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Shakopee is a medium-size town just south of the Minnesota River that has some big-time fun. Shakopee balances big attractions with a small-town feel. It somehow made it the perfect condition to have one of the last few Video Rental Stores still in business.
It stretches far in both directions, making it one that I have to share with you. I hate putting all the fun things to do in Shakopee into seasonal categories, but there are defiantly some seasons that really shine.
The best part of people visiting Shakopee for the first time is trying to get them to say the name. It’s pronounced Shock-O-Pee. I had someone from the town of Weiner Arkansas think it was the funniest town name ever. It got its name originated from a Native American Chief.
This post is sponsored by DayTripper & Visit Shakopee. As we find more great things to do, we’ve added them to the site.
Fun Things To Do In Shakopee All Year Long
The Landing is a portal to the 1800s in Minnesota. Walk through the small riverbed town and experience what it was like to be a setter.
On holidays, The Landing holds events like old-fashioned trick or treating and Christmas time events. The Landing is free to enter and tour the grounds. there is even a short walking trail along the Minnesota River.
TIP: If you can get to The Landing early morning, you’ll get to meet the animals as they enjoy their breakfast. Check out some more details about the adventure by clicking here.
Dangerfield Comedy: The Rib Tickler
Aside from being a great restaurant with an amazing brunch, Dangerfield also has a Comedy show called the Rib Tickler.
Every Friday and Saturday Night, performances start. They host new up-and-coming acts as well as seasoned performers. Can I say date night?
Badger Hill Brewing Company
Shakopee has a few breweries in town but my favorite is Badger Hill Brewing Company. Hidden in the industrial part of Shakopee, the brewery is based on the philosophy of fun.
They are consistently testing new recipes. What I love about the brewery is the food trucks they attract outside.
Obrien’s Public House
You don’t have to be Irish to enjoy a good Public House, just ask my husband. We fell in love with Obrien’s Public House for their amazing breakfast.
Their menu may have slimmed down a bit, but their potatoes are mouthwatering. You don’t want to miss this.
A family-owned diner that has some great All Day Breakfasts. In addition to breakfast, they also serve Hot Beef Sandwiches, Patty Melts, and some of the best-rated onion rings in the state according to WCCO News.
If you want to visit Wampacha’s on a weekend, it’s best to get there early.
Bravis Modern Street Food
Some of the best Mexican Street food is hidden away inside Bravis Modern Street Food. It’s one of the smallest restaurants I’ve had the pleasure of being in, but it packs in amazing flavors.
With things like a pineapple bowl, tostadas and street tacos.
What I love is everything is made to order. It comes out how and fresh and doesn’t take long to get everything!
Downtown Shakopee Shopping
Shakopee hosts one of the best Downtown experiences in Scott County. Walking through you’ll see a mix of good restaurants, record shops, florists, and boutique stores.
There is even a little bit of antiquing. The Historic side of Shakopee is so much fun. While you can drive to Southern Shakopee and do the traditional stores, like Target.
Bike the Minnesota River Valley Trail
The Minnesota River Valley Trail is a popular multi-purpose trail on the old Hastings and Dakota Rail Road. The trail is fairly flat along the river, with the exception of a few hills near downtown.
You can park at many of the different trailheads and travel along the river from one end of Shakopee to the next.
Shakopee Brewery Ruins
Hidden along the MN Valley Trail is the Shakopee Brewery site. The brewery was built in 1854. The site was chosen because of its natural spring, its northern exposure, and access to ice from nearby lakes.
The brewery ran until prohibition. In 1925 is was purchased by Northwestern Distilleries Inc for whisky production. It was purchased by its current owners in 1957 and has fallen into ruins. It’s a fun find on the bike trail.
To there, take the MN Valley Trail from downtown Shakopee about 1.7 miles from Huber City Park. For a flatter ride, park in Chaska, trailhead. The parking lot is off of County Road 41, on the south side of the Minnesota River.
Summer in Shakopee
Valleyfair Amusement Park is where to go for thrills in Minnesota. We have a few other theme parks around town, but nothing compares to Valleyfair. With over 75 rides and attractions, everything will have a good time.
They have a great blend of roller coasters like Wild Thing, Thrills, Drops, Swings, Games, and other fun activities. With its own water park inside, Soak City Waterpark you’ll cool off.
Stay for the nightly fireworks or come back during the Fall and experience Valleyfair during Halloween. It’s a lot of fun at any time of year. (Summer Favorite)
Horse Races & Events are a staple at Canterbury Park in Shakopee. In addition to traditional horseracing, they also have non-traditional races like the Corgi Races or Exotic Animal races.
Betting does not happen on these, but it is still a lot of fun. During winter, they host the Extreme Skijoring event.
