Summer fun for the family? There’s plenty to do in the Twin Cities, and there’s no shortage of events coming up soon to put on your calendar. Our summer nights are fleeting, so it’s important to make the best of them.
Summer fun for the whole family
Flint Hills 2017 Inernational Childrens Festival – June 3rd and 4th
The festival takes place in and around the Ordway, located in the heart of downtown St. Paul. International artists from over 25 countries descend upon the theater to show off their best work. Outside the Ordway, you can find the artwalk, and a comedy performance from Australian theater company Born in a Taxi sure to be hilarious. Inside the Ordway you’ll find performances by the Chinese drum group GuGu, and the Native American dancing group Native Pride Dancers. Head on down to the lower level of The Landmark Center (across the street) to catch the latest detective story from Flying Foot Forum, “The Mystery of Pig’s Eye Manor.” And last, but certainly not least, head over to the Lab Theater to catch the story of a boy that goes to space, “The Way Back Home,” that is acted out entirely with puppets.
Location: Ordway Theater, 345 Washington Street, Saint Paul, MN 55102
Joyful Noise Family Fest – June 9th and June 10th
This Christian faith-based festival that is family-friendly features multiple acts over two days. Sponsored by local radio station 98.5 KTIS, University of Northwestern College St. Paul, as well as many other local businesses, the outdoor concert happens rain or shine. There isn’t any seating provided, so be sure and remember to bring a blanket or comfortable camping chair. Food and beverage vendors are on site. Protip: There is also a deal for graduating high school seniors to get in both days of the concert for free! See the FAQ page of website below for details.
1700-105th Ave. NE, Blaine, MN 55449
Sommerfest Minneapolis – July-August
A music festival that is put on annually by the Minnesota Orchestra. This festival spans from July 15th to August 5th with multiple events taking place during this time. Located on Nicollet Mall you could make a family adventure of it and ride the light rail into downtown Minneapolis.
Protip: If you are a fan of the updated Star Trek franchise then you’ll want to mark your calendar for Thursday July 13th, and Friday July 14th, as the Minnesota Orchestra will be playing the score for the movie live!. Before and after each event the Minnesota takes to Peavey Plaza to play live folk and polka music. The plaza also becomes a place for visitors to grab a bite to eat and drink and take in the experience.
Location: Minnesota Orchestra, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55403
Dragon Festival – July 8th and 9th
Dragon Festival is a celebration of the diverse Asian cultures that make up St. Paul and the surrounding community. The website for the Dragon Festival sums it up best with the statement of “promoting various forms of Asian-Pacific artistic, educational, and athletic activities through cultural performances, martial arts, the healing arts, and outdoor/indoor Asian games.” The highlight of the festival would be the Dragon Boat Race where more than 30 teams compete.
Location: Lake Phalen/Lake Phalen Park, 1600 Phalen Drive, St Paul MN 55106
Parking/shuttle services: www.dragonfestival.org/parking.html
Irish Fair Minnesota – August 11 to August 13
The three day festival that has something for everyone in the family (whether you’re Irish or not). The festival is recognized as one of the most family-friendly events in the Twin Cities with over 100,000 attendees visiting each year. There is no admission charged; it’s a completely free event (perfect for those on a budget). The Children’s Area of the festival is filled with all sorts of activities for children of all ages, from balloon art and face painting, to a petting zoo and a sheep herding demonstration. Children can even burn off some energy by participating in traditional Irish games like hurling and rugby. There is also an opportunity to engage in and learn about Irish music and dance.
Location: Harriet Island, 200 Dr Justus Ohage Blvd, St Paul, MN 55107
Looking for more ways to celebrate summer? Read this next: 14 things to do in Minnesota before the end of summer