Lake Riley, Minnesota

Eden Prairie, Minnesota is a large suburb of Minneapolis that is adjacent to the 300-acre Lake Riley. This is a rather clear lake that offers fishing and a surrounding park area, including two boat ramps at its single dock. The parking area accommodates 50 vehicles and 15 trailer spaces. Check with the management office to see which areas permit swimming.

The general park area includes facilities for basketball, sand volleyball, and softball, as well as playground equipment and a nearby bike trail. If you are interested in the new craze of pickleball, a hybrid of badminton, tennis, and ping pong, they have a court designated for this sport. It is designed to appeal to children and adults of all ages.

The park also boasts the Riley Lake Park Pavilion, which can be rented by an Eden Prairie resident or business any time from April through October. It provides electrical outlets and holds up to 16 picnic tables. 

If you are looking for a more formal venue, call for a tour of the Riley-Jacques Barn. The upper loft is equipped with a 17 by 20 foot stage that can easily handle a band, other performers, or a ceremony. The balance of the space leaves plenty of room for an audience or banquet-style seating. In fact, the Barn provides up to 120 chairs and 20 8-foot banquet tables. The upper loft is wheelchair accessible via the outside ramp. Electricity is available along the walls and even on the cross beams.

Although the Barn does not have a kitchen, you are welcome to hire a caterer or use the outdoor grills. Additional parking is available at the Riley Lake Park Pavilion should you need it. For all the rules and regulations, check with the Parks and Recreation department.

The city of Eden Prairie is a thriving community of residences, business, and industry. It has established a number of municipal and regional parks and is in close proximity to conservation areas, trails, and other recreational facilities. 

The community sponsors year-round events including the spring Animal Open House, where you can be introduced to various species including raptors, reptiles, and other creatures. Summer is filled with arts events like concerts and plays. The senior center hosts a Garden Party, golf tournament, and barbeque. A Veteran’s Breakfast, Spooky Saturday, and fire and police open house are presented each autumn. But things don’t stop for the winter. Consider the annual ice show, sledding, and band concert.

As you can tell, with the availability of so many activities in the Eden Prairie area, it would be hard to decide which season to visit. So close to Minneapolis, you can combine a business trip or vacation adventure any time of the year.