Things to do in Minneapolis

About Minneapolis

Experience the cultural heartbeat of the city at the Walker Art Center, take a historic journey through the Mill City Museum, and enjoy a stroll around the picturesque Chain of Lakes. The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and Stone Arch Bridge are also iconic attractions not to be missed.
Families will delight in the interactive exhibits at the Minnesota Children's Museum, the aquatic adventures awaiting at the SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium, and the amusement thrills at Nickelodeon Universe, located within the Mall of America.
Outdoor lovers can explore the city's extensive bike paths, rent a canoe or paddleboard on the lakes, and partake in summer music festivals. Winter brings the charm of ice skating at local rinks and cross-country skiing through groomed trails.
For days when the weather won't cooperate, visitors can immerse in art at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, catch a live show at the Guthrie Theater, or explore the wonders of the Bell Museum, featuring a digital planetarium.
Explore the city's unique history with heritage tours of the Riverfront District, dive into the local beer culture with craft brewery tours, or experience the vibrancy of the city through a food tour highlighting local cuisine.
The Minneapolis Institute of Art, Walker Art Center, and Weisman Art Museum are popular for their dynamic art collections, while The Bakken Museum fascinates with its focus on science and technology.
Rainy days are ideal for the Mill City Museum's engaging historic tour, exploring the Minneapolis skyline from the Foshay Tower Observation Deck, or taking a culinary adventure with an indoor food market tour.
Short but sweet, the Stone Arch Bridge tour offers a quick historical overview, while express art tours at the museums provide a rich, yet brief cultural dive — perfect for those on a tight schedule.

Best Things to Do in Minneapolis

Unveil the vibrant array of Minneapolis attractions with our comprehensive self-guided audio tours.

Minneapolis: American Swedish Institute

What is it?
A cultural museum and education center celebrating Swedish-American heritage.
Why you should go?
Nestled within the historic Turnblad Mansion, the American Swedish Institute is a gateway to understanding the influence of Swedish culture in Minnesota. This unique institution is not only a museum showcasing art and artifacts but also a vibrant cultural center offering classes, workshops, and events. Visitors can explore the ornate rooms of the mansion, indulge in Nordic culinary delights at the café, and immerse in the traditions that have woven their way into the fabric of Minneapolis life.

Minneapolis: Chain of Lakes

What is it?
A series of picturesque lakes offering a multitude of outdoor recreational activities.
Why you should go?
Minneapolis' Chain of Lakes is a refreshing urban oasis, comprising several beautiful bodies of water linked by scenic pathways. These lakes provide a serene escape for picnicking, swimming, sailing, and biking. Outdoor enthusiasts revel in the well-maintained trails while families enjoy the playgrounds and beaches. Experiencing the Chain of Lakes is undeniably among the best things to do in Minneapolis, reflecting the city's dedication to accessible natural spaces.

Minneapolis: Uptown

What is it?
A trendy and dynamic neighborhood known for its lively cultural scene.
Why you should go?
Uptown Minneapolis is the epitome of urban chic, blending diverse cultural influences with a buzzing atmosphere. Here, visitors can enjoy an eclectic mix of dining options, indie theaters, art galleries, and vibrant nightlife. The area’s popularity is bolstered by events like the Uptown Art Fair, cementing its status as a hub for creatives and culture seekers. Exploring Uptown is a stimulating dive into one of Minneapolis' most energetic districts.

Minneapolis: Minnehaha Park

What is it?
A sprawling park known for its stunning waterfall and lush green spaces.
Why you should go?
Minnehaha Park is a beloved natural landmark of Minneapolis, centered around the majestic Minnehaha Falls. This verdant park attracts visitors with its picturesque landscapes, perfect for picnicking, biking, and hiking. Historical sites within the park, like the John H. Stevens House, add layers of cultural depth, further enhancing its allure. A visit to Minnehaha Park is truly one of the most fun things to do in Minneapolis, offering an enchanting retreat from the urban hustle.

