With a mixture of history, culture, and family fun, there are tons of amazing things to do in Shakopee around every corner. Once a trading post along the Minnesota River to now a bustling community, Shakopee offers a variety of unique attractions for all ages.
Whether you are a resident, visiting family, or in search of a weekend getaway, you will find great things to do in Shakopee, Minnesota, beginning here with our list.
125 acres of sheer fun makes Valleyfair Amusement Park an unmissable attraction in Shakopee. Since its opening in 1976, the park has entertained thousands of visitors, old and young alike, and now boasts over 75 rides, so there really is something for everyone. Choose from one (or two.,..or three…) of the eight roller coasters, or take the plunge (literally) on one of the rides in Soak City, the water park within Valleyfair. Take yourselves, take your swimsuits and take your sunblock to enjoy one of the most fun things to do in Shakopee.
2. Badger Hill Brewing Company
After a day out and about in Shakopee, what better place to end up than at Badger Hill Brewing Company to enjoy a unique craft beer, brewed right on the premises. Even better, arrange to meet your friends here – or just make friends as you enjoy the beer and atmosphere.
3. Sever’s Corn Maze
In 1997, there were only two corn mazes in the United States – and Sever’s was one of them. The owner of Peterson Farms, which has a long history as a grain farm (and more), Sever and Sharon Peterson had heard about the hedge mazes in Europe and decided to make their own version. Thus the first Sever’s corn maze was created.
The maze has been created every year since then and is cut by hand so that the design is unique and cleanly presented. Take the family and get lost in the pleasure of the maze and just, simply, solve your own puzzle.
4. Sever’s Festivals
The corn maze that Sever and Sharon Peterson first cut in 1997 also offered a table with cookies. Over the years, this has developed into the Sever’s Fall Festival, offering a whole range of fun things to take part in, including corn pits, zip lines, pumpkin patches, and food and drink options.
That is not where it ends, though. If you are looking for fun things to do in Shakopee at any time of year, it is likely that Sever’s may be able to give you what you want. September and October not only offer the Fall Festival, but you can also celebrate the harvest at the Fall Lights Festival. Then there is the beauty of the Holiday Lights in November and December. Not to mention Rock Lights and Stories, Riddles and Rhymes. Sever’s just shouts to you to visit. More than once.
5. The Landing
In Minnesota River Heritage Park, you will be able to experience how the Minnesotans in the 19th century took the challenge of the country and made it their own, on the frontier, in villages, and out on the farms.
You can walk along a timeline of the 1800s created by a series of historical buildings. Taking a self-guided tour is free, but you can also purchase tickets to go into the buildings and really get a look at life in the 1800s when you interact with the costumed characters helping to bring the frontier times to life.
6. Memorial Park
Memorial Park is the largest park in Shakopee and offers a day out in the open to just picnic and relax, or to be more active and take a hike along some of the natural trails. You can visit interesting sites, such as the Veterans Memorial for soldiers from Shakopee who perished in conflict or the Native American burial mounds, tribute to past inhabitants of the area.
The kids can let off some steam in the large playground, while those who are looking for a little less action can sit at one of the picnic tables, or in the open-air shelter. Take the family, take friends, take both and make the most of this great attraction in Shakopee, Minnesota.
7. Canterbury Park
If you are looking for some of the most fun things to do in Shakopee, you just have to visit Canterbury Park. From May to September, you can experience the excitement of the pounding of your heart that matches the pounding of the hooves of thoroughbred and quarter horses as they race down the track. Alternatively, visit the Card Casino to try your luck at the tables in a game of Poker or Blackjack. Keep an eye on Canterbury Park’s calendar for events throughout the year.
8. Minnesota Renaissance Festival
Since 1971, Minnesota has staged a Renaissance Festival and it has grown into the biggest Renaissance Festival in the United States. The festival is staged in the Shakopee festival grounds from August to October and on Labor Day and Festival Friday.
From an original 25,000 visitors, attendance has grown to over 300,000 people, who come to enjoy the recreation of the 16th century. Join them to experience life as it was then.
9. Mystic Lake Casino Hotel
Mystic Lake Casino Hotel is the foremost facility for gaming in Minnesota. Stay in any of the three first-class hotel tours and take your chances in the casino, or take a break and a bite at one of the seven destination restaurants. Casino play includes state-of-the-art slot machines, blackjack, and bingo. If you want a break from gambling, there are performances of international music artists, comedy clubs, and other entertainment.
