Twin Cities Southeast Metro: Things To Do This Summer

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Twin Cities Southeast Metro: Things To Do This Summer – Covering the Twin Cities, Minnesota, communities of Apple Valley, Burnsville, Cottage Grove, Eagan, Inver Grove Heights, Mendota Heights, Rosemount & Woodbury.

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

TWIN CITIES SOUTHEAST METRO SUMMER EVENTS 2023

APPLE VALLEY

Apple Valley parks – summer events

Music in Kelley Park

6855 Fortino St, Apple Valley, MN 55124
Free summer concerts in the park, food available for purchase, prizes and a splash pad for the kids to cool off in.
Starts mid-June, 2023. Ongoing Fridays,, 6-9pm.

Apple Valley community parks:
  • APPLE VALLEY PUPPET WAGON: Visits 16 Apple Valley parks over the course of the week – Mon-Fri followed by a traveling puppet wagon show craft. Please check the link for parks & times. June 12- August 11, 2023.
  • SUMMER PARKS PLAYGROUND PROGRAM – Six sessions this summer just $6/session for supervised programming 4 days per week at two Apple Valley parks. Plus, pop-up playground programs on select Fridays. Please see the link for the details. June 19-Aug 10, 2023. 9am-12pm.
  • FAMILY OUTDOOR STORYTIMEStories for toddlers and preschoolers at KELLEY PARK. Tuesdays, June 13-July 25, 2023. (No July 4) 9:30am. FREE.

Apple Valley summer festival

Apple Valley Freedom Days

Carnival, Music in the Park, Family Fun Night and the Freedom Days Parade are all parts of the city’s annual summer festival leading up to Independence Day. June 30-July 4, 2023.

Apple Valley swimming pools

Apple Valley Family Aquatic Center

14421 Johnny Cake Ridge Rd., Apple Valley, MN 55124
The outdoor swimming facility includes multiple waterslides, a diving well and a lazy river for soaking up the sun. A new “spray ground” opened last summer. Open June 8 – August 25, 2023. $13/pp.

Redwood Community Outdoor Pool

311 150th St. W. Apple Valley, MN 55124
A smaller and less expensive outdoor. swimming option than the Aquatic Center. Open June 8-August 25, 2023, 12:30-4pm. Just $5/pp. 

Apple Valley splash pad

Kelley Park splash pad

The large, animal-themed splash pad is open during the summer months between 9am-9pm. 6855 Fortino St, Apple Valley, MN 55124

Apple Valley summer library events

The GALAXIE LIBRARY is a branch of the Dakota County Library system. We recommend this library for its creative Play and Learn Space. See the library events calendar for upcoming summer programs.

Summer reading program: Read, write, draw and play during Summer Discovery, starting June 12, 2023.

Children's Space at Galaxie Library in Apple Valley Minnesota "Kids who read grow up to succeed."
Children’s Space at Galaxie Library in Apple Valley

BURNSVILLE

Burnsville parks – summer events

Want to get out and play in Burnsville parks this summer? Great idea to get moving! Try starting with our list of the best: BURNSVILLE FAMILY FUN – 9 Fun Parks To Explore This Summer.

Twin Cities Southeast Metro: Things To Do This Summer

Burnsville community parks

Nicollet Commons Park

12550 Nicollet Ave, Burnsville, MN 55337
The public space is part of the area Burnsville calls the “Heart of the City“. Families will love the park’s amphitheater where the city hosts summer concerts, movies and story
times. There is also room to picnic and a beautiful water feature to splash in.

Girl playing in Nicollet Commons Park - Splash Pad in Burnsville, Minnesota

Summer activities at Nicollet Commons Park:
  • THURSDAY ROCKIN LUNCH HOUR concerts – bring a picnic lunch and swimsuits to enjoy the landscaped splash pad! June 15-Aug 17, 2023
Nicollet Commons Park, Burnsville
More summer fun in Burnsville community parks:
  • POP UP PARTY IN THE PARK – Rec leaders will pop into Burnsville parks six times throughout the summer to lead free, organized play for kids. See the link for park schedule. Select Fridays starting June 16, 2023. 10am-12pm.

