Things to do in Minneapolis & St Paul this weekend!
This Twin Cities Family Weekend Guide covers the weekend of August 26-27, 2023. Find our most recent guide here.
This weekend, the MINNESOTA STATE FAIR is upon us! If you choose to go, we have some ideas for having a great time with the family. If you’re waiting until next year, we hope you’ll check back with us when it rolls around again. And if you’ve never been a fan of the Fair, we have plenty of other ideas for this weekend. You can always consult our AUGUST FAMILY GUIDE or our fully-stocked FAMILY FUN CALENDAR for more last-chance summer fun ideas on what to do this weekend in the Twin Cities with your kids!
GOING TO THE MINNESOTA STATE FAIR?
The Minnesota State Fair starts Thursday, August 24 and we’ve got a family guide for you bursting with tips and our picks for the best FREE family entertainment on the Fairgrounds. Discount admission and ride tickets are still available through Wednesday, August 23. Skip to our quicklinks:
- Minnesota State Fair 2023: 20 Ideas for Free Family Fun
- Best Bets for Live Family Entertainment at the 2023 Minnesota State Fair
- 50 Things To Do For Families at the Minnesota State Fair
MORE TWIN CITIES FESTIVALS THIS WEEKEND FOR THE FAMILY
FUN OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES IN TWIN CITIES PARKS THIS WEEKEND
How to sort out all this summertime family fun?
Summertime may be seriously winding down, but featured here for the weekend is just a taste of all that’s going on across the incredible Twin Cities park systems. You can get more ideas on our FAMILY FUN CALENDAR or browse the links below to search for local fun events & things to do with kids this weekend in the parks.
- 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
It’s only natural that, as the largest park in the Minneapolis system, we would include THEODORE WIRTH PARK in our series of weekend featured parks. We recommend not missing a single piece of it if possible, but if you must pick and choose between parcels, here are some highlights we’ve enjoyed:
- Wirth Lake beach – Sandy, smooth and clean, this beach is one of our favorites in Minneapolis. There’s a large playground and Park & Rec often drops by with activities for kids.
- Quaking Bog – The boardwalk loop hike through a tamarack bog gives you the feeling of being far from the urban hustle.
- Eloise Butler Wildflower & Bird Sanctuary – A lovely, peaceful respite located near the south end of the park. It hosts family wildflower walks, children’s programs and other self-guided activities during the temperate months.
THEODORE WIRTH PARK is just one on our list of the 10 Best Picnic Spots in Minneapolis!
FEATURED TWIN CITIES PARK EVENTS THIS WEEKEND
7025 Victoria Dr, Victoria, MN 55386
Get your family or small group together and this activity works out to be budget-friendly: solve puzzles about the natural world around LOWRY NATURE CENTER. And while you’re on the grounds, explore the indoors and out by borrowing free nature exploration materials. August 26, 2023, 9:30-12pm. $30.
401 E 104th St, Bloomington, MN 55420
Hands-on living history programs fun and free of charge located in POND DAKOTA MISSION PARK in Bloomington. This weekend, learn old folk tunes on a tin whistle ($5 to purchase your own) and take tours of the historic home. August 26, 2023, 1-4pm. FREE admission.
COOL OFF THIS WEEKEND IN THE TWIN CITIES (some last chances!)
We don’t want to be the ones to make the call that swimming season is over in Minnesota so we’ll let these beaches & pools do that instead. It’s LAST CHANCE WEEKEND for the following:
There is still a good assortment of swimming beaches open through Labor Day weekend. We include most of our own family favorites in our list of 20+ BEACHES, PARKS & PLAYGROUNDS TO TRY THIS SUMMER. Each weekend this season we’ve tried to highlight a suggestion to try, such as SCHULZE LAKE BEACH in Eagan. Located within LEBANON HILLS REGIONAL PARK, it has the feel of being woodsy without also being far from the metro. 860 Cliff Road
Eagan, MN 55123.
There are still a few swimming pools open if the weekend is warm enough. BUNKER BEACH WATERPARK in Coon Rapids may be just the place to close out the season (kind of a splurge at $16/pp but it’s Minnesota’s largest outdoor waterpark with tons to do. 701 County Rd A, Coon Rapids, MN 55448.
Finally, we’ve been spotlighting a new splash pad each weekend this season as well. These are ideal for cooling off without the full commitment and cost of a day at the pool. This week we feature the splash pad at HARMON PARK in West St Paul. It’s trim, tidy and lots of fun. 230 Bernard St W, West St Paul, MN 55118.
MORE IDEA FOR THINGS TO DO THIS WEEKEND IN THE TWIN CITIES WITH KIDS
Visit a Twin Cities apple orchard
The calendar tells me we’re about to become the Land of 10,000 Crunches as apples are ripening in orchards across the Minneapolis-St Paul metro. Come pick your own! Opening this weekend are the following farms & orchards:
- FALL HARVEST ORCHARD – There are lots of FREE family activities to enjoy at this sweet, family-operated farm (small corn pits, tire climb and hay bale mountain, hands-on animal encounters, live music on select days, yard games and photo ops).Free admission; Some attractions are ticketed ($4/ticket) which can be purchased a la carte OR purchase an mostly-inclusive wristband (Thurs & Fri/$10, Sat & Sun/$20). 345 County Road 30 SE, Montrose, MN 55363.
- LUCELINE ORCHARD – Apples are now pick-your-own while supplies last! There are lots of other activities onsite to stay busy, including some that are open on weekdays such as the hay mountain, petting zoo, corn boxes and swings.Free admission, some fees for additional activities or purchase a $20 wristband to include unlimited access to activities like the corn maze, hay rides and jumping pillow.- 2755 Rose Ave, Watertown, MN 55388.
This is not to neglect the numerous Twin Cities apple orchards that have already opened their gates for the fall harvest season. Get started planning your fall trip to the apple orchard with our GUIDE TO THE BEST APPLE ORCHARDS IN THE TWIN CITIES.
Eye-popping colors, space to run free, and hands-and-feet-on exhibits are just what kids might need with summer slipping away and the schedules of fall beckoning. And kids are always admitted FREE (adults $15). Check out our list of 10 Things for Kids at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.
Always free to visit weekends: