Twin Cities Guide to Family Activities This Weekend: July 29-30, 2023

weekend family guide

Things to do in Minneapolis & St Paul this weekend!

This Twin Cities Family Weekend Guide covers the weekend of July 29-30, 2023. To find our most recent guide, click here. Looking for extra inspiration? As always, you can jump over to our JULY FAMILY GUIDE, our 2023 ULTIMATE TWIN CITIES SUMMER FUN GUIDE or our fully-stocked FAMILY FUN CALENDAR for more fun ideas on what to do this weekend in the Twin Cities with your kids! 

Looking for ideas on what to do with your kids in the Twin Cities this week? Definitely jump over to our TWIN CITIES GUIDE TO FAMILY ACTIVITIES THIS WEEK.


Festivals in the Twin Cities are full force during the month of July. For further weekend planning, check our JULY FAMILY FESTIVAL CALENDAR. This weekend we’re highlighting a couple of the county fairs taking place around the Twin Cities. These could be a good alternative for kids to the big-time MINNESOTA STATE FAIR, taking place in late August. (Hit that link if you want to get a jump on planning!)

Anoka: Anoka County Fair

3200 St Francis Blvd NW, Anoka, MN 55303
This could be a smaller, less intense experience for children than the Minnesota State Fair. Lots of free entertainment and carnival rides plus all that fair food. All weekend, July 29-30, 2023. Advance: $7/child, $12/adults. Gate: $10/child, $15/adult.

Chaska: River City Days

Chaska Lions Park, 1300 Crosstown Blvd
Kids games and fire department water fights (Sat) & Cultural Day (Sun). All weekend, July 29-30, 2023.

Crystal: Crystal Frolics

Family festival with fireworks (Fri & Sat), family festival with live music, inflatables and llamas. July 28-29, 2023.

Jordan: Scott County Fair

This could also be a good starter fair experience for children than the Minnesota State Fair. Lots of free entertainment, the carnival, baby animals, activities for kids. All weekend. FREE admission, $10/parking.

Little Canada: Canadian Days

Lots of activities for kids including a Kids Parade, games & free face painting plus fireworks & the Sunday parade. All weekend, some activities may require a $3 button. July 29-30, 2023.


How to narrow down 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.


How about some art in the park?

Minnesota ArtCar & ArtBike Parade

Come down to LAKE HARRIET PARK & bring your chairs and a picnic dinner to catch the 28th annual parade around the lake. The parade starts & ends in the LYNDALE PARK ROSE GARDEN (also worth a stop). July 29, 2023, 5-7pm

Loring Park Art Festival

1382 Willow St, Minneapolis, MN 55403
Artists, interactive art, family events, food, music and unique entertainment around the walking paths and duck ponds of Loring Park—an idyllic setting for an outdoor art festival. The park also features a wading pool and playgrounds for kids. All weekend, July 29-30, 2023.

Try visiting a new park or nature center!

Check out the links on our big list of Twin Cities nature & interpretive centers for details on which buildings are open; all of these locations have outdoor trails to hike. 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. This weekend’s featured photo comes from the nature play area WHITETAIL WOODS REGIONAL PARK in Farmington. You might want to dress for a sandy mess! 17100 Station Trail, Farmington, MN 55024.

Find our list of the best Twin Cities Nature Playgrounds.


Live theater, music & movies in the park this weekend? Just add a picnic meal and a blanket or camp chairs and you’re all set for a FREE day or night out with the family. Here’s the lineup:

Music in Motion with Children’s Theatre Company

Peavey Plaza, 1101 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55403
Music in Motion is a mix of storytelling, music and dance designed to move body and mind. Two sessions. Our tip: if you’re able, take the light rail into downtown Minneapolis. It’s a fun event in and of itself! July 8, 2023, 10-11am. FREE.

Explore More Kid-Friendly Fun in Downtown Minneapolis.

Open Eye Theater Driveway Performance

683 E North St, St Paul, MN 55106
This season’s puppet show is Molly & the Magic Boot. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that puppet shows are just for kids – all ages will enjoy! July 30, 2023, 4pm. FREE!

Madagascar, a Musical Adventure by ETC Productions

Chute Square Park, 28 University Ave. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414
A free live musical – just show up with your blanket or chairs and some snacks. July 29, 2023, 1pm.

Tuck Everlasting by Bunce Backyard Productions

11350 Dallas Ln N, Osseo, MN 55369
A free outdoor musical performance. Arrive early and BYO seating; these are popular shows. July 29, 2023, 7pm. FREE.

