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20 Fun Things To Do In Brooklyn Center, Minnesota

Located in the northwest region of Minneapolis, you will find a ton of fun things to do in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. Brooklyn Center is a quiet oasis full of its own discoveries that also has the convenience of being located near a big city.

With a population of just over 33,000 people, Brooklyn Center has a delightful small-town feel. The city of Brooklyn Center is home to 12 gorgeous parks spread out over 522 acres, and there are plenty of indoor activities as well. Let’s dive in and explore all of the great things to do in Brooklyn Center.

Fisherman with rod, spinning reel on the river bank.
Fisherman with rod

1. North Mississippi Regional Park

First on our list of fun things to do in Brooklyn Center is a visit to the North Mississippi Regional Park. This park is located behind I-94 and offers amazing views of the Mississippi River, along with the surrounding prairie and woods. You can see abundant wildlife at the park, including deer foraging for food, beavers felling trees, and plenty of eagles and hawks soaring high in the sky.

There are bike trails and walking trails at the park, and there is even a fishing pier at the park’s north end. With 1.6 miles of trails, there is a lot to see. Also, dogs are allowed on the paved trails as long as they’re on a leash. If you want to enjoy a picnic with your family, the park has picnic tables that overlook the river.

Other activities include geocaching and dog trails. If you go fishing, you can expect to catch small-mouth bass, catfish, carp, and other species. The fishing pier is wheelchair accessible.

2. Kayaking at North Mississippi Regional Park

At the North Mississippi Regional Park, you can do any number of fun activities, including kayaking with the Mississippi River Paddle Share, which is great for people who have some kayaking experience.

For kayaking, the facility offers several different routes, and two start or finish right in Brooklyn Center. You can rent either tandem kayaks or single-person kayaks. This is a great way to experience the water if you don’t own a boat of your own.

3. Hennepin County Library

The Hennepin County Library serves as an essential community hub in Brooklyn Center. In addition to literary activities and book clubs commonly found at libraries, this library has permanent art displays with pieces that were created by members of the community.

Popular events can always be found at the library, and they include demonstrations of various cultural weddings and more. There are also theater workshops to learn more about the performing arts.

Genealogists will appreciate the extensive collection of materials on local history and genealogy, including several digital collections that include thousands of items and photographs. The center also has a collection of hundreds of yearbooks from private schools, public schools, academies, and colleges.

At the library, you can participate in various wellness clubs and events, including meditation classes, a vegan recipe club, and a healing circle.

4. Topgolf

Next on our list of great things to do in Brooklyn Center is a trip to Topgolf. At Topgolf, you can play golf year-round in perfect weather and with stunning views. Topgolf has more than 100 climate-controlled hitting bays and the balls are tracked by microchips that absorb data.

At Topgolf, you can also enjoy bars, a full-service restaurant, a rooftop terrace with a gorgeous fire pit, and over 200 TVs. We recommend trying the Jumbo Pretzel Board, which is a gigantic pretzel that is filled with various meats, fruit, candied pecans, and Pabst Blue Ribbon Cheese Sauce.

5. Birdwatching at Palmer Lake Park

Northern Cardinal (male) perched on a small branch
Grab your binoculars and enjoy nature at Palmer Lake Park: one of the most peaceful things to do in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota

If you love birdwatching and you’re in Brooklyn Center, you can’t miss a visit to Palmer Lake Basin, where you can wander over 271 acres and 3.1 miles of paved trails looking for some of the most gorgeous birds in the world. 

Birds to keep your eye out for are the Gray Catbird, American Redstart, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and the Northern Cardinal. 

6. Que Viet Village’s Legendary Giant Eggroll

Que Viet Village is the oldest Vietnamese restaurant in the state of Minnesota, and their egg roll is legendary. Filled with delicious vermicelli and savory ground pork, these egg rolls have been featured on the Food Network, so you don’t want to miss the chance to experience them yourself. 

7. Surly Brewing Co. 

For some of the finest craft beer in the North, head over to Surly Brewing Co. An independent craft brewery for more than 14 years, Surly serves one province and 13 states.

Surly Brewing Co. offers year-round favorites like Hell, Furious, Grapefruit Supreme, Axeman, and Xtra. They also have seasonal favorites, and an acclaimed Russian Imperial Stout called Darkness.

Surly Brewing Co. got its start right in Brooklyn Center at an industrial park, and the founders were instrumental in changing laws that prohibited production breweries from selling their own products. However, Surly isn’t just about beer. They also have several events happening all the time.

8. Brooklyn Center Community Center

The first place to go in Brooklyn Center is the Brooklyn Center Community Center. At the center, you can register to take part in adult athletics, as well as youth and family activities. 

There are several different adult fitness classes at the center, including SilverSneakers, Zumba, strength training, creative movements, Afro-beats dance workouts, aqua deep water workouts, and arthritis water exercises. There are fitness classes for people of all ages, from kids to senior citizens. 

At the community center, you can sign up for swimming lessons, swim in the 50-meter indoor heated swimming pool, take aqua fitness classes, and more. There is a 150-foot water slide, sauna, and diving boards, which provide all of the fun you need in a temperature-controlled environment. 

9. Centennial Park

Centennial Park offers basketball courts, a hockey rink, archery accommodations, a skating rink, picnic shelters, a playground, and more. 

At Centennial Park, there is also an amphitheater where you can enjoy performances of all types year-round. Events include plays, concerts, and more. 

