It’s summer in Minnesota! We made it to another season of sunshine, lakes, and lots of fun! We’re here to help you make the most of these summer months in the Twin Cities by bringing you all the fun and activities in one easy guide so you don’t miss a thing! This is month #8! We’ll update with new additions as they come.
July 31-August 6: Washington County Fair | Various Times Music, Educational Exhibits by 4-H and FFA members, fabulous fair food, animals, carnival rides, FREE events from pig races to magician shows, and hundreds of exhibits. Located just minutes from Stillwater.
August 2: Annual Lake Hiawatha Neighborhood Festival | 5-8pm There a ton of family fun activities you don’t want to miss–family fitness challenge, canoe rides, Dave & Busters, story time, inflatables and more! This event is sponsored and supported by the Lake Hiawatha Recreation Council, Standish-Ericsson Neighborhood Association and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.
August 3: Esprit de She in Maple Grove | 6:30pm Runners, joggers and walkers begin the evening with a timed 5K event. Afterwards, participants will salute their success with a drink at our signature Bubbly Bar and enjoy healthy eats, and energetic live music while enjoying the popular Beauty Bar powered by LifeSpa.
August 4: Adult Night Out at the Zoo | 6-8:30pm Plan to attend our next 18+ evening event and experience a kid-free version of the Zoo while exploring indoor and outdoor trails. Grab a cocktail and enjoy a summer evening stroll through the Zoo.
August 4: Summer Carnival in Shakopee | 10am-11:15am This annual event is everyone’s favorite. Swing by Lions Park from 10 to 11:15 a.m. Friday, Aug. 5 and try your luck at winning some great prizes. Carnival games are geared for children ages 3 to 10. Admission is $5.
August 4: Friday Night Water Fights & Splash Pad | 5:30pm The Shakopee Fire Department invites you to its 2016 Water Fights! Before the water fights, the fire department will be hosting a splash pad from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Families will also be able to tour a fire truck and check out firefighting equipment.
August 4-6: Uptown Art Fair | Various Times An award-winning fine arts festival held annually the first full weekend of August. Features include artists, live music and performances, family activities, wine and beer gardens, and more.
August 5: Woofstock | 10am-3pm Good Karma Animal Rescue of MN is gearing up for the biggest and best dog-and-kid friendly event of the summer. This event is FREE to attend, with all kinds of amazing things to do for kids, pooches, and the whole family! We’re talking live music, free kids’ zone with games, free face painting, yummy food, and fun.
August 5: Children’s Day at Oliver Kelley Farm | 10am-5pm Children of all ages can help with the chores and play the games kids did on farms more than 150 years ago. Help load hay into a wagon pulled by the farm’s oxen, try to get the laundry clean using a scrub board without the calves eating the soap, haul baskets of weeds out of the garden, and enjoy 19th-century games like Cat’s Cradle or Grandmother’s Footsteps.
August 5: Blues Brews N BBQs | 3:30-10pm Blues, craft beer, and smokin’ barbecue come together to make a difference in the west metro for a fifth year. Profits from this event go to PRISM, and Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity.
August 5-6: Powderhorn Art Fair | Various Times Powderhorn Art Fair, one of the finest juried regional art fairs in the country, celebrates artistic expression and community engagement. Set in a pastoral, 66-acre city park, Powderhorn Art Fair features 184 regional and national artists of varied disciplines, as well as a Community Showcase and Group Exhibitors from the Powderhorn area.
August 7-13: Dakota County Fair | Various Times With over 140 vendors, 48 rides and games, and 6 grand stand shows it’s guaranteed to be a fun time for the whole family!
August 8: Cat Video Festival | 6pm The Twin Cities experienced its first cat video festival in 2012 and became an international hit. It is in that spirit that we bring back the Cat Video Festival on August 8th, 2017 at 6pm at CHS Field!
August 11-13: Twin Cities’ Polish Festival | Various Times The Twin Cities Polish Festival will immerse Minnesotans and visitors in “all things Polish”, presenting a kaleidoscope of unique cultural and educational displays, food and top-notch entertainment. FREE.
August 11-13: Irish Fair of Minnesota | Various Times The unique once a year celebration offers attendees an opportunity to celebrate authentic Irish heritage through a multitude of activities such as: step dance, traditional group dance, gaelic sports, Celtic marketplace, cultural displays, native Irish dogs, traditional tea room, Irish food and drink as well as several local and international bands. FREE.
August 12-13: Corn Days | Various Times Bingo, kids games, pony rides, petting zoo, climbing wall, music, food and more all happening at St. George’s in Long Lake!
August 12: Lake Minnetonka BBQ & Beer Fest | 12-8pm The sport of competition barbeque continues to grow in popularity, from TV shows to backyard and professional cooking events. In the inaugural year, 36 teams of professional pitmasters will put their barbeque skills to the test against each other for bragging rights and prize money!
August 13: Pioneer Day | 11am-7pm Pioneer Day is the City of Newport’s annual get together and takes place on the second Sunday of August from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Pioneer Park. The day is a hometown affair providing a day of family oriented fun.
