Twin Cities Guide to Family Activities This Weekend: July 1-2, 2023

weekend family guide

Things to do in Minneapolis & St Paul this weekend!

This July Twin Cities Family Weekend Guide covers the weekend of July 1-2, 2023 – ahead of Fourth of July/Independence Day! Find our most recent guide here. As always, you can check our JULY FAMILY GUIDE, our 2023 ULTIMATE TWIN CITIES SUMMER FUN GUIDE or our FAMILY FUN CALENDAR for more fun ideas on what to do this weekend in the Twin Cities with your kids!


Come to Valleyfair and experience how the world kicks up its heels at our larger-than-life, international celebration. Enjoy pulse pounding, high-energy live music, delicious food, lively games, and unique crafts. Take in the extravagant sights and sounds of our nighttime Spectacle of Color Parade, a glittering sensory spectacular of lavish floats, interactive street performers, and pulsing rhythms. As the parade concludes, thunderous music builds to a crescendo as we kick off a high-energy block party filled with animated entertainers, spirited dancing, and so much more. Grand Carnivale runs select dates June 24 – July 9.

Save on tickets at

parade of Grand Carnivale at Valleyfair


Fourth of July festivities are on in full force across the Twin Cities the next few days – parades, fireworks displays, concerts and other ways to celebrate with your family & community. We have all the details on city-hosted events bursting out of our 2023 GUIDE TO INDEPENDENCE DAY IN THE TWIN CITIES.

Here’s a QUICK LIST of all the 2023 fireworks displays planned for Twin Cities communities this weekend (and beyond to July Fourth). Most are attached to a city festival. For more details on the festivals, please skip over to the guide.


  • RICHFIELD: A laser light show show at 10:45pm follows am evening of family fun. Richfield Ice Arena & Bandshell, 636 E 66th St, Richfield, MN 55423.


  • HAM LAKE: Fireworks show at 10pm, after a full day of festival fun. Ham Lake Lions Park, 1220 157th Ave NE, Ham Lake, MN.
  • SAINT PAUL: Fireworks show after the St Paul Saints v. Omaha Storm Chasers baseball game (and every Friday home game). Tickets. CHS Field, 360 N Broadway St, St Paul, MN 55101. 


  • HUDSON, WI: Fireworks at 10pm, after a full day of festival fun at Booster Days. Lakefront Park, First Street, Hudson, WI 54016


  • BLOOMINGTON: Fireworks at dusk. Normandale Lake Park, 5901 West 84th Street, Bloomington, MN 
  • EDEN PRAIRIE: Sparklefest features mini kids fireworks – no loud booms at this show 6pm-9:45pm. Round Lake Park, 16691 Valley View Road, Eden Prairie.


  • APPLE VALLEY: Arrive early for a pre-fireworks carnival beginning at 1pm; fireworks at 10pm. Johnny Cake Ridge Park East, Apple Valley.
  • BLAINE: Fireworks, 10pm. National Sports Center, 1700 105th Ave NE Blaine.
  • CHANHASSEN: Fireworks, 10pm. Lake Ann Park, 1456 West 78th Street, Chanhassen.
  • COON RAPIDS: Fireworks, 10pm. Coon Rapids Ice Center, 1100 Crooked Lake Boulevard, Coon Rapids.
  • EAGAN: Fireworks, 10pm. 1501 Central Pkwy, Eagan, MN 55121
  • EDEN PRAIRIE: Fireworks, 10pm. Round Lake Park, 16691 Valley View Road Eden Prairie.
  • EDINA: Fifes and drums start at 8pm. First John Sousa Memorial Band concert at 8:45. Fireworks at dusk. Rosland Park, 4300 W 66th St, Edina.
  • EXCELSIOR: South Lake Minnetonka. Fireworks at 9:50pm. Excelsior Commons, 135 Lake St, Excelsior.
  • FOREST LAKE: Fireworks at 10pm. Lakeside Memorial Park, 95 E Broadway Ave, Forest Lake.
  • LAKEVILLE: Fireworks, 10pm. Lakeville North High School, 19600 Ipava Ave, Lakeville.
  • MAPLEWOOD: Fireworks, 10pm. Hazelwood Park, 1663 County Rd C E, Maplewood. 
  • PRIOR LAKE: Festivities include Food Trucks and Gin Blossoms concert beginning at 5pm. Fireworks at 10pm. FREE. Mystic Lake Casino, 2400 Mystic Lake Blvd NW, Prior Lake.
  • ROSEVILLE: Fireworks over Bennett Lake, 10pm. Central Park, 2540 Lexington Avenue North, Roseville.
  • SHAKOPEE: SPLURGE on a family day at VALLEYFAIR theme park — 10pm fireworks included with park admission $32.99/pp+. Valleyfair, 1 Valley Fair Drive, Shakopee.
  • STILLWATER: Fireworks at dusk. Lowell Park, 201 Water St N, Stillwater.
  • ST LOUIS PARK: Fireworks, 10pm. Aquila Park, 3110 Xylon Ave S, St Louis Park.
  • WACONIALake Waconia Regional Park, 8170 Paradise Ln, Waconia.
  • WOODBURY: Fireworks, 10pm. M Health Fairview Sports Center, 4125 Radio Dr., Woodbury
  • WHITE BEAR LAKE: Manitou Days Fireworks at Memorial Beach. Fireworks set to music 8pm-11pm. 4980 Lake Ave, White Bear Lake, MN 55110.


