THINGS TO DO IN THE TWIN CITIES WITH KIDS OF ALL AGES
All of a sudden it’s June! Are any of you out there in my boat — both excited and leery at the thought of another school year ending and a wide expanse of days ahead to fill with…well…whatever floats that boat we’re in? As much as I love watching my kids enjoy their free time by figuring out how to entertain themselves, it’s an absolute must for me to have some fun days out planned to anticipate. To help you out, we’ve compiled some of the best in things to do in the Twin Cities, sorted by age, for the month of June. Babies, toddlers, preschoolers, grade schoolers, tweens and teens – we’ve had them all! We understand how important it is to be able to find activities to do that can in get everyone in the family involved.
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THINGS TO DO WITH YOUR BABY IN THE TWIN CITIES – JUNE
Three of my four babies were born in the spring. And we all know how finicky a Minnesota spring can be, weather-wise (my first child arrived in late April and we drove home from the hospital in a snow shower…). Come June I was more than antsy to break out of the house and get some fresh air and sunshine on my new little bundles. But where to go? My main requirements: a stroller-friendly path or trail comfortable to travel with a baby strapped to my front. Relative peace and quiet highly desired, if possible. Feel yourself relaxing simply at the thought? A few places we recommend for an early summer stroll with your baby:
1 Theodore Wirth Parkway, Minneapolis, MN 55422
Lots of options for tranquility with baby here on a lovely June day:
– take a self-guided walk (borrow a Garden Guidebook at the Visitor Center to bring along)
– take a structured Garden Walk with a naturalist. Tues-Sun, 11am, FREE.
– GOT PRESCHOOLERS ALONG, TOO? Garden Storytime and activities for younger kids are hosted by a naturalist. Thursdays, 10am & Saturdays, 2pm. FREE.
Minneapolis-St Paul area gardens & arboretums
These parks tend to be more peaceful as they do not include the play equipment that draws energetic little locals. Stroll quietly with baby along landscaped paths, pause by a trickling fountain and be sure to stop to smell the flowers:
- MAPLE GROVE ARBORETUM – Find the Angel of Hope statue, discover a small waterfall or, if older kids are along, download the arboretum’s Tree Bingo activity. 9400 Fernbrook Lane North, Maple Grove, MN.
- MINNEAPOLIS LYNDALE PARK ROSE GARDEN – Fragrant summer roses, pollinators and a peace garden are sure to soothe. 1300 West 42nd Street, Minneapolis, MN 55409.
- EDINA’S ARNESON ACRES PARK – 28 different gardens bursting with blooms, a peaceful Memory Garden, and a greenhouse. 4711 W 70th St, Edina, MN 55424.
- ROSEVILLE’S MURIEL SAHLIN ARBORETUM – Sit beside the large water fountain and learn about the various themed gardens. 2525 Dale Street North, Roseville, MN, 55113.
Feel like taking a road trip to a state park?
I believe our son was just over a month old when we jumped into the car on a June morning and headed out for his first trip to a Minnesota State Park. If I remember correctly, we actually made a weekend of it and took him hiking around several of the parks. If you’re skittish about taking baby too far from home, however, there are 9 MINNESOTA STATE PARKS located within 60 miles of the middle of the Twin Cities metro area. SPECIAL EVENT! National Get Outdoors Day means you get FREE admission to any Minnesota State Park in the system. Take advantage of the nudge and get exploring outdoors with your baby! June 10, 2023.
Or relax indoors with your baby
5315 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55419
Blooma Yoga staunchly supports new parents both pre-and-post partum with prenatal yoga, baby-wearing classes, BYOB (bring-your-own-baby) classes and FREE new mom meetups. Drop-in classes run $24 apiece or you can choose a monthly membership option.
TODDLERS OR PRESCHOOLERS IN TOW? Blooma offers yoga classes tailored specially to young children.
THINGS TO DO WITH TODDLERS & PRESCHOOLERS IN THE TWIN CITIES – JUNE
Splish, splash and all of that
Perhaps they’re not quite ready to swim but you just can’t keep them out of the water? We’ve been there with our own splash-happy toddlers and preschoolers and can offer three solid solutions for a refreshing summer:
These aren’t so much swimming holes as simple spots where you might beat the heat with your pre-pool ready youngsters. We have organized more than 40 spray parks by region of the Minneapolis-St Paul for your convenience – nearly all are free of charge.