10. Jambo Africa Restaurant

If you’re been wanting to experience authentic cuisine from the countries in the continent of Africa, head over to Jambo Africa restaurant. Jambo Africa specializes in Liberian, Nigerian, and Kenyan cuisine. Just imagine enjoying ogbono soup, fried plantains, egusi soup, and more. 

At the restaurant, you can also enjoy events such as Old School Thursdays, Afro Reggae, Afro Latin, and more. Besides the amazing food, a visit to Jambo Africa is a great way to learn about African culture through activities like live music, dancing, book launches, story-telling, poetry craft, fashion shows, and more. 

11. Shingle Creek Crossing

When you’re ready to do some shopping, head over to Shingle Creek Crossing, where you can shop ’til you drop at stores like T.J. Maxx, Foot Locker, and K-Fashions. Restaurants in the area include IHOP, Panda Express, Chipotle, and Captain Crab. 

12. Carl W. Kroening Interpretive Center

At the Carl W. Kroening Interpretive Center, you can experience interpretive exhibits about nature and the Mississippi River. There is a bird watching station and tons of hands-on fun for kids. 

During Campfire Nights, you can take a date and enjoy a fun evening in nature. You use teamwork to discover answers to riddles about nature, and you can go for a nature walk along the mighty Mississippi River. End your evening with a relaxing chat around a campfire. 

Father and son roasting marshmallows
Father and son roasting marshmallows

Family Funday happens for one Sunday every month, and it’s filled with an entire afternoon of fun nature-themed activities. The themes can be things like Animal Masquerade PRty and Clues from Nature. 

One popular activity is the Nature Nuts program for early childhood. Adults can bring children ages 7 and under to explore nature themes that include plants, animals, and seasons. 

At Adventure Hubs, kids and adults can check out free nature exploration resources. Also, there are chances to learn about trekking with poles, fort building, animal tracking, cloud and tree identification, snowshoeing, and more. 

13. Irie Vybz Jamaican Restaurant

If you want to enjoy some Jamaican cuisine, head over to Irie Vybz Jamaican Restaurant. You can get as full as you want on dishes like Jamaican jerk, oxtail, curry chicken, curry goat, rasta pasta, and more. 

14. Biking or Hiking at the Shingle Creek Trail

At the Shingle Creek Trail, you can walk, run, or bike alongside the water. This trail begins in Brooklyn Park and heads south to go through Brooklyn Center. 

Going through the trail, you will have access to the Brookdale Library, the Brooklyn Center Community Center, and other businesses nearby. 

15. Eugene H. Hagel Arboretum

At the Eugene H. Hagel Arboretum, you can relax in a nature lovers paradise. The arboretum is full of rare fauna and flora, and the natural wetlands are home to all types of animals. During the warmer months, visitors can also enjoy the colorful blooms that are on display at the park. 

16. Firehouse Park

Another fun thing to do in Brooklyn Center is a family outing to Firehouse Park. One of the largest parks in Brooklyn Center, Firehouse Park has softball and baseball fields, a playground, paved pathways, and picnic areas with grills. 

17. Tiny Footprint Coffee’s Latte Art Activity

A locally and independently owned coffee company, Tiny Footprint Coffee created the first carbon-negative coffee in the world. But Tiny Footprint Coffee is about much more than selling coffee. Part of their proceeds goes to fund Ecuador’s reforestation, where the trees remove C02 from the Earth’s atmosphere. 

In addition to enjoying a great cup of coffee, you can also participate in interactive training classes to become a barista, whether you’re a home brewer or a seasoned veteran. While there, you can learn how to make latte art, some coffee brewing basics, and more. It’s a great way to up your coffee game. 

18. Centerbrook Golf Course

Take a swing at one of the fun things to do in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota
Take a swing at one of the fun things to do in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota

Located on 28 acres in Brooklyn Center’s heart, the Centerbrook Golf Course is a challenging par-3 layout with nine holes. The tees, greens, and fairways are beautifully manicured and the course is suitable for both pros and beginners. 

At the course, you can rent electric carts, take golf lessons, and even participate in leagues and tournaments. Even better, the golf course participates in Youth on Course, which allows kids aged 6-18 to play golf for just $5 or less. 

Because it’s a small course, you can play a game of golf in about 90 minutes, so it’s perfect for people who want to get in a quick game but don’t have all day to play. You can also try playing FlingGolf, which is a cross between lacrosse and golf. 

19. 50’s Grill

If you love traveling back in time, you will thoroughly enjoy lunch or dinner at 50’s Grill, where you can enjoy a home-cooked meal that is full of nostalgia. For example, this restaurant is beloved for its chicken pot pie, which they have been serving for more than 20 years. They also offer trendy regional favorites like the Bison Burger. 

Be sure to save room for dessert because 50’s Grill has more than 70 dessert options that are made from scratch, including old-fashioned malts (with seasonal favorites), cookies, pies, and award-winning gourmet cakes such as the Lemon Supreme, Brazilian Coconut, Pumpkin Cheesecake, and Black Forest Cake. 

20. Evergreen Park

Last, but not least on our list of fun things to do in Brooklyn Center is a visit to Evergreen Park. Evergreen Park is a family favorite in Brooklyn Center. The park features a paved skating rink, paved pathways for walking or biking, a hockey rink, basketball courts, soccer fields, and baseball fields. You can enjoy a picnic at the park’s picnic shelter. 

Final Thoughts: Fun Things to Do in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota

Brooklyn Center, Minnesota doesn’t have as much to do as some of the larger cities in the state, but the small-town vibe is a wonderful experience and you don’t have to travel out of the city to have a good time. If we missed any of the best fun things to do in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, let us know in the comments.