We have officially entered that three to five month period in Minnesota that you can actually spend quality time outside! And so far, this summer has been gorgeous: low humidity, bright sunshine, not unbearably hot. But there’s always one big dilemma once the weather gets warmer: what is there to do!? Well fear not, cause we at SIM have created a list of a few fun outdoor things to do around Minneapolis this summer!
Eat At One of Over 40 Food Trucks Downtown
As the warm weather continues to bring smiles and happiness to Minnesotans across the area, there is very little desire to be inside, even during lunch. But if you’re in downtown Minneapolis or Saint Paul during the work week, you have dozens of options parked right on the street! Between the two cities, there are over 40 regular food trucks that roam around downtowns and feed all the hungry sun-soakers. Some of the options you can choose from are kebabs, cupcakes, falafel, a trolley of bacon, vietnamese, seafood, arepas, and many more pallet-watering cuisines! So if you’re looking for something to do or somewhere to eat during the work week, go on down to downtown Minneapolis or Saint Paul and experience one of the best food truck scenes in the country! If you’d like more info on the food trucks and a map of where the food trucks are parked, check out the City Pages food truck website here.
Take a Nice Ride Trip
For another year around, Minneapolis has been put as the best biking city in the United States, with over 200 miles of bikeways just in the city alone! And between April 1st and November 1st, you have the option to take advantage of this biking amenity without having to own a bike! Nice Ride MN, a bike sharing company, has over 190 locations on the streets of Minneapolis and Saint Paul that you can rent a bike for an inexpensive price 24 hours of the day. Now that getting a bike is taken care of, all you need to figure out is where you want to bike to. And again, thanks to Nice Ride MN, that’s already taken care of for you! Nice Ride offers numerous tours throughout the cities where you can discover graffiti spots, architecture, urban wildlife, and many more any time of the day! So before the summer ends, make sure to take a ride through the cities and experience why Minneapolis is the best biking city in the US! If you’re looking for more info on the Nice Ride tours, check it out here!
Attend One of the Many Minneapolis Art Fairs
For decades, Minneapolis has been seen as one of the best cities in the country for artists. In fact, Minneapolis gives the most grants and money to artists per capita than any other city in the country! This in turn brings some of the best art to Minneapolis, and there’s no better way to see all the amazing talent that’s around this city other than attending one of the many art fairs and festivals! One of the highlights of the art fair scene in Minneapolis is the Uptown Art Fair, which has won over 130 awards and has been named as one of the top 10 art festivals in the country. This year, the Uptown Art Fair is celebrating its 52nd anniversary and will be happening from August 5th to the 7th. If you’d like more info on the Uptown Art Fair, click here!
Another highlight of the Minneapolis art fair scene is coming up at the end of July, the Loring Park Art Festival! The Loring Park Art Festival features 140 different visual artists showing their work throughout the park. It also features food trucks, live music and stage performances, and children’s activities, making it fun for the whole family! The artwork also ranges from paintings and photographs to pottery, jewelry, sculptures, and more! The festival will be held in Loring Park on July 30th and 31st, so make sure to stop on down and check it out! If you’d like more info on the Loring Park Art Festival, check out their website.
And if that’s not enough art for you, make sure to check out the Powderhorn Art Fair on August 6th and 7th! The Powderhorn Art Fair is celebrating its 25th year and will be featuring 184 regional and national artists this year. The Powderhorn Art Fair will also feature a community showcase and group exhibitors from members of the Powderhorn community. The Powderhorn Park neighborhood has changed a lot in the past five years, becoming a mix of of all walks of life, and the art fair is a good representation of that! You can read more about the Powderhorn Art Fair and how it gives back to the community on their website.
Celebrate the City of Lakes at the Minneapolis Aquatennial
Not many cities are great enough that its citizens will create a festival celebrating itself, but Minneapolitans realize how good we have it here! From July 20th to the 23rd, the Minneapolis Aquatennial will be hitting the streets of downtown Minneapolis for its 77th year to provide citizens a celebration of the city. The festival starts Wednesday the 20th with a tour through the history of the Aquatennial at the Cambria Gallery on 7th Street. Afterwards, bring the family for a pre-party fun night and canoe ride at Loring Park from 5-7:30. And closing out the first night of the Aquatennial is the Torchlight Parade, the largest nighttime parade in Minnesota! Other events during the Aquatennial include a water ski show, a bike drag race, movies at the Target Center, a Caribbean festival, and fireworks! So make sure to come out to the Aquatennial and show your Minneapolis pride! If you’d like more info about Aquatennial events, check out their website.
