In Minnesota, family fun outdoors means embracing all four seasons. If you are on this page looking for a new Twin Cities-area park, playground or nature center to explore, hundreds of entries can be found through our Parks & Playgrounds Search feature.
Or, continue searching hundreds more ideas for family outings and services in the Twin Cities through our Family Directory.
Lake Harriet Park park offers picturesque views of the lake and the city. The bandshell hosts a variety summer concerts. A nice-sized playground near the bandshell allows kids to run and have fun before (or during) the music and movies.
There are various lakeside activities throughout the year, such as the Lake Harriet Kite Festival in January. Lake Harriet is part of the chain of lakes, so it is a nice place for bike rides and walks.
Grab a snack or a meal at Lake Harriet's pavilion restaurant, The Bread & Pickle daily between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.
Beaches at Lake Harriet Park
Lifeguards are employed at Lake Harriet North Beach daily from mid-June through late August between noon and 7:00 p.m. On days when the temperature is 85 degrees or warmer at 6 p.m., lifeguard hours will be extended until 8 p.m. Lake Harriet Southeast Beach has no lifeguard on duty.
Movies and Music at Lake Harriet Park
The bandshell hosts summer concerts every day of the week except Wednesdays. Monday-Saturday: at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. We usually post the schedules on our Family Fun Calendar and include a link on our list of Free Summer Music in the Parks. With four kids, I can't get out to see local music as much as I'd like. Summer concerts can be a great family, friendly way to catch up. However, if you plan to go to often, you may want to purchase a parking permit. An annual permit is $35.00. Pay lots range from 75 cents to $1.50/hour. It would only take 10 3-hour visits to Lake Harriet or other parks with pay lots to make it worth your money.
For both movies and concerts, the park system suggests you bring a lawn chair and/or grab a blanket (although there is seating at Lake Harriet); bring a picnic or snacks; use sunscreen and bug spray as necessary. Outdoor events are weather dependent, so if you don't want to waste a trip, check Facebook or Twitter before heading out.
Movies start 15 minutes after sunset on select Fridays, and are historically family friendly offerings.