Whether you are visiting the area or looking for new things to do, you can find a ton of fun things to do in Apple Valley, Minnesota. Despite its name, there’s a variety of fun things to do in Apple Valley that don’t relate to apples. Apple Valley earned its name because at the time it transitioned from Lebanon Township to Apple Valley, the apple trees found along County Road 42 were reminiscent of Apple Valley, California.
Take advantage of the different places to visit, experiences to have, and even dine while you are enjoying Apple Valley. There is truly so much to keep you busy in this town, no matter what the season or weather conditions you will find fantastic things to do in Apple Valley, Minnesota.
One of the first stops you must make when you visit Apple Valley is heading over to the Minnesota Zoo. With nearly 100 different animals on-site, you and your family will spend hours enjoying the different habitats present and enjoying an area that many exotic animals call home. While at the Minnesota Zoo, you can enjoy several trails throughout the zoo that give guests an opportunity to experience the different seasons in the wild. Purchase your tickets easily online before you visit.
2. Apple Valley Freedom Days
If you plan to visit the area during the Independence holiday, you need to stay in town long enough to enjoy the longest parade in the area. Cities and suburbs from all around have businesses, bands and other floats enter the parade to celebrate the Nation’s freedom each year in Apple Valley. The celebration continues with a long-lasting carnival for visitors and fireworks to enjoy. In most cases, this festival lasts for several days with a beer garden and live entertainment. There is something for everyone to enjoy.
3. Apple Valley Winter Carnival
There are even great things to do in Apple Valley during the coldest weather. For a week in the middle of winter, Apple Valley finds a way to bring out the community and nearby visitors to embrace the winter weather. Offering contests, scavenger hunts, and other activities for all to enjoy in the area. The big scavenger hunt that kicks off at the beginning of the week keeps all participants busy all week long for the celebration and is hosted by local first responders. Everyone can take advantage of ice skating to get their blood flowing over the cool temperatures and experience a winterly but fun social event that is available for everyone of all ages to enjoy.
Do you want to experience the business and all that Apple Valley has to offer by day, but relax in the outdoors by night? So do many others who visit Apple Valley and escape to the Lebanon Hills Campground. Here, guests can enjoy a peaceful area to listen to the sounds of nature while they are still just minutes away from Apple Valley’s city center. Bring your RV to the campsite, or get back to basics with tent camping. The campground does offer amenities such as a store, laundry, a playground for children, and is handicap accessible.
5. Apple Valley East Park
Make sure you stretch your legs and enjoy the beautiful weather that Apple Valley has to offer when you visit Apple Valley East Park. Loaded with a basketball court, hockey rink, and a skating rink, locals and visitors alike find this park to be a great place when visiting Apple Valley. It offers endless entertainment and fun that everyone in the family can enjoy when they are in Apple Valley.
6. Valleywood Golf Course
Kick off your next tee time at Valleywood Golf course the next time you are in Apple Valley. With the driving range opening at 7 am almost every day, guests and even locals take time out of their schedule to work on their skills while enjoying some of the best views found all around Apple Valley. Valleywood is open to weddings, meetings, and other major events when you reserve the Banquet room for your event. The view of the 18th green is one that keeps guests booking the venue and taking advantage of the event packages available.
Valleywood Golf Course also offers Junior golf, and lessons to get the entire family out on the green and work on their game so that it can be enjoyed together. PGA professionals on-site teach these juniors through summer clinics and through private lessons if you would like.
7. AMC CLASSIC Apple Valley 15
It isn’t just any movie theater in the area, the AMC CLASSIC offers quite the classic but enjoyable experience when you want to watch new releases or happy classics during matinée hours. Get all the snacks you enjoy before the show begins and enjoy the phenomenal surround sound that keeps guests returning week after week for the next release. This facility also offers Opera productions in the area to diversify the shows and can even stream sporting events for guests to enjoy.
8. Bogart’s Entertainment Center
Get your bowling game on today when you visit Bogart’s Entertainment Center for all-around fun. One of the largest complexes around, you can enjoy one of the vast bowling lanes for your next game with friends and family or take on the new arcade that is open and available to everyone of all ages. Because of its size and ability to house so many patrons at once, it is ideal for birthday parties, work events, and even weddings that want to put a real spin of fun on their reception. You can also enjoy a game or two of sand volleyball while listening to live music and local sounds of Minnesota.
9. Wild Bill’s Sports Saloon
For the adults in your group who really want to have a good time, Wild Bill’s Sports Saloon offers adult-only entertainment. If you just want a seat where you can watch your game and enjoy your beer, find a seat around the Saloon’s bar and get comfortable. If you want to take your entertainment to the next level, jump in on a Bingo game happening or do some small gambling on the Etabs available. Test out your luck in Apple Valley when you head over to Wild Bill’s.
