Things to do in Minneapolis & St Paul this weekend!
This Twin Cities Family Weekend Guide covers the weekend of Aug 7-8, 2021. To find our most recent guide, click here.
fun outdoor activities in the parks this weekend
How to sort out all this summertime family fun?
Featured here for the weekend is just a taste of all that’s going on across the Twin Cities. You can get the full schedule on our FAMILY FUN CALENDAR or browse the links below to search for local fun events & things to do with kids this weekend.
- FIND COMMUNITY FAMILY EVENTS IN THE TWIN CITIES NORTHWEST METRO
- FIND EVENTS IN THE NORTHEAST METRO
- FIND EVENTS IN THE SOUTHEAST METRO
- FIND EVENTS IN THE SOUTHWEST METRO
SOME FUN FAMILY IDEAS FOR THIS WEEKEND:
Things to catch: Friday evening parade; inflatables, games & family entertainment on Saturday and fireworks to end the evening. Located in CENTRAL PARK, St Anthony Village. Aug 6-7.
This is your chance to check out the art of iron casting from a safe, cool distance. Plus, CAPONI ART PARK (Eagan) is FREE, filled with paths & sculptures and a nice place to spend the afternoon. Aug 7, 1-4pm.
NEED MORE SCULPTURE IN YOUR LIFE? Try 12 MINNESOTA SCULPTURE PARKS TO VISIT WITH KIDS.
Dress to be outdoors; the program starts with a puppet show and follows with a nature themed art project. Located at SILVERWOOD PARK in St Anthony. Drop in Aug 8 between 1-3pm. FREE.
Pond Dakota Mission Park: Log Cabin Building
Hands-on living history programs fun and free of charge. New themes each Saturday. Drop in Aug 7 from 1-4pm.
Try out one of these Twin Cities Disc Golf Courses. This is a great outing for those active but hard-to-please teens and tweens.
Activities may include animal interactions, outdoor displays, nature challenges and checking out free exploration materials. Held at RICHARDSON NATURE CENTER (Bloomington), MISSISSIPPI GATEWAY REGIONAL PARK (Brooklyn Park), LOWRY NATURE CENTER (Victoria) & EASTMAN NATURE CENTER (Maple Grove). Aug 8, 1-3pm, FREE.
Try visiting a Minnesota State Park with your family!
Last weekend, our family visited NERSTRAND BIG WOODS STATE PARK for the first time in 12 (!) years. The park, with its sweet little “hidden” waterfall, is one of 9 MINNESOTA STATE PARKS one hour or less from our home in St Paul. Love waterfalls? We’ve included these falls on our list of 8 METRO-AREA WATERFALLS TO VISIT WITH KIDS.
Would you prefer a park outing closer to home? Check out the links on our big list of Twin Cities nature & interpretive centers for all the details. Did you know that several of these nature centers have natural playgrounds nestled within them? You can build with natural materials, climb, balance, even wade and garden at some of the more elaborate spaces. Find our list of the best Twin Cities Nature Playgrounds.
Free summer movies & theater in the park
Opera on the River is performed on the banks of the St. Croix River in LOWELL PARK, downtown Stillwater. Performing Arts Fair runs 10am-7pm followed by the Grand Concert. Aug 7. Also family-friendly in town: take a walk across the STILLWATER LIFT BRIDGE and visit TEDDY BEAR PARK.
Bring lawn chairs, blankets and picnic dinners. Enjoy FREE movies and live theater performances in Twin Cities parks all summer long. Frozen 2 will be screened in KENNY PARK as part of the annual Minneapolis Music & Movies in the Park events. Aug 7, dusk.
Pass the popcorn! Find our complete listing of free Summer Movies in the Park (while they last…).
Cool off this weekend in the twin cities
This summer has been brutal in terms of temperature! We’ve done more exploring than usual of new splash spots – go ahead and browse the finds in our complete TWIN CITIES ULTIMATE GUIDE TO THE BEST BEACHES, POOLS, WATERPARKS & SPLASH PADS or continue for more ideas:
- MINNEAPOLIS WADING POOLS are fun, free and some are splashy and elaborate. We try to highlight a new location each week. Try the pool & playground at LAKE HIAWATHA PARK, or find our complete list at the link.
- We include our family favorites in our list of 20+ BEACHES, PARKS & PLAYGROUNDS TO TRY THIS SUMMER. Each week we’re excited to share a new beach one of our FFTC families has discovered – this weekend we’re highlighting CENTERVILLE LAKE BEACH, located in the northern Twin Cities suburb of Lino Lakes and part of the RICE CREEK CHAIN OF LAKES PARK RESERVE. If you can, bring bikes. An easy trail roughly follows the southern half of the lake and winds through the namesake chain of lakes.
- Swimming pools are always a hit for their slides and fun features. Have you tried HIGHLAND PARK AQUATIC CENTER in St Paul yet? Bigger kids will enjoy its two-story water slide and climbing wall, while small kids can play in the splash pad. There is also a lap pool and diving boards.
- Don’t forget that splash pads are a perfect place to cool off without the full commitment and cost of a day at the pool. This week we highlight the interactive splash fountains at MAPLE GROVE CENTRAL PARK. There’s an awesome, challenging playground next door for extra fun!
- Search our giant list of the best 35 Splash Pads & Wading Pools in the Twin Cities.
more ideas for things to do this weekend in the twin cities
Fun and free for all ages! Come for music, quarter ice cream cones, roving magic shows, the organ grinder, “penny farthing” bicycles and lighthouse night with Edina Model Yacht Club. Aug 8, starting at 6pm.
Reserve your free tickets and visit the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden for music, performances, and fun. Pick up an art kit to make art in the Garden or at home. Aug 7, 10am-3pm.
TAKE A FAMILY BIKE RIDE!
Here are some suggestions for a trip that’s not too taxing to do with kids:
- Smooth & level trails near a beach & huge playground: ELM CREEK PARK RESERVE, Maple Grove
- Around a scenic lake: Pick one of the MINNEAPOLIS CHAIN OF LAKES.
- Feels far away but is totally urban: BATTLE CREEK REGIONAL PARK, St Paul.
- A little challenge for the mountain bikers: COTTAGE GROVE BIKE PARK or CARVER LAKE PARK, Woodbury.