Our summers always seem way too short so it’s great to spend as much time outdoors as possible. Here are some of the the NW Metro’s best summer outdoor activities to keep you having fun this summer while exploring the NW Metro.
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Elm Creek Park Reserve – Maple Grove, Dayton & Champlin MN
The Elm Creek Park Reserve has almost 5000 acres of beautiful outdoor space with walking trails, playground, swimming pond and more!
The Eastman Nature Center is located within the Elm Creek Park Reserve, and provides a viewing area where you can see birds, squirrels and even deer come to feed. They have many fun outdoor activities scheduled for kids.
Mississippi Gateway Regional Park – Coon Rapids MN
Formerly known as Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park – the Mississippi Gateway Regional Park in Brooklyn Park has a nature center, walking trails, and of course the very exciting walkway over the dam – where you can walk from Brooklyn Park to Coon Rapids! Some of the trails are under construction this summer and fall, so check their website for more information.
Central Park Maple Grove MN
Maple Grove is know for it’s extensive trail system and opportunities for outdoor activities. Central Park in Maple Grove has an amazing playground, interactive fountain and walking trails around the large pond.
Prairie’s Edge Wildlife Drive, Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge
The Prairie’s Edge Wildlife Drive is a 7.3 mile loop in the Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge. At the beginning of the drive is the Bur Oak Visitors Station, with pit toilets, outdoor interpretive signs and several walking paths. There is a huge replica of an eagles nest that you can enter via a wooden ramp.
Traveling the dirt road loop in your car will take you through prairies, wetlands and a forest, varied and beautiful scenery greets you at every turn. We saw about 50 swans in the wetlands on our drive. There are several viewing station where you can park and enjoy the view.
Live Music Outdoors
There is nothing better than enjoying live music outdoors on a summer night. Here are just some of the weekly opportunities for live music this summer:
Elk River MN Riverfront Music Series Rivers Edge Commons Park, 679 Main St. at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday evenings from mid-June through late August.
Rockin’ on the Rum – Tuesday evenings June, July and August, Veterans Stage at Riverfront Memorial Park, 2201 2nd Ave, Anoka.
Concerts in the Park – Sunday evenings 6pm, July and August – Bicentennial Bandshell at George Green Park, 1502 6th Ave, Anoka
The Draw Summer Event Series – Thursday nights 6:30 – 8:00 pm at The Draw park & amphitheater, 7401 Ramsey Parkway, Ramsey
Big Lake Music in the Park – Select Thursdays in June and July, 7pm, Lakeside Park, Big Lake
Summerfield Amphitheater the new outdoor event and concert venue at the St Michael Cinema has over 50 concerts scheduled this summer and fall.
Entertainment in the Park – Wednesday evenings following the Farmers Market, June – August 6:30 – 7:30pm, Lions Central Park, Rogers
Bonfire Wednesdays – outdoor concert series Wednesdays 7-10pm, at Rockwoods in Otsego
Music on the Mississippi – Wednesday evenings at 6:15pm at West Bridge Park, Monticello
Maple Grove Parks and Recreations Sounds of Summer – concerts and events held Monday and Wednesday evenings at 7pm, and kid themed concerts Thursdays at 10:30 am throughout the summer! Town Green, Maple Grove