Ultimate Guide to a Twin Cities Summer

Ultimate Guide to Summer | Twin Cities Mom Collective

Days at the lake, warm and sunny weather, and let’s face it… it’s the only three months of the year we don’t have snow! Summer is here – and we could not be happier. We all want to make the most of these incredible months, so we have our annual Ultimate Guide to a Twin Cities Summer ready for your use!

This comprehensive guide is your go-to for all things summer. We have you covered with everything. Your options for adventure are endless!

Pin this resource now, add it to your favorites, and use it all summer long! Let’s make this summer one to remember!

We are so thankful to our partners at Dentistry for Children and Adolescents for sponsoring this incredible resource. At Dentistry for Children & Adolescents, they have been committed to providing children with the highest standard of pediatric dental care since 1968! Their professionally trained pediatric dentists, along with their team do all they can to make your child’s dental experience as pleasant as possible. They believe that with good oral home care, routine dental visits, and preventive procedures, your child can grow up cavity-free.  They see patients from infancy through the age of 18 and are specialized in treating children with special needs – making us them the perfect ‘dental home’ for your child!

How to use this guide:

Each image leads to either a full guide and list of local spots you’ll want to hit or to an article with details on a summer outing or activity for you or your kids. Click on each image to find more info. Happy Summer!

Summer in a Pandemic:

We know summer may look different this year during COVID-19. We understand each family has a different comfort level in regards to public gatherings, even those that are allowed. We support each family’s individual choices and will continue to be sure you are aware of all opportunities in the metro area for a wide array of comfort levels.

The Twin Cities is known for a great park system and with nearly 150 listings, our Twin Cities Park Guide will keep you busy all summer. Each listing has a map within it so you’ll be able to access and find each park on the go while you’re already out and about.

Park Finder | Twin Cities Mom Collective

Cool off this summer at your favorite spots for waterplay! We have a guide to all the pools, beaches, splash pads, and waterparks near you. Find your area of the metro and see what’s near you – or take a day trip to try something new!

Twin Cities Waterplay Guide | Twin Cities Mom Collective

If you’re packing your summer bag to take along on your outdoor adventures, we have some suggestions on what to take along with you!

Summer Beach Bag Must Haves | Twin Cities Mom Collective

We know that going out to eat may look different this summer. Whether you want to enjoy a patio, grab some takeout, or hit the drive thru – we have you covered. Check out our list of favorite local eateries to hit as a family!

Kid Friendly Eats | Twin Cities Mom Collective

We love these local restaurants and how they serve meals that the whole family can enjoy!

Coffee and Easy Eats | Twin Cities Mom Collective

Are you running from one activity to the next this summer? Our Coffee & Easy Eats Guide is perfect for the busy mom on-the-go!

Twin Cities Ice Cream Shops | Twin Cities Mom Collective

Ice cream is made for summer and we have a few favorite local shops that you must try before the end of the season!

Twin Cities Donut Shops | Twin Cities Mom Collective

Local donut shops are an experience all in themselves and we have plenty to choose from in the metro area. Make a fun morning of donuts for your kids and coffee for mama!

Local Coffee Shops | Twin Cities Mom Collective

Moms need coffee and we love the local shops in the area. In the name of local, you should probably try a new one each week, right?

Explore Local Pizza Farms

Local pizza farms are such a fun way to spend a summer evening. These are worth the trip to make some amazing summer memories!


Family Day Trip to Taylor's Falls

The Taylors Falls area is a great destination and the best part, it is less than an hour away! Here are one mom’s favorite family activities to do near Taylors Falls.


A Mom's guide to Lowertown St. Paul:

There are so many fun neighborhoods in the Twin Cities! Check out one mom’s guide for having fun with your kids in Lowertown St. Paul.


Explore Stillwater

Stillwater is a little town that has so much to offer. Right on the river with boutiques, restaurants and antique shops – there’s more than enough to fill a morning or a full day for a fun summer outing.


Take a Camping Trip

Summer is a great time to go on a camping trip with your family! Here are some tips on how to make camping fun with kids!

Looking for the right spot to set up your tent? Check out this list of Favorite Minnesota State Parks for Camping Families!


Traveling Tips to Use this Summer

Long car ride this summer? We have THE secret to share with you on how to keep your kiddos quiet on your trek! (Psst…it’s Audio Books!)

A real mom’s Road Trip Survival Tips:


These Top Toddler Travel Toys are great things to pack before you head out on your summer travels!

Taking a road trip this summer? Check out these Top Road Trip Mistakes to ensure your trip is a success!


Try a different kind of travel experience this summer and say no to hotels! See what we recommend for your summer lodging.

