Minneapolis in summer is more than just boats and lakes and mosquitos. If you know the right spots to visit and the best events to sign up for, you can enjoy some awesome experiences that’ll make you wish Minnesota summers lasted longer than a couple of months.
From outdoor adventures that will ignite your sense of wanderlust to cultural delights that will enchant your soul, the vibrant city of Minneapolis has an abundance of experiences to offer. And we want to make sure you don’t miss out on the chance for an awesome summer.
So let this article be your passport to an unforgettable sunny season.
What’s Minneapolis in summer like?
It’s no secret that Minnesota is primarily known for two things: frigid winters and thousands of lakes (11,842 lakes and counting!). Now, because of this reputation, many people who haven’t lived in the North Star State don’t know about the amazing summers it offers. Minneapolis in the summertime not only features gorgeous greenery and crystal-clear blue skies—it’s also much warmer than its seasonal counterpart.
From around Memorial Day to Labor Day, temperatures in Minneapolis typically fall between 65 and 90 degrees. So if you’re a Minnesota native, you know all too well the importance of fully embracing this incredible season. Then, when winter snows in around December (or let’s be honest…October), you’ll feel like you got enough vitamin D and warm days to keep you going until March (okay, June).
So how do you make the absolute best of Minneapolis in summer? You make sure you don’t miss out on the activities we’ve shared with you below.
The best summer activities in Minneapolis
Taste delicious, authentic foods at the farmers markets
Farmers markets are where the heart and soul of a community come alive. They’re where locals gather, creating a lively atmosphere that brims with authentic flavors and homegrown brands unique to the city.
This summer in Minneapolis, we encourage you to visit the Mill City Farmers Market. When you venture to this market that’s located in the historic Mill District, you’ll get a bustling market experience plus a captivating view of the Mississippi River. With a rich history dating back to 1876, the Mill City Farmers Market has withstood the test of time and has grown to become the largest in the metro area. It opens its doors every Saturday at 8:00 in the morning throughout the entire summer.
Additionally, there are plenty of other delightful markets to explore. On Sundays, you can check out the vibrant atmosphere of the Kingfield Farmers Market in south Minneapolis. And for those midweek cravings, the Nokomis Farmers Market occurs every Wednesday.
So engage in lively conversations, sample delectable treats, and support the hardworking farmers and artisans who make these markets come alive. Experiencing the true essence of Minneapolis through its vibrant farmers markets is an adventure you can’t miss.
See an insanely cool fireworks show at Aquatennial
Aquatennial is a fireworks show that happens in Minneapolis in summer. It’s an esteemed civic celebration that encapsulates the essence of our beloved city. This cherished event has become a beloved tradition, capturing the hearts of Minnesota residents, workers, and visitors alike.
Also, this event isn’t just a run-of-the-mill fireworks show. Suffice it to say, the Fourth of July doesn’t hold a Roman candle to the neon fireworks that dance in the midnight-blue sky at Aquatennial. This show that illuminates the sky above the Stone Arch Bridge will be one of the greatest things to do in Minneapolis this summer.
Browse the works of local artists at the Uptown Art Fair
In 1964, the idea of a fair that would not only promote the arts but also raise funds for Uptown projects was born. For decades, the Uptown Art Fair has ignited a spark of creativity and community spirit every summer season. Though the fair has evolved and grown throughout the years, its underlying goal has remained steadfast—which is to donate the proceeds back into the community to enrich programs and activities.
Beyond its role as an art showcase, this fair serves as a celebration of the distinctive and refreshingly unconventional Uptown community. Located at the heart of Lake Street and Hennepin Avenue, this lively art fair will pop up in Uptown Minneapolis in August from the 4th to the 6th this year. Arguably some of the best art you’ll see in Minneapolis in summer, the Uptown Art Fair is an event you simply can’t afford to skip.
Eat a little bit of everything at the Food Truck Festival
The Minneapolis Food Truck Festival is one of the best Minneapolis things to do in summer. It’s a culinary extravaganza that brings together a multitude of food trucks and showcases delicious creations crafted by talented local chefs. Held annually in Minneapolis in summer, this festival offers a unique opportunity for food enthusiasts to sample a wide range of dishes.
Besides the mouthwatering food offerings, this festival often features live, outdoor music performances. It’s a great opportunity to gather with friends and family, try a variety of dishes, and immerse yourself in the vibrant food culture of the city.
Explore Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis in summer
Want to get out and explore a bit of nature before winter rolls in? One of the coolest places to visit in Minneapolis in summer is Minnehaha Falls. Minnehaha Regional Park unveils a mesmerizing waterfall that stretches over 50 feet high. Visiting this breathtaking waterfall that’s set along the backdrop of Minneapolis’ urban surroundings will not only have you in awe, but also will get you some Instagram-worthy pics—you won’t even need a filter! It’s no wonder this hidden gem attracts an astounding 850,000 visitors annually.
As you meander through Minnehaha Park, you’ll see vistas of limestone bluffs and the mighty Mississippi River. Beyond the waterfall, this regional park boasts an array of amenities that cater to all ages and interests. From biking and walking paths to a disc golf course, fountains, and sculptures, every attraction here brings an awesome experience. Whether you’re seeking quality time with your family or craving a nice nature hike during the sun-soaked summer months, Minnehaha Falls is the place to go.
Wrap up the perfect summer at the Minnesota State Fair
The Minnesota State Fair is an annual event in Falcon Heights, MN, and it’s known as one of the largest state fairs in the US. The fair captures the essence of Minneapolis in summer, as it features Minnesota’s agricultural heritage, social culture, and traditions. Thus, it provides a fun and memorable setting that draws millions of visitors each year.
One of the highlights of the fair is the incredible food. From classic fair favorites like corn dogs and deep-fried Oreos to unique culinary creations and international dishes, the range of edible options makes the fair a foodie’s paradise. Below are a few uniquely delicious foods we dare you to try at the fair this summer!
• Mini Donut Beer: This drink combines the flavors of a classic State Fair mini donut with a refreshing beer.
• Hotdish on a Stick: This snack is a fun twist on a Minnesota classic. It has layers of tater tots, meat, and vegetables on a stick, topped with a creamy sauce.
• Sweet Corn Ice Cream: This dessert blends the ice cream with fresh sweet corn. You can top your cone with honey butter bacon bits or wild blueberry compote.
• Deep-Fried Pickles: These are tangy pickle slices coated in a crispy batter and deep-fried to perfection.
Looking for fun activities in Minneapolis in summer? In addition to the iconic food tasting, the Minnesota State Fair features a diverse lineup of entertainment. This includes live music performances, comedy shows, animal exhibits, and carnival rides.
Don’t miss these events in Minneapolis this summer
With so many awesome activities to join this hot season, you’re bound to miss at least one or two of them. But the best way to avoid some major FOMO is to make sure you get tickets to the best concerts in Minneapolis this summer before they sell out to the lucky ones who beat you to the punch.
The Pourhouse in Minneapolis in summer hosts incredible concerts. So if you’re looking for things to do in Minneapolis in July, we’ve got you covered! We’re going to feature amazing reggae and pop artists that’ll be sure to get you dancing and cheers-ing with your friends until closing time.
Make this your best summer yet
As we wrap up our exploration of Minneapolis in summer, we’re reminded of the awesome activities this dynamic city offers, from sun-soaked days at the farmers market or Minnehaha Falls to the vibrant energy of the Uptown Art Fair and outdoor concerts.
Whether you’re a local seeking new thrills or a visitor excited to discover a new city this summer, Minneapolis has an activity waiting for you.