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.

Family Fun Twin Cities Ultimate Guide to a Summer to Remember



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.
  • Nature Centers without Walls is held ongoing Sundays in June, 1-3pm 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

Bloomington summer festivals

Bloomington Summer Fete

The annual summer event includes a carnival, live music and fireworks at dusk. Learn more about Bloomington’s at Normandale Lake Park. July 3, 2021.

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. 

Bloomington Family Aquatic Center

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. Open June 5 – August 15 2021.

Find more of the best Twin Cities beaches and playgrounds.


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

The festival has been moved to Oct 15-16, 2021.

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

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.

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. Aug 21, 2021.

Eden Prairie 4th of July Hometown Celebration

Inflatables, chalk art, kids beach party, carnival, music and fireworks. ROUND LAKE PARK, July 2-4, 2021.


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 30-Aug 15, 2021.

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. 

Centennial Lakes Park, Edina

Other Community Entertainment

Theatre & Storytelling with Children’s Theatre Company.

50th & France on the plaza. Weekly on Saturdays from 10am-10:30am or 10:30am-11am. Storytelling, imaginative play, collaborative storytelling, music, and family engagement, exploring beloved children’s books together.  FREE.

Edina summer festivals

Edina Art Fair

50th & France bustles with vendors, live music and a Kids Zone. CANCELLED FOR 2021, look for it in 2022.

Edina 4th of July Parade

Annual Parade, July 3, 2021.

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. 

golden valley

Golden Valley parks – summer events

Schaper Park, Golden Valley

Brookview Park

Concerts in the Park Mondays, June 7-Aug 9, 2021. 7pm.


Hopkins parks – summer events

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.  July 14-18, 2021.


Minnetonka parks – summer events

Minnetonka Art in the Park:

Minnetonka summer festivals

Minnetonka Summer Fest

Inflatables, petting zoo, family music, and fireworks. All activities are free except food! Held on the Minnetonka Civic Center Campus. June 26, 2021.

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.

Shady Oak Beach, Minnetonka

new hope

New Hope parks – summer events

New Hope summer festivals

Wet & Wild Water Fun Day

Three giant water slides, a kiddie slide and sprinkler fun provided by West Metro Fire’s aerial truck. Aug 6, 2021, $3-$5/pp.

New Hope HeyDey Festival

New Hope’s new festival (f/k/a Duk Duk Daze) arrives Aug 14, 2021

New Hope swimming

New Hope Aquatic Center

The new swimming spot includes a recreational pool with zero-depth entry, a current channel, vortex pool and body slides. Open June 5-Aug 15, 2021.


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 ParkTuesdays starting June 8 , 2021, 11am.
  • Evening Series Tuesdays starting June 8, 2021, 6:30pm.
  • 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 15, 2021. 7am-12pm.
Veterans Park, Richfield

Richfield community parks:

  • Summer Playground: Free supervised activities for kids ages 6-12 at 6 Richfield parks. See PDF for more information. Mon-Thurs starting June 21, 2021, 9am-3pm.

Richfield Nature Play

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. CANCELLED FOR 2021.

Richfield swimming

Richfield Outdoor Pool

Opens June 11, 2021. Admission $8-$10/pp.

  • Tot Time – Ages 7 & under. Mon-Sat, 10-11am.


Shakopee parks – summer events

Shakopee community parks

Shakopee summer festivals

Happy Birthday America Parade

Starts at SHAKOPEE LIONS PARK shelter. July 2, 2021, 10:30am.

Shakopee swimming & beaches

SandVenture Aquatic Park

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. Opens June 11, 2021. Admission is $3-$7/pp.

Sandventure Aquatic Park
Sandventure Aquatic Park, Shakopee

Shakopee Splash Pad

The splash pad is located at SHAKOPEE LIONS PARK next to the inclusive, FUN-FOR-ALL PLAYGROUND.

Lion fountain at the Lions Park Splash Pad in Shakopee Minnesota
Splash pad

st louis park

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.

St Louis Park Nature Play

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. WOLFE PARK, June 19, 2021.

July 4th Fireworks Celebration

Concessions, vendors, live music and fireworks. Aquila Park. 7-11pm

St Louis Park swimming

St Louis Park Aquatic Center

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 June 2, 2021. Admission is $6-$10/pp.

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. 


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. CURRENTLY NOT OPEN.
  • 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

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 5, 2021, 1pm.
  • Truck Rodeo – Get up close to big rigs and a helicopter. July 29, 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: Tails & Tales 2021.

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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