How to Spend a Summer Day in Minneapolis
Summers in Minneapolis are precious. We can’t help but feel guilty if we don’t take advantage of the warm sunshine during the few months we actually get it. So we’ve put together a summer itinerary in Minneapolis that’s going to try to keep you outside as much as possible.
Farmers markets are where you get a real feel of any city. It’s where locals hang out and where you find the best authentic foods and brands native to that city. In Minneapolis there are farmers markets in every neighborhood, each unique to the area they are hosted.
We suggest you check out the Mill City Famers Market which runs on Saturdays starting at 8am. That way you can grab breakfast at one of the local vendors and head over to Gold Medal Park for a picnic. This wide-open green space park has a pretty cool view of the famous Guthrie Theater and Mill City Ruins. A short walk away is the St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam Visitor Center. Come here right before lunch and take a free tour to learn about how the Falls changed the course of Minneapolis’ history.
This afternoon itinerary is designed to bring out your competitive spirit. Play a round of mini golf on the Walker Arts Center’s rooftop, where 10 artist designed holes and gorgeous views of the Minneapolis skyline will keep you more than entertained. Afterwards stroll through the free Sculpture Garden and land at Esker Grove for lunch. Or if you want to even the score after your round of mini golf, get lunch at Brits Pub and head up to the rooftop for some lawn bowling.
Take a break from all that sunshine and cool down at an air-conditioned show in one of our local diverse theaters. Jungle Theater, HUGE Improve Theater, or the Children’s Theater Company are all good choices and are close to the must-visit area of Eat Street. Here, find whatever your heart desires from cuisines all over the world. Make it pre-show meal or stop by for a late-night snack.
Cap off your night with ice cream at Milkjam Creamery. A beloved ice cream shop, where you’ll get to try unique and creatively named flavors, like Waka Flocka Flakes: vanilla bean w/ caramelized Corn Flakes and berry swirl. And if you’re going for "winner takes all" in your day of competition, check out Up-Down, a 21+ arcade bar that has more than 50 games from the 80s and 90s.
Start your day in the North Loop neighborhood. Here you can visit The Bachelor Farmer Café, a chic, modern, bright space with a delicious selection of pastries and photo-worthy coffee creations. Not far away are streets filled with local and designer boutique shopping. Hit up some of the popular places, like D.NOLO, Hazel & Rose, and MartinParick 3.
Time to get into the water! And in the “City by Nature” the options to do so are endless. Canoe down the Mississippi River, discover wildlife and learn about the river’s history at the Wilderness Inquiry. And don’t think we’d let you enjoy a summer day in Minneapolis without spending time at the lake. With Wheel Fun Rentals you can paddleboard, pedal boat, kayak, canoe or bike around some of Minneapolis’ biggest lakes. Stick around a while longer and take an opportunity to go on a self-guided art tour. Local artist, Susan Savage has put together a tour featuring eight of her paintings that capture views of the lakes you won’t typically see.
When you’re ready to dry off, continue your shopping excursion in the Uptown neighborhood. There you’ll find many national brands, but also a healthy collection of local shops, like My Sister’s Closet, Kitchen Window and for the bookworms, Magers & Quinn Book Sellers. Uptown is also known for their rooftop dining options. When you're ready for lunch go with Stella’s Fish Café & Prestige Oyster Bar, it’s a classic for seafood lovers.
A great way to end your day is by cheering on the hometown team. The Minnesota Lynx are one of the dominate teams in the WNBA and bring a lot of excitement to Target Center. Games are family-friendly and affordable. And what’s summer without some outdoor baseball? If the Minnesota Twins are in town check them out at Target Field, right in the heart of downtown. Seeing an event here is a must. The stadium is beautifully surrounded by the downtown skyline and the fresh air feels so good on those warm summer nights, plus the food options are incredible.
Don’t have time for a game? Take it easy by getting dinner and sipping on cocktails at Betty Dangers. Be sure to watch the sunset while riding the Ferris Wheel. It’s one of our favorite views of the city.
Don't Miss These Summer Events
- Northern Spark (mid June)
- Stone Arch Bridge Festival (mid June)
- Juneteenth Celebration (mid June)
- Twin Cities Pride Parade and Festival (mid-end of June)
- Uptown Food Festival (end of June)
- Rock the Garden (end of June)
- Basilica Block Party (early July)
- Aquatennial (mid-end of July)
- Uptown Art Fair (early August)
- Minnesota State Fair (end of August-Labor Day)
- Fringe Festival (end of August)