Twin Cities Guide to Family Activities This Weekend: June 17-18, 2023

weekend family guide

Things to do in Minneapolis & St Paul this weekend!

This June Twin Cities Family Weekend Guide covers the weekend of June 17-18, 2023 – Father’s Day weekend! Find our most recent guide here.

This weekend it’s Dad’s turn for a big thank you! If he’s anything like certain Dads we know, you’ll make his day with a handmade card and an outing with his favorite people. Need some inspiration? We’ve got our complete roundup HERE (including some DIY gifts for Dad) or jump below. As always, you can check our June Family Guide, our 2023 ULTIMATE GUIDE TO SUMMER IN THE TWIN CITIES or our FAMILY FUN CALENDAR. We try our best to keep it stocked with options to fit your family’s needs when you’re ready to get out and about in the Minneapolis-St Paul metro area!

10 Ideas for Father's Day Weekend - Celebrating Dad

Take Dad to Valleyfair!

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 Valleyfair.com.

parade of Grand Carnivale at Valleyfair

Stone Arch Bridge Festival

The whole area around the Stone Arch Bridge is buzzing with fun things to do. Explore MILL RUINS PARK, shop at the MILL CITY FARMERS MARKET (Saturday until 1pm), even tour the ST ANTHONY LOCK AND DAM. If that isn’t enough for ya, MILL CITY MUSEUM is hosting special FREE activities in their Mill Ruins Courtyard on both Saturday and Sunday. More ideas for fun with Dad? Arm yourself with our list of 10 Things for Kids: Stone Arch Bridge in MinneapolisFestival runs June 17-18, 2023, west bank of the river.

FREE admission For Dad (and Mom!) to Sandventure Aquatic Park

Parents Day means free admission with paid child(ren). The waterpark is a hybrid between a pool and a beach – chlorinated, but surrounded by sand for the ultimate beach-going experience. Located in SHAKOPEE LIONS PARK. June 18, 2023, $5-$7/kids of age 2, 11am-7pm.

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

More beach-going, splashy fun ideas can be found in our huge list of the best TWIN CITIES BEACHES, POOLS, WATERPARKS & SPLASH PADS.

Play a round in Centennial Lakes Park

Does Dad like to golf? Try out the “golf in miniature” fairways at beautiful CENTENNIAL LAKES PARK in Edina, then enjoy a Q. Cumbers Father’s Day Brunch at the buffet restaurant next to the park.

Find more fun mini-golf spots in the Twin Cities.

Putting Course at Centennial Lakes Park in Edina Minnesota
Centennial Lakes Putting Course

Take in free live music with Dad

Lake Harriet Band Shell Park, 4135 W Lake Harriet Pkwy, Minneapolis, MN 55409
Bring a Father’s Day picnic to the Band Shell at Lake Harriet (or grab a takeout dinner at Bread and Pickle) and let the kids have at the adjacent playground. Music includes at Cantus at 2pm & Really Spice Opera at 5:30pm.

If you prefer celebrating on Saturday evening, pack some popcorn and snacks and watch a family movie. Lake Harriet is hosting a movie night featuring Pixar’s Soul.

best minneapolis bike trails
Lake Harriet Park

 

Father’s Day at the Gideon Pond House

401 E 104th St, Bloomington, MN 55420
The rousing John Philip Sousa Memorial Band will play a free concert this weekend in full period costume. The grounds of the Gideon Pond House are perfect for a family hike, too. June 18, 2023, 4-5pm.

Dads & Discs

One of my kids’ favorite things to do with their dad is to play disc golf (also known as frisbee golf). Their go-to course is the moderate (and free!) HIGHLAND DISC GOLF COURSE located in Highland Park, St Paul, but we’ve got more ideas on our Twin Cities Disc Golf page.

