Twin Cities Guide to Family Activities This Weekend: September 11-12, 2021

fall leaves

Things to do in Minneapolis & St Paul this weekend!

This Twin Cities Family Weekend Guide covers the weekend of September 11-12, 2021. To find our most recent guide, click here

September is that glorious month in Minnesota where it’s still possible to run around in shirtsleeves, enjoying the sunshine. We like to make every late summer day count and have listed our picks for this weekend below. For more ideas on what to do this weekend in the Twin Cities with your kids hop over to our SEPTEMBER FAMILY GUIDE, our ULTIMATE FALL FUN GUIDE or our FAMILY FUN CALENDAR.

family festivals this weekend in the twin cities

Plan ahead for the weekends ahead with our complete listing of TWIN CITIES FALL FESTIVALS FOR THE FAMILY.

Blaine: World Fest

Cultural learning booths, and ethnic food vendors and food trucks. Sept 11,  1-4pm. FREE.

Burnsville: Burnsville Fire Muster

Festival Friday & Saturday. Don’t miss the fire truck demonstrations, annual community and fire truck parade and fireworks on Saturday.

Eagan: Eagan Art Block 

Kid and family-friendly activities, over 30 events in the 15 days. All weekend, FREE.

Edina: Fall into the Arts Festival

A nice excuse to enjoy the outdoors at CENTENNIAL LAKES PARK while the weather is still nice while viewing works by local and regional artists. Sept 11-12, FREE. 

Inver Grove Heights: Inver Grove Heights Days

Community Family Fun Night, kids treasure hunt, grand parade and fireworks. All weekend.

Minneapolis: Open Streets West Broadway 

A portion of West Broadway will be closed to traffic and open to people to explore their community. Sept 11, 11am-5pm. 

Minneapolis: Fulton Fall Festival 

A bike parade, inflatables, carnival games and a petting zoo. Held in Pershing Park. Sept 11, 11am-3pm, FREE.

Shakopee: Minnesota Renaissance Festival  

Explore the Fairy Wing Forest and Mermaid Cove, take in a maypole dance, craft a wand or pirate hat, learn to juggle and much more. Open weekends 9am-7pm. $12.50+.

Shakopee: Sever’s Fall Festival 

A full lineup of fun – obstacle course, corn maze, petting zoo, magic shows, zip line, playground and jumping pillow; additional activities extra. Open Fri-Sun, $17/pp.

St Paul: Mac-Grove Fest

Music and dance, food trucks, arts & crafts, and more. Held at Edgcumbe Rec Center. Sept 11, 11am-4pm. FREE.

Wayzata: James J. Hill Days 

Carnival, logrolling, parade, and fireworks. All weekend.

fun outdoor activities in the parks this weekend

Featured here for the weekend is just a taste of all that’s going on across the incredible Twin Cities park systems. You can get more ideas on our FAMILY FUN CALENDAR or browse the links below to search for local fun events & things to do with kids this weekend in the parks.


SILVERWOOD PARK in St Anthony Village is a favorite of the FFTC Staff. The coffee shop is a great place to have adult conversations with kids in tow. There are games and coloring materials available for the kids and art on display everywhere. Outside, Silverwood offers a combination of natural space and sculpture art for independent exploration. If you prefer guided exploration, there are regular free artist and naturalist led hikes.

The park also hosts special events such as the annual SILVERWOOD PARK FIELD TRIP this Saturday, September 11. Make it a family day of art-making, live music, creative play and an outdoor art fair. 11am-5pm, FREE.

Featured Twin Cities  Park Events this weekend

FREE FAMILY FUN DAY with Three Rivers parks

Each Sunday in September, MISSISSIPPI GATEWAY REGIONAL PARK hosts a FREE FAMILY FUN DAY with drop-in activities from 1-3pm.  If you’re from the SW Metro: RICHARDSON NATURE CENTER in Bloomington also hosts this program.

Want to explore more nature centers? Check out the links on our big list of Twin Cities nature & interpretive centers for all the details.

Minneapolis Monarch Festival at Lake Nokomis Park

Art-making activities, guided nature walks, music & monarch exhibits all in lovely LAKE NOKOMIS PARK. Sept 11, 10am-4pm, FREE.Pollinators

Pond Dakota Mission Park Living History Open houses

Hands-on living history programs fun and free of charge located in POND DAKOTA MISSION PARK in Bloomington. New themes each Saturday. Drop in Sept 11 from 1-4pm.

Family Day with the M! at Hidden Falls Park

MINNESOTA MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART is offering hands-on, water-themed activities for kids and families at HIDDEN FALLS REGIONAL PARK in St Paul. Pick up your free art kit and see if you can find the hidden waterfall in the park! Sept 12, 11am-3pm, FREE.

My kids love to go waterfall-hunting! Do yours? Check out this list we compiled over the summer of 8 TWIN CITIES WATERFALLS TO VISIT WITH KIDS. Makes for a perfect late-summer outing.

oy playing by the Hidden Falls Park waterfall in Saint Paul, Minnesota
Hidden Falls Waterfall

Art Block 2021 Kickoff Event

EAGAN ART HOUSE is again hosting the kick off to Art Block 2021 with art making, music, performances, outdoor art exhibition and activities. Bonus! The location is within PATRICK EAGAN PARK – don’t miss their great nature playground for kids! Sept 11, 10am-12pm, FREE.

Find more of the BEST NATURE PLAYGROUNDS in the Twin Cities while the weather is still prime!

Visit a twin cities apple orchard this weekend


It’s all about apples here in the Twin Cities during the month of September. Local orchards are nearly all open for business, many with special apple festivals and events going on to tickle the taste buds. Find our complete guide to family-friendly Twin Cities apple orchards or see our weekend picks below:

Last weekend we went west of Minneapolis & St Paul and highlighted Fall Harvest Orchard in Montrose and Apple Jack Orchards in Delano. This weekend we head east of the Twin Cities metro and give you the details on more of our favorite apple orchards:


Apple picking is in full swing at the orchard. Make sure you check their website before coming out to pick; they will list the variety for pick-your-own apples that day. All your favorite treats are stocked in the apple barn to take home.


Enjoy the fall season at this pretty orchard on the St. Croix River. Pick-your-own apples and pumpkins and, for more family fun, take a tractor pulled wagon ride to the corn maze ($3/ticket, weekends only) mid-September to October.

more ideas for things to do this weekend in the twin cities with kids

Free things to do on Grandparents Day – September 12

They all say it really is the best time of their lives – treat those most special of people today to an inter-generational outing. Admission is free to all of the following:

  • Open Courtyard Family Day at Mill City Museum – Drop in to the family program in the open-air Ruin Courtyard. Hands-on activities and a craft project to take home (to gift the grandparents?) 10am-2pm.
  • Sundays at Landmark Center – The gorgeous historic building hosts a variety of free cultural events throughout the year. The 2021-2022 season begins September 12, 2021 with the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival.
  • Como Park Zoo & Conservatory – a mellow fall weekend outing perfect to celebrate with grandparents. Remember, reservations are required.

MacPhail Center for Music’s Kidfest

Two sessions will include a half hour of instrument exploration rooms, outdoor activities, and a sample music class. The Bazillions, a favorite kid-friendly band, will perform the second half of the event. After the concert, there will be snacks and a takeaway. Sept 11, reserve tickets for 10-11am OR 11:15am-12:15pm.

Touch A Truck at Maplewood Mall

A call to all kids who love big rigs! Visit the mall’s upper level parking lot near door #2 to see a garbage truck, police car and more. Sept 11, 12-2pm. FREE. Find our calendar of upcoming touch-a-truck events in the Twin Cities.

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