Burnsville nature playground

Terrace Oaks Nature Play Area

12700-12750 Co Rd 11, Burnsville, MN 55337
Burnsville’s first official nature play area offers features that include painted animal tracks to follow, tree cookies and sticks for building, logs and rocks for climbing and jumping and log trails. FIND MORE NATURE PLAYGROUNDS IN THE TWIN CITIES SOUTHEAST METRO.

Burnsville summer festivals

Party on the Plaza

Nicollet Commons Park
A day-long community event with live music, craft vendors, kids’ activities and more. June 8, July 20 & August 24, 2023.

International Festival of Burnsville

Nicollet Commons Park
Features family crafts and cultural entertainment. July 15, 2023, 3-9pm.

Burnsville swimming & beaches

Crystal Beach Park

1101 Crystal Lake Rd E, Burnsville, MN 55306
The park is located on an isthmus between Crystal & Keller Lakes in Burnsville. Its highlight is a swimming
beach open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.  The park has a concession stand where visitors can rent canoes or paddle boards. Other family-friendly amenities include a large playground, space to picnic, and a hard-surface trail.

Find more of the best Twin Cities beaches and playgrounds.

Burnsville splash pads

  • BURNSVILLE LIONS PLAYGROUND splash pad (located in Cliff Fen Park– 120 Cliff Rd E, Burnsville, MN 55337)
  • NICOLLET COMMONS PARK operates a gorgeous, landscaped water feature (weather dependent). Pick a Thursday for Thursday Rockin’ Lunch Hours in Nicollet Commons Park beginning in June.

Twin Cities Southeast Metro: Things To Do This Summer

Burnsville summer library events

The BURNHAVEN  LIBRARY is a branch of the Dakota County Library system. See the library events calendar for upcoming summer programs.

Summer reading program: Read, write, draw and play during Summer Discovery, starting June 12, 2023.

COTTAGE GROVE

Cottage Grove parks – summer events

Free on Fridays

Free activities such as BINGO, chalk art, tie-dyeing and spin art are hosted by recreation leaders in HIGHLANDS PARK & WOODRIDGE PARK. Please see link for schedule. June 30, July 14 & 28 and August 18, 2023.

Cottage Grove summer festival

Strawberry Fest

9195 75th St S, Cottage Grove, MN 55016
Cottage Grove celebrates in Kingston Park with a free kids tractor pedal pull, free petting farm, carnival, annual Monster Bash Parade, fireworks, hot air balloon rides, Water Wars water balloon stations and more.
June 15-18, 2023.

Cottage Grove splash pad

  • HIGHLANDS PARK splash pad – 6975 Idsen Ave S, Cottage Grove, MN 55016

Cottage Grove bike trails

Cottage Grove Bike Park

West Draw Park, 7050 Meadow Grass Ave S, Cottage Grove, MN 55016
Currently recruiting all mountain biking enthusiasts – including young ones, the bike park is 2.4-acres of fun: a pump track, dirt jumps, skills area and a four-cross track. Admission is free.

Cottage Grove summer library events

The PARK GROVE LIBRARY is a branch of the Washington County Library system. We recommend this library for its preschool-friendly Play and Learn Space. They also offer preschool story times and preschool drop-in play times. See the library events calendar for upcoming summer programs.

Summer reading program: Summer Adventures at Your Libary.

Twin Cities Southeast Metro: Things To Do This Summer

EAGAN

Eagan parks – summer events

Want to get out and play in Eagan parks this summer? Excellent idea! Try starting with our carefully curated list of the best (yes, we kid-tested each one!): Eagan Family Fun: 10 Best Parks in Eagan to Explore This Summer.

Eagan Market Fest

The Eagan Central Park grounds buzz with weekly concerts and themed nights including one devoted solely to families. Get some fresh produce and let the kids enjoy the splash pad. Ongoing Wednesdays, 4-8pm starting June 7, 2023.

