Whether you’re looking for outdoor activities around some of the country’s most picturesque lakes or cultural experiences at top theaters and museums, there are plenty of amazing things to do in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
In Minneapolis, there is water nearly everywhere you look. With the majestic Mississippi River, waterfalls, wetland, and 13 lakes, you won’t have trouble finding outdoor activities to keep you engaged.
But we’re also talking about the same city that gave both Bob Dylan and Prince to the world, so Minneapolis is definitely a cultural powerhouse. In short, there is something for everyone in Minneapolis.
Let’s dive in and explore some of the fun things to do in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
1. Waterfall at Minnehaha Park
First on our list to best things to do in Minneapolis is visiting Minnehaha Park for some breathtaking scenery. How does seeing one of the country’s most majestic waterfalls sound to you? At Minnehaha Regional Park, you can view the 53-foot waterfall, view the area from river overlooks, and witness limestone bluffs.
2. Target Field Tour
If you’re a baseball fan, you don’t want to miss a tour of Target Field, home to Major League Baseball’s Minnesota Twins. While visiting Target Field, you can enjoy some of the finest food in the area and participate in a 90-minute guided tour of the ballpark. The tour includes visits to the Herb Carneal Press Box, the Budweiser Roof Deck, and other interesting areas of the park.
3. Minneapolis Institute of Art
At the Minneapolis Institute of Art, you and your family can enjoy some of the world’s finest arts and participate in programs that include classes, tours, film viewing, and Family Days. Popular exhibits have included “Envisioning Evil: The Nazi Drawings” by Mauricio Lasansky and “Words That Presence the Diving: Tezet Metu.”
4. Can Can Wonderland
At Can Can Wonderland, there is something for every member of your family. From a vintage arcade where you can play pinball games to mini-golf, you can find tons of things to do at this venue.
Can Can Wonderland is located in an old factory, and some of the proceeds from revenue go to support the artist community in Minneapolis.
5. Walker Art Center
When you visit the Walker Art Center, you can enjoy the stage, cinema, galleries, and outdoor activities. The Walker Center serves as a catalyst for the active engagement of audiences and the creative expression of their artists. While there, be sure to see the popular Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, which is free to explore.
6. Wheel Fun Rentals
If you want to get around the city in a fun way, we recommend connecting with Wheel Fun Rentals and renting one of their four-wheel carts or bicycles. In one of these carts, you can tour vast areas of the city, including museums and other attractions.
7. Mill City Museum
At the Mill City Museum, you can discover the extremely lively Mississippi riverfront. There are countless activities to enjoy at the museum, including shopping, baking labs, and views from the rooftop observation deck. While you are there, be sure to shop at the Mill City Farmer’s Market
8. Children’s Theatre Company
Next on the list of amazing things to do in Minneapolis is the Children’s Theatre Company. If you love community theatre, you will delight in the shows that are produced by the Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis. Every year, the theatre produces a number of classics, from Broadway musicals to children’s plays.
9. Minnesota History Center
No visit to the Twin Cities is complete without a visit to the Minnesota History Center. At the center, you can visit a library that houses the state of Minnesota’s historical documents, visit an award-winning museum, and take in some of the state’s fine architecture.
At the museum, you can see a real-life Jenny airplane, view a gigantic postcard, and experience a unique view of the Minnesota State Capitol building. There is also an extensive library on site that has been operating since 1849.
10. American Swedish Institute
If you have Swedish ancestry, you will be fascinated by the exhibits and educational opportunities at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis. While there, you can tour the historic Turnblad Mansion, dine at the Fika cafe, and buy one-of-a-kind Scandinavian and Swedish designs at the gift shop.
The museum always has several popular exhibits, covering topics such as Kindertransport and more. You can also participate in Makers Morning and Makers Night to create your own works of art.
For learning opportunities, visitors can learn the Finnish and Swedish languages, as well as learn all about the New Nordic movement.
11. Theodore Wirth Park
At Theodore Wirth Park, you and your entire family can enjoy several different outdoor activities, including participating in sports leagues. In the winter, take in some cross-country skiing or ice fishing, and splash in some water parks in the summer. Golfers can enjoy the Theodore Wirth Golf Club or the Theodor Wirth Par 3 Golf Club.
12. Mercado Central
A thriving marketplace with more than 35 businesses, Mercado Central has everything you need to experience Latino culture right in the middle of Minneapolis. While there, you can enjoy the delicious foods of Latin America and shop for items to enhance your home, cooking, and wardrobe.
13. Somali Museum of Minnesota
For an utterly unique cultural experience, plan a visit to the Somali Museum of Minnesota. The museum has an annual cultural event that allows visitors to experience the Somalian culture first-hand. Other activities include a dance troupe exhibition, traditional finger weaving classes, and Somali Culture 101.
While at the museum, you can see nomadic artifacts and life-size replicas of nomadic houses.
14. Magical History Tour
If you want to tour the city on a Segway, you will enjoy the popular Magical History Tour. This tour is a three-hour exploration that covers both sides of the Mississippi River. On the tour, you will also see the downtown historic district in Minneapolis.
On your Segway, you will cross the Stone Arch Bridge, stop at the Mill City Museum for refreshments, and see the Guthrie Theater.
15. The Museum of Russian Art
The Russian influence is strong in Minnesota, and this is on full display at The Museum of Russian Art. This museum explores the culture and art of the Russian Empire, Muscovite Russia, the Soviet Union, and post-Soviet Russia.