August 17-20: Vadnais Heights Heritage Days | Various Times Enjoy fun for all ages at the 2017 Heritage Days Celebration! Events include a medallion hunt, movie in the park, senior picnic, Lions pig roast, kiddie parade, children’s games and inflatables, bingo, car show, food and merchandise vendors, fireworks, live bands, Grande Parade, Booya, bean bag tournaments, softball tournaments, a water ball tournament between local fire departments, and more!
August 18: Kräftskiva – Crayfish Feast | 6:30-10pm Experience a not-to-be-missed traditional Swedish crayfish feast! According to tradition, eat the crayfish outdoors, under lanterns, with bibs, hats and plenty of good bread, strong cheese, salads and Swedish paj (like quiche). Of course, there will house-infused aquavit, beer, live music and drinking songs. Plentiful crayfish are served as the Swedes like them – cold from a brine made from lots of crown dill, 40 pounds in this case.
August 19-October 1: Renaissance Festival | 9am-7pm King Henry and his royal court invite one and all to his 16th Century European village featuring 16 stages of live entertainment. Over 250 artisans fill the Festival marketplace to display and sell their handcrafted wares for a truly unique shopping experience. Patrons can interact with hundreds of memorable characters roaming the village streets as well as view live armored jousting throughout the day. Come celebrate our 47th season by visiting the Festival grounds in Shakopee, MN. Huzzah!
August 19-20: World War 1 Weekend | 10am-5pm Commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War I (1914-1918) at Historic Fort Snelling. The “Great War” raged for three years before the U.S. entered the conflict in 1917. Explore the ways this conflict shaped the world we know today and learn about Minnesota’s role in the war. Visit with costumed reenactors, watch military demonstrations, stand in a recreated WWI-style trench, and experience what life was like for Minnesotans during this crucial time.
August 20: Japanese Lantern Lighting Festival | 3-9pm Bonsai, martial arts, Ikebana, singing, dancing, drumming, delicious food and other aspects of Japanese culture will take center stage at the 18th annual Como Park Japanese Lantern Lighting Festival, a family-friendly event, reminiscent of Japan’s annual Obon holiday, on Sunday, August 21, 2016 from 3:00pm-9:00pm on the grounds of the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory in Como Park.
August 24-September 4th: Minnesota State Fair! | The Annual Great Minnesota Get Together! Mark your calendars and stay tuned for our annual family guide to the fair!
August 26: MN Zoo Tiger Tracks 5k and Kids 1/2 Mile Run | 8am Lace-up your shoes and make tracks to the Minnesota Zoo for our annual 5K run to save wildlife. The 5K starts at Shady Oaks Picnic Pavilion and weaves into the Zoo, through Russia’s Grizzly Coast and around the Northern Trail. Bring the whole family for a fun morning run through the Zoo. All runners will receive a Tiger Tracks t-shirt and free admission to the Zoo on race day. Strollers are allowed along the 5K course and kids’ run. The proceeds from the run support the Zoo’s conservation programs.
We are thrilled to announce our 2nd Annual Family Fun Day Event, presented by Minnehaha Academy and The Urgency Room! Join us on Saturday, August 5 for a morning of family fun. We will have lots of activities for kids geared towards 2-8 years old, but all children are welcome! Inflatables, face painting, crafts and more! Click to RSVP to our Facebook event to stay up to date with all of the details as they unfold.
Story Time Trolley in Stillwater: June 3- October 28 | This event for families includes a short ride on the trolley with an author or storyteller! Your $5 registration includes a token to board the trolley, a discount for 20% off a children’s book the day of the event and a snack after your ride.
Kangaroo Crossing @ MN Zoo May-September | Regular Hours The Minnesota Zoo is bringing the “Land Down Under” up north this summer with an immersive walkabout experience along the Northern Trail. It will leave you feeling like you were just hiking in Australia, as you explore the multi-species habitat and see these animals up close. You literally walk through the exhibit with these outback ambassadors!
Music in the Mall @ MOA January -November | Select Dates and Times Mall of America® has an exciting opportunity for school and community groups to perform and share their talents with Mall guests through the MOA Music in the Mall. This series runs January through mid-November and is available on select days each month.
Toddler Tuesdays at MOA Tuesdays | 10am-Noon Toddler Tuesdays is a program that provides events, free entertainment and discounts especially for toddlers. Events include special character appearances, arts and crafts, story time and much more! FREE.
Wee Wednesdays at Midtown Global Market Wednesdays | 10:30am-1pm Wee Wednesdays showcase free educational programming, fun crafts and great meal deals each Wednesday morning at Midtown Global Market! Dance with them, experience live puppet theater, learn to cook fun items together in the kitchen, and even pet live animals from the Como Zoo. FREE.
Kids at the Castle: Third Friday Playdates (American Swedish Institute) In the hour before the museum opens, join ASI for visual play, storytelling, music, movement and crafts inspired by ASI’s current exhibits- activities that will encourage creative minds and active hands. Recommended for ages 2-5. $5 per family. Registration not required; check in at the Information Desk by 11 a.m. on the day of the program. Adult accompaniment required.