Just steps from the Galleria and Southdale Mall, Centennial Lakes Park is easily Edina’s most popular park. It’s also one of the most popular venues for prom photos, senior pictures and family portraits. My favorite thing about Centennial Lakes is the paved trails winding through the “lakes” (sorry, this is Minnesota, we have standards for real lakes) and across beautiful bridges. It’s a perfect place to walk or jog, or sit on a bench and take in the view.
For our July date night, Luke and I decided to try something new at Centennial Lakes- Paddle boats! Luke picked out a sparkly blue paddle boat and with the help of a less than enthusiastic teenaged park employee, we were on our way. We had a blast exploring the familiar park from a new vantage point. Ducks and their fluffy ducklings swam right up next to our boat and we even got to see a white
heron standing stoically on the canal. The bright sun was just beginning to dip behind the buildings and trees, and allowing for some amazing pictures. We meandered around the waterways and floated in the large open sections of the “lake”.
After paddling to our hearts’ content, we grabbed dinner from one of the nearby restaurants and ate at one of the many park benches. We were treated to a beautiful Minnesota sunset as we enjoyed our dinner. Most local parks close at sunset, but Centennial Lakes and its well lit trails are open until midnight. We took a stroll around the lake, hand in hand, and watched the city lights bounce off the waters.
Centennial Lakes has quickly become one of our favorite places. It is only 2.5 miles from our apartment, which means we can walk or jog there when we feel ambitious, or drive and arrive in less than 5 minutes. Like most parks in the Twin Cities, it is free and always open to the public. During the summer, there is a farmer’s market on Thursday nights (check out what I found here!), free concerts, plays and performances by local groups, movies in the park, and model boat races. The park is beautifully landscaped and well maintained and open year round. Instead of paddle boats in the winter, the city offers ice skating- with free admission of course, and the option to rent skates or ice sleds.
To learn more about Centennial Lakes, check out their website here.