It’s here! The time we wait for in Minnesota! Warm temps, days at the lake, and let’s face it… it’s the only three months of the year we don’t have snow! We are so thrilled to share our 2018 Twin Cities Guide to Summer with you! This comprehensive guide is your go-to for all things summer. We have you covered with everything from parks to waterplay, summer projects and our favorite area lakes, local restaurants and family fun spots. Your options for adventure are endless!
Pin this resource now, add it to your favorites, and use it all summer long! Let’s make this summer one to remember!
How to use this guide:
Each image leads to either a full guide and list of local spots you’ll want to hit or to an article with details on a summer outing or activity for you or your kids. Click on each image to find more info. Happy Summer!
We are so thankful to our longtime partners at Metropolitan Pediatric Dental for sponsoring this incredible resource. Metropolitan Pediatric Dental Associates is an American Board of Pediatric Dentistry Certified specialty dental office for infants, toddlers, big kids, pre-teens, and teens with locations throughout the Twin Cities including St. Paul, Fridley, North Oaks, and Eagan. Beyond graduation from dental school, all of the pediatric dentists at Metropolitan Pediatric Dental Associates have completed an additional 2-year residency in pediatrics. Because of their specialty training, they are more knowledgeable and experienced with the dental conditions that arise in children than a general dentist who does not specialize in children’s dentistry. They are specially trained and equipped to treat children who have special needs, children who require a large amount of dental work, or children who are anxious and simply need a little extra care. They even offer hospital dentistry, as well as in-office general anesthesia, and can complete all of your child’s dental work in one visit, while they sleep. Check them out on their website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!
The Twin Cities is known for a great park system and with nearly 150 listings, our Twin Cities Park Guide will keep you busy all summer. Each listing has a map within it so you’ll be able to access and find each park on the go while you’re already out and about.
It’s FINALLY time to get out and play in the water! We have a jam-packed guide to waterparks, splash pads, beaches and pools for you right here. Find that guide and be sure to share it with your friends!
Eating out with your kids doesn’t have to be painful – there are plenty of local spots you can hit that make it a fun experience. Check out our list of favorite local eateries to hit as a family and a few tips for what to pack in your diaper bag for your littlest ones.
Ice cream is made for summer and we have a few favorite local shops that you must try before the end of the season!
Are you running from one activity to the next this summer? Our Coffee & Easy Eats Guide is perfect for the busy mom on-the-go!
Local donut shops are an experience all in themselves and we have plenty to choose from in the metro area. Make a fun morning of donuts for your kids and coffee for mama!
Moms need coffee and we love the local shops in the area. In the name of local, you should probably try a new one each week, right?
We’re thrilled that summer is here, but rainy days are bound to happen. Use these guides and ideas to keep your kids entertained when you can’t be outside.
Indoor Play Area Guide
Our Indoor Play Area Guide is a great resource to find indoor playgrounds, indoor waterparks, coffee shops and so much more. Pick a place to visit during those rainy days when you just need a change of scenery.
Explore the Mall of America:
Grab the printable, head over to the Mall of America and have your kids do our Scavenger Hunt!
Coffee shops with play areas:
Moms and coffee simply go together, and even better when the coffee shop is kid-friendly with a play area – check out one of these great local spots on a rainy day.
Take a trip to the Midtown Global Market:
The Midtown Global Market is an international themed public market with a cheery, funky vibe. Nowhere else can you travel the world without actually leaving. Here you can go from Latin America to Africa to the Middle East and get a big ol’ American Burger and apple pie, all under one roof. Read more on why you should tuck this one away for a rainy day:
Explore Local Pizza Farms
Local pizza farms are such a fun way to spend a summer evening. These are worth the trip to make some amazing summer memories!
Family Day Trip to Taylor's Falls
The Taylors Falls area is a great destination and the best part, it is less than an hour away! Here are one mom’s favorite family activities to do near Taylors Falls.
A Mom's guide to Lowertown St. Paul:
There are so many fun neighborhoods in the Twin Cities! Check out one mom’s guide for having fun with your kids in Lowertown St. Paul.