Minneapolis: Northeast Minneapolis Arts District

What is it?
A vibrant neighborhood celebrated for its thriving art scene and brewery culture.
Why you should go?
The Northeast Minneapolis Arts District is the city's artistic soul, teeming with studios, galleries, and performance spaces. This locality is famed for its annual Art-A-Whirl event, the largest open studio tour in the U.S., where art aficionados mingle with local artists. Adding to the area's charm are numerous craft breweries, where visitors can savor local flavors. Engaging in the district's creative energy easily ranks among the top Minneapolis activities for those seeking inspiration and community connection.

Minneapolis: Minneapolis Institute of Art

What is it?
A renowned fine arts museum boasting a diverse and extensive collection.
Why you should go?
Delve into the richness of global artistry at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, an emblematic cultural institution. With over 90,000 works of art spanning 5,000 years, the museum offers a world-class experience of artistic innovation and historical significance. From ancient relics to contemporary masterpieces, this treasure trove provides an unparalleled visual feast that's a must on the what to do in Minneapolis list, appealing to art aficionados and casual visitors alike.

Minneapolis: Guthrie Theater

What is it?
A historic theater offering world-class theatrical performances.
Why you should go?
For live entertainment enthusiasts, the Guthrie Theater stands at the forefront of the Minneapolis arts scene. Celebrated for its avant-garde architecture and outstanding productions, this waterfront theater showcases a range of performances from classic plays to groundbreaking new works. Attending a show here is not just about the act on stage; it is an immersive encounter with the arts, making it one of the best things to do in Minneapolis for anyone who relishes in the dramatic arts.

Minneapolis: Stone Arch Bridge

What is it?
An iconic stone bridge offering picturesque views of the cityscape and waterfalls.
Why you should go?
Widely considered one of the most scenic places to visit in Minneapolis, the Stone Arch Bridge is a testament to the city's industrial past and its beautiful natural setting. This historic bridge, ideal for pedestrians and cyclists, provides unmatched vistas of the mighty Mississippi River and the St. Anthony Falls. Whether for a leisurely walk, a photography session, or to bask in the twilight glow, its panoramic views are a feast for the senses that captivate all who traverse its path.

Minneapolis: Walker Art Center

What is it?
A contemporary art center known for its innovative exhibitions and programs.
Why you should go?
Art connoisseurs and curious visitors are drawn to the Walker Art Center, a hub for contemporary visual, performing, and media arts. This illustrious venue prides itself on presenting cutting-edge exhibitions and thought-provoking programs that push the boundaries of creativity. As a part of the Minneapolis activities that offer a deep dive into the creative human expression, the Walker challenges perspectives and ignites discussions, making it a thought leader in the international art community.

Minneapolis: Minneapolis Riverwalk

What is it?
A vibrant riverside walkway filled with shops, eateries, and recreational activities.
Why you should go?
For those pondering what to see in Minneapolis, the Riverwalk is a bustling epicenter of outdoor enjoyment and urban exploration. Strolling along the river, visitors can indulge in the sights and sounds of city life, with ample opportunities for dining, shopping, and leisure. Whether it's witnessing the changing colors of autumn leaves, enjoying the bloom of spring, or partaking in the lively atmosphere of the local marketplaces, the Minneapolis Riverwalk is a delightful experience that encapsulates the spirit of the city.

TOP-5 Tours in Minneapolis for First Time Visitors

  • Discover the allure of the iconic Mississippi Riverfront, one of the premiere things to see in Minneapolis, and learn about the city's historical charm and architectural marvels.
  • Explore the renowned Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, a quintessential Minneapolis activity that blends the beauty of art with the tranquility of nature.
  • Take a journey through the historic Mill District, where things to do in Minneapolis reach new heights with tales of the city's milling past and its transformation.
  • Immerse in the cultural fabric at the heart of the city with a tour covering the best places to visit in Minneapolis, featuring celebrated theaters and local hotspots.
  • Engage with local history and the contemporary pulse of the city with a comprehensive Minneapolis tour that showcases the best Minneapolis tours for enlightening entertainment.

Exciting Minneapolis Excursions

Indulge in the ultimate array of fun things to do in Minneapolis, from vibrant neighborhoods to scenic parks, as our audio tours guide you to memorable excursions.