Eagan Splash Pad
Eagan Central Park splash pad

Lebanon Hills Regional Park

860 Cliff Rd, Eagan, MN 55123
Lebanon Hills Regional Park is the largest park in the Dakota County park system. Bring your family for miles of trails, lakes, swimming, camping and free nature programs. We personally recommend swimming at Schulze Lake Beach (see below for more) and hiking the Jensen Lake Trail with kids.

More summer fun in Eagan community parks:
  • SPARK! MOBILE PUPPET WAGONBring a blanket for the 20-minute shows, spread throughout ten of  Eagan’s parks and the Westcott Library. Mon-Fri starting June 20, 2023.
  • SPARK! IN THE PARK – Puppets and live musical performances in Eagan parks and the Eagan Art House. Thursdays, June 22-August 3, 2023. 6:15pm.

Eagan nature playground

Patrick Eagan Park Nature Play Area 

3995 Lexington Ave S, Eagan, MN 55123
This park combines elements of traditional playground equipment — like a zipline and climbing webs – with natural elements.

Eagan summer festivals

Eagan LakeFest

Blackhawk Park, 1629 Murphy Parkway, Eagan MN
Activity booths centered around fishing and live reptiles, nature coloring pages, kids plays about protecting lakes, and a visit from the Fire Department’s rescue boats. Fishing equipment provided. This event has not been announced yet for 2023. (June 4, 2022)

July 4th Funfest

Eagan Community Center Festival Grounds, 1501 Central Pkwy, Eagan, MN 55121
Independence Day in Eagan done right with a parade, carnival, music and fireworks.
July 4, 2023.

Eagan swimming & beaches

Schulze Lake Beach

860 Cliff Road, Eagan, MN 55123 
The tranquil, sandy swimming beach is just one of the gems in
LEBANON HILLS REGIONAL PARK. We’ve included in on our list of the top picks for beaches in the Twin Cities.

Schulze Lake Beach, Lebanon Hills Regional Park

Cascade Bay Water Park

1360 Civic Center Dr, Eagan, MN 55122
The outdoor destination water park in Eagan includes zero depth entry and a splashy play area for little ones, large leisure pool, the lazy river tube ride, Sandpiper Beach, seven waterslides and a miniature golf course. Little Mates Preschool Swim offers exclusive water time to children 0-6 years old between 9:30 and 10:30 a.m., every day except Wednesdays, $6/child. Opens June 9, 2023. Purchase either a half-day or all-access day pass, $11-$19/pp.

Cascade Bay Waterpark, Eagan

Eagan splash pad

  • EAGAN CENTRAL PARK splash pad – located next to a fun outdoor challenge course! 1507 Central Pkwy, Eagan, MN 55121.
Splash Pad at Central Park, Eagan, Minnesota
Splash Pad

Eagan historic sites

Holz Farm Park

4665 Manor Dr, Eagan, MN 55123
At historic Holz Farm, visitors can experience what life was like on the farm between the Great Depression of the 1930s through the 1940s World War II era. A number of special events are held at the park throughout the year. Expect down-on-the farm fun with a little bit of history mixed in
.

Holz Farm

Eagan summer library events

The WESCOTT LIBRARY is a branch of the Dakota County Library system. The library is large, bright with murals and packed with interactive materials for kids. See the library events calendar for upcoming summer programs.

Summer reading program: Read, write, draw and play during Summer Discovery, starting June 12, 2023.

While the Space has changed since these photos, Wescott Library still has play areas in its children’s area.

HASTINGS

Hastings parks – summer events

Hastings is a beautiful city to explore in the summertime. You could spend time exploring parks along the Mississippi or move a few blocks into the city to find a surprisingly powerful waterfall and a deep river gorge. Many of these city and regional parks are included on our list of the BEST THINGS TO DO IN HASTINGS, MINNESOTA, WITH KIDS.

