Twin Cities Northeast Metro: Things To Do This Summer

Twin Cities Northeast Metro: Things To Do This Summer – Covering the Twin Cities, Minnesota, communities of Maplewood, Roseville, Shoreview, St Anthony, Vadnais Heights & White Bear Lake.

School’s out and your family is just itching to explore beyond the backyard. We have the scoop on your community entertainment – live music in the parks, family festivals, swimming and splash pads, the puppet wagon and lots more to keep you busy this summer.

Get started planning your best summer!

Everything under the sun you need to know about family fun this summer in the Twin Cities. Beat boredom and fill your long school break days exploring the best the Twin Cities has to offer in the way of parks, swim spots, community entertainment and local festivals with our Ultimate Summer Events Guide.

Family Fun Twin Cities Ultimate Guide to a Summer to Remember



Maplewood nature playground

Maplewood Nature Center

The nature center building is currently closed, but the public is welcome to come play in the Nature Play Yard: The boulders and giant logs are particularly pleasing to scale, there’s a natural amphitheater for an impromptu performance, and the butterfly garden gives it a nice pop of color. Update: Maplewood plans to reopen the nature center with limited programming beginning the Fall of 2021.

Maplewood summer festivals

Maplewood Light it Up

Hosted at HAZELWOOD PARK. July 4. Fireworks show only in 2021.

Ramsey County Fair

Highlights include the White Bear Ave Parade, 4-H Arts-In performances, Farmer for a Day stations, petting zoo and more. FREE admission, $3/parking. CANCELLED FOR 2021.

Maplewood swimming & beaches

Phalen Park Beach

The northern curve of Lake Phalen resides in Maplewood though the big, sandy beach is technically in St Paul. Pop over during the summer for a swim & dash through the adjacent splash pad. The lake is also a site for sailing lessons, swimming lessons, and canoe & kayak clinics. 

Phalen Park Splash Pad

Maplewood historic sites


Operated by the Maplewood Historical Society, the farm is open during summer open houses and for special events. The public is permitted to walk the grounds and trails at any time.

Bruentrup Heritage Farm, Maplewood

Maplewood summer library events

The MAPLEWOOD LIBRARY is a branch of the Ramsey County Library system. It has a large area devoted to early literacy skills through play. See the library events calendar for upcoming summer programs and the 2021 summer reading program page for more details.

Maplewood Library



Roseville  parks – summer events

Want to get out and play in Roseville parks this summer? Try starting with our list of the best: Roseville Family Fun: 10 Best Parks in Roseville to Explore This Summer.

Roseville Central Park

The 225 acre park is so large that it’s really more like 6 separate parks connected by walking paths and biking trails.  The green space encompasses Lake Bennett, two playgrounds, the nature center, an arboretum and several picnic shelters and ballfields.

Roseville community parks

Roseville nature play

Harriet Alexander Nature Center

Indoors, an impressively realistic floor-to-ceiling “tree” dominates the entrance to the nature center’s exhibits. There’s a library nook with children’s nature books, a back room crammed with tanks of turtles to observe, and a seasonal bee exhibit. Outside, explore the trails and boardwalks through 52 acres of prairie, marsh, and forest habitats.

Harriet Alexander Nature Center, Roseville


Roseville summer festivals


Festival activities include a free family skate at Roseville Skate Center, community theatre performances, a Great American Campout at Harriet Alexander Nature Center, Touch a Truck and children’s concert & parade. June 23-27, 2021. The parade, Party in the Park & fireworks will return in 2022.

Roseville swimming & beaches

Lake Johanna Beach

Just a few blocks away from Roseville in Arden Hills, the large sandy beach within Tony Schmidt Regional Park beckons to swimmers. We rate this beach one of the top for families in the Twin Cities.

Lake Johanna Beach, Arden Hills

Lake Josephine County Park

The sandy area of this beach is on the small side, but there are shady spaces where families could camp out close to the sand. There are also strategic spots where a parent could watch both the beach and the playground.

Lake McCarrons County Park

Park amenities include a playground and guarded beach. There is also space for picnics and fishing.