Canterbury Park has both indoor and outdoor seating. When horse races aren’t going on, you can still stop in for card games at Canterbury Park. (Summer Favorite) (Winter Favorite)
Run by the City of Shakopee, the Sandventure Aquatic Park is where the residents cool off in the summer. They have a 300 ft water slide, two 12-foot drop slides, a diving board, and more. It’s not your average community pool. (Summer Favorite)
Rhythm on the Rails
Summer in Shakopee becomes one big party. Wednesday nights, Lewis Street turns into a music venue! 6 weeks of musical celebration with food drinks and more! It’s a great time to try some of the best foods in Shakopee!
Minnesota Valley Wildlife Refuge & Louisville Swamp
Hiking opportunities can be found all over Shakopee in the parks, but the local’s favorite is the Minnesota Valley Wildlife Refuge and Louisville Swamp. The entire park spends both Shakopee and Jordan and it’s part of the MN State Parks Hiking Club trail. (Summer Favorite)
Tip: The Louisville Swamp is beautiful year-round. I recommend stopping in Late Fall or Winter to do the full loop. Hiking at the Louisville Swamp – Who Knew A Swamp Looked Like That
3 Rivers Fishing Adventures
Looking for a memorable fishing trip? 3 Rivers Fishing Adventures in Shakopee deliveries. They fish the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers on Flathead and Channel Catfish trips & Sturgeon trips.
They even go out in the winter with their guest. 3 Rivers provides all the gear. They follow a Catch, Photograph, and Release policy.
They are so confident you’ll have a great time, they have a “no skunk” guarantee. If you don’t catch anything, the trip will be half the price. (Summer Favorite)
Like a lot of cities in the area, Shakopee offers some great parks and natural areas. The most well-known is Huber Park, where most of the city events occur. Huber Park has plenty of event space, as well as a dutiful play area kids love.
Veterans Memorial Park
Veterans Memorial Park is known for its AH-1 Cobra Helicopter out front. The park sits along the Minnesota River.
The park has an official welcome center as well as fun trails to talk along. There are plenty of trees and picnic areas to enjoy, along with waterfront trails.
My favorite time to visit is during the Winter. During winter swans look for open water. Shakopee’s Memorial Park is easy to see because they reside right next to the parking lot.
Visitors often bring corn and other animal feed with them. Even if you don’t have food, they will come right next to you looking for handouts. Please be mindful that these are wild animals, as tame as they may seem. They cannot eat bread.
Tip: Stop into FleetFarm and get a bag of corn feed. Bring a few small buckets for the kids to enjoy. Please do not feed them bread!
A Celebration of Life with the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Wacipi
Join the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Wacipi on August 18, 19, and 20 for a vibrant celebration of life. This powwow will showcase traditional singing and dancing, as they gather to thank the Creator for the blessings bestowed upon us.
This is a great way for visitors to celebrate and learn about the rich culture. Everyone comes together to honor our heritage and remember their ancestors. Don’t miss this incredible event that will fill your heart with joy and gratitude.
Fall in Shakopee
Fall in Shakopee is when the town probably doubles in population. Mostly due to the great events that call Shakopee home.
During the month of September, travel on 169 S towards Jordan is reduced to one lane due to the number of people coming into the Renaissance Festival and Sever’s Corn Maze.
MN Renaissance Festival
First up is the Minnesota Renaissance Festival. The Renaissance Festival is my favorite place to unwind, watch shows, and get the last drops of festivals out of my system before it turns to winter.
People dress in Elizabethan costumes, and enjoy peasant life, eating turkey legs, wine and so much more. They have something for everyone there. (Fall Favorite)
Is everyone In costume? Do I need one? Well, that all depends on what type of experience you want! Check out my full guide on what to wear to the MN Renaissance Festival.
Severs Fall Festival
After the Renaissances Festival ends, the Fall Festival begins at Sever’s Corn Maze. There is actually an overlap of a few weeks.
The Severs Fall Festival just moved to its new location and has more room to embrace the season. Kids can pet exotic animals, feed birds, watch pig races, zip lines, jump on the pillow and so much more.
My favorite is always the corn pit. Then there is the corn maze. Check it out! (Fall Favorite)
Trail of Terror
When you are ready for some of your first scares, Trail of Terror is where to go. I say this because it’s where the teenagers go for some light thrills, music, and other entertainment.
During the season, they also host a Zombie 5K Trail race that is fun. They are on the same grounds as the Renaissance Festival, making it easy to get to.
Winter In Shakopee
Holiday Fest Winter Parade
Every winter, Shakopee brings in the season with a winter parade like no other at their Holiday Fest Celebration. Lighted displays make their way through the streets as onlookers wait patiently for candy.
Ending the celebration, Santa uses his magic to light the tree, followed up with fireworks. This tradition goes on throughout the weekend with holiday-themed activities in the Historic Downtown. (Winter Favorite)
Plan your next adventure
There you have it. The best things to do in Shakopee MN. With all this family fun just a short drive from downtown Minneapolis, you wont want to skip it.
If you are looking to spend the night, make sure to book at a stay at the Holiday Inn near Canterbury Park. They have excellent accommodations.