Last updated on August 16th, 2019
Springtime in Minnesota is filled with all kinds of fun things to do. It is when we say goodbye to winter, and hello to green. The trees come back alive and a lot of Minnesotan’s start to re-emerge from a long winter of hibernation. Hopefully, not all of you stayed inside all winter. But for those that decided to step outside and rejoin the rest of the world, here are 28 fun things to do in Minnesota in springtime.
The key to having a great time in spring is being flexible. One day it might be 70 and sunny with melting snow everywhere, or you may find yourself in the middle of a FREEZE. The key is to be open and ready to change your plans from day to day. It’s these weather changes and seasons the make it so much more fun to live in Minnesota.
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28 Fun Things To Do in Minnesota This Spring
The end of April always means Arbor Day! It is a great chance to get outdoors and help get in the spring spirit. From music and celebrations to tree-themed activities planting and cleanup. Check out your hometowns local festivities to help keep the cleanup close to home. This year, the Minneapolis Parks and Rec Board is hosting an Arbor Day Celebration at Theodore Wirth Park on April 26. The park has tons of activities for every age group.
This is also a great time to start thinking about your own gardening. Do a walk-through of your yard and start cleaning up debris from the snow? Start planning your how your own garden will looks this year.
Spring is when many Farmers fill the markets. Early spring you’ll see a lot of potted plants and seedlings for your garden, along with fresh meats, eggs, and bread. But as June rolls around, the fruits and veggies start making an appearance. Check out Minnesota Grown for the location of the nearest one to you.
Visit a few flower shows this year. The Landscape Arboretum and the Como Zoo in St Paul both put on spectacular displays. If you have a green thumb, the show’s will provide you with tons of inspiration for your own back yard. Or if you have a black thumb, it gives you some great ideas of what to tell your gardener to plant!
Apple Blossoms Drive
The apple orchards really shine during the springtime in Minnesota. Those blossoms transform southern Minnesota trees into something amazing. It is one of nature’s favorite shows. Thankfully, Explore MN has a route to visit them all! The Apple Blossoms drive is one of the best things to do in Minnesota during the spring season.
Farm Babies and other Petting Zoos
Are you ready for the cute and cuddly? Spring is the best time to visit a farm or zoo in Minnesota. Their newest members are on display for everyone to see. The MN Zoo is just one place to check out. They devote the Wells Fargo Family Farm to showing off the babies. You can also cross the border and visit the Grovins Farm | Springtime fun in Menomonie WI. They specialize in giving you hands-on experience with cute and cuddly animals.
Outdoors Activities in MN
Hike a Trail
Spring in MN can be one of the most fun times to hike. The waterfalls flow faster with the melting of the ice and snow. The heat isn’t bad and the bugs are still in hibernation. And best of all, you can get in free to most MN State Parks on National Get Outdoors Day. It is usually the first weekend in June. Otherwise pick up a State Parks parking pass for the day, or year and take part in a hiking club challenge. There are also many local paths in Minneapolis and Saint Paul. We have some of the best parks in the country.
Get Muddy on an ATV Trail
All the mud in spring makes for great ATV trails. The Lake Mille Lacs area, Orr and Brained have some great trails to check out. Don’t be afraid to drive fast and get dirty on these trails. If you don’t have your own ATV, check out some of these companies that rent them.
Springtime can be some of the best times to camp. Not only do you beat the crowds of summer, but you don’t have to worry about the heat or bugs. Just bring a few extra layers of clothing just in case things get dicey. And always bring a rain jacket! My favorite place to find public campgrounds is on Ultimate Campground. It’s also a great time to get into the MN State Parks. If you haven’t already made your summer reservations, now is the time to do it. They may already be filled up because you can reserve up to a year in advance.
Maple Syrup Tapping
Find out where the amazing sweet substance that everyone loves to put on their pancakes comes from. It may surprise you just how much sap is needed to produce a bottle of syrup. Regional parks do demonstrations and let you take part in the action. The MN Landscape Arboretum does a great job with their Maple Syrup Tapping. They also give out samples of their Black Walnut Syrup and maple candies. A quick warning, you may find yourself leaving with a stockpile of their syrup because it’s that good.
Jog the Lakes
JJog the friendly trails of Lake Harriet and Lake Bde Make Ska (formerly known as Lake Calhoun). They are some of the nicest family-friendly trails in Minneapolis. These trails connect to each other for added difficulty if you want. They are paved, flat and have a separate trail just for bikers. For those training of a 5k, a full circle around Lake Bde Make Ska is just about the full distance. And Harriet is a 4.5k. Perfect for a beginner to train.
MN United FC
Let’s not forget about the MN United FC team. They are the most recent sports team to call Minnesota home and have been quickly making waves. If everything stays on schedule, they will be playing in their new stadium in St. Paul this season. The games are full of energy and full of energy. You will have a great time.
While you may not be able to join the Governor on his trip, it’s still worth getting on one of the 10,000 lakes and seeing if you can bring home dinner. The MN DNR has a lake finder tool on their website that will help you find the best lake for you. They include information about proximity, stocking reports and topographical details on the lake itself. Children 16 and under do not need a license. You also don’t need a license at to fish at most MN State Parks, as long as you are a resident and remain on the land. So basically fishing from their shore or dock.
