Winter parking restrictions are no longer in effect.

Facility & Equipment Rentals

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Facility rentals

Westwood Hills Nature Center has several facilities that are available for rent. Each facility is located at the main center address, 8300 W. Franklin Ave. Facilities are not available to rent on Memorial Day, July 4 or Labor Day. For an additional fee, rental outside of the dates listed below may be available with prior approval.

For information about the facilities, call 952.924.2544.

If you are interested in renting one of the facilities, complete the Westwood Hills Nature Center facility rental application.

Lower picnic building

Located near the parking lot, this picnic building has an open design that seats up to 25 people. Windows on three sides of this fully accessible building offer beautiful views of the nature center grounds and the playground. The lower picnic building also has restrooms and a sink. It's a great place for meetings, parties and more!

There is a $300 refundable damage deposit required. There is a two-hour rental minimum.

Reservations are not being accepted at this time due to the anticipated construction of the new interpretive building.

Observation DeckWaterfall observation deck

Looking for a scenic location for a small wedding, photo shoot or outdoor meeting space? Enjoy the background view of the water garden as you watch the water flow over the top of the 6-foot-high waterfall and tumble down the hillside! From the accessible observation deck you can see the full view of the waterfall, water garden, Westwood Lake and surrounding woods. This is an ideal location for small events up to 20 - 25 people. Rent separately or consider adding this option to your outdoor water garden rental.

There is a $100 refundable damage deposit required. 

Dates Capacity  Resident Rates  Non-resident Rates 
 Mid-May — September 20 - 25 $50 per hour  $75 per hour 

Outdoor water garden

The water garden is another exclusive and scenic location for your weddings, events or photo shoots. It features over 100 native Minnesota plants blooming throughout the summer season as well as streams, waterfalls and a pond. Stroll along the accessible crushed rock paths, across bridges and gaze into the pond to see the fish. There are rock bench areas for taking photos or to relax and enjoy the view. Rent separately or consider adding this option to your waterfall observation deck rental.

There is a $100 refundable damage deposit required.

Dates Resident Rates  Non-resident Rates 
Mid-May — September $100 per hour $150 per hour

Equipment rentals

A picture ID is required with all equipment rentals. A valid credit card is also required for snowshoeing, kicksleds, canoes and park pack rentals.

Snowshoes and kicksleds
  • Cost — $5 per hour (resident), $6 per hour (non-resident)
  • Cost — $15 per two hours (resident), $20 per two hours (non-resident)
Park Packs

If you are looking for something new to do with your family, check out one of the park packs. The packs are filled with nature activities designed for hands-on field investigations for all ages. Park Packs include: self-guided hikes, tools for investigation, art activities, poetry, stories, music and games that fit the pack’s theme. Each park pack has a different theme. Themes include: insects, ponds, reptiles and amphibians, night, mammals, wildflowers, forests and trees and birds. These themed packs are free to use thanks to a grant from Waste Management Inc. for supplies and backpack donations from Hoigaard’s Inc.

Fishing equipment (summer)
  • Cost — No fee