We tend to tout the free Minneapolis wading pools on our website because they are so prolific – nearly 60 spread across the city’s neighborhoods. They are an idea place for toddlers and preschoolers who have not yet learned to swim but love to make a good splash. Many of them are no-frills with a standard depth of about 18″ but an increasing number have been updated with fun spray features and zero-depth entry. All are located adjacent to a playground, rest rooms and space to spread out with a picnic.
Outside of Minneapolis, we have found simple, free wading pools in Columbia Heights and Roseville. You’ll find details on our splash pads & wading pools page.
Got a little one who’d prefer to become accustomed to the pool without those periodic (and unintentional) slaps of water in the face from sharing space with the big kids? Many local pools offer dedicated tot time open swim hours and several of them offer discounted rates for these short sessions. Families can get an hour of swim time for half the price of a full day’s admission.
Preschool jams & more in the park
Hear that, June? It’s the sound of bands tuning up for summer concerts all across the Twin Cities metro. But if you’re on this particular page – and this particular section of the page – you’re likely looking for tunes you can rock out with your preschooler to. Some suggestions for the kid-friendliest concerts in the park this summer – PLUS more to entertain your little ones:
BLOOMINGTON: Monday Morning Kids Series – Alternates between Moir Park and Valley View Park, 10:30am. Starts June 5, 2023.
BROOKLYN PARK: Family Concert at Eidem Farm – Kid-friendly, free live music in a down-home farm setting. Make sure to wander around and say hello to the animals. June 29, 2023, 6pm. 4345 101st Ave North, Brooklyn Park, MN 55443.
BURNSVILLE: Thursday Rockin’ Lunch Hour – Arrive early for story times. Whatever you do, don’t forget swimsuits for the gorgeous landscaped water feature. Ongoing Thursdays starting June 15, 2023, noon.
CHASKA: Chaska Summer Concert Series – Features entertainment just for the youngsters. Tuesday, June 20, 2023. Firemen’s Park, 3210 Chaska Blvd, Chaska, MN 55318.
EDINA: Centennial Lakes Summer Concerts – Tuesday & Thursday Kids Concerts at Maezold Amphitheater at 11am. Centennial Lakes Park, 7499 France Avenue South, Edina, MN 55435.
ELK RIVER: Entertainment in the Park – Kid-friendly entertainment such as a raptor show and a yo-yo master. Thursdays, June 15-29, 2023. 10:30-11:15am. Woodland Trails Regional Park, 20135 Elk Lake Rd NW, Elk River, MN 55330.
OTSEGO: Splash & Play Tuesday – Cool off in the park’s splash pad and enjoy kids entertainment. Kidsdance – Fun Interactive DJ, June 20, 2023.
RICHFIELD: Entertainment in The Park – Children’s Series runs each Tuesday starting June 13, 2023, 11am. Richfield Band Shell, 636 E 66th Street, Richfield, MN 55423.
Where can I find the puppet shows?
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. Starts June 12, 2023.
BROOKLYN CENTER: Palmer Puppets Playhouse – Activities for kids followed by a puppet storytime in the park. June 10, 2023, 10am. FREE. West Palmer Park, 7110 Palmer Lake Drive, Brooklyn Center, Minnesota 55430.
EAGAN: Spark! Mobile Puppet Wagon – A 20-minute show in 10 of the city’s parks. Mon-Fri, please see link for times. Starts June 20, 2023.
GOLDEN VALLEY: Puppet Wagon – Hits a variety of local parks on Tuesdays & Thursdays. Starts June 13, 2023, 9:45am.
ROSEMOUNT: Puppets in the Park – Shows are held Fridays. Starts June 23, 2023.
ROSEVILLE: Puppet Wagon – Make way for the puppets, coming to 9 Roseville parks this summer. Tues-Thurs, starting June 21, 2023. 9:30-11:30am.
ST ANTHONY: Puppet Adventures – Join Ned as he stops Trasher the Trash Can from trashing nature. Try art making with a take-home activity. June 11, 2023, 1-3pm FREE. Silverwood Park, 2500 County Rd E, St Anthony, MN 55421.
WOODBURY: Puppet Wagon – Traveling around more than 20 Woodbury parks with fun puppet shows. See link for schedule. Ongoing Mon-Thurs. Starts June 7, 2023.
THINGS TO DO WITH SCHOOL-AGED KIDS IN THE TWIN CITIES – JUNE
Time to hit the pool – outdoor swimming & waterparks
“SPLASH HAPPY” is what we’ve nicknamed our gigantic master list of the best places to swim & splash in the Twin Cities: best beaches, best swimming pools, wading pools, fun water parks and splash pads all included. For your school-aged swimmers, we recommend looking into snagging a family pass at your local pool. Our guide publishes the 2023 opening dates, admission fees and any updates made to the pools.