Roseville bike trails

Start: CENTRAL PARK Lexington Ave parking lot and bike your way around Bennet Lake to the Victoria West portion of the park. Pause for the big playground! Continue your route west to Dale Street through the Muriel Sahlin Arboretum.
Finish: HARRIET ALEXANDER NATURE CENTER. Bikes aren’t allowed on the boardwalks so you’ll need to park yours to explore on foot.
Distance: This is an easy trip of less than two miles.

Start: RESEVOIR WOODS trailhead parking lot. Bike the Trout Creek Trail west through the park until you reach McCarrons Blvd.
Finish: From McCarrons Blvd, you can choose to bike further west around the lake to LAKE MCCARRONS COUNTY PARK and hit the small beach, or bike north to Villa Park. There is a surprising amount of wildlife in these urban parks – see how much you can spot along the way!
Distance: This is another biking option under two miles, but the terrain is often rolling.

Roseville summer library events

The ROSEVILLE LIBRARY is the largest branch of the Ramsey County Library system. We recommend this library as one of the best for its creative spaces and extensive youth programming. Ramsey County recently announced that they will be enhancing the Children’s Reading Garden with interactive STEAM elements. Families can currently relax and read on the benches provided, picnic at the tables, or play in the prairie area. See the library events calendar for upcoming summer programs.


Shoreview Parks – summer events

Shoreview Commons Park

Shoreview summer festivals

Slice of Shoreview Days

Held at ISLAND LAKE COUNTY PARK, the festival includes a parade and free kids activities – chalk art, slip’n slide (July 24) & climbing wall. July 23-25, 2021

Shoreview swimming & beaches

Snail Lake Regional Park

The beach is tucked away in a pocket of the north Metro, less populated, grassy, shaded and shallow with a sand-and-water play structure right at the shoreline. We only wish the unique playground equipment was closer to the water.

Snail Lake Beach - 20 Twin Cities Beaches, Parks & Playgrounds to Try This Summer
Snail Lake Regional Park beach, Shoreview


Shoreview summer library events

The SHOREVIEW LIBRARY is a branch of the Ramsey County Library system. The new location opened in 2017 with a large children’s area that includes a small, interactive treehouse play structure installed by the Minnesota Children’s Museum. See the library events calendar for upcoming summer programs.

Shoreview Library - Ramsey County

St Anthony Village

St Anthony Village parks – summer events

Silverwood Park

Silverwood offers a combo of natural space and art for exploring at leisure. If you prefer guided exploration, there are regular free artist and naturalist led hikes.

Silverwood Park, St Anthony


St Anthony Village splash pads

Emerald Park, St Anthony

Vadnais Heights

Vadnais Heights parks – summer events

Vadnais Heights Music in the Parks

The lineup features 3 shows in 2021 at parks in Vadnais Heights: July 14, Bridgewood Park; July 28, Lily Pond Park & August 25, Bear Park. 6-8pm.

Vadnais Heights summer festivals

Vadnais Heights Heritage Days

Offers a medallion hunt, kids parade, children’s activities, live bands and fireworks. Aug 9-15, 2021.

white bear lake

White Bear Lake nature play

Tamarack Nature Center

What really shines at Tamarack is its glorious outdoor DISCOVERY HOLLOW & GARDEN, the ultimate nature playground for kids. Bring a change of clothes and prepare to spend hours if you’re able. Every Saturday, June – September, Tamarack hosts Drop-In Discovery Days at the interpretive center that are free, family-friendly, and based around nature and animals.

Discovery Hollow Nature Play Area, White Bear Lake


White Bear Lake community entertainment


Food trucks and art vendors in downtown, plus live music on 2 stages. Thursdays, July 1-Aug 5, 2021, 6-9pm.

White Bear Lake summer festivals

Manitou Days

Annual festival events include the Grande Parade, a medallion hunt, beach dance, July 4th fireworks, and a kids fishing contest. July 1-11, 2021.

White Bear Lake swimming & beaches

White Bear Lake County Park

The park has a good sized playground and several picnic tables throughout the park as well as a guarded beach during the summer months.

White Bear Lake summer library events

The WHITE BEAR LAKE LIBRARY is a branch of the Ramsey County Library system. See the library events calendar for upcoming summer programs.

150+ things to do this summer in the twin cities with kids!


Drop us a comment if you are aware of something else in the Twin Cities Northwest Metro that we missed.  We will share it with the community.

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