equipment, making it one of the largest and finest collections in the world. Highlights of the collection include an RCA Theremin, a Spark Gap Generator and a Philco Mystery Control Radio. (See special offer!)
Steel Toe Brewing
Craft beer afficionados will want to stop into Steel Toe Brewing, an award-winning brewery with big dreams of staying small. They offer seven year-round brews, several barrel-aged monsters that make regular appearances and several seasonals. Have a pint on the patio and grab a bite to eat from one of the visiting food trucks. (See special offer!)
Bass Lake Preserve
Nearby, take a stroll through Bass Lake Preserve, a 52-acre nature preserve best known for it’s 1.4-mile George Haun Trail that meanders through oak savannah and prairie around Bass Lake. Or go south beyond The Rec Center and explore Wolfe Park and the Excelsior & Grand neighborhood, which is home to another stop on our Adam Turner Artventure.