Fun things to do in Minneapolis with kids

Embark on an adventure suited for the whole family with destinations that highlight the playful spirit of Minneapolis. The Minnesota Children's Museum is a wonderland of interactive exhibits, encouraging kids to crawl, climb, and create, making it a lively educational experience. Immerse in the natural world at the Minneapolis Zoo, where encountering exotic wildlife and engaging in animal feedings captivate young minds. For a day filled with laughter and thrills, Nickelodeon Universe at the Mall of America offers entertainment on a grand scale, boasting an array of rides within this indoor amusement park. These attractions are not only cherished memories in the making but also some of the most fun things to do in Minneapolis with kids.

Things to do in Minneapolis with family

Exploring Minneapolis with family is an invitation to create cherished experiences amidst the city's rich tapestry of attractions. The Minnesota Zoo showcases the splendors of wildlife from around the globe, packaged in an engaging and educational setting ideal for all ages. For interactive fun, the Science Museum of Minnesota offers hands-on exhibits and a captivating Omnitheater, igniting the spark of curiosity in the minds of children and adults alike. Don't miss the opportunity to revel in the urban nature at Minnehaha Regional Park, where the iconic Minnehaha Falls presents a breathtaking backdrop for picnics, exploration, and serene walks. Each of these family-friendly Minneapolis activities is an essential addition to any itinerary, ensuring a holiday brimming with joy and discovery.

Free things to do in Minneapolis

Visitors to Minneapolis can enjoy a plethora of attractions without spending a dime, perfect for travellers on a budget or those looking to experience the city's culture and nature. Walk or bike across the Stone Arch Bridge, where panoramic views of the skyline and the thundering St. Anthony Falls await, providing a picture-perfect setting. Art enthusiasts will relish the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, an open-air gallery blending contemporary sculptures with natural beauty, featuring the iconic Spoonbridge and Cherry. For a tranquil retreat, immerse in the green expanse of the Chain of Lakes, offering idyllic paths and opportunities for bird-watching or simply enjoying a leisurely picnic. These experiences are a testament to the abundance of free things to do in Minneapolis, ensuring memorable moments for all visitors.

Cheap things to do in Minneapolis

Minneapolis caters to those seeking affordable entertainment with a wealth of low-cost attractions that promise a rich experience. The Walker Art Center, a premier destination for contemporary art lovers, offers free admission on the first Saturday of every month. Here, visitors can explore cutting-edge exhibits and family-friendly art-making activities. For a nominal fee, the Como Park Zoo & Conservatory invites guests to marvel at exotic animals and lush gardens, an ideal spot for nature lovers and families. History buffs will appreciate the value of a visit to the Mill City Museum, where modest admission prices grant access to interactive exhibits chronicling Minneapolis's milling history, complete with breathtaking riverfront views. These attractions are among the best cheap things to do in Minneapolis, offering accessible cultural enrichment and fun for all ages.

Things to do in Minneapolis for couples

Minneapolis offers an array of romantic escapades for couples in search of memorable experiences together. Begin with a leisurely picnic or a sunset boat ride on Lake Harriet, creating a tranquil and intimate atmosphere amidst the city's natural beauty. For an artistic outing, visit the Minneapolis Institute of Art where lovebirds can meander through galleries, sharing in the wonder of timeless art pieces — admission is free, adding to its appeal. Lastly, cap off a day of exploration at the Aster Cafe with an intimate riverfront meal overlooking the twinkling city lights; this locale combines good food, live music, and scenic views. These activities not only epitomize things to do in Minneapolis for couples but also provide the perfect setting to foster connection and create lasting memories.

Things to do in Minneapolis at night

As the sun sets, Minneapolis comes alive with a variety of nocturnal attractions to suit every interest. Music lovers can revel in the city's vibrant music scene at the legendary First Avenue & 7th Street Entry, where some of the greatest artists have graced the stage — a must for a night out. Foodies will find delight in the diverse culinary landscape at the Midtown Global Market, offering late-night eats and occasional live entertainment. For a unique evening activity, stroll across the illuminated Stone Arch Bridge, where couples and friends can enjoy breathtaking views of the city skyline and the Mississippi River under the stars. These attractions offer unforgettable experiences that lighting up the things to do in Minneapolis at night.