Minneapolis is a beautiful city in every season. But when the temperature hits triple digits, even the locals start to feel like they’d rather cozy up at a rooftop bar or hide in a museum than step outside.
That’s why it helps to know about fun things to do in Minneapolis that will keep summer in the city really cool.
Below you’ll find our top picks to bring your summer in the Twin Cities to the next level.
1. Explore the Charlotte-Katz Chain of Lakes
Exploring the Charlotte Katz Chain of Lakes is an activity that should not be overlooked when planning a summer getaway in Minneapolis. The twenty-two lakes offer a variety of recreational opportunities for visitors of all ages and interests.
Visitors can go kayaking, swimming, and fishing, and can also enjoy day hikes or picnics in the scenic parks, take fun boat tours, and even rent paddle boats. For city cruisers, the Chain of Lakes even has separate bike paths or canoe and kayak routes along the lakes and connecting creeks. The visitors can also go sightseeing along the connecting rivers since they provide stunning views of the Minneapolis skyline.
2. Enjoy the Art Scene in Uptown
One of the best things to do in Minneapolis this summer is to enjoy the art scene in Uptown. There is a variety of galleries, artist studios, and public art to explore. Start off at the Walker Art Center, a vibrant modern art center full of innovative works.
Spend an evening at the Uptown Art Fair, where hundreds of local and national artists exhibit and sell their work. After that, take in the public art displays scattered around the area, from mural displays to sculptures and street-art installations. The art scene in Uptown is sure to delight every visitor to the city this summer.
3. Discover Magic at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival
If you’re looking for fun things to do in Minneapolis this summer, look no further than the Minnesota Renaissance Festival. Located about 45 minutes south of Minneapolis in Shakopee, the festival turns the clock back hundreds of years.
Enjoy live music, comedy, and theater performances, jousting, artisans creating and selling original wares, food vendors, and plenty of cheering crowds making it a fantastic experience for everyone. Kids will love the petting zoo, circus, magic, games, and rides. Start your research and shop here for tickets.
4. Sample Delicious Eats on the Eat Street Dining Circuit
Minneapolis is an excellent city for a summer getaway, and the Eat Street Circuit is the perfect place to sample delicious eats! Right outside downtown Minneapolis lies the vibrant Eat Street District, home to dozens of restaurants featuring international cuisines.
Start your journey with North African dishes at Afro Deli, with a side of Somali chai, then enjoy fresh tortillas with mole sauces at La Loma Tamale. End your tour with traditional northern Thai cuisine at On’s Kitchen.
Along the way, stroll through the Eat Street Shopping Promenade and pick up souvenirs and handmade art. Don’t forget to explore the local art galleries, music venues, and festivals throughout the city.
5. Get Outdoors: Hiking in Minnehaha Regional Park
Minneapolis has plenty of fun activities to explore this summer. One of the best ways to get outdoors and soak up the sun is to go hiking in Minnehaha Regional Park. This park is full of great trails perfect for both experienced and novice hikers. The park boasts spectacular views, lush forests, bubbling streams, and wildlife.
After, you can explore other attractions like Minnehaha Falls and the Victorian-style Sea Salt Eatery. It’s a great way to spend the day getting out of the city and into nature. For those who are looking for a bit more adventurous activities, there are plenty of options including renting a kayak, paddleboarding, and biking nearby Minnehaha Creek.
6. Take Advantage of Cultural Attractions
If you’re looking for a unique way to take advantage of the cultural attractions in Minneapolis this summer, you’re in luck. Minneapolis boasts a wide range of attractions, from museums to theatres and more. The Minneapolis Institute of Arts is perfect for a day of exploring the exhibits.
Get front-row seats to an outdoor movie at the movie theatres in Uptown, featuring movies with something for everyone. Take a tour of The Guthrie Theater to get a firsthand look at the prestigious performing arts organization. The Orpheum, State, and New Century Theatres are perfect for a night of music or comedy from renowned performers.
7. Discover Green Spaces and Nature Walks
Summer is the perfect time to explore the great outdoors and discover the green spaces and nature walks of Minneapolis. Head to Minnehaha Falls Park to walk along the paths by the Mississippi River and enjoy views of the majestic 53-foot waterfall. Explore Fort Snelling State Park to enjoy a picnic in the grassy fields alongside the meandering Minnesota River.
Minneapolis’ signature Chain of Lakes also offers great opportunities for swimming, fishing, biking, and exploring the network of footpaths. Take a canoe or kayak along one of the seven lakes or rent a paddle boat from Lake Calhoun Beach. Eidem Homestead in Brooklyn Park gives visitors an opportunity to explore a piece of Minnesota history while experiencing five miles of nature trails and woodlands.
Explore Things to Do in Minneapolis Today
From the exciting Minneapolis sculpture garden to the beautiful lakes, there are many things to do in Minneapolis this summer! Whether you’re trying paddle boarding for the first time, hitting up a farmers market, or joining a pick-up sports game, Minneapolis Minnesota has lots of activities to enjoy.
And don’t forget to take a tour of the fabulous historic sites- you won’t be disappointed! Make sure to start your trip planning to Minneapolis today!
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