Festival of Nations

Put a Spring in Your Step with The Latest Spring Happenings in Minneapolis Northwest

Spring brings a burst of colors and energy to Minneapolis Northwest. It’s a time when Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Maple Grove and the surrounding neighborhoods start buzzing with festivals, shows, family friendly events and plenty of outdoor activities. Whether you choose to spend the days or evenings watching international films, making maple syrup or cuddling baby animals, you’ll find plenty of events that will put a spring in your step!

Final Four!

Minnesota is used to hosting prime sporting events like the Super Bowl, and this spring is no exception as the Twin Cities welcomes the NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four! Four of the nation’s best college basketball teams will battle it out over one action-packed weekend this April. Whether you’re a sports fan, college student, family or music junkie, there is something for everyone during Final Four weekend. Check out the jam-packed schedule below! 

Final Four Fan Fest
Friday, April 5 – Monday, April 8
Minneapolis Convention Center

Tip off your weekend with a trip to Final Four Fan Fest presented by Capital One. Be greeted by a sports wonderland of interactive games, special celebrity and athlete appearances, autograph signings, and much more! Fan Fest is so much more than basketball. Knock it out of the park at Home Run Derby, participate in one of the free cheer clinics taking place over the weekend or make your way over to the rock wall and climb to the top to get a birds-eye view of the entire event!  Didn’t have enough time to see and do everything in one day? Don’t worry, Fan Fest is open all weekend!

Reese’s Final Four Friday
Friday, April 5

Reese's Final Four Friday is loads of fun for the entire family and admission is FREE. Check out each of the Final Four teams in their final open practice before Saturday’s national semifinal games. Be sure to stick around for the Reese's College All-Star Game in the afternoon. The event is highlighted with special programming and tributes throughout the practices. 

Final Four Dribble
Sunday, April 7 

Bounce into action with the NCAA Final Four Dribble presented by Buick. Youth ages 18 and under are invited to participate in this unique parade and FREE Final Four event, joining thousands of fans dribbling their way through the heart of downtown Minneapolis. The first 3,000 participants will receive:
- NCAA Dribble T-shirt
- Wilson basketball
- FREE Entry into Final Four Fan Fest for Dribble participant(s) and accompanying adults

March Madness Music Series
Friday, April 5 – Sunday, April 7

Let loose during the exciting March Madness Music Series at The Armory in Minneapolis! The 8,400-person concert venue provides an exhilirating and intimate concert experience with some of today's hottest artists. Last year's lineup included Jason Aldean, Bebe Rexha, Imagine Dragons, One Republic and Panic! At the Disco, so you know this year's event is guaranteed to be star-studded!

Tip-Off Tailgate
Friday, April 5 – Monday, April 8
Nicollet Mall

Stop by Tip-off Tailgate at Nicollet Mall on your way to the Final Four Fan Fest or the big games downtown for fun interactives and entertainment. Open daily for fans of all ages.

Want to enjoy the Final Four festivities without the hassle or pricetag of downtown? Stay at one the affordable and convenient hotels in Minneapolis Northwest. Chose from 21+ hotels that offer free parking and are only minutes from all the events.  

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day

Instead of St. Patrick's Day, why not celebrate St. Patrick's week? At Claddagh Irish Pub, they're enjoying the luck of the Irish all week long, Tuesday, March 12 through Sunday, March 17. Stop by this lively, authentic Irish pub and you'll feel like you stepped onto The Emerald Isle itself. Complete with traditional Irish music, fun activities and plenty of green drinks and specials, this is a St. Patrick's celebration not to be missed!

Tuesday, March 12:
7–10 p.m. – Irish Trivia
8–10 p.m. – Guinness Glass Etching

Wednesday, March 13:
4–6 p.m. – Two Gingers sampling event
4–6 p.m. – Happy Hour special on Finnegan’s Irish Amber Ale

Thursday, March 14:
6–10 p.m. – Irish Shindig including Jameson flights and specials, and traditional Irish music and traditional Irish Dancers

Friday, March 15:
Pre-Patty’s Day Weekend Party – Lots of drink specials!

Saturday & Sunday, March 16 & 17:
St. Patrick’s Day celebration on both days with live music from 10 a.m. to close!

Get Back to Nature

Maple Syrup Festival
Saturday, March 16, 1 – 4 p.m.
Eastman Nature Center

Maple syrup is one of Minnesota’s staple flavors, whether it’s on our pancakes, chicken & waffles or ice cream. Check out the Maple Syrup Festival at Eastman Nature Center to see how this sweet condiment is made. Tap a maple tree, collect fresh sap, warm your hands by the steaming cauldron and, of course, taste maple syrup during this delightful event. Cost is $5 and all ages are welcome. 