10. Farquar Park
If you are looking to spend an afternoon out on the water in Apple Valley, launch your canoe at Farquar Park. You can spend time out on the water and then come back in for a picnic lunch at one of the tables on the hilltop shelter. The views allow those who live or are visiting Apple Valley to enjoy some quieter scenery. If you want to do a little fishing, head over to the pier and drop a line. Let the kids take advantage of the playground, volleyball court, or skating rink all located on the 11-acre plot of land.
11. Family Aquatic Center and Pool
When the temperature starts to warm up, one of the most fun things to do in Apple Valley is grab the family and head over to the Family Aquatic Center and Pool. A mini water park on the property has both body slides and tube slides for everyone in the family to enjoy. There is also a “sprayground” on-site for smaller children to get wet and wild on their trip. If you want to rent the property outside of standard hours, you can host the coolest birthday party or group event of the year at the Aquatic Center.
12. Haupt Antiek Market
While you are in Apple Valley, make sure you stop by the Haupt Antiek Market, open four days a month and full of vintage fun and shopping. Everything from antique household items to furniture and decor is available. Make sure to get to the market early, as many local folks anticipate this monthly trend, looking for things that they can add to their home or properties with a vintage character.
13. Fort Snelling State Park
Located just outside Apple Valley is one of the local state parks, Fort Snelling State Park. It is located on the way to Saint Paul and offers a variety of fishing and outdoor experiences for everyone to enjoy. If you need to stretch your legs and get your hike on, there are 18 miles of trails that are easy and moderate. You can also take advantage of local skiing in the winter months with the use of a Minnesota Ski Pass.
14. Outdoor Ice Skating
Just because the temperature drops in Apple Valley doesn’t mean that the activity does. In all the city parks, after the ice has developed, ice skating is open to the public from sunrise to sunset for all to enjoy. Keep your body moving and get a feel for winter activities when you bring out the entire group to one of the rinks. These ice skating rinks will last until the spring when the ice starts to melt. You can enjoy the rinks daily, however, through the winter. If you do not know how to ice skate, there are lessons offered regularly at the Hayes Park Arena and the Apple Valley Sports Arena.
15. Weesner Family Amphitheater
If you want to enjoy local live music, whether it is during a celebration or just a small local event, the Weesner Family Amphitheater hosts a number of bands and artists annually to keep you entertained. It is located in the Minnesota Zoo, so it is often used at one of the many events being hosted seasonally through the Zoo. Many can gather and take a break from the exciting zoo exhibits and enjoy some tunes. Throughout the summer, the Music in the Zoo events holds the attention of Apple Valley residents and others nearby.
16. Celt’s Craft House
While you are in Apple Valley, you should swing by for a fresh craft beer or hand-crafted cocktail to end a delightful day. With an Irish origin, this restaurant and bar offer a delightful menu of fresh burgers, sandwiches, and heavier entrées if you need a little more to fill you up. When you visit for Happy Hour, take advantage of special prices for drinks and appetizers to help get you through the day and onto your evening adventures.
17. Dunn Brothers Coffee
If you require coffee to get your day started, then you may need to head over to Dunn Brothers Coffee while in Apple Valley to get your fix. They have a variety of coffee options from classic brewed pots to cold press options, espresso, and a frappe if frozen if your preference. Meet all of your diet needs with one of the milk substitutes available so that you can get your day started the way you choose.
18. Pahl’s Market
If you are looking to purchase some of the freshest produce and ornamental flowers available in Minnesota, head over to Pahl’s Market while in Apple Valley. They offer a variety of vegetables and fruits that are grown locally in the area. You can even get items for landscaping and starting your own local garden.
Things to Do in Apple Valley Around Every Corner
You don’t need to spend a lot of time looking for great things to do in Apple Valley, Minnesota. Whether you are a visitor or a local, you will find a variety of adventures around every corner.
If you’ve discovered another great thing to do in Apple Valley that’s not on our list, please leave a comment and let us know.
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Born in Madelia, MN, to a now 5-generation Minnesota family, Ryan’s MN roots go deep.
A painter by day, Ryan founded Life in Minnesota in 2013 with his wife Kelly to chronicle their musings on everything Minnesota. Ryan and Kelly are raising their 7 kiddos in Maple Grove, MN.
When he’s not shuttling his kids around to hockey practice, you might find him in the shop working on his leatherwork. Undoubtedly, there will be a family trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area every summer, and of course weekends at Grandpa’s cabin up north in the summer.