Lions Playground at Cliff Fen Park

Places to Play: Lions Playground at Cliff Fen Park in Burnsville, MN

Burnsville Lions PlaygroundThis is part of my series about places to play in the South Metro area of the Twin Cities (Apple Valley, Bloomington, Burnsville, Eagan, Eden Prairie, Edina, Inver Grove Heights, Farmington, Lakeville, Mendota Heights, Prior Lake, Richfield, Rosemount, Savage, Shakopee, South St. Paul, West St. Paul.)

Place: Lions Head Park

Where:  120 E. Cliff Road , Burnsville, MN 55337

Cost:  Free, public park open during daylight hours

Why?

  • This new playground opened in 2013 in Burnsville.  It is one of the largest in the area with a large variety of play options for children of all ages.  It has quickly become a favorite of my children.
  • The park includes open green space, soccer fields, volley ball courts, as well as picnic areas.  It is almost always busy with some kid of activities.  It is great for children who enjoy playing with other children as you can almost always find friends to play with there. (For children who may need a quieter place, try going before 10am when the park is less busy.)Burnsville Lions Playground
  • The playground is wonderful for active kids, especially children who are sensory seekers.  There is a smaller area for toddlers, then a large structure for older children.  There are even several options for older children that need a greater challenge (which is often lacking at most playgrounds.)  The size and variety of play options will keep children entertained longer than the smaller neighborhood parks.  They have included a nice sitting area for adults with benches in the shade that keeps adults close to the play area.

    Burnsville Lions Playground

    Toddler play area

  • What makes this park unique is that they include several options for vestibular (movement) and proprioceptive (input to the muscles, joints, and bones) input.  I love that they have the traditional swings and tire swing, but also 2 other spinning options, one hanging and one standing.
  • The large variety of play equipment is great for children working on motor skill development.  There are both easy and challenging ways to access most of the play equipment, allowing all children to participate. The park also included many climbing options at all levels of challenge.  Easy options are small rocks and pretend tree stumps and a mini climbing wall.  Harder options are a large climbing web and climbing wall.  There are also many ladder variations for added challenge.
  • There is a splash pad for hot summer days.  It has lots of spraying water features, but no standing water.  It is great for older children, but toddlers and younger children would likely prefer the splash pad nearby at Nicollet Commons Park.  plan to bring a towel and change of clothing to enjoy the water.  The splash pad only turns on if you press a small button in the middle, which is nice to keep children dry on colder days (especially for children with poor impulse control!)Burnsville Lions Playground
  • Accessibility: Bathroom- there is no permanent structure for restrooms, but one of the porta-potties is larger to be accessible.  There are a few paved pathways and the main bench area is accessible on firm surface.  There is one larger swing with access from the firm surface.

Looking for other local ideas in the South Metro area?

Paige Hays is an occupational therapist who provides in-home, pediatric occupational therapy services in the south metro area of the Twin Cities, MN. She is a mother of 2 girls, avid DIYer, and a highly skilled and experienced OT. She specializes in working in pediatrics, with diverse expertise ranging from cognition and sensory issues to working with children with neuromuscular disabilities or complex medical needs.  www.paigehays.net