Go to a Baseball Game
If you are looking for green grass during springtime in MN, sometimes the only place you’ll find it is at the Baseball Field. Target Field and CHS Field are home to amazing baseball teams. And they both are very affordable for the family. For more ways to save money at your next Twins Game, check out: 10 of the Best Discounts at Target Field to Use a Your Next Twins Baseball Game.
Preston Trout Days
Preston Trout Days in southern Minnesota, which is just so special all on its own. The small-town festival is in the middle of May. The weekend includes Fishing Contents, Petting Zoos, BBQ, Car show and so much. Check it out!
Homegrown Music Festival
Minnesota has some amazing talent. The Homegrown Music festival brings them all together. It started out with just 5 acts. And 20 years later, it has grown to an 8-day music festival. Check out the Homegrown Music Festival in Duluth to see it all.
May Day Parade
In Minneapolis, the Heart of the Beast Theater Company produces an amazing May Day Parade to welcome in spring. It’s filled with handmade puppets, mask, music, and dance as the performers tell a story. It’s not to be missed. This year, the parade is being held May 5th, so mark your calendars. It is always a top thing to see in Minnesota.
Stand Still Parade
Minnesota has some amazing bike trails and one of the best is the Root River Trail in Harmony MN. The trail passes right through one of the smallest towns; Whalan. The town is so small, instead of having the parade move, the parade stays in place and the visitors move. It’s one of the only Stand Still Parades in the country.
Rainy Day Activities in MN
Foshay Observation Deck
Get a view of Minneapolis from the top of one of the first skyscrapers built in Minnesota. The Foshay Tower is one of the most recognizable in the city. Check out the museum located inside to find out all about the eccentric creator. Then take a trip up to the 31st floor to get a view from the top! Visit the Foshay Observation deck for all the details.
One of the most impressive homes in Duluth is the Glensheen Mansion. Built right off Lake Superior it takes up some prime real estate. On a tour you’ll learn all about the history of the family, just don’t ask about its haunted past. The mansion is also a great way to escape a rainy day in Duluth. If you are looking to explore the gardens, you may want to wait until it clears up before going out.
Minneapolis Central Library
The Minneapolis Central Library is one of the unique and largest libraries in the state. Located right off Nicolet, this place inspires creatives and learning of all types. They have a bunch of special collections. While you are in the area check out some of the city’s downtown area.
With the weather as unpredictable as it is, sometimes it’s best to stay indoors. That is why I love indoor Mini Golf options. Try out Moose Mountain Adventure Golf and Rock of Ages Blacklight Minigolf in the Mall of America. My new favorite location though is Can Can Wonderland in Saint Paul. Built by artists, each hole is a creative adventure. In addition to mini golf, they also have a classic arcade and stage shows.
Sit Back and Relax
Minnesota has some amazing breweries from Summit to Schell. Stop at a location on the way to your final destination or go on a brewery trail and hit up more than one. With Brewtrail.com you can custom create your own trail. They allow you to search by location, tasting and touring options.
The Iron Range is actively mining minerals from Northern Minnesota. Places like the Sudan Underground Mine offer tours going ½ mile underground. Or visit the Grand Canyon of the North and see the first strip mine on the Mesabi Iron Range.
24. Factory Tour
Have you ever wondered how they make musical instruments? Or how the wool blankets are woven, how they make cheese or even find out how soda is bottled. Some of my favorite tours to do are the Whistle Bottling in Spring Lake MN and Redhead Creamery in Brooten MN.
Some of the best ways to explore a city are by trolley. You can see the sights of the city and get some great information along the way. Rochester, Stillwater, Excelsior, and MPLS are just some of the locations you can choose from. If you have little kids, they will get a huge kick out of this one!
Take a cruise down the river or a lake. The best part about boat cruises is they have them for every budget. They are family friendly, romantic or party boats all around the Twin Cities. The best place to catch a boat is in Duluth, Taylor’s Falls, Excelsior, and Redwing.
Minnesota has amazing theaters. Check out the Chanhassen Dinner Theater or head downtown and see what playing at the Hennepin Theatre Trust. If you have younger kids, check out the Stages Children Theater in Hopkins or the Children’s Theater in Minneapolis.
Visit a Bed and Breakfast
With so many resort towns, we are bound to have a few. Lanesboro, located in southern Minnesota, has the most in the state. The town is filled with antique and the Root River Trail. Another good location to find bed and breakfasts are in Stillwater. The resort town has a lively downtown to walk, wineries, orchards, and a river to relax by. Check out the listings of amazing bed and breakfast we have.
What are your favorites?
Do you have any other favorite springtime activities in Minnesota you like to do? Feel free to add them to the comments so we can keep this list growing of unique things to do in Minnesota during spring. If you are looking to stay overnight at some to spend a little more than a day, check out Expedia for the best deals.
If you are looking for some more great ideas, check out my other seasonal list of 28 Things to Do: