150 Things to Do in Minneapolis

We gathered some of our favorite things to do. No matter the season, we've got you covered.

NATURE & OUTDOORS

Minnehaha Falls
  1. Run, walk, bike, or people watch along the Chain of Lakes—including the three most popular, Lake of the Isles, Bde Maka Ska, and Lake Harriet.
  2. Cross country ski, snowboard, snow tube, or snowshoe in the winter recreation area at Theodore Wirth Park—equipment rental and lessons are available. In the summer, explore the 3700-year-old Quaking Bog loop hiking trail or the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary.
  3. Enjoy a scenic walk through Loring Park—it’s the Central Park of downtown Minneapolis.
  4. Overlook the frozen St. Anthony Falls from the Guthrie’s Endless Bridge that jets over the Mississippi.
  5. See the winter lights display at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum or go apple picking in the fall to collect Minnesota’s famous apple: the Honeycrisp.
  6. During the warmer months, hop on a Nice Ride bike at one of nearly 200 Nice Ride stations and cruise down Minneapolis’ 226 miles of bike paths.
  7. Gaze up at Minnehaha Park’s 53-foot waterfall, beautiful when iced over or flowing. Have a four-legged friend? The Minnehaha Off-Leash Dog Park is legendary.
  8. Follow the cobblestone path on St. Anthony Main to the Stone Arch Bridge, a Minneapolis landmark that spans 23 arches over the Mississippi River.
  9. Take your dog to the nearly 2-acre off-leash dog park at Lake of the Isles (the entrance is located on West Lake of the Isles Parkway).
  10. Visit The Commons, a 2-block park of wide open, picnic-ready green space in East Town.
  11. Bike or walk along the Midtown Greenway, a 5.5-mile long former railroad corridor that winds throughout the city.
  12. Watch a movie at the Lake Harriet Bandshell during the city's summer Movies in the Park series.
  13. Stroll through a Japanese peace garden and the country’s second oldest public rose garden at Lyndale Park on the shores of Lake Harriet.
  14. In the summer, rent pedal boats, kayaks, paddleboards, canoes, and bikes from Wheel Fun Rentals, found at various lakes and parks throughout the city.

FOOD & DRINK

More awards than smorgasbords
  1. Try unique and specialty pizzas from one of our favorite Minnesota pizza chains, Pizza Luce—open late!
  2. Warm up with the Caribbean & Mexican inspired rotisserie cooking at Brasa, a favorite spot of local Food Network Star Andrew Zimmern.
  3. Get a taste of East African comfort food. With a large Somali population, Minneapolis is filled with amazing places for traditional Somali cuisine.
  4. Take in views of the downtown skyline while sipping a cocktail or indulging in some comfort food under the trees at Aster Café. Step outside and walk along the cobblestone road and feel like you’ve been transported to a completely different place.
  5. Whether it’s St. Patty’s day or not, take advantage of the happy hour deals at Dan Kelly’s Irish pub.
  6. Go lawn bowling—similar to bocce ball, but instead of tossing you roll—on the rooftop at Brit’s Pub.
  7. When the weather allows, eat at one of our favorite outdoor dining spots! Choose from patios, decks, rooftops, and sidewalks. We’ve got it all!
  8. Get Tiki with it at Psycho Suzi’s, the official tiki bar of the Twin Cities. Enjoy the giant outdoor deck overlooking the beautiful Mississippi river with a delicious cocktail in hand.
  9. Try something out of the ordinary at Milkjam Creamery, with flavors like Lychee Pineapple, Thai Tea, Cereal Killers, and even one that includes caramelized goat's milk.
  10. Chow down on a Jucy Lucy at Matt’s Bar or The 5-8 Club—each bar claims to be the creator of this molten-hot, ultra-gooey, cheese-filled burger, so try both to decide! Honorable mentions go to the standout Lucy variations at Blue Door Pub and The Nook
  11. Dig into Tennessee hot fried chicken and other classic Southern comfort foods at Revival.
  12. Try a Japanese craft brew from the first sake brewery to open outside of Japan, Moto-i. (Local tip: they also have one of the best rooftops in the city.)
  13. Have a boozy brunch with DIY loaded Bloody Marys & Mimosa at Hell’s Kitchen.
  14. Get a taste of authentic Eastern European sausage, sandwiches, and bakery goods at Kramarczuk’s Deli in the Northeast River District. You can also enjoy their sausages during a game at Target Field. 
  15. Try a new take on craft cider at Minneapolis Cider Co. They work with local orchards to showcase nontraditional varietals and flavors. Post-cider sipping, challenge join your friends on the onsite pickleball court.
  16. Get cozy and grab a glass of vino to unwind at the best places for wine in Minneapolis.
  17. Go on a brewery crawl in Northeast. You can walk between Able Seedhouse + Brewery, 612Brew, Bauhaus Brew Labs, and Sociable Cider Werks all within less than 10 minutes. Honorable mention to Dangerous Man also in Northeast, but you may want to call an Uber for this one—if you do, try the Peanut Butter Porter.
  18. Eat the food “you grew up with” in ginormous portion sizes at the family-owned Keys Café & Bakery.
  19. Get your caffeine fix at the local favorite and ultra-hip Spyhouse Coffee.
  20. Grab a cocktail, and enjoy your dinner from the top of a Ferris Wheel at Betty Danger's Animal Farm. Wheelie hibernates during the winter, but gets spinning again in April.
  21. Enjoy the views and the food year-round from the patio roof at Union (with or without the retractable glass cover).
  22. Check out one of the top breweries in the nation, Surly Brewing. Choose from 20 Surly beers on tap, grab some grub from the Surly food truck, then find a seat by the fire pits or play corn hole on the enormous outdoor patio.
  23. Spice up breakfast at the well-loved, Cuban-flavored Victor’s 1959 Café. Picture plates loaded with sweet plantains, fried yucca, and mojo sauce.
  24. Indulge in the award-winning sushi and steaks at Seven, followed by a drink on the rooftop with an excellent downtown view.
  25. Head down Eat Street on Nicollet Avenue to choose from an international spread of family owned restaurants: QuangPancho Villa Mexican RestaurantEat Street Social, and more.
  26. Fuel up with craft caffeine at Five Watt Coffee—think coffee on tap, nitrogen-infused coffee, and specialty coffee cocktails.
  27. Pair beer with breakfast (Bloody Mary Burger, anyone?) at The Freehouse, where each brew is crafted to complement a full menu of inventive grub.
  28. Warm your taste buds with delicious and authentic pho from Pho 79.
  29. Get on the craft cocktail bandwagon and sip something delicious from one of our many distilleries or cocktail bars. (Find out where to get the best cocktails in Minneapolis.)
  30. Treat yourself to something sweet at Bogart's Doughnut Co. Their classic takes made with 18-hour brioche dough and handmade glazes eschew the showy donut trend in favor of standbys like Brown Butter-Glazed, Nutella-Filled, and Sprinkled Cake.
  31. Taste some legendary wood fired Argentinian-meets-Italian fare at Martina, considered a can't-miss meal on most top restaurant lists.
  32. Enjoy upscale Nordic cuisine at Tullibee, the rustic-chic restaurant and bar on the ground level of the trendy Hewing Hotel. After, head up to the Hewing's rooftop for a libation and truly incredible views of the city.
  33. Check out the West Broadway neighborhood's favorite sandwich shop, Sammy's Avenue Eatery
  34. Indulge in the Parlour burger—a heavenly mix of ground chuck, ribeye, and brisket on an egg bun—and then dream about it for weeks after.
  35. Enjoy fluffy Venezuelan arepas—cornmeal griddle cake sandwiches—loaded with a huge variety of fillings at Hola Arepa, beloved by Bon Appétit Magazine.

MUSIC & NIGHTLIFE

  1. Enjoy delicious cocktails while you let your creativity flow as you work on different craft projects at Upstairs Circus.
  2. Visit the club that made Prince famous: First Avenue (make sure to take a picture with his gold star).
  3. See the biggest names in local, national, and international jazz at the Dakota Jazz Club, accompanied by smooth drinks and flashy fare.
  4. Enjoy a themed Drag Brunch (think Queen, 90's, Whitney Houston...) produced by Flip Phone Events.
  5. Catch a headliner at The Fillmore, Minneapolis's newest music venue with 36,000 square feet of space to rock out. 
  6. Enjoy a show at the Armory, a historic building in Downtown Minneapolis—once home to the Minneapolis Lakers and the site of two legendary music videos, Prince's “1999” and Aerosmith's “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.”
  7. Pick a lane and bowl at one of these restaurant & bars: Bryant Lake Bowl, Elsie’s or Town Hall Lanes.
  8. Attend an international music or dance show at the intimate performing arts venue The Cedar Cultural Center.
  9. Listen to the multiple Grammy award-winning Minnesota Orchestra inside Orchestra Hall—well-renowned for the astounding acoustics in the hall’s unique design.
  10. Choose from 120 classic and cutting-edge video games, experience a one of a kind black-lit bowling alley or watch the game on the incredible high-def TV’s at GameWorks at the Mall of America.
  11. Enjoy a night out with Acme Comedy Company’s dinner and a show package.
  12. Invite some drama to the dinner table at the largest dinner theater in the country, Chanhassen Dinner Theatre.
  13. Find your dancing shoes and head to El Nuevo Rodeo for a night of live latin music and dancing.
  14. Bowl, sing karaoke, play arcade games, and enjoy specialty cocktails and a scratch kitchen at Punch Bowl Social in St. Louis Park.
  15. Catch a concert, laugh the night away at a comedy show, (attempt to) win the big bucks, go golfing, get a spa treatment, or enjoy a gourmet meal at Mystic Lake Casino Hotel.
  16. Revisit your youth with over 50 arcade games from the ‘80s and ‘90s at Up Down.
  17. Whether you like rock, blues, R&B or a combination of them all, catch great live music at Bunker’s.
  18. Make your way through the intricate, artist-inspired 18-hole mini golf while sipping a boozy slushie at Can Can Wonderland
  19. Have a good laugh at an original comedy, improv or satire performance at Brave New Workshop, the country’s oldest satirical comedy club.

ARTS & CULTURE

  1. Experience over 10,000 years of human history at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers at the National Historic Landmark, Fort Snelling.
  2. View the Mary Tyler Moore statue on Nicollet & 7th.
  3. Watch a touring Broadway show, listen to a live band or catch your favorite comedian at the historic State or Orpheum Theatre.
  4. Visit the oldest Basilica in the country—constructed between 1907 and 1926—the Basilica of St. Mary.
  5. Get a hands-on history lesson about Minneapolis, its flour industry, and the Mississippi river at the Mill City Museum.
  6. Watch the blooming talent at the Children’s Theatre Company—it’s the only children’s theater in the country to win a Tony.
  7. Experience Swedish culture, migration, and art at the American Swedish Institute, including exhibits in the historic Turnblad Mansion.
  8. Explore the 25,000 art pieces dating from the early twentieth century to contemporary America at the Weisman Art Museum (even the building is a modern American art piece).
  9. Take a day to see nearly 10,000 items on display from 5,000 years at the always-free Minneapolis Institute of Art (we call it Mia).
  10. Capture the meaning behind the visual, performing, and media art collection at the Walker Art Center. Adults get in for free every Thursday night and on the first Saturday of every month, while kids and teens are free every day. 
  11. Check out the Sculpture Garden at the Walker Art Center and get your iconic Minneapolis selfie with the Spoonbridge and Cherry.
  12. Watch an indie film or recent blockbuster at the 1950's style Riverview Theatre.
  13. Learn about traditional Somali art and culture at the Somali Museum of Minnesota
  14. Take in an artful performance from one of Minneapolis’ major dance and performing art organizations at The Cowles Centerthe largest dance complex in the Midwest.
  15. Journey through the largest private collection of Russian Realist paintings outside the former Soviet Union at The Museum of Russian Art.
  16. Find authentic Latino food, café, & crafts at Mercado Central, a market on Lake Street with 35 Latino-owned businesses.
  17. Flip through the 2.4 million item literary collection, tour the art gallery, explore the piano room, or warm up to a fireplace in the marvelous five-story Minneapolis Central Library.
  18. View the many unique displays of public art, including well-known murals like those of Bob Dylan and Prince.
  19. Peruse vinyl, DVDs, CDs and more at one of Prince’s favorite spots to buy music, Electric Fetus.
  20. Check out the amazing Minnesota History Center, comprised of the museum and library that serves as the headquarters of the Minnesota Historical Society
  21. Gaze up at a larger-than-life woolly mammoth or up at a planetarium full of stars at the Bell Museum in St. Paul, Minnesota’s official natural history museum.

