RECREATION & OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES
Year-round adventures for all walks of life.
The Twin Cities are more than just a concrete jungle. Perhaps their most beautiful feature is the lush, green parks spread across the metro. In the Trust for Land’s annual Parkscore index for 2016, Minneapolis donned the crown for best city parks in the country, an honor it has held for the past four years, and St. Paul finished right on its tail in a close second place. Talk about a win-win for residents. With all these beautiful areas, it is easy to see why Minneapolis ranked No. 6 and St. Paul No. 23 in Best and Worst Cities for an Active Lifestyle. With more than 50 parks and reserves and 340 miles of trails crawling their way through Minneapolis and St. Paul, these beautiful spaces will have even the biggest of couch potatoes trading their TV remotes for running shoes.
If you are looking for an adrenaline-packed day, look no further than Valleyfair. This theme park in Shakopee offers thrills in the form of high-energy rollercoasters, a wet and wild waterpark, and myriad other family oriented rides. Brave riders will feel their heart pound through their chest as their train slowly click-clacks its way to the top of the first monstrous drop, and then scream as they touch the sky before plummeting 200 feet back to Earth at 74 mph on the iconic Wild Thing roller coaster. And Xtreme Swing transforms one of your neighborhood park favorites into a 125-foot-high, 60 mph ride through the sky. Full of rides, food and other attractions, there is always an adventure to be found at the Midwest’s largest outdoor theme park.
While we are on the subject of the great outdoors in the Twin Cities, we might as well address the elephant in the room. Yes, it can get cold here, and sometimes it can get really, really cold. But don’t let commonly held myths about this “frozen tundra” fool you. The Twin Cities have more in common weather-wise with Chicago and Boston than our brothers to the north in Winnipeg and Fairbanks. In fact, the Twin Cities are geographically closer to Missouri than Canada, and have more sunny days annually than both Chicago and Indianapolis. So throw on some extra layers and enjoy this incredible winter wonderland—we promise Jack Frost’s bark is much worse than his bite.
Formed by the juncture of a glacier and the Minnesota River, Buck Hill offers 15 ski and snowboard runs, a tubing hill, 11 lifts and one of the best powder-making systems in the Midwest. Just a short drive south of Minneapolis, skiers and snowboarders alike are able to hit the same slopes Olympic gold medalist Lindsey Vonn did while learning to become one of the sport’s very best. With daily group and private lessons and runs varying in difficulty, all skill levels, from shredding through the moguls to learning the ropes on the bunny hill, are welcome. For even more skiing and snowboarding fun, Hyland Hills Ski Area in Bloomington offers nine runs, a terrain park and lessons of their own.
The Twin Cities are also ground zero for other fun-filled winter events including Red Bull Crashed Ice and the Saint Paul Winter Carnival. Filled with activities like the Beer Dabbler, Securian Winter Run, parades, an ice palace and more, this-week-and-a-half-long festival takes place in the heart of St. Paul, attracts more than 250,000 visitors annually, and showcases why winter in Minnesota is truly a magical time.
MINNEAPOLIS & SAINT PAUL Recreation Stories
Cycle around the Chain of Lakes and enjoy the chic eateries and local taprooms in Uptown Minneapolis on a brewery bike tour.read more
Roses, tropical plants, day lilies, waterfalls and more can be found at 10 Twin Cities garden favorites.read more
Wheel Fun Rentals gets locals and visitors biking, paddling and boating around six Twin Cities parks.read more
Get out and experience all the activities that celebrate the wonderful city of Minneapolis during the Aquatennial July 19-22.read more
Looking for the perfect local market to visit this summer? Check out our top five picks for must-visit farmers markets in the Twin Cities.read more
X Games Minneapolis will be held from July 13 to 16 at U.S. Bank Stadium and Downtown East Commons in downtown Minneapolis, and the Mall of America.read more
Experience speed like never before with this biking coffee shop tour. These coffee shops cater to bikers, supplying both coffee and biking equipment.read more
Free youth football and cheer camps, fireworks and opportunities to meet the Minnesota Vikings are just some of the festivities going on in between open practices at the Vikings summer training camp.read more
Dragon boats take to Lake Phalen in St. Paul this July for the Pan-Asian Dragon Festival.read more
Take a swing at these four unique mini golf courses in the Twin Cities area.read more
Located just outside of downtown Minneapolis, Bryn Mawr has a friendly, small-town feel with neighborhood restaurants and shops on nearly every corner.read more
Experience Lake Minnetonka and the Mississippi River like never before with the top 5 public cruise lines in the Twin Cities.read more
Celebrate Fourth of July at these festive events throughout Minneapolis, St. Paul and the surrounding suburbs.read more
Dine, drink and discover the city of Minneapolis with these summer date night ideas that are perfect for any pair.read more
Try putting a hole-in-one with the new game that's sweeping the nation. FootGolf is a golf-soccer hybrid that is the perfect game for the summer.read more
Looking for an exciting outdoor event to attend this weekend? Check out the North Star Bicycle Festival taking place across central Minnesota.read more
Visit Valleyfair in Shakopee this Saturday and Sunday for the amusement park's annual Food Truck Festival, featuring nearly 20 different restaurants on wheels.read more
Twin Citians embrace their love for books with Little Free Library book exchanges that both inspire life-long readers and add flair to the neighborhood.read more
A beautiful sunset deserves an equally awesome spot to watch it from. Check out these Twin Cities viewing spots.read more
After two years of construction, the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden celebrates its grand reopening this Saturday, June 10.read more