Twin Cities Southwest Metro: Things To Do This Summer

Twin Cities Southwest Metro: Things To Do This Summer – Covering the Twin Cities, Minnesota, communities of Bloomington, Chaska, Eden Prairie, Edina, Golden Valley, Hopkins, Minnetonka, New Hope, Richfield, Shakopee, St Louis Park & Victoria.

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.

Enter our Summer to Remember Family Adventure!

FFTC is taking back the year of 2020 starting NOW! We invite you to help us make a “Summer to Remember” with our fun family challenge. Enter your adventures each week to win prizes from our fantastic partners: Wheel Fun Rentals, Kerfoot Canopy Tours, Snapology, and SweetSpot Baseball. Each week is a new opportunity to win! Enter 6 adventures to be entered into our grand prize drawing from Kerfoot Canopy Tours: a family pack worth worth $360.Sign up at this link:


Please note that many of these venues will be closed for the 2020 season or are postponing their openings. For instance, Three Rivers Play Areas were still closed as of 6/10/20. Please makes sure to call ahead and check the schedule.

Not the Twin Cities community you’re searching for? We’re also covering the following:

Twin Cities Northwest Metro: Things To Do This Summer
Twin Cities Northeast Metro: Things To Do This Summer
Twin Cities Southeast Metro: Things To Do This Summer


Bloomington parks – summer events

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

Hyland Lake Park Reserve: Hyland Lake is part of the larger Hyland-Bush-Anderson Lakes Park Reserve and contains such delights as a nature center, gigantic playground, disc golf course and two swimming beaches. To entertain on a budget this summer try:

  • Richardson Nature Center is stuffed with bright, interactive exhibits and is home to live raptors. Outdoors, kids can play and build freely in the Nature Exploration Area.
  • June Free Family Fun Days are held ongoing Sundays, 3-4pm based out of the nature center.
Richardson Nature Center in the Twin Cities Southwest Metro
Richardson Nature Center in the Twin Cities Southwest Metro

Bloomington Arts in the Parks

All Arts in the Parks events have been delayed until at least September 1 2020.

Bloomington summer festivals

Bloomington Summer Fete: The annual summer event include a carnival, live music and fireworks at dusk. Learn more about Bloomington’s at Normandale Lake Park. July 3, 5-10pm. CANCELLED.

Bloomington swimming & beaches

Bush Lake Beach: The popular, sandy beach is located on the east side of Bush Lake in Bloomington. It is guarded during open hours (11am to 7pm daily during the season) and amenities include a volleyball court and concessions stand. Families can canoe, picnic and explore the trails. An annual tradition, each June a sandcastle building contest is hosted at Bush Lake Beach. A daily pass ($8) is required to enter the beach June through August. 2020 Update: Bush Lake Beach opens June 12, 2020. There will be no lifeguards, but the parking permit requirement will be waived.

Bloomington Family Aquatic Center: Open June 11 – August 30 2020.

Fun features include a zero-depth entry pool, aqua climbing wall, water slides, diving boards, and a concession stand. Tot Time is held 10am to 12pm on weekdays for children ages 6 & under. Find more community Tot Time Open Swims.

Find more of the best Twin Cities beaches and playgrounds.

The Bloomington Family Aquatic Center will remain closed through the 2020 season.


Chaska parks – summer events

Firemen’s Park: Chaska’s Firemen’s Park is a summer destination for families. The park’s amenities include playgrounds, a splash pad, a beach and boardwalk, plenty of picnic space plus a concession area, flower gardens, archery range and horseshoe pits.

Chaska summer festivals

Fire & Ice Festival: Friday nite Beach Bash, Fun in the Park & free root beer floats. Get more details on Chaska’s July 17-18, 2020. CANCELLED

Chaska swimming & beaches

Clayhole Swim Beach: Firemen’s Park surrounds Clayhole Lake and Swim Beach. We rate this one of the best beaches for families in the Twin Cities.


Eden Prairie parks – summer events

Staring Lake Park: There’s so much to explore at Staring Lake. In summer, hit up the playground, archery range, disc golf course, hiking trails and sports fields and courts. There is also free family entertainment at the Staring Lake Amphitheater throughout the summer months.

Eden Prairie Park events have been cancelled through July 5, 2020.

Staring Lake Park in the Twin Cities Southwest Metro
Staring Lake Park in the Twin Cities Southwest Metro

Eden Prairie summer festivals

Arts in the Park: Shop local artisans and take in live entertainment, lawn games, art activities and food trucks. June 6, 2020. POSTPONED TO AUG 2020

Eden Prairie 4th of July Hometown Celebration: Inflatables, chalk art, kids beach party, carnival, music and fireworks. Round Lake Park, July 3-4. CANCELLED FOR 2020

Peoplefest! The annual festival is a large-scale arts event that bring residents together in celebration of the many cultures that make the community great. July 31-Aug 15, 2020. VIRTUAL EVENT IN 2020

Eden Prairie swimming & beaches

Round Lake Park Beach: Kids will go crazy for the marine-themed splash pad and treehouse play equipment at the Round Lake Play Area. Older kids might find it fun to rent youth kayaks ($5/hr) or stand-up paddleboards ($8/hr) or bike ride the one-mile path around Round Lake. Nearby is plenty of shaded picnic space and the new Round Lake Skate Plaza.