Check Out a Band or Movie in the Park
Another one of the great events that the city of Minneapolis offers during the summer is its movies and music in the park series! Every day from Memorial Day until Labor Day, you can catch one (if not multiple) musical acts performing or movies playing in one of Minneapolis’ 160 neighborhood parks! Music can be found every day at the Lake Harriet Bandshell as well as multiple times during the summer at many other parks. Movies are played throughout different neighborhood parks all over Minneapolis and range from family-friendly films such as Minions and The Princess Bride to more adult films such as He Named Me Malala or The Martian. And they best part about these: they’re completely free! So gather some friends or make it a date night out, and make sure to check out the music and movies in the park schedule here.
Score a Hole-In-One at Skyline Mini-Golf
Although the sculpture garden is going through major renovations this summer, the artist-inspired mini-golf is back with a new twist: skyline views! The Walker’s signature summer attraction has been moved to the terrace this year, giving golfers a gorgeous view of the skyline as they tee off and play nine holes of artist-inspired mini-golf! As always, the courses are new and exciting, and the mini-golf fee gives you free admission to the museum. So for only $12, you get both a fun game of mini-golf and entrance to one of the best modern art museums of the country! So make sure to get your clubs and get there before it closes on September 4th! For more information, visit the Walker’s website.
Get Food and Music on a Stick at the Minnesota State Fair
Food, entertainment, and farm animals as far as the eye can see; that’s something you can only find at the Minnesota State Fair! From August 25th until September 5th this year, the state fairgrounds in Saint Paul will be filled to the brim with over 450 different types of food and over 1.7 million people attending from all parts of the Minnesota and the Midwest in general. In fact, the Minnesota State Fair is one of the five biggest state fairs in the entire country! With so many people coming out to the state fair every year, it’s no wonder that larger-than-life acts such as the Dixie Chicks, G-Eazy, Demi Lovato & Nick Jonas, and Weezer will all be performing at the state fair this year. And let’s not forget about the new food options this year: spam sushi, candied bacon donut sliders, paneer on a spear, deep fried grilled cheese bites, deep fried nachos supreme, and many more! So make sure to stop by the state fair while it’s going on and show Minnesota some love! If you’re looking for more information on the state fair, check out the fair’s website.
Learn Dances of Different Cultures at the Dragon Festival
On July 9th and 10th, the Dragon Festival will be celebrating its 18th year of bringing traditional Asian dances and outfits to Saint Paul! Taking over Lake Phalen and Lake Phalen Park for one spectacular weekend, the Dragon Festival showcases performance arts of many different cultures in Asia and honors Pan-Asian heritage! The performances vary from calming Chinese flute musicians to energetic Taiko drumming, and the outfits are all full of bright colors and authentic patterns. There will also be arts and crafts for the kids and Martial Arts demonstrations for anyone who wants to watch. So make sure to get down to Lake Phalen Park that weekend and check out some of the coolest performance art the world has to offer! For more information on the Dragon Festival, check out their website.
Reconnect With a Lost Neighborhood at Rondo Days
When you look up the Rondo neighborhood in Saint Paul on google maps, nothing shows up due to its split from I-94 in the 1960s. However, many residents of the former Rondo neighborhood still keep it strongly alive in their hearts and have even created almost a week dedicated to it. From July 12th to the 16th, Rondo Days will be celebrating its 33rd year celebrating the old African-American neighborhood’s rich history and essential role in the creation of modern day Saint Paul. Come watch artists, performers, chefs, and many more come together to remind the cities that Rondo is still alive and well. And on July 16th, there is a parade celebrating the Rondo neighborhood that cuts through the old neighborhood borders. So make sure to stop on by and celebrate the neighborhood’s heritage and revitalization! For more information on Rondo Days, check out the Rondo Avenue website.
Laugh, Cry, and Get Dramatic at the Minnesota Fringe Festival
This year, the Minnesota Fringe Festival will be celebrating its 23rd year providing adventurous performance art to audiences from all around the Midwest. The fringe festival provides over 160 performance companies a platform to show audiences what they’re made of! The companies are chosen at random by a lottery system, and audiences often decide what shows to attend off a whim. Performances often include comedies, dramas, dances, puppetry, operas, and many more forms of stage art. There is one big difference between this year and the previous years, however. Instead of charging per show like previous years, the fringe festival will start charging for per day wristbands, allowing audiences to see as many shows as they’d like to in a given day. This allows more bang for an audience member’s buck as well as fills up more seats at different performances. The Minnesota Fringe Festival will be happening between August 4th and August 14th and will be occurring at many different theaters and venues throughout Minneapolis and Saint Paul. So sit back, relax, and enjoy some thought-provoking theater at the Minnesota Fringe Festival! If you’d like more information on the Minnesota Fringe Festival, check out the festival website.