There is so much fun to be had out in our local communities. There is something to do every day of the week during the summer – and most of it is FREE! The libraries have programming all summer. You can find out more information about all the different summer reading programs we found for Twin Cities families. Don’t forget to explore your own community for fun in your local parks where you can find festivals, music or maybe even the puppet wagon.
Twin Cities Free Summer Entertainment in the Parks
MINNEAPOLIS & ST PAUL
- Minneapolis Movies in the Parks | Ongoing Mon-Sat starting June 4, 15 min past sunset
- Minneapolis Music in the Parks | 6 venues presenting music nightly starting Memorial Day
- St Paul Movies in the Park | Ongoing Fridays starting June 1.
- St Paul Music in the Parks | Daily, parks vary, please consult the online schedule
- Groovin’ in the Garden | Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, ongoing Wednesdays starting June 5 with FREE concerts, a climbing wall, bounce house, and lawn games for kids, and food available for purchase.
- Roaming Recreation at St. Paul Parks – organized games, craft projects, snacks and more starts June 18.
TWIN CITIES NORTHWEST METRO
- Aquatore Park: Blaine Festival includes family beach party, carnival, petting zoo, dance party. June 28-30.
- Town Square Park: Performance in the Park select dates starting 6/12/19
- Earle Brown Days Festival celebrates with a parade; Centennial Park offers entertainment, food trucks, youth activities, community market, fireworks and more. June 20-22.
- Eidem Homestead: Visit an Open House with farm tours, hayrides & old-time demos (June 14-15, Fri 12-7pm, Sat 10-2) Bring your chairs or blanket for Stories From the Porch (stories read at 10:15 & 11am) followed by free play (June 18, 10am-12pm. Also held June 25 from 7-8pm featuring bedtime stories.)
- Tater Daze Festival: Community Parade (Thur), live music and fireworks
- Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park: Summer Concert Series at the park pavilion, ongoing Thurs starting 6/6/19, 7pm & June Free Family Fun Days start June 2, 1-3pm (meet at the Visitor Center on the Coon Rapids side of the park.)
- Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts: Drop in at Family Art Sunday for art projects, a scavenger hunt, snack, and occasional special entertainment. 6/9/19, 1-3pm
- Commons Park: Fridley ’49er Days celebrates with a parade and festival June 13-14.
- Arbor Lakes: Chalkfest (June 8-9) Family Zone is set aside for families to create together, plus games, music, food and sidewalk chalk art.
- Town Green: Sounds of Summer starts June 10 and includes Kids Have Character, ongoing Thursdays and Movies at Sunset to come in July & August 2019.
- Prairie Park: Splash & Play Tuesdays start 6/11/19, 10 am. Free kids entertainment at the park shelter near the splash pad. Find more Twin Cities splash pads to cool off in this summer.
- Plymouth Creek Center: Entertainment in the Park at Hilde Performance Center features music and other live entertainment starting June 13 with more to follow in July & August.
TWIN CITIES NORTHEAST METRO
- Long Lake Regional Park: Home to the New Brighton History Center Museum – visit the restored train depot for Rhubarb Fest (June 2) and let your kids climb aboard the caboose. A whole spread of rhubarb treats available for purchase. June thru September the museum exhibits are open weekends from 1-4pm and are free. Also within the park, we rate Long Lake Park’s large beach as one of the Top 20 Beaches in the Twin Cities.
- Townsend Park: Night at the Movies June 21, at dusk
- Central Park: Live @ The Rog! Performance Series ongoing Sundays starting June 9
- Rosefest: Free family skate at Roseville Skate Center; Community Theatre, Great American Campout and campfire; Touch a Truck and children’s concert & parade. June 24-July 4.
- Roseville Parks: Roseville Puppet Wagon roves ongoing Tues-Thurs starting June 18, 9:30-11:30am. During Discover Your Parks ongoing Wednesdays starting June 19, enjoy family activities, refreshments and a bounce castle.
- Shoreview Commons Park: Concerts in the Commons presented ongoing Wednesdays starting June 12. The Shoreview Puppet Wagon performs June 25, 6:30. And don’t miss the return of the Slip ‘n Slide June 21, 12:30-2:30pm. All FREE!
- Silverwood Park: Presents Silverwood OnStage ongoing Wednesdays starting June 5, 6:30pm. Puppet Adventures of Ned the Naturalist (June 9) joins Ned as he stops Trasher the Trash Can from trashing nature. Try art making with a take-home activity. Plus, explore the outdoor sculptures.
TWIN CITIES SOUTHEAST METRO
- I Love Burnsville Week: Includes community activities like Friday Fest & Flicks on the Bricks, demonstrations, ice cream social and family activities. June 1-8.
- Nicollet Commons Park: Thursday Rockin’ Lunch Hour Concerts & Thursday Rockin’ Readers held ongoing Thursdays starting June 6, bring a picnic lunch and swimsuits to enjoy the landscaped splash pad! Friday Night Flicks on the Bricks are presented ongoing Fridays starting June 14, 7:30 seating, show at dusk
- Cottage Grove City Hall Amphitheater: Summer Concert Series starts June 20, 6:30pm
- Highlands Park: Splash Pad Special Events ongoing Fridays starting June 14, 11am-noon
- Hamlet Park: Pop-Up Splash Pad includes water games w/ the fire dept & treats | 6/20/19, 6pm
- Kingston Park: Cottage Grove Strawberry Fest celebrates with a free kids tractor pedal pull, free petting farm, self-guided StoryWalk through the festival, and Water Wars water balloon station (small fee). June 13-14.
