Brooklyn Park may not be as well known as the Twin Cities or Minneapolis, but this city is the sixth-largest in the state of Minnesota and is full of amazing things to do and sites to see. With a population of more than 86,000, this city, which sits on the bank of the Mississippi River just outside the Twin Cities, is full of discoveries. From cultural experiences to historic sites, family events, and outdoor adventures, there is truly something for everyone here. In this article, we’ll share our top things to do in Brooklyn Park for every season and audience!
1. Visit Mississippi Gateway Regional Park
First on our list of best things to do in Brooklyn Park is the Mississippi Gateway Regional Park which is the source of America’s most famous river. There are things to do throughout the year here, from outdoor sports to community events. The park hosts a summer concert series sponsored by the local Art Commission. These performances are free to the public and take place every week. Meanwhile, visitors can also take the opportunity to hike, bike, or kayak through the park. It is a popular spot for angling and, in the winter months, cross country skiing. There is also a playground for children. Mississippi Gateway Regional Park is a must-visit for families, especially those with young kids.
2. Watch How Beer is Brewed at Surly Brewing Co.
Surly Brewing Co. draws visitors from not just all over Minnesota, but all over the United States. While most breweries offer free or paid tastings, Surly Brewing Co. takes it to the next level by letting visitors tour the facilities. During your visit, you will get to see how the company brews their signature craft beer and of course, taste a sampling of beers brewed on-site. The company also features a beer hall, where you can buy one of 30 beers and attend community events. The offerings rotate daily, so you are always bound to find something new at Surly Brewing Co.!
3. Participate in Paddle Share
Brooklyn Park is a top destination for kayaking, canoeing, and sailing. The community makes it possible for everyone to participate through their Paddle Share program! At River Park, you can rent out equipment and sail along the mouth of the Mississippi River as it starts its journey down to the Gulf of Mexico. Kayak rentals are super easy! All you have to do is sign up online and get an access code to a kayak locker. It is yours for the day with no charge. All you have to do is return it when you are finished so it can be claimed by the next outdoors enthusiast.
4. Enjoy Fall Fun at The Twin Cities Harvest Festival
The Twin Cities Harvest Festival is a celebration of all things autumnal. Running every year from mid September to the end of October, the festival offers visitors the chance to participate in all kinds of fall fun. You can run in the corn maze, eat delicious fairground foods, buy fresh local goods from the market, and participate in activities. There is also a pumpkin patch, straw bale maze, corn pit, face painting and caricatures, and inflatable toys for kids. Meanwhile, enjoy some local food from the regularly-changing food trucks. Pets are welcome at the Twin Cities Harvest Festival, so feel free to bring your furry friend along!
5. Visit a Local Dog Park
Brooklyn Park is a popular place for four-legged friends. There are two dog parks in town, both of which are classified as off-leash. Here, dogs can run and play to their hearts’ content while meeting new friends. You might be surprised at the human friends you make, too! If you are more comfortable keeping your pup on a leash, you are welcome to do so. To keep all its visitors safe, Brooklyn Park has strict rules in place regarding dog behavior, vaccination status, and health. The goal is to make sure that all your furry friends have a great time and stay safe while doing so!
6. Learn Some History at Historic Eidem Farm
Next on our list of best things to do in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota is the historic Eidem Farm. Brooklyn Park has many years of history behind it, and these days, visitors can learn all about it at historic Eidem Farm. This living history farm rests on 19 acres and offers educational tours, seasonal events, and even rentals. The farm dates from 1890, when the Eidem family farmed potatoes there. Unlike most historic sites, where everything is off limits, Eidem farm is all about inviting visitors to participate in life as it was more than a century ago. They will even get the chance to try their hand at wringing clothes out, pumping water by hand, and explore the property.
7. Play Some Golf at Edinburgh USA
Brooklyn Park is known far and wide for its amazing golf offerings. Golf enthusiasts will jump at the chance to visit Edinburgh USA, one of the best courses in the United States. Located just outside of Minneapolis, this course is renowned for its tricky 17th hole as well as its island fairway and peninsula. Designed by architect Robert Trent Jones II, who also designed the site of the 2015 US Open, Edinburgh is framed around a Scottish manor where visitors can stop for a meal after playing their game. The course also has the biggest putting green in the country!