SPORTS

  1. Take in a Timberwolves game at Target Center and watch the Big KAT and D'Angelo Russell light it up from downtown.
  2. Watch a Twins game in the greenest ballpark in America: Target Field.
  3. See the Minnesota Lynx, four-time WNBA championships, sweep the court at Target Center.
  4. Cheer for the Loons at a Minnesota United FC soccer game.
  5. Visit the amazing Xcel Energy Center and watch professional ice hockey at its finest during a Minnesota Wild game.
  6. Be amazed by the stunning U.S. Bank Stadium in the middle of downtown at a Minnesota Vikings game. Can’t make it to the game? See where to go near U.S. Bank Stadium.
  7. Discover what all the hype is about with the Golden Gophers. Football, volleyball and soccer games are all part of the Big 10 action played at the University of Minnesota, the 4th largest college in the nation.

TOURS & EXPERIENCES

  1. Travel back in time on a Magical History Tour™! Ride a Segway as you enjoy the history of the Minneapolis Riverfront area from 10,000 BC to present without breaking a sweat.
  2. Take a paddle boat cruise down the Mississippi River on the historic Minneapolis Queen.
  3. Have a pint and pedal around the city on a Pedal Pub or the Traveling Tap.
  4. View the Minneapolis skyline from the riverfront at Boom Island Park and visit the lighthouse.
  5. Tuck under a blanket and take a horse-drawn carriage ride around Minneapolis—pre-routed or personalized—with The Hitching Company.
  6. Take a tour of the architecturally stunning U.S. Bank Stadium or Target Field.
  7. You've probably spent countless hours in front of a screen watching a hero save the world, solve a mystery, plan a prison break, or repair a spaceship to return home. Now it's your turn! The Escape Game offers an outlet from ordinary life that allows you to live the stories you love.
  8. Take a backstage tour of the Tony award-winning Guthrie Theater.
  9. Get a birds-eye view of downtown Minneapolis from the observation deck on top of The Foshay Tower.
  10. Tour Paisley Park and receive a rare glimpse of Prince's 65,000-square foot home, studio and rehearsal spaces. Throughout the experience, visitors will see artifacts from Prince’s personal archives, including iconic concert wardrobe, awards, musical instruments, artwork, rare music and video recordings and motorcycles. Then Experience Prince’s Minneapolis by visiting his favorite hangouts and childhood spots.
  11. Go under the sea at Sea Life at the Mall of America and discover over 4,500 sea creatures inside the 1.3 million gallon aquarium.
  12. Travel back in time on the heritage Como-Harriet Streetcar Line; it’s a mid-20th-century ride around Lake Harriet and Bde Maka Ska (Lake Calhoun).
  13. In the mood for an amazing scavenger hunt adventure? Discover some of the hottest spots in Minneapolis as you uncover hidden messages and learn about local history, straight from your smartphone! You can start the hunt whenever you want and play at your own pace.
  14. Sample the food scene in the historic Northeast neighborhood, on a Twin Cities Food Tour.

SHOPPING

  1. Shop the boutiques in the trendy North Loop neighborhood.
  2. Spend a Saturday summer morning grazing the local produce, cheeses, jams, and more at the Mill City Farmers Market.
  3. Shop and dine for international gifts and cuisine from local immigrant businesses at the Midtown Global Market.
  4. Embrace your inner bookworm at one of Minneapolis's great local  bookshops, like Birchbark Books & Native Arts or Wild Rumpus
  5. Shop for one-of-a-kind Midwestern gifts at one of the excellent museum gift shops around town—like the Mill City Museum Gift Shop, the American Swedish Institute ASI Museum Store, and the Walker Shop at the Walker Art Center, or check out more of our favorite souvenir shops.
  6. Scope out unique finds on a thrift and consignment shop haul. Hunt down these spots: Buffalo Exchange, June, My Sister’s Closet, gh2, H&B Gallery and more.
  7. Ride the light rail blue line to Mall of America and enjoy the perk of shopping in Minnesota—there’s no sales tax on clothing.
  8. Head to the renovated and redesigned mile-long pedestrian shopping district Nicollet. Stop at Target or Nordstrom Rack for that I-can’t-believe-I-found-this-for-10-dollars steal or check out Saks OFF 5th for all your high-end designer needs.
  9. Head over to Northeast to visit I Like You and peruse their unique handmade gifts crafted by local Minnesota artists. Be sure to take your photo in front of the Instagram-worthy I Like You wall. 
  10. Dive into the Twin Cities’ rich diversity and culture at the Hmongtown Marketplace.