Amazing Raptors of the River
Saturday, March 30, 1 – 3 p.m.
Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park

All kinds of critters come out of hiding when spring hits and Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park offers a number of events where visitors can revel in this season of growth and change. Learn about the large birds of prey that come out in full force during the warmer months, like hawks, osprey and horned owls during Amazing Raptors of the River. Hike along with river with other outdoor enthusiasts and witness the spring migration in action. Cost is $5 and all ages are welcome.

Thursday, April 18, and Friday, April 19, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Eastman Nature Center

Kick off your Easter weekend celebration at Eggstravaganza – a festival focused on all things eggs and bunnies! Families are invited to bring their own hard-boiled eggs to dye naturally. Live bunnies will be there, including one very giant rabbit! The event also includes games, a scavenger hunt, face-painting and plenty of treats. 

Local Events

Twin Cities Spring Babies Festival
Weekends in April and May
Brooklyn Park

Kids love to meet fur babies, and there’s no better place than the Twin Cities Spring Babies Festival to introduce them to bunnies, chicks, lambs, horses, calves and more animals. On the last three weekends in April, bring your kids to meet adorable farm animals, go on pony rides and enjoy delicious food. The baby animals are inside, so don’t let the chance of April showers stop you. The festival also features a Kids Corn Pit, Straw Bale Maze, hayrides and a play area. Tickets are $8 online or $10 at the gate, and children 23 months and younger get in for free.

Maple Grove Ice Show
Saturday, April 13
Maple Grove Community Center

Need a figure skating fix? Come to the Maple Grove Community Center for the 18th Annual Maple Grove Ice Show, presented by the Maple Grove Skating School and The City of Maple Grove. Purchase tickets at the Ice Arena Office or at the Ice Arena Main Entrance on the day of the show. Show times are 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturday. The price for adults is $9, $7 for seniors and students, and tickets for children ages 5–12 are $5; kids younger than 5 get in for free. 

Spring on the Farm
Saturday, May 18, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Historic Eidem Farm

During Spring on the Farm, help Farmer Eidem and Spud Olson at Eidem Homestead plant their garden and potato crops, sample fresh baked items in the kitchen, make a card for mom and meet baby animals. Historic Eidem Farm is a 19-acre farm, where you can travel back to the turn of the 20th century when the region was one of the top potato-growing areas. Kids can get creative by entering the “Name the Cow” contest. Admission is $6 for adults, $4 for children under 12 and kids 4 and under can experience the farm for free. Learn more about this special spring event here.

Get Cultured

Minneapolis Saint Paul International Film Festival
April 4 – April 20
St. Anthony Main Theatre

Forget MoviePass! When you sign up for the 38th Minneapolis Saint Paul International Film Festival, you’ll have your pick of more than 250 films from 70 countries. At Minnesota’s largest film event, and one of the longest-running film festivals in the country, you can watch exciting and heartfelt films from new and veteran filmmakers in a span of two weeks. General admission starts at $15 per screening, $11 for Film Society members and $8 for people under 25. Festival passes with guaranteed access to all films, events, parties and panels are also available.

Festival of Nations
Thursday, May 2 – Sunday, May 5
Saint Paul RiverCentre

For 86 years, the Festival of Nations in Saint Paul has been the longest-running multicultural event in the Midwest and has inspired people to embrace the cultural diversity that immigrants bring to our country. At this year’s festival, which will be held at the Saint Paul RiverCentre and hosted by the International Institute of Minnesota, 100 ethnic groups will come together for a four-day experience with dancing, performances, exhibits, demonstrations and cuisine from all around the globe. Tickets range from $11 for adults to $8 for youths, and free for kids. A World Pass that allows entry in to all of the festival days is also available.

Friday, May 17 – Sunday, May 19
Northeast Minneapolis

Presented by the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association, the 23rd Annual Art-A-Whirl gives you the chance to tour private artist studios and galleries, connect with artists and purchase original artwork the third weekend in May. Tours include demonstrations, mini workshops, installations, and special exhibitions, making this free tour the largest open studio tour in the country. And if you like art and hops, take a look at our guide to the best breweries and art galleries in the area!

Share your spring adventures with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instragram with the hashtag #WeLoveMNW and you may be featured on our website! More fun adventures await in Minneapolis Northwest! Learn to blend your own unique fragrance at Olfactory Scent Studio in The Shoppes at Arbor Lakes. Take a tour of the notable delicious pastry stops in the area. And check out our top 25 things to with families in Minneapolis Northwest!

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  • Minneapolis Northwest CVB

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