Levee Park Summer Events

20 Ramsey St. Hastings MN
LEVEE PARK
is front and center on the river and a hub of summer entertainment starting with a kickoff party on June 6 complete with music, live raptor shows, food trucks and free kids activities. Then, a full lineup of FREE fun including:

  • Music in the ParkThursdays, June 8-August 31, 2023. 7pm.
  • Movies in the Parkone Friday/month June-September 2023, start times vary.
  • Storytime in the Parkone Wednesday/month June-September 2023, 11:15am.
  • Performances in the Parkkids entertainment one Tuesday/month June-September 2023. 6pm.

Hastings nature center

Carpenter Nature Center

12805 St Croix Trail S, Hastings, MN 55033
Perched on bluffland north of the junction between the St. Croix and Mississippi Rivers, hiking trails wind throughout the pines, savanna, prairies, ravines, an apple orchard, and along the river. Kids will also enjoy the indoor exhibits at the nature center.

Hastings bike trails

A scenic 10-mile loop circles the city of Hastings. We biked the circuit after planning the route with this map

Hastings summer festival

Hastings Rivertown Days

Levee Park & Jaycee Park, Hastings MN
Family-friendly events at the city’s summer festival include a carnival, live music and family events around Hastings. July 21-23, 2023.

Hastings swimming & beaches

Hastings Family Aquatic Center

901 Maple St, Hastings, MN 55033
Fun features at the pool include zero-depth entry and a water play area for the littlest swimmers, two substantial slides for the bigger ones, and umbrellas and deck chairs for those who need a break. Open June 9-August 27, 2023. Admission ranges from $5-$9 from 12- 5pm. Or, choose to swim Tuesday or Thursday when the pool closes at 5pm and all ages pay $7/pp.

Point Douglas Park & Beach

14593-14741 Point Douglas Dr S, Hastings, MN 55033
For those hoping for more of a traditional summer beach swim, try this simple sandy spot. The park sits on the St. Croix River, just above its confluence with the Mississippi. FFTC’s own Joy P. says her family enjoys this park for short picnic stops on their way to Wisconsin. Admission to the beach is free.

INVER GROVE HEIGHTS

Inver Grove Heights parks – summer events

Need inspiration to get out and play in Inver Grove Heights parks this summer? We certainly gave our own tour a big thumbs up. Read all about it on our list of the 10 Best Parks in Inver Grove Heights & South St Paul.

Oakwood Park

2810 70th St E, Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076
TERRIFIC TUESDAYS Come to the park for kid-friendly musical entertainment. Bring your blanket or chairs and a picnic lunch. Select Tuesdays June 20-August 1, 2023. 10:30am.

Inver Grove Heights community entertainment

  • FOOD TRUCK DAYS: The trucks roll up to Veterans Memorial Community Center for food and family fun. July 20 & August 17, 2023.

Inver Grove Heights bike trails

Harmon Park Reserve

1642 Upper 55th Street East, Inver Grove Heights MN
It’s the best in the Heights – the family will love the 4.3 mile mountain biking course that winds through Harmon Park.

Mississippi River Greenway

The paved bike trail makes its way south into Inver Grove Heights from South St Paul. Jump on at the Kaposia Landing trailhead and coast along the Mississippi to the historic Rock Island Swing Bridge in SWING BRIDGE PARK, Inver Grove Heights. A one-way trip is 7 miles.

Inver Grove Heights summer library events

The INVER GLEN LIBRARY is a branch of the Dakota County Library system. See the library events calendar for upcoming summer programs.

Summer reading program: Read, write, draw and play during Summer Discovery, starting June 12, 2023.

MENDOTA HEIGHTS

Mendota Heights Parks – Summer Events

Mendota Heights Music in the Park

720 Main St, Mendota Heights, MN 55118
Live, outdoor music in Market Square Park the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month this summer. June 14-August 23 (and Sept 6 to cap it off), 2023. 6pm.

