Twin Cities Guide To Family Activities This Weekend: July 16-17, 2022

weekend family guide

Things to do in Minneapolis & St Paul this weekend!

This July Twin Cities Family Weekend Guide covers the weekend of July 16-17, 2022. To find our most recent guide, click here.

Need some more inspiration? As always, you can jump over to our JULY FAMILY GUIDEthe ULTIMATE GUIDE TO SUMMER FUN IN THE TWIN CITIES, or our fully-stocked FAMILY FUN CALENDAR for more fun ideas on what to do this weekend in the Twin Cities with your kids!

Twin CIties festivals this weekend for the family

Festivals in the Twin Cities are in full force during the month of July. There are so many to choose from this weekend – in all corners of the Minneapolis-St Paul metro area. All offer free admission unless noted. For further planning, check our JULY FAMILY FESTIVAL CALENDAR.


Nicollet Commons Park, 12550 Nicollet Ave, Burnsville, MN 55337
A special International Festival of Burnsville edition of Party on the Plaza, includes live music, food trucks, games, market vendors. Do NOT forget swimsuits for the kids because you’ll hardly be able to hold them back once they see the beautiful water feature in the park. July 16, 2022.

Nicollet Commons Park - Splash Pad

CENTERVILLE: Festival of the Lake 

Fireworks & DJ in the park (Friday), parade, Family Fest in LaMotte Park & ice cream social (Saturday). July 15-16, 2022.


Firemens Park, 3210 Chaska Blvd, Chaska, MN 55318
Live music, kids activities in the park and fireworks. Plus, CHASKA FIREMEN’S PARK boasts one of the loveliest beaches in the Twin Cities, complete with a curving boardwalk, splash pad, playground, paddle boats and concessions. July 15-16, 2022.

Chaska Firemen’s Park

HASTINGS: Rivertown Days 

Carnival rides, a bubble park and free petting zoo (Saturday only) and an arts & crafts fair all weekend. July 15-17, 2022.

Hopkins: Hopkins Raspberry Festival

A free movie in the park (Friday), Family Day activities in Central Park & fireworks (Saturday) plus the Grand Day Parade (Sunday). July 15-17, 2022.

Maple Grove: MAPLE GROVE Days

Kids Parade & Dance plus a free movie in the park (Friday), Big Truck Show, kids activities, a coin hunt, petting zoo and fireworks (Saturday). July 15-16, 2022.


Stillwater never misses the mark when it comes to a festival, summer or winter. Find lumberjack shows, a parade, live music, boat cruises and more to enjoy this weekend. July 15-17, 2022.

Taylors Falls/St Croix Falls: Wannigan Days 

A two-town parade & fireworks on the river. July 15-17, 2022. If you’re heading to the area, definitely prep yourself ahead of time with our list of the BEST THINGS TO DO IN TAYLORS FALLS, MINNESOTA, WITH KIDS!

fun outdoor activities this weekend in twin cities parks

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 parks across the Minneapolis-St Paul metro.


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 at SALLY MANZARA INTERPRETIVE CENTER. We just discovered this gem nestled in the east metro suburb of Lake Elmo.

Sandy play at the Sally Manzara Interpretive Center, Lake Elmo

Find our list of the best Twin Cities Nature Playgrounds.


Dragonfly Festival

13351 Elm Creek Rd, Maple Grove, MN 55369
Meet at EASTMAN NATURE CENTER in Dayton to discover dragonflies and and explore one of their habitats.  The nature center is located within ELM CREEK PARK RESERVE, which also has a gigantic playground and a sand-bottomed swimming pond. Make a day of it! July 16, 2022, drop in anytime from 10am-2pm. FREE.

ALSO HELD JULY 16 at EASTMAN NATURE CENTER: UNIVERSE IN THE PARK. A short outdoor talk about astronomy followed by the chance to observe the night sky through telescopes. 8:45pm, FREE.