More things to do in Twin Cities parks

Fuller Park Ice Cream Social

4800 Grand Ave S, Minneapolis, MN, US 55419
Another summer evening with music, games and ice cream. 6-9pm.
YOU SCREAM, I SCREAM – TWIN CITIES ICE CREAM SOCIALSA sultry July evening pairs perfectly with a slightly melty cone to slurp up before its melting point. At the link, find FREE and very low-cost ice cream socials in Twin Cities parks across the Minneapolis-St Paul metro area.

ice cream

Pond Dakota Mission Park Open House

The FREE open houses typically feature hands-on activities to make the history lessons fun. This week write an old-fashioned postcard. Learn more about the park, located in Bloomington. July 29, 2023, 1-4pm.


This summer has been awesome 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:

Featured Minneapolis wading pool: Logan Park

Minneapolis wading pools are fun, free and some are splashy and elaborate. Find our complete list at the link. This weekend we’re highlighting the wading pool at LOGAN PARK. The pool was updated in 2019 to include zero-depth entry and a rain feature. 690 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413.

The Updated Logan Pool
Photo of Logan Pool after construction.

Featured Twin Cities beach: Bush Lake Beach, Bloomington

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 BUSH LAKE BEACH in Bloomington. Special SUNDAY ONLY: Bob the Beachcomber performs classic beachy tunes while you splash away. Enjoy a variety of beach games and a sandcastle contest. 9140 E Bush Lake Rd, Minneapolis, MN 55438.

Swimmers at Bush Lake Beach in Bloomington, Minnesota
Bush Lake Beach. Image courtesy of the City of Bloomington.

Featured outdoor swimming pool: Jim Lupient Waterpark, Minneapolis

Swimming pools are always a hit for their slides and fun features. Have you tried the JIM LUPIENT WATERPARK in Minneapolis yet? Fun features include 3 large water slides, a log water walk & a spray pool for tots. Go after 5pm and admission is just $3! 1520 Johnson St NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413.

Featured Twin Cities splash pad: Phalen Regional Park

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 splash pad at LAKE PHALEN PARK & BEACH in St Paul. It’s a simple splash pad but twice as nice with a beach right nearby. Get our huge list of the best 40 Splash Pads & Wading Pools in the Twin Cities!

Girl playing in splash pad Text: "Best Twin Cities Splash Pads & Wading Pools"

Many outdoor pools in the Twin Cities offer special tot swim hours so littler ones can get some splash time in before the big kids arrive. You can find these tot swims at the following pools this weekend:

Saturday Tot Swims

  • CASCADE BAY: Little Mates Tot Swim – select areas of the waterpark open from 9:30-10:30am. $6/child, one adult free. 1360 Civic Center Drive, Eagan, MN 55122.
  • CRYSTAL COVE: Little Splashers Pool Time is for kids ages 7 & under to enjoy the zero-depth entry pool. 10-11:30am, $3/child, adults free. 4848 Douglas Dr N, Crystal, MN 55429.
  • RICHFIELD OUTDOOR POOLKids ages 7 & under get the zero-depth-entry wading pool and water play equipment to themselves. 10-11am, $11/pp. 630 East 66th Street, Richfield, MN 55423.
  • SANDVENTURE AQUATIC CENTER: Kids ages 0-6 can swim in the zero-depth entry pool and play in the sand beach. 9:15-10:45am. $5/child, adults free. 1101 Adams St S, Shakopee, MN 55379.

Sunday Tot Swims

  • CASCADE BAY – Little Mates Tot Swim (see above)
  • COMO REGIONAL PARK POOLTot Time swim is for kids ages 6 & under. 9:30-11am. $4/children and adults. 1151 Wynne Ave Saint Paul, MN 55108.
  • HIGHLAND PARK AQUATIC CENTER: Tot time for kids 6 & under. 9:30-11am. $4/pp children and adults. 1840 Edgcumbe Rd, St Paul, MN 55116. 

Find our complete list of Tot Swims, including many that offer cheaper rates for this limited swim time.


Cool off by visiting a waterfall!

We’re all familiar with the very urban MINNEHAHA FALLS – the most picturesque and famous waterfall in Minneapolis has trails above it and along the river below it. My kids love to descend the stairs to the creek and find the calm wading spot downstream on a hot day. Where else might a family find a beautiful waterfall to visit? Get our list of 8 Twin Cities Waterfalls less than an hour away.

Vermillion Falls in Hastings, Minnesota

Take a family bike ride!

Here are some suggestions for a trip that’s not too taxing to do with kids:

Carver Lake Bike Park
Carver Lake Bike Park. Image courtesy of the City of Woodbury.

Take a family day or road trip!

Summer weekends are prime for jumping in the car and exploring outside the city. We have fun itineraries sketched out for destinations within an easy drive from Minneapolis & St Paul:

Minneaopa State Park, Mankato, Minnesota

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