Tour de Rec

Drop in to Mendota Heights and West St Paul parks for this FREE program on select Tuesdays. Park staff will provide activities and equipment, including games, sports, arts, crafts, and more. Best for ages 6-12. June 13-August 22, 2023. 1:30-2:30pm.

ROSEMOUNT

Rosemount parks – summer events

Rosemount Central Park

  • MUSIC IN THE PARKSKids entertainment weekly culminating in a free summer celebration at the splash pad. Thursdays, June 15 – July 20, 2023, 10am. 2893 145th St W, Rosemount, MN 55068.
  • MOVIE IN THE PARK August 12, 2023. Dusk.
Rosemount community parks
  • KIDS CORNER FREE PARK PROGRAM: Free supervised programming for kids ages 6-12 in Rosemount parks. No pre-registration necessary. Mon-Thurs, June 14-July 20, 2023. See the link for more information.
  • PUPPETS IN THE PARK: Fridays, June 23 – August 4, 2023. Please see the link for locations and times.

Rosemount summer festivals

Leprechaun Days

Celebrate with Midsummer Faire in Central Park, the Grand Day Parade and Family Fun Night. July 22-29, 2023.

Rosemount splash pad

Rosemount summer library events

The ROBERT TRAIL LIBRARY is a branch of the Dakota County Library system. See the library events calendar for upcoming summer programs.

Summer reading program: 2023’s program is Summer Discovery.

WEST ST PAUL

West St. Paul Parks – summer events

Tour de Rec

Drop in to Mendota Heights and West St Paul parks for this FREE program on select Tuesdays. Park staff will provide activities and equipment, including games, sports, arts, crafts, and more. Best for ages 6-12. June 13-August 22, 2023. 1:30-2:30pm.

West St. Paul splash pad

HARMON PARK splash pad – 230 Bernard St W, West St Paul, MN 55118.

Harmon Park splash pad in West St. Paul, Minnesota
Harmon Park splash pad

WOODBURY

Woodbury parks – summer events

Woodbury parks have much to explore – get started with our list of 19 of the best Woodbury has to offer this summer.

Woodbury community parks
  • WOODBURY PUPPET WAGON – Traveling around more than 20 Woodbury parks with fun puppet shows. See link for schedule. Ongoing Mon-Thurs, June 12-August 10, 2023.
  • STORYTIME IN THE PARK: Aimed at toddlers and preschoolers. Friday mornings in the park. See link for schedule.
Woodbury Puppet Wagon Evergreen West Park
Image via Woodbury Twitter Feed.

Woodbury summer festivals

Woodbury Days

Buttons required for many events ($5/pp or $15/4-pack – children’s coin hunts, workshops and art activities), petting zoo, magic shows and Grande Parade. Learn more at the page. Ojibway Park. August 18-20, 2023.

4th of July Hometown Celebration

Fireworks at HealthEast Sports Center, 10pm. 

Woodbury swimming & beaches

Carver Lake Park

3175 Century Ave S, Woodbury, MN 55125
Offers a family-friendly swimming beach along with a volleyball court, a picnic area, an accessible playground, and a 5 1/2 mile bike trail (hilly in many spots). This park hosts a
family campout July 7-8, 2023, $20/pp.

Woodbury splash pad

M Health Fairview Sports Center Splash pad

4125 Radio Dr, Woodbury, MN 55125
A splash pad and
MADISON’S PLACE PLAYGROUND combine to create one of the most popular playgrounds in the metro. Madison’s Place is an all-inclusive playground with sun-shaded play decks, swings, sensory play equipment and ramps for wheelchair access.

HealthEast Sports Center splash pad, Woodbury

 

Woodbury summer library events

The RH STAFFORD LIBRARY is a branch of the Washington County Library system and is located in lovely indoor Central Park. (Tip: if you need some AC this summer, combine a trip to the library with a run around LOOKOUT RIDGE INDOOR PLAYGROUND, also calling Central Park home.) The library’s summer events can be found online here.

Summer reading program: Summer Adventures at Your Library

Central Park, Woodbury

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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