Mix your learning with fun at Elm Creek Park Reserve

Family outdoor experience at Becker Park

5501 Douglas Drive N, Crystal, MN, 55428

Kids can try out disc golf and slacklining with the Three Rivers Park District in partnership with the City of Crystal. BECKER PARK also features a brand new inclusive playground and an interactive fountain splash pad! July 17, 2022, 1-5pm. FREE.

Saturday Mornings on Gale Woods Farm

GALE WOODS FARM invites you and your kids to visit the animals and explore the barn, gardens, greenhouses and pastures. Reservations required. July 16, 2022, spots available from 9:30am-12pm, $5/pp.

Gale Woods Farm, Minnetrista
Meeting Chickens

Free Family Fun Days with Three Rivers Parks

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) & EASTMAN NATURE CENTER (Maple Grove). July 17, 2022, 1-3pm, FREE.

Nature play at in Hyland Lake Park Reserve

Cool off this weekend in the twin cities

We’ve hit optimal beach & pool season here in Minnesota. Knowing this kind of weather won’t stick around for long, explore new splash spots by jumping over to our complete TWIN CITIES ULTIMATE GUIDE TO THE BEST BEACHES, POOLS, WATERPARKS & SPLASH PADS or continue for a few ideas:

  • Minneapolis wading pools are fun, free and some are splash and elaborate. 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 time we’re broadcasting the lovely CARVER LAKE PARK BEACH in Woodbury. Tons of sand, a playground and hilly little bike trails made this a fun weekend outing.
Carver Lake Park & Beach, Woodbury
  • Swimming pools are always a hit for their slides and fun features. Have you tried COMO REGIONAL PARK POOL in St Paul yet? There’s a great splashy area for toddlers, a lazy river, climbing plunge and an exciting zip line!

Boy on zipline at Como Regional Park Pool, Saint Paul, Minnesota

  • Don’t forget that splash pads are a perfect place to cool off without the full investment of a day at the pool. This week we highlight the splash pad at EAGAN CENTRAL PARK. It’s located adjacent to a fun challenge course if you need to work up a sweat before splashing it off. Get our huge list of the best 35 Splash Pads & Wading Pools in the Twin Cities.
Splash Pad at Central Park, Eagan, Minnesota
Eagan Central Park Splash Pad

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:


  • 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.
  • 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. 
  • RICHFIELD OUTDOOR POOLKids ages 7 & under get the zero-depth-entry wading pool and water play equipment to themselves. 10-11am, $9/kids, $11/adults. 630 East 66th Street, Richfield, MN 55423.


  • CASCADE BAY – Little Mates Tot Swim (see above)
  • COMO REGIONAL PARK POOL: Tot Time swim is for kids ages 6 & under. 9:30-11am. $4/children and adults. 1151 Wynne Ave Saint Paul, MN 55108.

Find Our Complete List of Tot Swims, including many that offer cheaper rates for this limited swim time.

more ideas for things to do this weekend in the twin cities

PLAY A ROUND OF MINI GOLF – choose from 14 fun outdoor courses in our guide to the best MINI GOLF IN THE TWIN CITIES.

Girls playing mini golf at Adventure Falls Mini Golf in Minnesota
Adventure Falls Mini Golf

PICK YOUR OWN FRESH BERRIES – Raspberries and blueberries are ripe this month and what could be sweeter than picking your own alongside your kids? We shout out BLUEBERRY FIELDS OF STILLWATER this month, or find more on our list of the BEST PLACES TO PICK YOUR OWN BERRIES IN THE TWIN CITIES.


TAKE A FAMILY BIKE RIDE – We have some family-friendly ideas for bike trails in our guides to the BEST BIKE TRAILS IN MINNEAPOLIS & BEST BIKE TRAILS IN ST PAUL.

Biking to Minnehaha Falls with the FFTC Kids

2022 Minnesota & Wisconsin Co-op Farm Tour

Explore local farms as they open their doors for a day full of fun, learning, and discovery. This year 20 urban and rural farms are offering exciting activities such as farming demos, berry picking, farm-animal feeding, and more!
This is a self-guided event and free for anyone to attend, brought to you by your local food co-ops. Learn More About The Co-op Farm Tour.

more free or low cost things to do this weekend in the Twin Cities

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