Stillwater is a little town that has so much to offer. Right on the river with boutiques, restaurants and antique shops – there’s more than enough to fill a morning or a full day for a fun summer outing.
Take a Camping Trip
Summer is a great time to go on a camping trip with your family! Here are some tips on how to make camping fun with kids!
Tips for Traveling with Kids
Long car ride this summer? We have a secret to share with you on how to keep your kiddos quiet on your trek!
These Top Toddler Travel Toys are great things to pack before you head out on your summer travels!
Taking a road trip this summer? Check out these Top Road Trip Mistakes to ensure your trip is a success!
Try a different kind of travel experience this summer and say no to hotels! See what we recommend for your summer lodging.
Hey mama, did you know it’s YOUR summer too? We love this post with suggestions on how you can find some moments to enjoy summer yourself.
If you’re sitting poolside or heading out on a roadtrip this summer, chances are you want a good book! Here is an excellent summer reads list:
Let’s face it. Summer means sweat. We want to help you with this natural deodorant guide!
Stay cool, mama. If you’re expecting this summer, here is some excellent advice on how to keep cool and comfortable in the heat.
Summer Adventure Notebooks
Have your kids chronicle their summer and the adventures they go on with Summer Adventure Notebooks – check out the how-to here.
You might think that summer is full of endless ideas for you to keep your kids busy, but those words “I’m bored” always pop up much sooner than you expect. Use this list when you need something fresh to do with the kids.
How about a Summer Treasure Box? The Treasure Box can be a shoe box, a picnic basket, or any old box that you decorate together. Hide the Treasure Box somewhere to surprise your kids – either place it at the breakfast table the night before or develop a tradition of hiding it somewhere around your house. Read more here:
Try these activities to keep your kids entertained indoors:
Get them involved in the kitchen:
Make homemade play dough:
Use popsicle sticks for choosing activities:
A comprehensive guide to Farmers’ Markets in the Twin Cities metro area!
A handful of our favorite local farms with a variety of berries and other produce to pick:
Our Guide to “Go Outside with Hennepin County” is full of events you can enjoy with your family all summer long. They have it all including classic movies, trivia, fitness classes, the Downtown Farmers Market, food trucks, music and more. We have all the information you need for this event including where to find it, how to get there, and specific dates & times for all the fun.
Land of 10,000 Lakes, but how do you choose which to explore first? We’ve pulled together the best activities to do at a handful of our favorite Twin Cities lakes, including the best lakeside restaurants for you to try out.
Airport Viewing Area at MSP:
Did you know there’s a dedicated area at MSP airport to park your car and watch the airplanes? Read more about it and pack a picnic for a fun and easy outing.
Take a trip to Mill City Museum:
Mill City Museum is a great spot for your kids (and you!) to learn the history of the flour mills and the river area in Minneapolis.
Go on a Picnic:
We’ve got a list of 8 essentials for the perfect picnic and this is the best time of year to eat outside!
We are so excited for our third annual summer family event, Hanging with Heroes, on Saturday, July 21, 10am-12:30pm, at Mounds Park Academy! Our summer family events have always been unique to other family events in the Twin Cities, and we’re excited to host you and your family again this summer. We will be selling a limited number of tickets to make Hanging with Heroes a more intimate and enjoyable experience for everyone attending! We look forward to seeing you there.
Each month we round up some of the best events around the area. Find out what’s going on this month.
Looking for something local? With over 1,000 listings, you’re sure to find a great resource! We’ve collected everything from pediatricians to waterparks, local donut shops to new mama class resources. And if you think we’ve missed something you love in the area, click through to the directory, scroll to the bottom of the page and add a listing!
Did you enjoy this guide? We post daily on Twin Cities happenings, events, how to connect with other parents in the greater Twin Cities area, and real, honest, sometimes funny, sometimes heartwarming stories about motherhood. Sign up to receive our weekly email here, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date on parenting in the Twin Cities!