Lookout patio 2

Fun Things to Do in Minneapolis Northwest in the Spring

Minneapolis Northwest—made up of the towns of Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park and Maple Grove—has tons of fun things to do and amenities to accommodate people of all ages during its warmer weather days, making it ideal for a quick family vacation or weekend getaway.

If your idea of an ideal spring weekend includes shopping for fresh produce at a farmers market, biking with your family or sampling craft beer from a local brewery, then this is the place for you. Here are six of the top reasons to love Minneapolis Northwest in the spring, and we encourage you to share your own using the #WeLoveMNW hashtag on social media.

 

1. Outdoor biking. The Minneapolis area is famous for its bike-friendly reputation, and visitors can find plenty of options for biking on roads or tails in Minneapolis Northwest. Brooklyn Center alone has 21 miles of multi-use trails, including the Mississippi River Trail, Twin Lakes Regional Trail and Shingle Creek Regional Trail. Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park in Brooklyn Park is another popular area destination for biking, with both paved and unpaved trails. Other biking areas to check out in Minneapolis Northwest are Elm Creek Park Reserve (Maple Grove) and Medicine Lake Regional Trail.

2. Family fun activities. There’s no need to leave the kids at home when exploring Minneapolis Northwest. The area prides itself on its family-friendly destinations including Dave & Buster’s (arcade games and big screen TVs for parents in Maple Grove), SkyZone (indoor trampoline) and Bunker Beach Water Park (home to a 25,000 square foot wave pool). Plan to stay for a weekend at the Holiday Inn & Suites in Maple Grove, which has an indoor Venetian-style waterpark. You can also head to the nearby, world-famous Mall of America and let the kids explore Nickelodeon Universe, an indoor amusement park loaded with rides and rollercoasters after shopping at some of its 520 stores. Other exciting things to do at the mall with your kids are to explore Sea Life Aquarium, Legoland, and Barnacle Blast Zip Line.

3. Local breweries. Why bar hop when you can brew hop? Minneapolis Northwest and the greater Minneapolis area have great local breweries and unique brew districts where you can spend an afternoon or an entire day. Locals and visitors can actually thank Surly Brewing Company, who fought to make it legal to allow breweries to sell their beer on-site back in 2011. They won, and opened a brewery that year in Brooklyn Center. Since then, Minneapolis has exploded with taprooms, where you can go to watch the brewing process and try some of the beers made on-site. Surly Brewing Company quickly became one of the Minneapolis area’s most popular hangouts for beer lovers. So popular, in fact, it moved from Brooklyn Center to a new location in Northeast Minneapolis. The new space has a 300-seat beer hall, restaurant and sprawling outdoor beer garden. Other breweries have sprouted up in Minneapolis Northwest since Surly moved out in 2014. OMNI Brewing in Maple Grove opened in 2015—a microbrewery serving craft beers in a cool, laidback atmosphere. “We want people to feel like they’re hanging out in their garage, having a beer with friends—if their garage was really cool and the beer was really good,” says co-owner Justin Walsh. Another stop on a brew tour in Minneapolis Northwest should be at Wicked Wort Brewing Company in Robbinsdale, the newest brew kid on the block. Inside is a cool, industrial setting with exposed beams and modern light fixtures, where you can enjoy flights of IPAs, ales, stouts and more. It’s currently open Thursdays to Sundays. Most breweries in the Minneapolis area have outdoor patios and seating for beer lovers to sit outside during the spring.  

Omni Brewery

4. Farmers markets. During spring, hundreds of vendors start loading up their best produce to sell at several farmers markets throughout Minneapolis Northwest. The area’s biggest and most prominent market is the Maple Grove Farmers Market, open weekly on Thursdays starting late in the spring. It features live entertainment and up to 25 farmers and artisans vendors. There, shoppers can stock up on fresh vegetables, pickles, flowers and homemade soaps. The market allows shoppers to meet and greet the local farmers and ask questions about their processes and farming practices. Food trucks and vendors often set up during the weekly market, selling freshly made pizzas and sandwiches. Other options to find produce and local goods are Discover Farmers Market in Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Park Farmers Market.

5. Spring events. Spend your days outdoors by attending one of the many spring events in Minneapolis Northwest. One of the area’s most popular spring events is the Maple Grove Half Marathon, which takes place every May. The event includes both a half marathon and a 5K, in addition to a two-person half marathon relay. Another popular spring event in the Minneapolis area is Art-a-Whirl, a studio tour where guests can browse through several galleries of original artwork. All art pieces are available for purchase and visitors can meet the artists to discuss their works. Up to 600 artists showcase their works in various mediums like painting, photography, sculpture, furniture, glasswork and more. Also, cinema lovers should plan to attend the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival, a two-week long event where independent, documentary and foreign films are shown in several theaters in the area. Hundreds of films are shown during the course of the event, and Minneapolis Northwest is a great place to stay during the duration of the film festival.

6. Outdoor dining. During the spring, a number of Minneapolis Northwest area restaurants set up tables and chairs outdoors for diners to take advantage of the good food and gorgeous weather. Places like the Lookout Bar & Grill (Maple Grove), 3 Squares Restaurant (Maple Grove) and Mad Jack's (Brooklyn Park) are a few of the popular spots. Coffee lovers can kick back and enjoy the outdoors with a fresh brew at Daily Dose Cafe, an independent coffeeshop that serves sandwiches and salads as well. Check out more of the great dining options in the Minneapolis Northwest here.

Girvan Grille

There are just a few of the reasons #WeLoveMNW in the spring. There are plenty more, which we’ll be featuring on our blog the entire season, so check back regularly. And don’t forget to tell us why you love Minneapolis Northwest in the spring by tagging your pictures and posts on social media using the #WeLoveMNW hashtag. 

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  • Minneapolis Northwest CVB

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