Father’s Day Glacial Potholes Tour

The naturalist at INTERSTATE STATE PARK will guide you on a hike around the park’s fascinating natural potholes. If you don’t care to take a structured tour, keep in mind the lovely river town of Taylors Falls is super fun to explore. In fact, it’s just about our favorite day trip destination from the Twin Cities. Check it out with Dad: TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN TAYLORS FALLS WITH KIDS. June 18, 2023, 12 & 1pm tours. $7 vehicle permit required.

Nurture with Nature – Free Family Fun Day

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). June 18, 2023, 1-3pm, FREE.

Take a family bike ride

We love to spin our wheels with Dad on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Need some ideas for a great new trail?

Find more of the best Twin Cities Ice Cream Shops to celebrate Dad with a sweet treat!

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO ALL THOSE RAD DADS OUT THERE FROM FAMILY FUN TWIN CITIES!

TWIN CITIES FESTIVALS THIS WEEKEND FOR THE FAMILY 

Brooklyn Center: Juneteenth Festival

Centennial Park, 6301 Shingle Creek Parkway, Brooklyn Center, MN 55430
Celebration with live entertainment, food, vendors and activities for all ages. June 17, 2023.

Where else can your family celebrate? Try our roundup of TWIN CITIES JUNETEENTH CELEBRATIONS.

Cottage Grove: Strawberry Fest

Kingston Park, 9195 75th St S, Cottage Grove, MN 55016
So much to do at this summer festival: a car show, carnival, fireworks, petting farm, strawberry-pie eating contest and more fun. June 15-18, 2023.

Fridley: ’49er Days

Commons Park, 555 61st Avenue Northeast, Fridley, MN 55432
Live music in the park (including kids tunes), kids activities, food trucks and fireworks. June 15-17, 2023.

Minneapolis: Midsommar Celebration

American Swedish Institute, 2600 Park Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407
Crafts, courtyard fun, dancing around Midsommar pole, concerts. June 17, 2023. $15 adult, $10 ages 62+, $6 ages 6-18 and students with ID.

St. Louis Park: Parktacular

Wolfe Park, 3700 Monterey Dr St. Louis Park, MN 55416
Grand Day Parade, concert, art hunt and expo. June 16-20, 2023.

Wolfe Park Playground
Image courtesy of City of St. Louis Park

White Bear Lake: Manitou Days

White Bear Lake, MN 55110
Activities this weekend at the festival include a beach dance, two parades, medallion hunt, sandcastle building contest, theater in the park, an airport open house and more. June 16-19, 2022.

June Festivals in the Twin Cities

FUN OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES IN TWIN CITIES PARKS THIS WEEKEND

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.

SOME FUN FAMILY IDEAS FOR THIS WEEKEND

Live theater 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:

Classical Actors Ensembles: Much Ado About Nothing

The family-friendly Shakespeare performance is presented twice this weekend at Minneapolis parks from 7-8pm. SATURDAY, JUNE 17 at Lake of the Isles Park, 2500 Lake of the Isles Pkwy E, Minneapolis, MN 55405 and SUNDAY, JUNE 18 at Matthews Park, 2318 29th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55406.

Eden Prairie Players Presents: The Addams Family – A Musical Comedy

Staring Lake Amphitheater, 14800 Pioneer Trail, Eden Prairie, Minnesota 55347
A fully staged live outdoor musical for the whole family. If kids need to run off the wiggles, there’s a great playground next to the amphitheater.
June 17 & 18, 2023, 7pm. FREE!

FEATURED TWIN CITIES  PARK EVENTS THIS WEEKEND

Down on the farm fun

Saturday Morning on Gale Woods Farm

Gale Woods Farm, 7210 County Rd 110 W, Minnetrista, MN 55364
Explore the barn, gardens, greenhouses and pastures and visit the new spring animals! June 17, 2023, 9:30am-12pm. $6/pp.

FIND MORE CHANCES TO MEET FUZZY MINNESOTA FARM BABIES!