- Eagan Central Park: Eagan Market Fest held ongoing Wednesdays, 4-8pm starting June 5. FREE family fun: The grounds buzz with weekly concerts and themed nights including one devoted solely to families. Get some fresh produce and let the kids enjoy the new splash pad.
- Eagan Parks: Spark! Mobile Puppet Wagon ongoing Mon-Fri starting June 17. Bring a blanket for the shows, then stay after for art projects and interactive activities.
- Eagan Parks: Improv in the Park select evenings at various Eagan Parks. A family friendly, interactive experience of laughter, exploration and creation for all ages.
- Lebanon Hills Regional Park: Forever Wild Family Friday: Pollinators held June 1, 7-8:30pm. Make a day of it at Schulze Lake Beach, one of our top picks for beaches in the Twin Cities.
INVER GROVE HEIGHTS
- South Valley Park: Terrific Tuesdays run select Tuesdays starting June 18
- Central Park: Music in the Parks Series ongoing Thursdays starting June 13, 10am. Take in a Movie in the Park 6/15/19 at dusk.
- Rosemount Parks: Puppets in the Park ongoing Fridays starting June 21
WASHINGTON COUNTY PARKS
- Starlight Cinema Outdoor Movie Series: Hosted this year at Lake Middle School. Pre-show activities begin at 7pm, movie starts at dusk.
- Skoolie Bus Education & Fun: District 833’s Community Education has transformed a school bus for community learning to offer convenient, affordable activities for kids to do on weeknights, non-school days, summer, and even weekends.
- Woodbury Parks: Woodbury Puppet Wagon presents shows ongoing Mon-Thurs, plus Puppet Wagon Preview Party at Kinderberry Hill, 6/5/19, with shows, crafts and popsicles.
TWIN CITIES SOUTHWEST METRO
- Hyland Lake Park Reserve: Hosted by Richardson Nature Center, June Free Family Fun Days are held ongoing Sundays starting June 2, 3-4pm. The nature center is stuffed with bright, interactive exhibits and is home to live raptors. Outdoors, kids can play and build freely in the Nature Exploration Area.
- Moir Central Park: Arts in the Parks: Monday Morning Kids Series starts June 10, 10:30am
- Normandale Lake Park: Tuesday Evening Performance Series starts at the Normandale Bandshell June 11, 7pm – also live music during Thursday Night Blockbuster Series (7pm).
- Red Haddox Field: Moonlight Movies ongoing Fridays starting June 7, 9pm
- Firemen’s Park: Kids Summer Entertainment Series perform in the park ongoing Tues starting June 11, 10:30am. Clayhole Concerts start June 7. Don’t miss the FREE Ice Cream Social & Beach Bash June 12, 6pm – bring swimsuits and enjoy the free swimming beach, one of our top picks in the south metro.
- Eden Prairie Outdoor Center: Ongoing Saturdays of each month enjoy free family-friendly activities at the Nature Rocks! Open House such as hiking, hands-on interaction with live animals, craft projects and more. 9am-noon.
- Staring Lake Park Amphitheater: Kidstock kicks off ongoing Tuesdays starting June 18, 10:30am and catch a FREE performance by the Eden Prairie Park Players Presents: State Fair 6/14/19-6/16/19 & 6/20/18-6/23/19.
- Centennial Lakes Park: A haven for FREE summer entertainment! June events are held daily Sun-Thurs and include family-friendly concerts at the outdoor amphitheater, Movies in the Park ongoing Thursday evenings, and the Farmers Market. Open for June are the park’s paddle boats, putting course & lawn games.
- Civic Center Park: Music in the Park & Farmers Market start Tues, June 18, 7-8:30pm. Catch a performance of Theater in the Park: Beauty & the Beast, Jr at the Amphitheater June 13-14. Minnetonka Summer Fest is held on the campus June 22 with inflatables, petting zoo, family music, and fireworks. All activities are free except food!
- Veterans Park: Kids Entertainment in the Park held ongoing Tuesdays starting June 11, Evening Series is held ongoing Thursdays starting June 6, 7pm. Don’t miss getting your fresh produce at the weekly farmers market (Saturdays) – let the kids have the run of the large playground while you shop.
ST LOUIS PARK
- Veterans Memorial Park: Kids Summer Concert Series begins June 26, 10am
- Carver Park Reserve: Step back in time at the Grimm Farmhouse Open House with interpreters and old-fashioned lawn games. Ongoing Saturdays starting June 1, 1-4pm. While in the park, make a stop at the Lowry Nature Center – free family programs are often offered – and it’s always free to explore the nature-themed playgrounds.
UNIVERSE IN THE PARKS
June Universe in the Park 2019 | 8:30-10pm | See our out-of-this-world Universe in the Park article to get more details on these stargazing opportunities. $7 vehicle permit required in state parks, no fee at nature centers.
2019 SUMMER LIBRARY READING PROGRAMS & SUMMER LIBRARY EVENTS
Unlike school, there is no “summer break” at your local library! Dozens of branches across the seven-county library system are rolling out even more activities, entertainment and reading incentives during the summer months. Nearly every day of the week you can find programming for kids, tweens and teens: outdoor StoryWalks, STEM workshops, storytimes, crafting, magic shows, mini-camps and more. Find your local branches and full summer schedules below:
- Anoka County Library | Summer Adventures – kickoff parties begin June 4, 2019
- Carver County Library | Libraries Rock Summer Reading – starts June 1, 2019
- Dakota County Library | Summer Discovery – begins June 5, 2019
- Hennepin County Library | Summer Learning here
- Ramsey County Library | Summer Learning Program – begins June 1, 2019
- Scott County Library | Summer Spotlight – events begin June 8, 2019
- St Paul Public Library | Summer Spark – events begin June 1, 2019
- Washington County Library | Kids Summer Reading