Main menu Open search menu

Things To Do In Minneapolis

Minneapolis is one of two infamous Twin Cities built on three historic rivers. Once known as Flour Milling Capital of the World, today The Cities boasts a thriving food scene and industrial successes. Despite its nickname, Minneapolis and Saint Paul function as separate governing bodies and offer wildly different attractions and activities.

Minneapolis, like Minnesota, is famous for having an excess of lakes and parks. The Mississippi River splits the city’s center and provides residents and visitors with year-round outdoor fun. Browse city landmarks, kid-friendly activities, and other famous attractions in Minneapolis.

Exciting activities in Minneapolis include touring popular landmarks, grabbing a bite at trendy restaurants and bars, or exploring the great outdoors. Catch breathtaking Minneapolis city views of historic architecture and contemporary skyscrapers at Minnehaha Park.

The best attractions near Minneapolis:

  • See a game at Target Field in downtown Minneapolis
  • Shop at the infamous Mall of America
  • Visit the Museum of Russian Art
  • Winter activities like hockey and skating on Lake of the Isles
  • Waterfall views and walking or biking trails in Minnehaha Park

Regardless of the season, there are plenty of affordable activities to check out in Minneapolis. Ice skate on the city’s frozen lakes in the winter or go on a fishing trip once the weather warms up. Free activities in Minneapolis today include museums, brewery tours, and city parks.

Cheap attractions in Minneapolis include:

  • Visit Minneapolis Institute of Art collections in Whittier neighborhood
  • See the new digital planetarium and high-tech exhibits in Bell Museum of Natural History at the University of Minnesota
  • Take a free tour with samples at Summit Brewing and Flat Earth Brewing
  • Enjoy city and water views while walking the path at Gold Medal Park
  • Follow Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway and marvel at the linked series of park areas and lakes

Minneapolis is a great city for tourists to embrace midwestern culture. Try locally-idolized dishes like tater tot hotdish or a community tomato-based stew called Booya.

Popular attractions near Minneapolis include:

  • Walk through the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
  • Learn about Mill Ruins Park at Mill City Museum
  • Cross Stone Arch Bridge, an old railroad bridge crossing
  • Guided Tour of the Minnesota State Capitol
  • A sightseeing cruise on the Mississippi River with Paradise Charter Cruises and Minneapolis Queen

Some of the best things to do in Minneapolis are available to the public every day of the week. Between equipment rentals, live performances, and outdoor recreational areas, there’s no shortage of daytime fun in Minneapolis.

Exciting activities happening near Minneapolis today include:

  • Renting and riding bikes through downtown Minneapolis
  • Sky Zone trampoline park in Saint Paul
  • Visiting the Soap Factory for a performing arts show
  • Hiking, fishing, or bird watching at Lilydale Regional Park
  • Boating adventures at Mississippi National River and Recreation Area

The Twin Cities come to life when the sun goes down. Experience live music at vibrant venues, unique bowling, or an up-and-coming Minneapolis escape room.

Things to do tonight in Minneapolis include:

  • Bowling at Bryant Lake Bowl or Memory Lanes
  • Try the Harry Potter escape room at Trapped Puzzle Rooms
  • Grab a drink at Bar Fly, a historic building remodeled into a dance club
  • See a comedy show at the Rick Bronson House of Comedy
  • Live shows at music venues and amphitheaters

Locals embrace the harsh winters with open arms and lots of layers. Many partake in hockey, ice fishing, and cross-country skiing. In spring, summer and fall, Minneapolis is revitalized with sporting events, outdoor music festivals, and countless days on the lake.

Below are a few weekend activities in Minneapolis:

  • The Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium, located in the Mall of America
  • The Como Park Zoo & Conservatory
  • Baseball games at CHS Field
  • Hiking, boating, waterfall views, and picnic areas at Hidden Falls Regional Park
  • Drive down to Edinborough Park, an indoor rec center with an elaborate children’s playground, and an olympic sized swimming pool

Keeping the kids entertained in Minneapolis is simple. With so many amusement parks and other kid-approved attractions, it won’t be hard to find fun activities for the whole family.

Family-friendly things to do near Minneapolis:

  • Visit Nickelodeon Universe, the indoor amusement park in the middle of the Mall of America
  • Play mini golf at Can Can Wonderland
  • Book kid-friendly tours of the city with Hitching Company
  • Cool off at North Commons Water Park
  • Bring younger kids to Como Town at the zoo

The Science Museum of Minnesota hosts adult-only events where you can enjoy the interactive exhibits kid-free. Find more couples activities and romantic date night spots in Minneapolis below.

Other date night ideas in Minneapolis include:

  • Dinner at Tongue in Cheek
  • Romantic evenings at Bar Lurcat
  • Cooking classes at Kitchen In the Market
  • Ice skating at the Landmark Plaza
  • Romantic weekend getaways at Como Lake Bed and Breakfast or the LeBlanc House

Fun group activities in Minneapolis vary from competitive paintball games and rock climbing, to team building activities like whitewater rafting. Read on for other fun Minneapolis attractions suitable for groups of any size.

Things to do with your friends near Minneapolis:

  • Play paintball at Splatbal
  • Book a tour with Taste Twin Cities Food Tours
  • Whitewater rafting down the Menominee River with Wildman Adventure Resort
  • Guided Segway Magical History Tours
  • Rock climbing at Vertical Endeavors indoor wall

When the weather rolls in, visitors are lucky to have a plethora of indoor attractions to choose from. Escape the cold in Little Box Sauna, a portable sauna by Andrea Johnson set up outside the Warner Art Center a few months out of the year.

Things to do indoors near Minneapolis include:

  • Dig through bookshelves at WIld Rumpus Bookstore
  • Catch the latest flicks at ShowPlace ICON at The West End with ICON-X
  • Spend an afternoon at the Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium
  • Explore art collections at Walker Art Center

As the state slogan goes, Minnesota is home to over 10,000 lakes. Thirteen of them are in Minneapolis, as well as the Mississippi River, wetlands, creeks, and waterfalls.

Outdoor attractions near Minneapolis include:

  • Enjoy multi-use trails or play a round of golf at Fort Snelling State Park
  • Bike or walk along River Road Trail for gorgeous lake views
  • Take a trip to the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary
  • Learn about Saint Anthony Falls, the only natural waterfall that existed on the Upper Mississippi River
  • Boating and swimming at Lake Harriet and Lake Calhoun, part of the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes

As new residents continue pouring into Minneapolis every year, popular spots where locals typically frequent are getting busier. Consider day trips to unique towns near Twin Cities or check out a few other local hotspots here in the Minneapolis.

Must-see places near Minneapolis include:

  • Hiking through oak forests, scenic beaches, and prairie lands at Afton State Park
  • Camping near the glacial potholes at Interstate Park in Taylors Falls
  • Swimming in the widest naturally occuring part of the Mississippi River in Red Wing
  • See what’s brewing in New Ulm, named after its German counterpart Neu-Ulm
  • Plan a trip to Jeffers Petroglyphs Site, an outcrop with pre-contact Native American petroglyphs