Gale Woods Farm, Minnetrista

Weekend green fairs

Eco-tacular at Wolfe Park

3700 Monterey Drive, Saint Louis Park, MN
Part of the city’s Parktacular festival, this environmental-education event is particularly family-friendly and includes activities with WESTWOOD HILLS NATURE CENTER. June 17, 2023, 11am-3pm.

Como Park Eco Fair

Como Midway Picnic Pavilions 1199 Midway Parkway, Saint Paul, MN 55103
All ages gathering with demos, crafts, mini-classes, ​and interactive exhibits. June 17, 2023, 9am-4pm. FREE.

COOL OFF THIS WEEKEND IN THE TWIN CITIES 

As the line between late spring and early summer starts to melt away in the rising temps, 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 to see what’s already open OR skip to a few quick ideas here:

Minneapolis pools opening this weekend

Webber Park Swimming Pool 

4300 Webber Pkwy, Minneapolis, MN 55412
The pool water is naturally treated with plants instead of chemicals. Zero-depth entry for the littlest swimmers. FREE admission!

North Commons Water Park

1701 Golden Valley Rd., Minneapolis, MN 55411
The most affordable water park in the Twin Cities includes water slides and a splash pool. FREE admission for kids/teens; adult chaperones $3; adult swimmers: $5.

Jim Lupient Waterpark

1520 Johnson St NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413
Amenities include: water slides, tube slide, log water walk, spray fountains, zero-depth entry. There is a shade pavilion area, toilet facilities, drinking fountains and outside showers and lockers in the waterpark area. Pre-season hours prior to June. 2023 fees: $3-$5/pp.

Jim Lupient Waterpark, Minneapolis

Free Minneapolis wading pools

Pools NOT attached to a public school are now open. Many of them are no-frills with a standard depth of about 18″ but several have been updated with fun spray features and zero-depth entry. All are located adjacent to a playground, rest rooms and space to spread out with a picnic. And all are FREE! Find our complete list at the link.

Tot Times at Twin Cities-area swimming pools 

Special swim hours for the youngest are offered at the following spots: CRYSTAL COVE AQUATIC CENTER (Saturday, June 17, 2023, 10-11:30am, $3/child, adults free), RICHFIELD OUTDOOR POOL (Saturday, 10-11am, $11/pp), SHAKOPEE SANDVENTURE AQUATIC PARK (Saturday, 9:15-10:45am, $5/child, adults free) & COMO REGIONAL PARK POOL (Sunday, 9:30-11:30am, $4/pp child and adult).

Best beaches in the Twin Cities

We include 26 on our list of the top beach picks in the Minneapolis-St Paul area including urban beaches and at least three in each corner of the metro area.

MORE THINGS TO DO THIS WEEKEND IN THE TWIN CITIES WITH KIDS 

Visit a spring farmers market

Market Science at Richfield Farmers Market

Richfield Farmers Market, 6335 Portland Ave, Richfield, MN 55423
Market Science is a collective of Twin Cities scientists sharing the wonder of science every third Saturday at the Richfield Farmers Market. Plus, great shopping for fresh produce, sampling, live music, a playground and miniature golf course if so inclined. June 7, 2023, 7am-12pm.

FIND MORE FRESH FUN AT FARMERS MARKETS ACROSS THE TWIN CITIES THIS SPRING!

Girl cooking with vegetables from the farmers market:

Storytime in the Gallery at Museum of Russian Art

Museum of Russian Art, 5500 Stevens Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55419
Currently, the museum is offering a FREE Storytime in the Gallery the third Saturday of the month with no charge for adults to accompany their kids. Bring a take-and-create kit home and explore the galleries with a scavenger hunt. June 17, 2023, 10:30-11am. FREE.

Ramsey County Library Summer Reading Kickoff Event

Shoreview Library Summer Kickoff

4560 Victoria St N, Shoreview, MN 55126
The Raptor Center presents an all-ages educational show. June 17, 2023, 11am-12pm. FREE.

ALWAYS FREE OR LOW COST THINGS TO DO THIS WEEKEND IN THE TWIN CITIES 

Always free to visit weekends:

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