Strawberry fields forever (or at least most of June)
Plump, sweet and bunches of fun for kids to harvest, strawberries are the local crop of June. In Minnesota, the first ripe strawberries tend to appear around the middle of the month and last until the beginning of July. Harvesting your own produce is a great activity to do with your school-aged kids – along with deciding how ya’ll might use the fresh berries later in a recipe. Find our list of the Twin Cities-area best pick-your-own strawberry patches.
Pick a playground, any playground
Or, if you’re like me and less ends up equaling more when it comes to choices, consult our list of what we feel to be some of the TOP PLAYGROUNDS IN THE TWIN CITIES. We start you off with ten picks to celebrate the official start of summer and the season of climbing, sliding, swinging and wearing your kids out.
June festival fun for school-aged ones
Top picks for kid-friendly June festivals in the Twin Cities are as follows (insert drumroll here…):
- FLINT HILLS FAMILY FESTIVAL: Located downtown St Paul, the whole shebang, from outdoor artist performances to the exhibit and activities tent, is great for school-aged kids. Gianna offers tips for bringing the whole family. June 2-3, 2023. FREE admission and tons of free kids activities.
- UNION DEPOT TRAIN DAYS: Once again, St Paul wins this division with this festival: train equipment tours, model trains, concessions, family friendly activities and more. Train fans will not want to miss this FREE summer festival. June 3-4, 2023.
- MINNEAPOLIS STONE ARCH BRIDGE FESTIVAL: We must include this June festival on the list of the best for kids due to its proximity to cool attractions like Mill City Museum, Mill City Farmer’s Market, and St Anthony Falls Lock and Dam. Kids will love strolling across the bridge, too. Father’s Day outing idea? June 17-18, 2023. FREE admission.
THINGS TO DO WITH TWEENS & TEENS IN THE TWIN CITIES – JUNE
Time to hit the beach
Most of our teens now prefer to sack out on the sand as opposed to splashing around the local pool or waterpark, so we come prepared with suggestions for your older swimmers, too. We’ve found that beaches can be a great compromise for families, particularly those with a range of ages. Very budget-friendly, a day at the beach typically offers free admission and no rules against grilling or toting in a picnic. Bring along a frisbee, volleyball or a favorite yard game.
Shop local fairs & markets with your teen
Ask me any given Saturday what I’m facilitating with my teens and eight times out of ten the reply is something along the lines of “shopping” (complete with a weary smile and debit card). The teens can’t seem to get enough, somehow, so try turning your shop-a-thon into a legit family outing. June is a great month to move out of the stores and into the streets and parks for local browsing. Our perennial favorites:
- EDINA ART FAIR: Over 250 artists and crafters to shop and, for younger ones, a Kids Zone with face painting, music and games. 50th & France district. June 2-4, 2023.
- ART IN THE HOLLOW: Over 50 visual & performing artists, many creating works onsite deep in St Paul’s Swede Hollow Park. June 3, 2023.
- GRAND OLD DAY: St Paul’s signature summer festival is back along Grand Avenue, one of the best shopping arteries in the city. There’s a big parade, live music and kids activities, too. June 4, 2023.
- MINNEAPOLIS OPEN STREETS: The streets are closed to motor vehicles and open for pedestrians and cyclists to explore area businesses (many of which will have some kind of family-friendly activity to draw you in.) East Lake Street from 2nd Ave S to 22nd Ave S East Lake Street. June 10, 2023.
Free flicks in the parks
Summer movies in the park are a classic choice to enjoy together with older kids who can stay up past sunset. Pack in your own popcorn, drinks and treats and you’ve got yourself a cheap night at the movies! Our guide to FREE SUMMER MOVIES IN THE PARKS covers all corners of the Twin Cities metro so there’s bound to be some screening in yours.
Play a round of outdoor mini golf
Yes, I can still rouse my teens away from their smartphones and snapchat by suggesting a trip to play miniature golf in the summertime. And you can, too! Especially armed with this guide to the best outdoor MINIATURE GOLF COURSES IN THE TWIN CITIES. Quick hits we’ve enjoyed:
- BIG STONE MINI GOLF & SCULPTURE PARK, Minnetrista: Part mini golf course, part outdoor art gallery equals a totally fun family outing.
- WHEEL FUN MINI GOLF, Richfield: There’s a playground and snack shack nearby, helpful if you have younger kids.
- SKYLINE MINI GOLF AT WALKER ART CENTER, Minneapolis: Add a trip to the art museum onto your golf ticket for a fabulous outing with your teen.