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Lake Harriet Park
4135 W Lake Harriet Parkway, Minneapolis, MN 55409
Lake Harriet South Beach, 4612 E Lake Harriet Pkwy, Minneapolis, MN 55419
Lake Harriet Bandshell, 4135 W Lake Harriet Pkwy, Minneapolis, MN 55409
Lake Harriet North Beach, 4180 East Lake Harriet Parkway Minneapolis, MN 55409
Admission: $0.00
Pay Lot: Parking prices range from 75 cents to $1.50 per hour. Annual Permits Also Available
Concessions Available
Hours of Operation:
Mon. 06:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Tue. 06:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Wed. 06:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Thu. 06:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Fri. 06:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Sat. 06:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Sun. 06:00 AM – 10:00 PM

This family-friendly park on the shores of Lake Harriet in Minneapolis includes swimming, picnicking, playgrounds, entertainment and more. It is consistently one of Minnesota’s top tourist destinations and locals love it, too. Amenities include a large bandstand, two beach locations, paved walking and biking trails, and a fishing pier. This park has a pay lot, but you can get an app to pay online with your phone. We share a link with more information at the bottom of this article.

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Two girls watching sailboats as they eat Rootbeer Floats from The Bread & Pickle at Lake Harriet Park in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Rootbeer Floats by the sailboats

10 Ideas for Family Fun at Lake Harriet Park

  1. Lake Harriet Bandshell hosts a variety summer concerts and movies. These events are popular, so arrive early and don’t forget to play to pay for parking.
  2. There are various other lakeside activities throughout the year, such as the Lake Harriet Kite Festival in January.
  3. A nice-sized playground near the bandshell allows kids to run and have fun before (or during) the music and movies.
  4. Grab a snack or a meal at Lake Harriet’s pavilion concession stand, The Bread & Pickle daily between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. You can find restrooms here, too.
  5. Bike the Chain of Lakes Regional Park. Besides Lake Harriet Park, the Chain of Lakes includes the lake shores of Brownie Lake, Cedar Lake, Lake of the Isles and Bde Maka Ska, all of which are connected by bicycle paths that connect to other bike paths leading all over the metro area.
  6. Families can walk around Lake Harriet, however, it is not a short walk. If you are bringing small children, you may want to bring a stroller. The paved walking path is approximately a 3-mile loop and accommodates both pedestrians and bikers.
  7. Rent a canoe, pedal Boat, kayak, or paddleboard. Wheel Fun Rental manages bike and boat rentals at this and other Minneapolis Parks. The boat launch is found just east of the bandshell.
  8. Bring swimsuits and hit one of the beaches in the summer months.
  9. Go Fishing. The Minnesota DNR tells us that Lake Harriet has bluegill, crappie, Muskie, northern pike, largemouth bass, walleye, yellow perch, bullhead and carp.
  10. Anne lists Lake Harriet Park among her favorite 10 Places for the Perfect Picnic in Minneapolis. Grab an open space at a picnic shelter, an open-air picnic table or just spread a blanket in the grass.

Picnic bench near the bandshell at Lake Harriet Park in Minneapolis Minnesota
Anne lists Lake Harriet Park among her favorite Places for the Perfect Picnic in Minneapolis, MN

Two Lake Harriet Beaches

Lifeguards are employed at Lake Harriet North Beach daily from mid-June through late August between noon and 7:00 p.m. On days when the temperature is 85 degrees or warmer at 6 p.m., lifeguard hours will be extended until 8 p.m. Lake Harriet Southeast Beach has no lifeguard on duty. Find both on the map at the bottom of this article.

It is generally safe to swim in Lake Harriet. MPRB monitors bacteria levels and closes the beach when it is unsafe. If you want to save yourself a trip and check before heading out for a day at the beach, you can find up-to-date water quality information here.

Playground at Lake Harriet Park in Minneapolis Minnesota

Movies and Music at Lake Harriet Park

The bandshell hosts summer concerts every day of the week except Wednesdays. Monday-Saturday: at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. We usually post the schedules on our Family Fun Calendar and include a link on our list of Free Summer Music in the Parks. With four kids, I can’t get out to see local music as much as I’d like. Summer concerts can be a great family, friendly way to catch up. However, if you plan to go to often, you may want to purchase a parking permit. An annual permit is $35.00. Pay lots range from 75 cents to $1.50/hour. It would only take 10 3-hour visits to Lake Harriet or other parks with pay lots to make it worth your money.

For both movies and concerts, the park system suggests you bring a lawn chair and/or grab a blanket (although there is seating at Lake Harriet); bring a picnic or snacks; use sunscreen and bug spray as necessary. Outdoor events are weather dependent, so if you don’t want to waste a trip, check Facebook or Twitter before heading out.

Movies start 15 minutes after sunset on select Fridays, and are historically family friendly offerings.

Lake Harriet Park Movie Night
Sometimes FREE summer music is followed by a FREE Movie.

Visitors will find plenty to do at this picturesque park.  Add it to your Twin Cities summer to-do list.

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