Fun, Adventure, and Family Time! Find It All in the Twin Cities!
Summer in the Twin Cities is hopping and we’ve compiled the best of the best must-do family activities for your next trip! Adventures and cultural experiences, history and classic water park fun, festivals and nature, our cities have it all! Please every member of the family with this extensive bucket list of summer-time fun. The only problem you’ll have will be trying to figure out what to do first!
Have you always wanted to feed a baby sloth? Interact with a sweet little otter? Or snorkel with stingrays, sharks, and tropical fish? You can do them all at SeaQuest! With over 20,000 square feet of adventure in Roseville, guests are invited to touch, feed and interact with over 1,200 animals from five continents!
Explore breathtaking habitats from deserts to rainforests to exotic marine life. Travel the world through an Icelandic fishing village, the Great Wall of China, or the Amazon River! Visitors are encouraged to interact with the animals while learning about their ecosystems through hands-on activities. SeaQuest offers many options with their annual and daily passport programs, plus add-on experiences that are fun for the whole family.
Brooklyn Park’s motto is “unique, united and undiscovered,” very fitting for one of its main attractions, Historic Eidem Farm. This 19-acre living history farm tells the story of market farming from 1905-1920. Programs, events, tours, and more teach visitors what it was like to live on the farm in the early 1900s when growing fresh produce and selling it at markets was popular for small farmers. The goal is to unite the community through agriculture, families, and heritage.
Make sure to visit the World Kitchen Vegetable Garden, home to crops planted across the world that cater to the community’s diverse palate. Tour the historic farmhouse, restored to its former glory, or help feed the baby goats. Multiple annual and monthly events make visitors feel like they’ve come home to the farm.
What better way to see Minnesota’s oldest town and one of the “Prettiest Little Towns in America” than by trolley? Stillwater Trolley offers historic tours in the birthplace of Minnesota on the banks of the beautiful St. Croix River. Imagine yourself living in one of the lumber barons’ Victorian mansions on the hill! Hear stories of folklore in this once booming lumber town, or revel in breathtaking views of the 1931 Lift Bridge and river valley. Take the kids on Dolly the Trolley for a storytime ride as books come alive before their eyes! If you’re looking for the perfect custom tour for an anniversary, date night, or corporate event, our team will help you plan the perfect event.
Check out an amazing, life-like art form at a two-day street art festival with entertainment, food, and family fun at Chalkfest in Maple Grove. This free family-friendly event is held each June on Main Street Arbor Lakes. Marvel over the stunning sidewalk chalk art by professionals, amateurs, and art enthusiasts from all over the world! Artists will be chalking on both days, allowing visitors the chance to see art appear before their very eyes.
The event is held rain or shine; well-behaved, leashed dogs are welcome to attend. And make sure to visit 16 sites in and around Arbor Lakes where Chalkfest artists have painted vibrant murals!
More than 30 food trucks in one place and live music in a beautiful park. Not only will your tastebuds be happy, but all your senses will come alive at the annual Eagan Food Truck Festival. Sample falafel, empanadas, deep-fried cheese curds, Asian delights, and more at the Festival Grounds in Eagan, just minutes from Mall of America. Guests 21+ can sample a variety of local beers, wine, and hard seltzers.
Bring your own lawn chair or picnic blanket and relax to the local band “Free and Easy,” which features a little bit of everything from Prince to Bruno Mars to Chris Stapleton. If the kids need to burn off some energy (or the adults), they can cool off in the splash pad, scamper around the playground, or take a stroll on the walking trails. Fresh air, food, and music are the staples of summer fun!
Children of all abilities have a place to play at the Augsburg Adventure Park in Richfield. Inspired by a little girl with a spina bifida who wanted to play on a playground just like other kids, the park features safe and accessible equipment for all. Rubber surfacing, accessible swings, zip lines, therapeutic rings, play structures with ramps and ground-level musical instruments inspire independent play. Kids in wheelchairs can wheel aboard the 10-person whirl and those who need a quiet space will enjoy the Quiet Grove playhouse. The Nature Nook provides a connection to the natural environment, while several play panels ignite the imagination. This all-inclusive gem is one of only a few accessible playgrounds in the area.
Pine Bend Bluffs Scientific & Natural Area, nestled in the heart of Inver Grove Heights along the mighty Mississippi, is one of the largest undisturbed natural areas in the Twin Cities metro area. The 256-acre park features amazing views of the river from the 200-foot bluffs, savanna, oak forest, and dry prairie across rugged terrain.
