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The Best Outdoor Activities to do in Minneapolis


Whether you're just visiting Minneapolis or live in the city, there are some great outdoor activities and trips to go and do during a visit or free time. Many of these places have a wide array of things to capture the interests of all sorts of people. 

The Best Outdoor Activities to do in Minneapolis


Como Park Zoo and Conservatory

If you live in Minneapolis or are visiting for a while and in need of some cool activities to do, Como Park Zoo and Conservatory should definitely be on your list. Located on 1225 Estabrook Dr, St Paul, Como Park Zoo and Conservatory provides a perfect balance of fun and education, while also being a great day trip for any age. One of the best things about this place is that it’s admission free! It’s also conveniently open 365 days a year, so anyone can visit whenever they feel like it.

Como Zoo has 25 animal habitats that feature Tigers, Lions, Orangutans, Giraffes, Gorillas and a whole lot more. Como Zoo has a range of programs for adults, kids and groups to explore, observe and discover. They also feature a more unique endangered animal, the incredible Snow Leopard. There’s a bunch of awesome animals here and so much to learn and find out about the intricacies of the animal kingdom. The Giraffe feeding station is also an attraction that is very popular and allows visitors to genuinely appreciate the presence and life of a Giraffe, among other creatures.

Gardens are also a popular interest for visitors that come to the park. The centennial garden is one of the main focuses of the gardens, which serves as a prime landmark to commemorate the people that made the success of the park over the last 100 years possible. Another key attraction at Como Park is the art.

They take donations, sponsorships and run special events to keep operations going smoothly. The work Como Park Zoo and Conservatory do should be applauded and it is obvious to see why this is a popular attraction in Minneapolis.

So, if you’re in the area, this is definitely an activity that can peak many people’s interests and is worth checking out (maybe more than once!).


Valley Fair

Valley Fair is a great place to have a ton of outdoor fun and thrills. It features a number of roller coasters and thrill rides, kids rides and an awesome waterpark. This 125 acre theme park is located in Shakopee, Minnesota and boasts a wide range of fun things to do for all sorts of people. The park originally debuted in 1976 and now offers over 75 rides and attractions, including 8 roller coasters. They have a water park is called Soak City, which is included in the price of admission.

Valley Fair offers a fantastic range of roller coasters with different attributes, such as major drops, speed, swerves and loops. Along with these awesome rides, they offer an Xtreme Swing and Rip Cord for maximum thrill and fun! You might find it hard to get bored if you spend a day here.

If you’re the sort of person that likes calmer rides or are searching for family rides, you’re in luck! There’s bumper cars, a carousel, a Ferris wheel, flying eagles, Scrambler and plenty more to choose from. There’s more than enough to do for a whole weekend. The Park offers season and group passes as well as military discounts, so it really is a great activity to do for all kinds of people.

So if you decide to go, have an awesome time! If not, it’s definitely something to consider in the future or when visiting.


Dodge Nature Center

Dodge Nature Center is another must do activity if you’re searching for an outdoor activity in Minneapolis. This area provides 8 miles of walking trails, wildlife viewing, a working farm, bee apiary, plants, flowers and lots more for you and the family to explore and enjoy. Anyone can come visit the trails any day of the year, or sign up for a hands-on nature program. A family walk through the Dodge property costs nothing and the trails are open to the public during daylight hours seven days a week.

There’s Turkeys to see as well as Turtles, and a Raptor exhibit. Moving indoors, Dodge Nature Center offers all kinds of classes, tours and events aimed at a wide span of ages. Families can also book birthday parties for up to 15 children. This a great place for all types of people again, and the nature center offers a lot for everyone to learn, explore and appreciate.


Minnesota Zoo

Another great outdoor activity to do is the Minnesota Zoo. Located in Apple Valley, the Zoo is AZA accredited. When it opened on May 22, 1978 it was fairly revolutionary in its exhibit design. The zoo, built in a suburban rural area, had more space to house exhibits and was one of the first zoos to organize its animals by their living environment as opposed to their species. Furthermore, the zoo offers the Medtronic Minnesota Trail, which features animals native to Minnesota.  There’s also Tropics Trail, which is an indoor walking trail featuring animals from the tropics.

The Minnesota Zoo charges admission and sells annual memberships, but these prices are affordable and well worth the visit. The Zoo is a state agency so there is also more room to invest in conservation over commercialization. Some of the most notable animals on show are the African penguin, Amur Tiger, Asian Wild Horse, Grey Wolf and the Musk Ox. There’s many other animals on show to check out and learn about.

These are some fantastic options for outdoor fun, all driving distance from Minneapolis. So take your pick when you’re in town and enjoy your visit!

Posted on August 13, 2020

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