8. Cuddle Baby Animals at The Twin Cities Spring Babies Festival
If there is anything more exciting for kids than a petting zoo, it might be a petting zoo full of baby animals. Every spring, Brooklyn Park hosts the Twin Cities Spring Babies Festival, where the main attraction is cuddly ducklings, sheep, goats, chicks, and much more. But of course, that is not the only attraction. You can also take part in activities such as inflatable toys, a corn maze, corn pit, corn kernel dunk tank, mini golf, and a play area. Local food trucks from all over the area turn up to the festival, so there is plenty to eat.
9. Raise a Glass at Blue Wolf Brewing Company
Minnesota is known for its many amazing breweries, but Blue Wolf Brewing Company is one that you shouldn’t miss. Serving a variety of craft beers in the German style, Blue Wolf has a rotating menu. This means that you will get the chance to try craft beers that are perfect for the season, no matter when you stop in. Though the brewery doesn’t serve its own food, visitors are welcome to bring along their favorite eats to pair with the delicious beer made on site. There are also regular events at the Blue Wolf Brewing Company, such as weekly trivia nights.
10. Eat Some Fantastic Food
Brooklyn Park is home to some of the best restaurants, cafes, and eateries in the state of Minnesota. There are more than 90 places to get some grub in the city. Thanks to Brooklyn Park’s diverse population, you can find cuisine in every style and from every culture. Some local favorites include Lemon Grass, an Asian eatery serving sushi and Thai cuisine, Crazy Cajun, and Fat Nat’s Eggs. The city is also home to plenty of food trucks and carts, so one thing is for certain: you are bound to eat well in Brooklyn Park, no matter what cuisine you enjoy.
11. Go Ice Skating
It is only to be expected that there are plenty of places to go ice skating in any Minnesota town! Brooklyn Park features two indoor skating rinks which draw 100,000 people (both skaters and spectators) each year while providing 6,700 hours of activity. You will find opportunities for both open skating and hockey throughout the year, as well as skating lessons for all ages. One rink is located in the Brooklyn Park Community Activity Center, which also features a gymnasium, indoor walking track, pickleball court, sunfish pond, and community event pavilion. The rink is also available for birthday parties!
12. Attend Tater Daze
Brooklyn Park got its start as a potato-farming community. Now, the city celebrates that heritage every summer with a festival known as Tater Daze. This huge event features local food and drink vendors, inflatable games for kids, family activities, skating in the park, an open-air market, and live entertainment. The event kicks off with a parade, so make sure you get there on time! Tater Daze has been going on since 1964 and has now become a Brooklyn Park institution in and of itself. No matter how old you are, you are bound to have a great time at this festival celebrating the city’s unique history.
13. Visit a Retro Drive-In Eatery
Wagner’s Drive-In is one of the top eateries in Brooklyn Park, but it is not like most other restaurants. Founded more than 35 years ago, Wagner’s has maintained the vintage feel of an old-fashioned drive-in. It is now in its second generation as a family business! You will find a menu full of classic favorites, including bratwurst, burgers, chili dogs, onion rings, hot sandwiches, shakes, malts, and more. After more than four decades, Wagner’s remains a community favorite and you will still find people flocking there week after week. There are also regular events hosted at the drive-in, including charity events, community parties, and much more.
14. Play Some Arcade Games
Brooklyn Park is a great city for those who love the attractions of bygone eras. After you grab a meal at a retro drive-in, stop by Bowlero Brooklyn Park to play arcade games. Of course, that is far from the only thing to do there! It also features a 48-lane bowling alley, laser tag arena, darts, billiards, bumper cars, and a sports bar. There is something here for every crowd, from families to teens to adult outings. So suffice it to say that Bowlero Brooklyn Park isn’t just any old arcade — it is the perfect combination of entertainment, past and present.
15. Take a Painting Class
Brooklyn Park isn’t all arcade games and family festivals. There are plenty of opportunities to explore artistic interests as well. You can find art classes — often paired with wine and snacks — throughout the city. This is a perfect outing for a bachelorette party or just a group of friends who want a fun but low-key night out. Many of these are regular events, so you can attend more than once if you like. It just goes to show that when it comes to fun things to do in Brooklyn Park Minnesota, there is truly something for everybody.
Visiting Brooklyn Park
Brooklyn Park is a wonderful place to be at any time of the year. Located just outside the Twin Cities, it offers a direct line to activities both urban and rural. Whether you love shopping and entertainment, are looking for activities for families and kids, or prefer to hit the hiking trail on your own, you can find it all in and around Brooklyn Park, Minnesota.
If you know of any amazing things to do in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota that we didn’t mention, please let us know. We’d love to hear from you!
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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.