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.
TWIN CITIES SOUTHWEST METRO SUMMER EVENTS 2021
Not the Twin Cities community you’re searching for? We’re also covering the following:
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 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.
Bloomington Arts in the Parks
- Monday Morning Kids Series – Moir Central Park, starts June 7, 2021 10:30am.
- Tuesday Evening Performance Series – Normandale Bandshell, starts June 8, 2021, 7pm.
- Thursday Blockbuster Series – Normandale Bandshell, June 10-August 5, 2021, 7pm.
- Friday Night Live – June 11-August 13, 2021, 9pm.
Bloomington summer festivals
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
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.
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
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.
- Kids Summer Entertainment Series – Tuesdays, June 15-Aug 27, 2021. 10:30am.
Chaska summer festivals
The festival has been moved to Oct 15-16, 2021.
Chaska swimming & beaches
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
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 Outdoor Center: Free family-friendly activities at the Nature Rocks! Open House such as hiking, hands-on interaction with live animals, craft projects and more. Watch for this venue to re-open this summer.
- Kidstock – Staring Lake Amphitheater, Tuesdays starting June 15, 2021, 10:30am
- Eden Prairie Park Players Presents: A Whole New World – free performances June 25-27, 2021, 7pm.
Eden Prairie summer festivals
Shop local artisans and take in live entertainment, lawn games, art activities and food trucks. Aug 21, 2021.
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
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.
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
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.
Edina summer festivals
50th & France bustles with vendors, live music and a Kids Zone. CANCELLED FOR 2021, look for it in 2022.
Annual Parade, July 3, 2021.
Edina swimming & beaches
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.
Minnetonka parks – summer events
Minnetonka Art in the Park:
- Music in the Park & Farmers Market – Music begins June 22. Market runs Tuesdays, June 8 – Sept 28, 2021. 7pm.
- Theater in the Park – Civic Center Park Amphitheater, Weekends, June 12-20, 2021, 1 & 5pm.
- Movie in the Park – Aug 27, sunset.
Minnetonka summer festivals
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
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.
New Hope parks – summer events
- New Hope Music in the Park – New Hope Performance Center. June 9, July 7 & Aug 11, 2021.
- New Hope Movies in the Park – Aug 17, July 15 & Aug 19, 2021.
New Hope summer festivals
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’s new festival (f/k/a Duk Duk Daze) arrives Aug 14, 2021
New Hope swimming
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
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 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.
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
Explore the indoor exhibits, outdoor trails and the nature play area. Check out a free nature exploration backpack at the front desk.
Richfield summer festivals
Celebrate with Family Night Kids Parade, 4th of July Parade and fireworks to follow. CANCELLED FOR 2021.
Opens June 11, 2021. Admission $8-$10/pp.
- Tot Time – Ages 7 & under. Mon-Sat, 10-11am.
Shakopee parks – summer events
Shakopee community parks
- Performance & Event Series – Huber Park. Wed starting June 3, 2021, 7pm.
- Pop-up Splash Pads – Fridays, 5-7pm. Please see PDF for park locations.
- Shakopee Summer Carnival: Games, prizes and treats for kids ages 3-10. Lions Park. Aug 6, 2021. $5/admission.
Shakopee summer festivals
Starts at SHAKOPEE LIONS PARK shelter. July 2, 2021, 10:30am.
Shakopee swimming & beaches
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.
- Friday Family Beach Bash – June 25, 2021, 4-8pm.
- Half-way Half-pay Day – July 16.
- Pirate Treasure Hunt – July 24, 2021.
Shakopee Splash Pad
st louis park
St Louis Park parks – summer events
St Louis Park community parks
- Summer Concert Series – Wednesdays starting June 16, 2021, 7pm.
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 is a 160-acre natural area featuring marsh, woods and restored prairie. Learn more about exploring indoors and out.
St Louis Park summer festivals
Grand Day Parade and Kidtacular family & kids activities are free or low cost. WOLFE PARK, June 19, 2021.
Concessions, vendors, live music and fireworks. Aquila Park. 7-11pm.
St Louis Park swimming
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
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
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.
- Victoria Concerts in the Park – Wednesdays, starting June 9, 2021.
- Movie in the Park – July 23, 2021.
- Family Fun Night – July 23, 2021.
Victoria nature playground
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.
Victoria community entertainment
- 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.