Popular exhibits have included E.O. Hoppe and the Ballets Russes, The Ancient Artel: Lacquer Miniatures from Palekh, and Alexey Brodovitch: Designer of the Avant-Garde. You can also take Russian language classes at the museum.
16. Minnesota Children’s Museum
At the Minnesota Children’s Museum, children can participate in tons of different activities on three floors. Also, the museum offers private playtime, which allows small groups to participate in an exclusive play experience.
One popular activity is Storytime, which allows children to step into stories like “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” and “The Tale of Peter Rabbit.” Activities at the Children’s Museum are interactive, and a visit here is sure to inspire your children to see things in a different way.
17. Minnesota Zoo
The Minnesota Zoo has cutting-edge exhibits that provide unique experiences with animals and the habitats they live in. You will see species from all over the world and learn about the conservation programs that preserve critical ecosystems and protect endangered species.
Every fall, the zoo has the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular, and visitors can wander through thousands of artfully carved jack-o-lanterns that light up the night. Another popular activity is Moonlight Yoga, where you can practice your favorite animal poses.
Before your trip to the zoo check out 20 Things To Do At The Minnesota Zoo You Didn’t Know About.
18. Weisman Art Museum
The Weisman Art Museum is a massive 8,100 square-foot facility that was designed by the award-winning architect Frank Gehry. In addition to a notable art collection, activities at the museum include online programs and artful writing classes. Children can enjoy participating in design workshops, and artists frequently do talks about the museum.
19. Zero Gravity Trampoline Park
The Zero Gravity Trampoline Park offers more than 11,000 square feet of exciting trampoline jumping surfaces. Enjoy jumps like Dodgeball, Climbing Wall, Aerial Ninja Challenge, and Slam Dunk Court.
The park also has a full arcade and state-of-the-art laser tag. You can also enjoy a huge climbing wall with a trampoline underneath it.
20. Chain of Lakes
The Chain of Lakes Park is located on the shorelines of Cedar Lake, Brownie Lake, Bde Maka Ska, Lake of the Isles, and Lake Harriet. There are more activities at the Chain of Lakes Park that you can do in a single day.
At the Chain of Lakes Park, there are activities for the entire family, including ice rinks, ice fishing, snowboarding lessons, snowshoeing, water parks, wading pools, and even summer camps for kids.
21. First Avenue and 7th St Entry
Do you want to walk in the footsteps of the legendary artist Prince? Visit First Avenue and 7th St Entry, the club that made Prince famous. This club is one of the country’s longest-running venues that is independently owned and operated. Moreover, the club is widely considered to be the musical epicenter of Minneapolis and St. Paul.
22. Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
No place blooms as beautiful as Minneapolis in the springtime. To check out the area’s most gorgeous blooms, a visit to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is a must.
The Arboretum was founded in 1958 and since then, they have been active in research into cold-hardy plants. You can take in fall colors and even book holiday tea parties at the Arboretum. In the winter, take a walking tour to see the popular Winter Lights exhibition.
23. Seasonal Festivals
All throughout the year, you can enjoy festivals in Minneapolis.
Minneapolis Winter Festivals:
- Holidazzle: Celebrate in a downtown Winter Wonderland.
- The Great Northern: Celebrate the gorgeous winter season in this 10-day festival.
- Loppet Winter Festival: Enjoy skijoring races, candlelit hikes, ice biking, and snow sculpture competitions.
- Art Shanty Projects: Explore a temporary art village that’s set up on a frozen lake.
Minneapolis Spring Festivals
- Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival: Choose between more than 250 films from over 70 countries.
- Art-A-Whirl: Visit the country’s largest open art studio and connect with local artists.
- Art in Bloom: Take in hundreds of floral art designs.
- Doors Open Minneapolis: Explore behind the scenes at more than 100 of Minneapolis’s most iconic buildings.
Minneapolis Summer Festivals
- Minnesota State Fair: Eat your heart out at the country’s second-largest state fair.
- Stone Arch Bridge Festival: Enjoy outdoor water activities at this annual festival and enjoy interesting dining, shopping, and more.
- Twin Cities Pride Fest: Show your support for Pride at the country’s largest Pride festival.
- Basilica Block Party: Discover local musicians at this two-day music festival that’s held on the front steps at the gorgeous Basilica of St. Mary.
- Minnesota Renaissance Festival: Time travel to 16th century Europe in the country’s largest Renaissance festival.
- Uptown Art Fair: Take in the talent of more than 300 artists and buy original art.
Minnesota Fall Festivals
- Twin Cities Film Festival: Watch some of the year’s top indie films.
- Annual Monarch Festival: Celebrate the 2,300-mile migration of the monarch butterfly from Minnesota to Mexico.
Fun Things to Do in Minneapolis: Final Thoughts
Now that you have an exhaustive list of the most fun things to do in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where will you start? Let us know in the comments.
Still looking for more fun adventures? Then checkout all the great things to do in the Twin Cities!
Looking for Minnesota winter inspiration? Check out our Minnesota winter guide for activity ideas, winter apparel suggestion, and endless ways to enjoy the snow!
Looking for some warm weather recommendations? Discover spring and summer in Minnesota for best destinations, travel recommendations, small (and big!) town events, and more!
Looking for more autumnal activities? Then visit our Minnesota Fall page to find inspiration for sweater weather fun!
- About the Author
- Latest Posts
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.