Round Lake Park in the Twin Cities Southwest Metro
Round Lake Park in the Twin Cities Southwest Metro

Bryant Lake Regional Park: A wide range of recreational activities await families in the park: swimming in the sand-bottomed Bryant Lake, disc golf on the 18-hole course, hiking and nature watching. There is no fee to swim at the beach.


Edina parks – summer events

Centennial Lakes Park: Edina’s crown jewel of a public park is a haven for summer entertainment. Events are held daily Sun-Thurs and include family-friendly concerts at the outdoor amphitheater, Movies in the Park ongoing Thursday evenings, and the Farmers Market. Open starting Memorial Day are the park’s paddle boats, putting course & lawn games. JUNE 2020 EVENTS AT CENTENNIAL LAKES HAVE BEEN CANCELLED.

Centennial Lakes Park, Edina

Edina summer festivals

Edina Art Fair: 50th & France bustles with vendors, live music and a Kids Zone. June 6, 2020. POSTPONED TO AUG 2020

Edina 4th of July Parade: Parade, Sousa Memorial Band at 8:45 & fireworks at Rosland Park. July 4, 10pm. VIRTUAL EVENT IN 2020

Edina swimming & beaches

Edina Aquatic Center: Located in Rosland Park the outdoor pool has a pirate-theme and unique water features, a zero depth area, and water slides. For the younger kids, there is a zero-depth water playground named Lil’ Lagoon, designed specifically for them. EDINA AQUATIC CENTER IS CLOSED FOR 2020.


Golden Valley parks – summer events

Schaper Park, Golden Valley

Brookview Park: Concerts in the ParkMondays, 7pm.


Hopkins parks – summer events

Hopkins Park Adventures: Kids ages 5-12 can drop into FREE park recreation programs at a number of Minnetonka and Hopkins parks. Pre-registration is required. See the PDF for more information.

Hopkins summer festivals

Hopkins Raspberry Festival: The festival includes Family Day in Central Park with art activities, fireworks and other entertainment and a Grande Day Parade. Learn more about the Hopkins Raspberry Festival. July 11-19, 2020. VIRTUAL EVENT IN 2020


Minnetonka parks – summer events

Minnetonka Art in the Park:

Park Adventures: Kids ages 5-12 can drop into FREE park recreation programs at a number of Minnetonka and Hopkins parks. Pre-registration is required. See the PDF for more information.

Minnetonka summer festivals

Minnetonka Summer Festival: Inflatables, petting zoo, family music, and fireworks. All activities are free except food! Held on the Minnetonka Civic Center Campus. June 27, 2020.

Minnetonka swimming & beaches

Shady Oak Beach: This 85-acre park in Minnetonka has a large, sandy beach and a play area with misters and a fossil dig. Admission is $6/pp. Hooked on Fishing family program held June 13, July 11 & Aug 15. $5/pp.

Shady Oak Beach, Minnetonka


New Hope parks – summer events

Northwood Park: Penny Carnival – July 31, 11am-1pm.

New Hope summer festivals

Duk Duk Daze: Kid bounce houses, food trucks & beer garden, live music, bingo, craft market, and bean bag tournament. Northwood Park. July 11, 2020.


Richfield parks – summer events

Richfield’s Veterans Park: Veterans Park (also called Veterans Memorial Park) is Richfield’s largest park. It is home to Legion Lake and several walking and biking paths, an outdoor pool, an ice arena, and a mini-golf course.

  • Kids Entertainment in the Park – Tuesdays starting June 9, 2020, 11am.
  • Evening Series – Tuesdays starting June 9, 2020, 6:30pm.
  • Movies in the Park – Aug 8 & 22, 2020, dusk.
  • Richfield Farmers Market – Don’t miss getting your fresh produce at the weekly farmers market – let the kids have the run of the large playground while you shop. Saturdays starting May 16, 2020. 7am-12pm.
Veterans Park, Richfield

Richfield community parks:

  • Summer Playground: Free supervised activities for kids ages 6-12 at Augsburg & Jefferson Parks. See PDF for more information. Mon-Thurs starting June 15, 9am-3pm.
  • Pop Up Play in the Park: Activities and entertainment in a number of Richfield Parks. Please see PDF brochure for dates and locations. 6:30-8pm.

Wood Lake Nature Center: Explore the indoor exhibits, outdoor trails and the nature play area. Check out a free nature exploration backpack at the front desk.

Wood Lake Nature Center

Richfield summer festivals

Richfield Red, White & Blue Days: Celebrate with Family Night Kids Parade, 4th of July Parade and fireworks to follow. July 2-4, 2020.

Richfield swimming

Richfield Outdoor Pool: Open June 5-August 23, 2020. Admission $8-$10/pp.

  • Tot Time – Ages 7 & under. Mon-Sat, 10-11am.
  • Poolapalooza – June 27, 2020. $8/pp.


