Discover a new outdoor play space! We can help you find some of the best playgrounds Minneapolis, St. Paul and greater Minnesota. Looking for specifics like a playground, swimming spot or bike trail? Want to find the perfect place to a pitch a tent or your city’s best sledding hill? Search by all of these amenities and more in our Twin Cities Parks & Playgrounds Search by selecting a category from the drop down menu or typing in the keyword of your choice in the search box. You can even enter an address and select a radius to search by city or region of the Metro.
Plus, find park hours, fees, directions, pictures and other extras.
Lake Harriet Park park offers picturesque views of the lake and the city. The bandshell hosts a variety summer concerts. A nice-sized playground near the bandshell allows kids to run and have fun before (or during) the music and movies.
There are various lakeside activities throughout the year, such as the Lake Harriet Kite Festival in January. Lake Harriet is part of the chain of lakes, so it is a nice place for bike rides and walks.
Grab a snack or a meal at Lake Harriet's pavilion restaurant, The Bread & Pickle daily between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.
Beaches at Lake Harriet Park
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.
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.
For more outdoor play ideas:
- 10 of the Best Twin Cities Playgrounds
- 20 Twin Cities Beaches, Parks & Playgrounds to Try This Summer
- Nature Playgrounds in the Twin Cities - Get Back to Green
Check out our Parks and Playgrounds Pinterest Board.
The Family Fun Twin Cities Parks & Playgrounds Search directory is your one stop for the best Twin Cities Park Guide! We share some of the best playgrounds in the Twin Cities in this directory. We are so passionate about how awesome are parks are, that we don't want you to stop with 10 parks or even 150 parks! There are so many parks in the metro area, you could visit a new one every day for some free Twin Cities family fun and still not have seen them all in 5 years.
We've currently reviewed over 400 parks in this directory, but we would love to hear from you! What do YOU think are the best parks in the Twin Cities? How about the best parks in Minnesota? What parks did we completely miss? What is your favorite little unknown gem? We really want to share all your favorite indoor playgrounds and outdoor parks! Let us know and we'll add a review here.
Twin Cities parks are great for hiking, biking, rollerblading, kayaking, canoeing and other fun physical games. But, they are also just great for hanging out in a hammock and picnicking while the kids explore and enjoy some of the best playgrounds in Minnesota. Let's enjoy our parks:
In Minnesota indoor playgrounds are a necessity! I know we think of outdoors when we think of parks, but with our long, dark and cold winters, some indoor active games are a must. You can even have indoor picnics at these parks. This such a great way to stretch the summer feeling into the winter! Check out some of the best indoor playgrounds in the Twin Cities this winter.
Outside Parks and Outdoor Waterparks
Minnesota has these, too! And during our short summer, we want to take advantage of them as much as possible! best In fact, the Minneapolis and St. Paul Parks are some of the best outdoor playgrounds twin cities - actually in the country. They win awards - every year! Look and See. Every. Single. Year. So get out to our area parks, make up some fun games to play.
Some of the best beaches in the Twin Cities are hidden little gems. Anne has her favorite 20 Twin Cities Beaches, Parks & Playgrounds to Try This Summer. She revises the list every year to keep us in the know.
Shakespeare in the Park at Twin Cities Parks
One of my favorite ways to enjoy our parks is with a play or musical in a park. It doesn't really have to be Shakespeare, it can be the latest Disney princess musical or even a puppet wagon. In fact, sometimes Open Eye Figure Theatre's driveway tour has some park stops. Watch our Performing Arts page each summer to find these fun, free park events.
Music in the Parks - Minneapolis, St. Paul, Suburbs
Nothing says easy summertime fun like music in the parks! The best thing is, there is seriously a concert every night of the week from Memorial Day until Labor Day. Obviously, some get cancelled due to weather, but pick any nice night, take a look at the Family Fun Twin Cities calendar and you can find music in a park. No sign up, no tickets, no money, no commitment. Show up, bring a picnic, play at some of the best playgrounds in Minnesota and relax to great music.
Movies in the Parks at Twin Cities Parks
One thing I love about Movies in the Park is that they tend to screen at some of the best playgrounds in Minneapolis and the greater Twin Cities. I love to make it a full evening with a picnic and some fun outdoor kid games and Park Games for Kids. This is a good time to see newer kids movies that you didn't catch in the theater or to introduce your kids to your own childhood favorites without having to gamble on library DVD quality.
Active indoor games for preschoolers are something we are always on the search for when the weather is uncooperative. The parks have a lot to offer with their tot times and open gym slots. For instance, they often offer riding toys, hula hoops, games to play with preschoolers, balls of all kinds, climbing structures, fun games for toddlers, etc.
Looking for the Best Playgrounds and Parks Beyond the Twin Cities?
If you are traveling outside the metro, you'll want to check out some of our favorite day-trip parks. If you are going further than that, we have a list of great family-owned websites to direct you to the best parks around the country so you don't have to depend on national websites or random internet searches.