30 Things To Do in the Twin Cities Before Labor Day: Ideas to help you make the most of what’s left of summer! One each day through Labor Day.
8/5/18: Pick-your-own fresh produce and visit the Joyer Barnyard at Waldoch Farm Garden Center. The animals are out during Waldoch’s retail hours and there is no charge to view them. Visit on weekends in the fall for mazes, pumpkins and hayrides.
8/6/18: Get FREE admission to the Dakota County Fair today only ($5 parking) and visit the Dakota City Heritage Village in Farmington. The turn-of-the-century town will be bustling this time of year.
8/7/18: Plan a family meal at a new restaurant – perhaps one from our list of 10 Spots for Outdoor Dining with Kids in the Twin Cities? We promise, each one gives littler diners some breathing room and parents perhaps more peace of mind. Pictured below, the Tiny Diner in Minneapolis has an outdoor patio where kids are to welcome wander through garden paths while waiting for their tasty $5 meals.
8/8/18: Your beachy days in Minnesota are numbered. Discover a new swimming spot with this list of 10 Beaches and Playgrounds to Try This Summer.
8/10/18: Irish Fair of Minnesota kicks off with FREE admission, performances, and cultural exhibits | Harriet Island Regional Park, St Paul, 3-11pm
8/11/18: Tonight’s your final chance of the summer to stargaze with the Universe in the Park program. We suggest planning an afternoon at William O’Brien State Park (easy bike trails, swimming, maybe snag a last-minute campsite if you’re lucky?) and staying for the 8:30pm show. All it costs is a $7 state park vehicle permit. Heavenly.
8/12/18: The Most Epic Family Day – presented by Go Outside with Hennepin County – features family activities such as crafts, animal encounters, a bounce house and food for purchase. And while you’re in the zip code, here are 10 Free Things To Do with Kids in Downtown Minneapolis this summer! | Target Field Station, 12-4pm
8/13/18: Explore an amazing natural playground for kids where they can clamber up rock walls, tend a garden, dig channels in the sand, hide out in caves and lots more | Discovery Hollow at Tamarack Nature Center, White Bear Lake.
8/14/18: Battle Creek Waterworks in Maplewood offers a Tot Tuesday special, only $2.50/pp ages 5 & under with caregiver, 9:30-10:30am. Find more tot swim specials here while the weather’s still good for a splash!
8/15/18: Take a ride on the retro Como-Harriet Streetcar Line, shuttling passengers on a scenic route between Lake Harriet and Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis. Wednesday afternoons are the only weekday you can ride from 1-4pm ($2.50/pp). Stay in the neighborhood to explore the Linden Hills neighborhood or grab an ice cream cone at Bread and Pickle on the lake.
8/16/18: Lots of last chances this month. Thursday Rockin’ Lunch Hour concerts wrap up at Burnsville’s Nicollet Commons Park today. Bring your picnic, rock out to the Teddy Bear Band, then cool off in the most gorgeous splash pad in the Twin Cities!
8/17/18: Could this really be one of the last Fridays before school? Sensing a theme here. How about a Movie by Moonlight at Town Green, Maple Grove? Catch a double feature tonight only of Beauty and the Beast – Disney’s live action version followed by the animated classic. Bring a blanket, bug spray and snacks.
8/18/18: Have you brought your kids to Mill City Museum yet? If not, don’t wait a minute longer. Tons of exhibits designed just for them, and enough to entertain the tweens and teens as well. | Minneapolis, Tues-Sat: 10am-5pm & Sun: noon-5.
8/20/18: Need some AC? It always seems that summer cranks up the heat one last time before chilling out into that sublime fall weather. Try one of these 10 Free Air-Conditioned Family Outings – we’ve listed libraries, free museums, storytimes and mall play areas.
8/21/18: Discover outdoor and indoor fun at one of these beautiful Twin Cities Nature Centers. Did you know the Minneapolis-St Paul metro area has more than two dozen of these interpretive sites?
8/22/18: Wednesday nights in summer mean Eagan’s Central Park Festival Grounds are buzzing with activity: Market Fest runs 4-8pm with live music and other family interactives plus a chance to shop fresh local produce and other products. If you’re in need of cooling off, Central Park’s brand new splash pad just opened in July.
8/23/18: We’re super excited that it’s opening day of the Minnesota State Fair! Find 50 Things To Do while you get-together, most of them FREE, all of them designed to make your day a truly family affair.
8/24/18: While everyone else in town is away at the State Fair, all our favorite local playgrounds sit empty. Go enjoy a new one with this list of our 10 of the Best Twin Cities Playgrounds – race your kids on the Schaper Park Challenge Course, splash your way around Round Lake Park or be one of the first families to explore the newly re-imagined French Regional Park when it reopens (fingers crossed) mid-August.
8/25/18: Taylors Falls makes a perfect end-of-summer road trip. Explore beautiful Interstate State Park, a quirky sculpture garden, a thrilling alpine slide and lots more. Can’t make it before school begins? Taylors Falls is gorgeous dressed for autumn, too.
8/26/18: Pond Dakota Mission Park hosts an open house each Sunday from 1:30-4pm – a hidden treasure tucked into an urban landscape. Take a guided tour of the historic Pond house and join in hands-on activities.
8/27/18: Whip up a batch of these ice cream cookie sandwiches, plus discover a tasty new Twin Cities ice cream shop. We tried rolled ice cream (find it at Wonder Ice Cream, St Paul) for the first time this summer!
8/28/18: Kids Entertainment at Centennial Lakes Park is coming to a close this summer – catch it before it moves indoors and make a day of it at the park with more outdoor activities such a lawn games, paddleboats, a maze, and a farmers market.
8/29/18: Rent a surrey or paddleboat from Wheel Fun Rentals and take a spin around the lake – Calhoun, Como, Harriet and more. Our personal favorite location is at Veterans Memorial Park in Richfield with close proximity to Malt-T-Melt’s gourmet grilled cheese and a round of mini golf.
8/30/18: Tonight is the final Twin Cities River Rats water ski show of the summer! Bring a blanket and a picnic dinner, shows begin at 6:30pm | Catch them down at 1758 West River Rd N, Minneapolis
8/31/18: Because some of us can’t get enough of the Minnesota State Fair, here are 20 Ideas for Free Family Fun at the great get-together.
9/1/18: FREE admission to Walker Art Center for the whole family on the first Saturday of each month: art-making, gallery tours and more. Make sure to take a stroll through the newly re-designed Minneapolis Sculpture Garden (always free).
9/2/18: Apple-picking season has begun at many Twin Cities apple orchards. Find a dozen delicious destinations at the link.
9/3/18: It’s Threshing Weekend at Oliver Kelley Farm. Get hands-on with threshing and other harvesting work. Come see the new visitor center, new exhibits and refreshed farm buildings | Elk River, 10am-5pm, $6-$12/pp