Shakopee parks – summer events

Shakopee community parks

  • Performance & Event Series – Huber Park. Wed starting May 28, 2020, 7pm.
  • Pop-up Splash PadsFridays, 5-7pm. Please see PDF for park locations.
  • Shakopee Summer Carnival: Games, prizes and treats for kids ages 3-10. Lions Park. Aug 7, 2020. $5/admission.

Shakopee summer festivals

Happy Birthday America Parade: Starts at Lions Park shelter. July 3, 10:30am.

Shakopee swimming & beaches

SandVenture Aquatic Park: Open June 8-Aug. 23, 2020. Admission is $3-$7/pp. A hybrid between a pool and a beach, SandVenture Aquatic Park is chlorinated but surrounded by sand for a beach-going experience. The park is home to two 12-drop slides and a 300-foot waterslide. CLOSED FOR 2020 SEASON

  • Splish ‘n Splash Tot Time – Ages 6 & under with adult. Fridays, 9:45-10:45am. $5/child.
  • Friday Family Beach Bash – June 26, 4-8pm.
  • Half-way Half-pay Day – July 16.
  • Carnival Splashtacular – Aug 7, $3/pp.
Sandventure Aquatic Park
Sandventure Aquatic Park, Shakopee


St Louis Park parks – summer events

St Louis Park community parks

Carpenter Park Skate Park: Skaters can take advantage of a plaza-style skate park includes stairs, rails and a mini half-pipe

Westwood Hills Nature Center: Westwood Hills Nature Center is a 160-acre natural area featuring marsh, woods and restored prairie. Learn more about exploring indoors and out.

St Louis Park summer festivals

St. Louis Park Parktacular: Grand Day Parade and Kidtacular family & kids activities are free or low cost. June 17-21, 2020. CANCELLED

July 4th Fireworks Celebration: Concessions, vendors, live music and fireworks. Aquila Park. 7-11pm. POSTPONED TO SUNDAY, SEPT 6, 2020.

St Louis Park swimming

St Louis Park Aquatic Center: Open July 1 – Aug 26, 2020. Admission is $6-$10/pp. The pool features sand and water play area, tot whale slide, spray arches, geysers, an aqua obstacle course, drop slides, diving boards and sun decks. OPENS JULY 1, 2020.

  • Parent & Tot Time – Kids 6 & under with adult. Mon-Fri, 9:30-11am.
  • Last day of summer event – Aug 26, 1-7pm. $1 admission w/ food shelf donation.

St Louis Park splash pad

Oak Hill Park splash pad: The 2,350-square-foot splash pad lets kids activate bubbling hoses, water nozzles and sprinkler arches. Admission is free for SLP residents and a buck for non. OPENS ON OR BEFORE JULY 1, 2020.

All St Louis Park parks and recreation programs are canceled through June 30, 2020.


Victoria parks – summer events

Carver Park Reserve: Sprawling on the western edge of the Twin Cities, Carver Park Reserve is home to a nature center, historic site, archery range, campgrounds, King Waterbird Sanctuary and many more recreational opportunities.

  • Grimm Farmhouse Open Houses – Step back in time with interpreters and old-fashioned lawn games. Saturdays, 1-4pm.
  • Lowry Nature Center – free family programs are often offered and it’s always free to explore the nature-themed playgrounds.
Grimm Farmhouse, Carver Park Reserve

Victoria Lions Park

  • Movie in the Park – July 24 & Aug 16, 2020. Dusk.
  • Family Fun Night – Music, face painting, games, crafts & bounce house. All activities are free. July 24, 7-9pm.

Victoria nature playground

Lowry Nature Center Nature Exploration Area

There are two playgrounds to explore here. The first is entirely man-made, following a “habitat” theme and prompting kids to learn about the park environment. You can climb to an osprey’s nest, peek into a “beaver dam”, tunnel like a mole and more. The second playground is a rough collection of stumps, fallen trunks, and club-sized sticks.

Lowry Nature Center in the Twin Cities Southwest Metro
Lowry Nature Center in the Twin Cities Southwest Metro

Victoria community entertainment

Victoria Recreation Center

  • Pop-up Splash Pad – Provided by the fire department. Aug 6, 1pm.
  • Truck Rodeo – Get up close to big rigs and a helicopter. July 30, 6-8pm.
  • Donuts with the Deputy for Kids – July 8, 9:30am.

Concerts in the Park: Performing at the Charlson Thun Community Bandstand. Select Wednesdays June 10-Aug 12, 2020. 6-8pm.

Victoria summer library events

The Victoria Library is a branch of the Carver County Library system, located on the first floor of  Victoria City Hall. The City of Victoria’s summer catalog (PDF) lists all of the special summer events hosted by the Victoria Library, including storytimes, StoryWalks and live entertainment.

Summer reading program: “Imagine Your Story” – win tickets to local events.

Sticking close to home this summer? We’ve modified our usual summer bucket list to reflect what’s going on in our community. Many of these activities you can go about right in your backyard – or spend time getting and exploring your parks (safely, of course.) Summer fun does NOT have to be cancelled!

If you know of something fun in the Twin Cities Southwest Metro that we missed, drop us a comment. We’ll share it with the community.

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