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.


Summers in Minnesota just beg for a picnic – meals outdoors on blankets with the early evening sun still streaming down and juicy summer fruits packed in the cooler. All of the picnic sites featured on our list of 10 PLACES FOR THE PERFECT PICNIC IN MINNEAPOLIS are located within lovely Minneapolis parks. Get inspired for picnic sites and picnic foods at the link.

minneapolis picnics


Saturday Mornings on Gale Woods Farm

7210 County Rd 110 W, Minnetrista, MN 55364
You’re invited to visit the animals and explore the barn, gardens, greenhouses and pastures. July 1, 2023, 9:30am-12pm, $6/pp. Learn more about a visit to GALE WOODS FARM with kids.

Gale Woods Farm, Minnetrista

Live theater, music & movies in the park this weekend? Just add a picnic dinner and a blanket or camp chairs and you’re all set for a FREE 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 1, 2023, 10-11am. FREE.

Franconia Sculpture Park Art & Farmers Market 

29836 St Croix Trail N, Shafer, MN 55074
Fun family day trip idea and FREE (minus the gas and produce)! Shop at the farmers market and explore the art installments. We recommend pairing this outing with our list of FUN THINGS TO DO WITH KIDS NEAR TAYLORS FALLS, MINNESOTA. July 2, 2023, 10am-2pm.

While climbing on sculptures is generally not allowed, this playground is an exception.


As summer heats up into July, it’s time to visit your favorite splash spot – or find a new one! Jump over to our complete TWIN CITIES ULTIMATE GUIDE TO THE BEST BEACHES, POOLS, WATERPARKS & SPLASH PADS or continue for a few ideas:

Featured Minneapolis wading pool: Lake Hiawatha 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 LAKE HIAWATHA PARK. The pint-sized pool has a zero-depth entry great for little swimmers and some fun splash features for the older ones. 2701 E 44th St. Minneapolis, MN 55406.

Lake Hiawatha Park Wading Pool

Featured Twin Cities beach: Lake Johanna, Arden Hills

We include our family favorites in our list of 25+ BEACHES, PARKS & PLAYGROUNDS TO TRY THIS SUMMER. This weekend we’re featuring LAKE JOHANNA BEACH in Tony Schmidt Regional Park, Arden Hills. This is an ideal spot for the youngest beach babes. We love this beach for its clean, soft sand and playground so close to the shoreline that we have no problem letting older children play while keeping an eye on the younger ones in the small swim area. There is space to picnic nearby in the large pavilion. 3500 Lake Johanna Boulevard Arden Hills, MN 55112.

Lake Johanna Minnesota Beach

Featured outdoor swimming pool: Sandventure Aquatic Park, Shakopee

Swimming pools are always a hit for their slides and fun features. This weekend we’re featuring SANDVENTURE AQUATIC PARK in Shakopee. Chlorinated water with a sand bottom and beach, slides and special discount days. 1101 Adams St S, Shakopee, MN 55379.

Twisty Yellow Slide at Sandventure Aquatic Park, Shakopee Minnesota
Big kids will love the slide at SandVenture

Featured Twin Cities splash pad: M Health Fairview, Woodbury

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 M HEALTH FAIRVIEW SPORTS CENTER in Woodbury. Right next to the terrific MADISON’S PLACE INCLUSIVE PLAYGROUND.

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 POOL: Kids 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 POOL: Tot 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.

Little Mates tot swim at Cascade Bay Waterpark, Eagan


First Free Sunday at Minnesota Children’s Museum

You must act fast to snag free passes to the museum on its monthly free day, but if you’re able you’ll be rewarded with a chance to visit the new Emotions at Play exhibit, based off the Pixar movie Inside Out. July 2, 2023.

Play a round of mini golf across the Twin Cities  

Choose from 14 fun outdoor courses in our guide to the best MINI GOLF IN THE TWIN CITIES.

Walker Art Center First Free Saturday

Walker Art Center, 725 Vineland Pl, Minneapolis, MN 55403
Activities are geared towards kids ages 6-12, but don’t let that stop you from bringing your littler ones! Free gallery admission for the whole family. Explore the galleries with activities and create hands-on art. On the lovely months, don’t forget the MINNEAPOLIS SCULPTURE GARDEN is open and also offers free admission. July 1, 2023, 10am-3pm.

Pick your own strawberries near the Twin Cities

The strawberry season is nearing its end but there’s still time to check our guide to TWIN CITIES AREA STRAWBERRY PATCHES to see what’s picking.

Strawberry Patches - Best in the Twin Cities

Always free to visit weekends:

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