Known as being the land of 10,000 lakes, Minnesota certainly delivers on that moniker. The upper midwest can be a brutal place in the wintertime but it is absolutely worth sitting indoors for a few months in order to enjoy the incredible summers of the northern states. While it never gets too hot in the Twin Cities, these outdoor locations will suit your next party.
Dubbed the Central Park of Minneapolis, this park sits within the city limits and is the best spot in summertime to people watch. There is a pond and the consensus is that this is one of the cleanest parks consistently in the metro area. It has a sister park, the Sculpture Garden that is connected by a bridge over the highway, I-94.
Address: 1382 Willow St, Minneapolis, MN 55403
South of downtown and, of course, in close proximity to about a hundred other lakes, this one has free picnic space available. In the wintertime it becomes an ice fishing haven. Occasionally there are food trucks and free events in the park including live music at a place known as the Bandshell.
Address: 4135 W Lake Harriet Pkwy, Minneapolis, MN 55409
Noerenberg Memorial Gardens
With views of legendary Lake Minnetonka, this incredible spot sits on about 10 other smaller bodies of water. It is located west of downtown, there is plenty of flora and fauna to explore.
Address: 2854-2992 N Shore Dr, Orono, MN 55356
Lake Nokomis Memorial Park
Nearby the airport and with a city street cutting right through it, this park has a boat pier on one side and a small beach opposite. There is also a playground and a community center where you can rent out parts of the park at reasonable rates.
Address: Bloomington Ave & E 54th St, Minneapolis, MN 55417
Where the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers meet southeast of downtown make for an amazing series of parks. Running up along the Mississippi are parks on both sides of the river. Minnehaha Falls is one of the most spectacular and visited parks in the area. In the winter, the stunning waterfall freezes over and attracts tons of visitors. Head over to the Pergola Garden and wander through the trails. There is a playground and free picnic area where dogs can roam freely.
Address: 4801 S Minnehaha Dr, Minneapolis, MN 55417
Cleary Lake Regional Park
Located 40 minutes south of downtown, this suburban park has a lake and tons of paved trails. There is a beach area to swim, a 9 hole golf course, and kayaks, boats, and cross country skis available for hire.
Address: 18106 Texas Ave, Prior Lake, MN 55372
Cenntenial Lake Park
Situated southwest of downtown and around an oddly symmetrical lake, it has an amphitheater, designated lawn game area, and a pavilion available to rent. They have a cute little mini golf course as well for family fun.
Address: 7499 France Ave S, Edina, MN 55435
Unleashed Hounds and Hops
Possibly the most unique park on this list, this indoor dog park also doubles as a brewery. Owners can order a beer and let their dogs run around on the turf inside. There are TVs to watch the game and space for kids to play. Inquire for rental rates. Could this be a place you rent out for a dog related celebration?!?
Address: 200 East Lyndale Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55405