7 Fun Things to Do in Minneapolis this Summer

Minneapolis – a city known for its industrial edginess, its chain of lakes and as the hometown of the late R&B and pop singer, Prince ­– is even more alluring in the summer. Boasting a full spectrum of cultural activities, you’ll be met with a wealth of things to do and places to see – whether you’re staying for a week or just a quick weekend.

The fairest of them all

The biggest state fair in the United States by daily attendance, the Minnesota State Fair will have you goggling over stalls and stalls of local delicacies, sculptures carved out of butter (yes, really!), live music acts and a giant Ferris wheel. Last year the fair broke the record for the most visitors to ever attend on the opening day, and this year’s (22 August - 2 September) is bound to be just as good.

rides at Minnesota state fair in Minneapolis

Red, white and boom!

Over 75,000 people gather around the downtown Minneapolis riverfront to catch the fireworks spectacle every Fourth of July. But the Minneapolis answer to Independence Day – Red, White and Boom – is way more than an evening event. Starting with a 6 AM marathon, followed by a strong music line up and a host of family activities – come 10 PM, the spectacular fireworks display is the cherry on top.

Minneapolis fireworks spectacle on Fourth of July

Make Prince proud

A visit to Minneapolis wouldn’t be complete without dipping your toes in its musical scene. Catch indie-rock quintet, The National at Rock the Garden festival on 29th June, or Jason Mraz, CHVCHES and many more at the 25th edition of the Basilica Block Party festival on the 12th and 13th of July, and a string of free concerts and movie screenings at Music in the Parks, which takes place two nights a month between June and August.

Things to do in Minneapolis - Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis, MN in the morning

Downtown gems

A favorite among locals, the Guthrie Theater showcases some of the best productions in the Midwest. Founded by a British stage director in 1963, the venue has come a far way from resident acting company to architectural icon: Its “Endless Bridge” – an extended “lobby” that stretches out into the Mississippi – offers spectacular 180-degree city views. On Mondays, a free-for-all open mic night goes wonderfully with dinner in one of the theater’s outstanding restaurants. Stay at the chic Radisson Blu Minneapolis Downtown and enjoy an easy stroll home through the Twin Cities. If Chicago happens to be your next stop, make sure you see experience the rooftop gardens the windy city has to offer.

Minneapolis riverfront view over Guthrie Theater

Watery wonders

One of the most Instagrammable spots in Minnesota, Minnehaha Falls impresses throughout the year, but is especially beautiful during the spring and summer. Just a 15-minute drive from downtown, you’ll find a striking, 53-foot waterfall and pristine wilderness covering a vast park. Oak, elm and maple trees as well as native wildflowers will have you feeling far, far away from the urban jungle.

Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis during spring-summer

Beat the heat

It might be called a mall, but the Mall of America is more like a village. Bring a pair of sneakers and a plan and set out to Minneapolis’ Bloomington suburb, which is just 10 minutes from the airport. Beyond shopping and food courts, families are spoiled for choice with the state’s largest aquarium, mini golf and an amusement park. Enjoy direct access to it all from the Radisson Blu Mall of America, an award-winning hotel complete with a spa, saline pool and complimentary airport shuttle service.

Radisson Blu Mall of America Facade

Twice the Pride

Make sure you don't miss the most vivacious event of the year, Twin Cities Pride that celebrates the LGBTQ+ community in true American fashion. This event is so epic it takes place over two days at the end of June. People from all over the world come together to celebrate the spirit of pride in the Twin Cities. Held in Loring Park, the venue is completely decked out with exhibitor stands, food vendors and 4 stages showcasing music and various performances. This is definitely the unmissable event of the year, and what's even better is that its completely free!

Minneapolis Pride

Psst! If you're looking for more summer fun, check out these 5 summer activities in the Twin Cities!

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