Hey mama, did you know it’s YOUR summer too? We love this post with suggestions on how you can find some moments to enjoy summer yourself.

It's Your Summer Too | Twin Cities Moms Blog

Need some ideas on how to keep your kids lunches healthy and easy with minimal waste? We love these tips!

Minimal Waste Park Lunches | Twin Cities Mom Collective

Let’s face it. Summer means sweat. We want to help you with this natural deodorant guide!

Natural Deodorant Guide | Twin Cities Moms Blog

Stay cool, mama. If you’re expecting this summer, here is some excellent advice on how to keep cool and comfortable in the heat.

As we slowly come back together after the pandemic, chances are you’re ready to see friends and family! What better way than to host a cookout?! Here are some ideas we have to keep your gathering easy, fun, and low-stress.

If you’re nursing this summer, we want you to feel comfortable and confident! We have some great ideas on what to wear and where to shop.

Have your kids chronicle their summer and the adventures they go on with Summer Adventure Notebooks – check out the how-to here.

FullSizeRender (18)

You might think that summer is full of endless ideas for you to keep your kids busy, but those words “I’m bored” always pop up much sooner than you expect. Use this list when you need something fresh to do with the kids.

Summer Syllabus | Twin Cities Mom Collective

How about a Summer Treasure Box? The Treasure Box can be a shoe box, a picnic basket, or any old box that you decorate together. Hide the Treasure Box somewhere to surprise your kids – either place it at the breakfast table the night before or develop a tradition of hiding it somewhere around your house. Read more here:

Blowing Bubbles

Try these activities to keep your kids entertained indoors:


Get them involved in the kitchen:

Make homemade play dough:


Use popsicle sticks for choosing activities:

Land of 10,000 Lakes, but how do you choose which to explore first? We’ve pulled together the best activities to do at a handful of our favorite Twin Cities lakes, including the best lakeside restaurants for you to try out.

Lakes for Days-5
Lakes for Days
Lakes for Days-4
Lakes for Days-3
Lakes for Days-6
Lakes for Days-2

We know that this summer will look different. Some of our favorite places to visit may be closed. Some of our yearly traditions may be adjusted. We want to give you ideas that you CAN enjoy! Here are some suggestions we have on places you CAN visit and things you CAN do with your kids!

It’s really important to us that you feel cared for in the middle of all that you’re doing to take care of your family. Moms do a lot of looking out for others in their home, and with that in mind, we’ve created resources for you.

Resources for an Uncertain Time | Twin Cities Mom Collective

An at-home date night is a great way to connect with your spouse safely this summer. Here are a few suggestions on how to create a fun-filled evening.

At Home Date Night | Twin Cities Mom Collective

Picnics are a perfect way to get out this year! Here are our 8 essentials for the perfect picnic.

8 Picnic Essentials | Twin Cities Mom Collective

Watching airplanes at MSP Airport is an easy and fun thing to do. Take a drive, park, and enjoy the view.

Viewing Area at MSP Airport | Twin Cities Mom Collective

Farmers Markets are OPEN! This is a great way to get out, enjoy the sun, pick up some local goodies, and support our local farmers. Check out our Farmers Market Guide and find a market near you.

Farmers Market Guide | Twin Cities Mom Collective

Many U-Pick Berry Farms are open! Enjoy a day trip to one of these berry farms and enjoy some fresh berries.

Berry Picking Guide | Twin Cities Mom Collective

Does your family homeschool over the summer? One of our writers shares her perspective!

Why We Summer Homeschool | Twin Cities Mom Collective

If you are considering summer school for your child, read this post to hear some key factors that may help you make your decision.

Summer School Turned Out to Be A Lifesaver | Twin Cities Mom Collective

Learn alongside your kids this summer by diving into some great books together! We love the list shared here.

Summer Books for Children You Need to Read Too | Twin Cities Mom Collective

Are you looking for a school or educational program for your child to attend this summer? Our Education Guide is a fabulous resource to find a program that fits your needs.

Twin Cities Education Magazine | Twin Cities Mom Collective

Our Summer Camp Guide has been updated to reflect camps that are currently open or have adjusted their programming to fit COVID-19 local guidelines. We hope this can be helpful to you as you plan your child’s summer!

2021 Camp Guide | Twin Cities Mom Collective

Did you enjoy this guide? We post daily on Twin Cities happenings, events, how to connect with other parents in the greater Twin Cities area, and real, honest, sometimes funny, sometimes heartwarming stories about motherhood. Sign up to receive our weekly email here, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date on parenting in the Twin Cities!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here