Female bicyclist
A female bicyclist riding the trails in Minneapolis Northwest.

Summer in the Suburbs: Reasons to Love MNW This Season

The sun is shining, the weather is warm, and the opportunities for memorable experiences are endless in Minneapolis Northwest.

Trails and parks. Elm Creek Park Reserve is the largest park in the Three Rivers Park District and filled with miles of trails for biking, running, walking, and playing! There is also an incredible play area for kids that will make even the most mature adults jealous. Central Park in Maple Grove has another phenomenal playground, an LED light splash pad, pickleball courts, trails, and rolling green lawns to run around and explore.

Centennial Park in Brooklyn Center is another great place to spend a sunny day. It features paved pathways connecting to Palmer Lake Nature Area, picnic areas (including a shelter and a grill), a playground, softball fields, soccer fields, and more! These and so many other parks in Minneapolis Northwest are fun, free ways to spend time here this summer!

Family-friendly fun. Dave & Buster’s is an engaging and easy way to spend some quality time with loved ones. Get competitive with classics like Skee-Ball or some Super Shot action for basketball fans, or try out games exclusive to D&B’s, like Ghostbusters (where two players shoot ping pong balls at as many ghosts as possible)!

Bunker Beach Water Park is the perfect way to cool down this summer. There is plenty to keep the entire family entertained with a wave pool, Twisted Towers and Splash Cove, The Lazy Loop (a 900-foot lazy river) and so many other laugh-inspiring, memory-making activities! The

Minnesota Zoo is a fun and (secretly) educational adventure. See penguins, bears, tigers, and this summer, walk around with kangaroos! You can attend animal feedings, see the Tropical Reef Dive Show or the Monk Seal Demo.

Live music. There’s nothing quite like sitting outside with people you like (or love) and enjoying live music. Town Green Sounds of Summer takes place Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from June to September. It’s BYOC (bring your own chair) and it is S-U-P-E-R fun! The Summer Faire Concert Series at The Shoppes at Arbor Lakes doubles as a concert venue on Thursdays this summer. At sunset, you’ll enjoy music from Martin Zellar, The Stray Dogz, Tim Mahoney, and more. Bring the kids for some face painting!

Patio dining. Minneapolis Northwest has some of the best restaurants and patios. When the weather warms up you’ll want to find time to sit, sip, and eat outside. The Lookout in Maple Grove, which has a children’s play area, and Mad Jack’s in Brooklyn Park immediately come to mind as great patios (and great food). Not quite a patio, but not to be missed is Wagner’s Drive-In in Brooklyn Park. Eat in your car or sit outside this summer as you enjoy good old-fashioned burgers and fries, malts, and (the best) cones you’ll ever have. The bacon cheeseburger is a must!

Summer festivals. Minneapolis Northwest is home to a variety of can’t-miss festivals! Saturday and Sunday, June 10-11, is Chalkfest at Arbor Lakes in Maple Grove! Watch artists from around the country and world bring incredible works of art to life before your eyes. The 3-D creations will amaze you! Tater Daze, June 15-17, in Brooklyn Park will have a carnival, fireworks, live music and so much more that your family will enjoy. Earle Brown Days in Brooklyn Center is June 22-24, and you’ll find fun family games, craft stations, live music, a petting zoo, and other activities for the whole family! Maple Grove Days, July 12-16, will have a parade, fireworks, adult bean bag toss, a kids fun run, and plenty of other interactive experiences.

Golf. With two public, championship golf courses, Rush Creek and Edinburgh USA, Minneapolis Northwest should be your golfing destination this summer! Both have pristine courses guaranteed to challenge and entertain. Another option is Brookland Golf Park in Brooklyn Park, which has a 9-hole, par 30 design, that can accommodate beginners and advanced golfers. If you’re feeling even more adventurous, try footgolf, a fun alternative that combines golf and soccer! It’s fun with large or small groups and is something you should add to your list this summer!

For more information on these activities or everything else you can do in Minneapolis Northwest, check out our blog and our website!

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