The area boasts many rare and endangered plant and animal species, including waterfowl, turkey, deer, coyote, fox, and towering white pines. Bird enthusiasts will delight in the twice-year migration of tundra swans, pelicans, hawks, and eagles as they make their way along the Mississippi Flyway. Take a hike or bike the many trails, lined with beautiful wildflowers and grasses. This stunning river overlook is a gem in the city.
Nothing beats the heat like a day at the Edina Aquatic Center! If exercise is what you’re looking for, swim laps in the temperature-controlled Olympic size pool with diving well. If adventure is what you seek, it’s everywhere. The Lost Wave Surf Simulator is THE place to bodyboard in Edina and the only Flow Rider in Minnesota. People new to the sport can try it in a safe environment, but it also provides a challenge to experienced surfers. Rocket down a 207-foot body slide aptly called Pirate’s Plunge or test your luck on the Shipwreck Express zip line. The little tykes will love the zero-depth Lil’ Lagoon with zero-depth entry. When you need a break from the water, venture into the Oakwood Forest or get a treat at the concession stand.
Como Park Zoo & Conservatory is the oldest zoo in the country, drawing 2 million visitors each year – and it’s free! Polar bears, tigers, giraffes, sloths, tortoises, seals, and more call the beautiful zoo in St. Paul home. Featuring a seal island, a large cat exhibit, primates, birds, zebras, and more, the grounds are also home to the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory and multiple gorgeous outdoor gardens.
The Sunken Garden is iconic in the Twin Cities, its glass walls filled seasonally with chrysanthemums, poinsettias, tulips, and more. The Tropical Encounters exhibit immerses visitors in a neotropical rainforest. The Japanese Garden celebrates St. Paul’s relationship with its sister city, Nagasaki, Japan, with true Japanese design.
A visit to the Mall of America is not complete without checking out its newest attraction, The Fair on 4. Thrills abound with go-karts, hammerschlagen, axe throwing, and State Fair-inspired cuisine (who doesn’t love house-battered cheese curds and sugary mini donuts?) You can also test your skills on vintage arcade games! A festival/fair vibe 365 days a year, not just in the summer! This entertainment hub, located on the mall’s fourth floor, features one of North America’s only multi-level indoor go-kart tracks. Let the spirit of good-natured competition get your adrenaline pumping as you race around corners underneath the neon lights. One of Bloomington’s most exciting experiences awaits!
St. Louis Park is home to a fantastic Aquatic Park, guaranteed to entertain for hours. The unique sand-water play area features multiple water tables and sand toys, such as shovels, buckets, and molds perfect for creating a sandcastle masterpiece. Stay cool in the zero-depth entry pool or make a more dramatic entrance from one of the four-story water slides! Test your skills on the aqua obstacle course, home to a ramp, bridge, balance pond, slide, cliff, and more! When it’s time for a break, relax on one of the inviting sun decks and visit the concession stand for a summer treat. Summer days at the Aquatic Park make for cherished memories!
You don’t have to go to another country to feel like you’re in another world. In fact, a visit to the International Festival of Burnsville is like going to several destinations in one place! Be mesmerized by Ukrainian, Somali, and Caribbean dances. Taste delicious food from around the globe, such as Latin Fusion or Mediterranean cuisine. Kids’ activities will keep them busy for hours, with fun like African hair braiding, bean bag toss, crafts, face painting, henna tattoos, mancala, or origami. A Free Bus Buggie provides free books to children in order to inspire them to love reading! The festival, established in 2006, celebrates the city’s cultural diversity and brings together people from all over the globe.
Enjoy free admission to the Walker Art Center’s galleries every first Saturday of the month from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Along with free admission, Free First Saturdays also feature engaging performances, games, arts and crafts, and kid’s films. Before or after your fun indoors, take a stroll through the gorgeous landscaping and charming works of art at the newly renovated Minneapolis Sculpture Garden right next door! Family-friendly food options are available inside the museum, but all are welcome to bring a snack from home to munch on. A visit to Minneapolis is not complete without seeing the iconic Cherry & Spoon sculpture against the city skyline!
Entertainment is the name of the game at Bowlero in beautiful Lakeville. Challenge your family to a game of bowling on the coolest lanes around, featuring black lights, HD video walls with live sports and music videos, and state-of-the-art equipment. The arcade is filled with the latest, hippest video games plus the old-school classics that will make you feel like a kid again. A game of Pac-Man, anyone? Challenge your friends to a friendly game of billiards, beer pong, darts, or air hockey while relaxing with a signature cocktail from the sports bar. And remember playing tag as a kid? Bowlero takes it to the next level. Suit up in your power pack and laser and zig-zag through the arena with up to 20 players at a time! Bond with the whole family at Bowlero!