FAMILY FUN

  1. Ride a rollercoaster or cross the park on a zip line at Nickelodeon Universe, the largest indoor theme park in the nation.
  2. Watch a free movie or live band any night of the week during the summer, through Minneapolis Music and Movies in the Parks.
  3. Got a Lego lover in the family? Head to the Lego Store at the Mall of America or to Brickmania General Headquarters, makers of historically accurate building kits and custom printed minifigures.
  4. Observe animal species from around the world, and learn about leading efforts to save wildlife at the Minnesota Zoo.
  5. Soar over the country with the breathtaking flight simulation at FlyOver America.
  6. Discover your inner artist at Crayola Experience at the Mall of America, with over 25 artistic attractions that encourage creative family fun.
  7. Head across the river to The Science Museum of Minnesota, where 370,000 square feet of science exhibits and an IMAX Omni Theater engage and spark scientific curiosity year round.
  8. Escape to the 125-acre amusement park at Valleyfair, the Upper Midwest's largest amusement park offering a day of thrills for extreme coaster riders and young visitors alike.
  9. Get up close to unique animals and explore the many gardens at the always-free Como Zoo.
  10. Explore, get interactive and learn at the Minnesota Children’s Museum.
  11. Learn about innovations in science, technology, and humanities at The Bakken Museum. Kids will love the interactive exhibits and workshops.
  12. Bounce, jump and flip at Zero Gravity Trampoline Park. 

FAIRS & FESTIVALS

    Winter:

  1. Get in the holiday spirit at Holidazzle, a special tradition that brings people from all over the region together to celebrate in a Winter Wonderland in Downtown Minneapolis.
  2. Witness the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships on Lake Nokomis.
  3. Celebrate the Twin Cities' beautiful winter season at the 10-day winter festival, The Great Northern.
  4. Embrace winter at the Loppet Winter Festival, a magical celebration of winter in the Bold North complete with a candlelit hike, skijoring races, a snow sculpture competition, ice biking and more.
  5. Eat, drink and shop in a temporary art village on a frozen lake while exploring the Art Shanty Projects on Lake Harriet.

Spring:

  1. Check out the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival, the largest international arts event in the region, showcasing 250+ films from 70+ countries each April.
  2. Visit the largest open studio tour in the country, tour private art galleries, connect with local artists, and purchase unique pieces at Art-A-Whirl in Northeast Minneapolis.
  3. Smell the roses at the Art in Bloom exhibit displayed in the Minneapolis Art Institute. View hundreds of floral designs that interpret objects from the institute's collection.
  4. Get behind-the-scenes access to over 100 iconic Minneapolis buildings and businesses at Doors Open Minneapolis.

Summer:

  1. Eat everything on a stick at the Minnesota State Fair—it’s the second largest State Fair in the nation (someday we'll top Texas).
  2. Located at one of the most iconic places in Minneapolis, the Stone Arch Bridge Festival is filled with people excited for the season. Don't miss these 10 things to do around the Stone Arch Bridge Festival.
  3. Dance, drink and rejoice at Twin Cities Pride Fest, the largest free LGBTQ+ pride festival in the country. Find out how to maximize your Pride weekend!
  4. Rock out at the Basilica Block Party, the two-day music festival held on the lovely front steps of the Basilica of St. Mary.
  5. Enjoy some of the best fireworks in the nation, be a part of the largest nighttime parade in Minnesota, or participate in the Torchlight 5K at the Minneapolis Aquatennial.
  6. Take a trip to a 16th Century “England-like” fantasy kingdom at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, the largest Renaissance Festival in the United States. (P.S. The festival is dog friendly!)
  7. Witness the talent of over 300 artists from around the country working in over a dozen mediums—and bring some original art home—at the free Uptown Art Fair.

Fall:

  1. Become a film critic at the Twin Cities Film Festival and attend the premiere's of some the best indie films of the year.
  2. Celebrate the family-centric Annual Monarch Festival at Lake Nokomis with music, food, dance, art, and butterfly-friendly plant sales to commemorate the monarch butterfly's 2,300 mile migration from Minnesota to Mexico.