Minneapolitans love to get outside in summer. You might find us whiling away the hours enjoying the outdoor seating that pops up at local restaurants, whether it’s on a sunny rooftop, a shady patio, or just a couple tables on the sidewalk. After a long winter, we love the opportunity to eat outdoors, and there are many great areas around town to have an alfresco picnic, as well.
We might be shopping outdoors at a local art fair or at one the many neighborhood farmers markets. We might be out watching a fireworks display or a movie in one of the parks.
Speaking of parks, did you know Minneapolis was voted one of the top 3 in the nation this year? Minneapolis’ 180 parks offer 55 miles of biking and walking paths.
And of course, summer is the time to be in and near the water. Minnesota, known as the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” has more shoreline than California, Florida and Hawaii combined. The city of Minneapolis alone has 22 lakes. Our lake culture makes it easy to get outdoors, stay healthy and enjoy the beauty of nature. Many Minneapolis lakes are part of the parks system, and boast well-maintained walking and biking paths. Watercraft rentals are available at several of the larger lakes. Check out our previous post on one of the three Minneapolis sailing lakes, Lake Nokomis.
Read on for a few of the best things to do in Minneapolis this summer.
Mill City Farmers Market
8 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday, May to October 2023
704 South 2nd Street, Downtown Minneapolis
There’s lots of farmer’s markets in neighborhoods across the city, including Kingfield, Midtown, Nokomis, Northeast and Linden Hills. Click here for information on more Minneapolis Farmer’s Markets.
The Mill City Farmers Market’s Saturday Market is one of my favorites. It has a very scenic location downtown between the Mill City Museum and the Guthrie Theater. You can shop for local, sustainable and organic groceries, then visit the Mill City Museum inside the partial ruins of the old Gold Medal Flour and enjoy a leisurely afternoon at Gold Medal Park.
Dozens of local farmers, food makers and artisans converge every Saturday—rain or shine. With over 100 vendors offering prepared food, produce, body care, and crafts, Mill City market has a bit of everything. The market also offers free cooking classes with local chefs, children’s activities, free outdoor yoga and live entertainment.
Be sure to walk to the banks of the Mississippi nearby for excellent views of the river that include the iconic Stone Arch Bridge.
Music and Movies in the Park
Skyline mini golf at the Sculpture Garden
A summer outing to the Sculpture Garden is even more fun with mini golf on the terrace of the Walker Art Center. Golf holes are designed by artists. You also get fantastic views overlooking the Minneapolis skyline—thus, Skyline mini golf!
If you want to play, get there early. Mini golf sells out.
For more on the Sculpture Garden, see our post The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.