30 Things To Do in the Twin Cities Before Labor Day

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Ideas to help you make the most of what’s left of summer! One each day through Labor Day.

8/6: Pick-your-own fresh produce and visit the Joyer Barnyard at Waldoch Farm Garden Center. The animals are out during Waldoch’s retail hours and there is no charge to view them. Visit on weekends in the fall for mazes, pumpkins and hayrides.

8/7: Get FREE admission to the Dakota County Fair today only ($5 parking) and visit the Dakota City Heritage Village, Farmington. The turn-of-the-century town will be bustling this time of year.

8/8: Plan a family meal at a new restaurant – perhaps one from our list of 10 Spots for Outdoor Dining with Kids in the Twin Cities? We promise, each one gives littler diners some breathing room and parents perhaps more peace of mind.

8/9: Discover a new beach with this list of 10 Beaches and Playgrounds to Try This Summer.

8/10: Play a round at the whimsically wonderful Big Stone Mini Golf and Sculpture Garden in Minnetrista. Check our roundup of Twin Cities Mini Golf courses for more indoor and outdoor options.

8/11: Irish Fair of Minnesota kicks off with FREE admission, performances, and cultural exhibits | Harriet Island Regional Park, St Paul.

8/12: The Minnesota State Capitol Grand Opening Celebration spans 3 days filled with FREE family events: tours, a Kids Zone, cultural performances and fireworks | St Paul

8/13: The Most Epic Family Day at Target Field Station features family activities such as bubble-making, a waterslide, storytime and food for purchase. And while you’re in the zip code, here are 10 Free Things To Do with Kids in Downtown Minneapolis this summer!

8/14: Explore this amazing natural playground for kids: Discovery Hollow at Tamarack Nature Center, White Bear Lake.

Discovery Hollow - Bald Eagle-Otter Lakes Regional Park

8/15: Battle Creek Waterworks offers a Tot Tuesday special, $2.50/pp ages 5 & under with caregiver, 9:30-10:30am, Maplewood. Find more tot swim specials here while the weather’s still good for a splash!

8/16: Wednesday nights in summer mean Eagan’s Central Park Festival Grounds are buzzing with activity: Market Fest runs 4-8pm with live music and other family interactives plus a chance to shop fresh local produce and other products.

8/17: After three months of renovations, the newly remodeled Pavek Museum of Broadcasting has reopened! Come see the updates.

8/18: One of the last Fridays before school? How about a Movie by Moonlight at Town Green, Maple Grove?

8/19: Have you brought your kids to Mill City Museum yet? Tons of exhibits designed just for them!

8/20: Target Free 3rd Saturday at Minnesota Children’s Museum – explore all the awesome updates made to the museum for FREE! Read our sneak peek of the exhibits here.

Minnesota Children's Museum

The first kid to ever go down The Scramble! And on his BIRTHDAY!

8/21: Need AC? Try one of these 10 Free Air-Conditioned Family Outings.

8/22: Discover outdoor and indoor fun at one of these beautiful Twin Cities Nature Centers. Did you know the Minneapolis-St Paul metro area has more than two dozen of these interpretive sites?

8/23: Rent a surrey or paddleboat from Wheel Fun Rentals; take a spin around the lake – Calhoun, Como, Harriet and more. Our personal favorite location is at Veterans Memorial Park in Richfield with close proximity to Malt-T-Melt’s gourmet grilled cheese and a round of mini golf.

8/24: Opening day of the Minnesota State Fair! Find 50 Things To Do while you get-together.

8/25: Help independent bookstore Wild Rumpus celebrate its 25th birthday between 10am-8pm | Linden Hills neighborhood, Minneapolis

8/26: Take a road trip to beautiful nearby Interstate State Park in Taylors Falls, plus more fun at the link.

8/27: Pond Dakota Mission Park hosts an open house each Sunday from 1:30-4pm – a hidden treasure tucked into an urban landscape. Take a guided tour of the historic Pond house and join in hands-on activities.

8/28: Whip up a batch of these ice cream cookie sandwiches, plus discover a tasty new Twin Cities ice cream shop!

ice cream

8/29: Kids Entertainment at Centennial Lakes Park is coming to a close this summer – catch it before it moves indoors and make a day of it at the park with more outdoor activities such a lawn games, paddleboats, a maze, and a farmers market.

8/30: It’s Frankenstein Day! Go visit the exhibit Mary’s Monster (if you dare) at the wonderfully eclectic Bakken Museum | Minneapolis

10 Things for Kids at Bakken Discovery Days

8/31: Final Twin Cities River Rats water ski show of the summer! Bring a blanket and a picnic dinner, shows begin at 7pm | Catch them down at 1758 West River Rd N, Minneapolis

9/1: Because some of us can’t get enough of the Minnesota State Fair, here are 20 Ideas for Free Family Fun at the great get-together. (Yes, the banner reads 2016 but we’ve confirmed all these free activities are returning for 2017.)

9/2: FREE admission to Walker Art Center for the whole family on the first Saturday of each month: art-making, gallery tours and more. Make sure to take a stroll through the newly re-designed Minneapolis Sculpture Garden (always free).

9/3: Apple-picking season has begun at many Twin Cities apple orchards. Find a dozen delicious destinations at the link.

9/4: It’s Threshing Weekend at Oliver Kelley Farm! Get hands-on with threshing and other harvesting work. Come see the new visitor center, new exhibits and refreshed farm buildings | Elk River, 10am-5pm, $6-$12/pp


8/13: Resident Artist’s Hot Metal Pour, Franconia Sculpture Park – plus explore the sculptures.
8/15: Monday Morning Kids Series: Summer Break Storytellers @ Moir Park, Bloomington • 10:30am
8/17: Final Creative Kidstuff Concert Series of summer! Shops at West End, St. Louis Park • 10am
8/19: Swim at your local beach – here are 10 MORE ideas to try!
8/29: Seek out a Puppet Wagon – Roseville, Woodbury, Shoreview & Eagan parks
8/30: Final Artist-led Explorations program at Caponi Art Park: Aztec Dance • 10-11am, $5/family

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About the author

Anne Kingston

If we left it up to Anne to write her own bio, it would never get posted. She doesn't enjoy talking about herself, but Anne does love exploring the Twin Cities with her family and sharing her finds here. She, her husband and their four kids are lifelong residents of St. Paul.


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