10. Trail of Terror
Halloween is a time of year when you can be guaranteed to have some of the greatest fun anywhere. In Shakopee, this means the Trail of Terror. Don’t be fooled by the title: this isn’t just a path through a house of horrors, this is a completely interactive event, with the indoor Maze of Mayhem, no less than five Halls of Horror and a walk through the Wicked Woods. Halloween will never be the same again!
11. Shakopee Trading Post and Gallery
At Shakopee Trading Post and Gallery, you can buy authentic arts and crafts made by Native Americans. That is not all this spot has to offer. It is more like a museum than just a store or even a gallery, with beautiful pieces of silver and turquoise jewelry, authentic pottery, and magnificent beadwork. Everything is made in the same way as it has been for hundreds of years. Admire the pieces in the gallery and then purchase a piece from the shop to take home with you a part of Native American history.
12. Scott County Historical Society as the Stans Museum
The Scott County Historical Society is, appropriately, in Shakopee, the county seat. It has one aim: to preserve the history and cultural heritage of Scott County. The interface with the public is in the form of Stans Museum, with a range of exhibits and programs that will open up the history to you so much more clearly.
13. Shakopee Mission Site
Samuel Pond was a missionary who arrived in what became Minnesota with his brother in 1834. He quickly established a relationship with the Dakota people and became an advocate for the treatment of them and other Native Americans. You can visit the Shakopee Mission Site, which features the remains of Pond’s house.
14. Schroeder Brickyard
The Schroeder Brickyards dated back to the Second Industrial Revolution in the late 10800s and early 1900s. It is no longer functioning, but many of the bricks have survived and some have even become collector’s items because they are stamped with ‘Shakopee’. The brickyards were an important part of the history of Shakopee and its commercial development.
15. Hocakata Ti
Another opportunity to immerse yourself in the history of the area of Shakopee is to visit the public exhibit Mdewekanton: Dwellers of the Spirit Lake. It is housed at Hocakata Ti, the cultural center belonging to the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community. This is when you get to experience the culture, history, and traditions of the Mdewakanton Dakota people. Tours and a gallery are options to explore. After your visit, you can browse Native-made art, music and books, authentic beadwork, and other pieces and take a little of the culture home with you.
16. Turtle’s Bar and Grill
Turtle’s Bar and Grill has become a bit of an institution in downtown Shakopee. It is family-owned and operated, which means you are more than just a guest when you eat there. The beer list focuses on locally-brewed beers, with a preference for limited ranges and 90+ varieties.
At Turtle’s, you can relax over a tasty meal of Angus Beef burgers or Minnesota’s best fried chicken, or snack while you enjoy the latest game. Everything on the menu is made from scratch and made with care. Take a step into olde world luxury with a visit to the Turtle’s 1890 Social Centre.
17. Mazomani Trail
Around Minneapolis, there are a whole lot of hiking trails, but the Mazomani Trail possibly takes first place. The trail is 4.5 miles (7km), but there are options to take loops of varying lengths. The views and scenery are beautiful along every mile. The trail traces the outline of the Louisville Swamp, winding through upland forest and across bluff-top savannah. It is accessible to all levels of hikers, from families with small children to those who are looking for a bit of a challenge.
18. Cleary Lake Regional Park
It is not often that you will find a place that is a perfect place to visit all year round. Cleary Lake Regional Park offers a range of things to do in Shakopee every season. When the weather is warmer, take a tent and go camping. If you are a golfer, then the course is there for you to explore. In all seasons, when a picnic is an option, then go to Clearly Lake. In summer, the lake itself offers swimming and on-water activities. In winter, you can enjoy the cross-country ski trails. Make this a priority stop when in Shakopee.
The list of things to do in Shakopee is not quite endless but is certainly quite full. Take some time to explore the history of the area, or just to sit and take in the surrounding beauty. Go out for a bite, or enjoy a local brew. Take the kids swimming or go on a picnic. Take a stomach-churning hurtle from a roller coaster, or get lost in a maze. Wherever you go in Shakopee, take the past and present with you and immerse yourself in the fun of it all.
If you’ve experienced an awesome thing to do in Shakopee, Minnesota that we should possibly add to our list, please let us know by leaving a comment below.
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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.