27th Annual Parade of Boats – Centennial Lakes Park, Edina

26th Annual Parade of Boats - Centennial Lakes Park, Edina

During the upcoming 27th Annual Parade of Boats you won’t see people in the boats.  These boats are small and instead of people in the boats, they’ll be on shore controlling them.  The parade takes place in Centennial Lakes Park in Edina.

The model boat event will take place tomorrow June 9th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will feature boat sailing, racing and showings along the shores of the park’s central pond.  A fun event to watch.


Directions to the event: 

The Park address is 7499 France Ave So. Edina Minnesota. It is located 5 blocks south of Southdale shopping mall and 4 blocks north of Highway 494, on the east side of France Ave. Centennial Lakes is actually a shopping center, when viewed from France Ave. The Park and the Lakes are behind the stores, and on the lower level. Enter the shopping center from either France Ave, Parklawn Ave, or 76th Street, then head to the lower parking level. The park building is North of “Chuck E Cheese”. The Lakes begin at 73rd Street and extend south to 80th Street.

Como Zoo Free Shuttle

Como Zoo Free Shuttle

Did you know that Como Park Zoo & Conservatory offers free shuttle service during the spring and summer? Parking is always crazy at Como when the weather warms up, so the shuttle is a great way to avoid that hassle.

You’ll board at the staffed off-site parking lot at the Minnesota State Fair Grounds (see map for details), then get dropped off at the front doors of the Visitor Center.

Weekend shuttle service began April 27th, while daily service begins June 8th and runs through August 4th. After daily service ends, weekend service resumes from August 10th – September 29th. (There is no shuttle on June 21st or during the State Fair.) The shuttle runs continuously 9:30 am – 6:30 pm, and the buses are wheelchair and stroller accessible.

National Get Outdoors Day – Saturday, June 8th

This Saturday, June 8th is National Get Outdoors Day! To celebrate the fun day, ALL of the Minnesota State Parks have free admission. With 75 state parks and recreation areas offering free admission, there is sure to be one close enough for you to visit and enjoy!

Many of them have planned special activities to introduce you to the fun of geocaching, kayaking, camping, and other family-friendly activities. To help you decide which park to choose, take a look at what they are offering here.

Free Fishing and Other Free Stuff
Wet a line while you’re out for the day! Minnesotans don’t need a license to fish at most Minnesota state parks. You can even borrow free loaner fishing kits at many state parks, along with loaner birding kits, GPS kits and Kids’ Discovery Kits.

School’s Out – Camp Out Challenge
DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen is issuing a statewide challenge to all school-aged kids and their families: Start summer break off right by spending the first weekend out of school under the stars with your friends and family. Hike the trails, splash in the water, and sit around a campfire making s’mores with your loved ones. The goal is to fill every campsite in Minnesota State Parks on June 8.

Come Explore!
Whether you stay for the whole weekend or just spend a few hours outdoors, you’ll make memories that will last a lifetime, and you can use your new skills for the rest of the summer.

There’s a state park within 30 miles of most Minnesotans, so take advantage of the opportunity to get out there and explore one!

Summer Kick-off Celebration at French Regional Park



This Saturday is a Summer Kick-off Celebration at French Regional Park in Plymouth. A chance to celebrate warmer weather and all the new great things happening at the park.

The event takes place from 10-1, an opportunity to check out the completion of the improved trails, parking lots and boat launch.  


Additional information about the Summer Kick Off Celebration:

Three Rivers Park District is kicking off summer with a celebration of the new play area at French Regional Park, Plymouth, and completion of the improved trails, parking lots and boat launch. Gather the kids, call their friends and come play on the new play area. Enjoy music and free ice cream treats while supplies last. . A food truck will be onsite. There will also be free boat rentals from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.!

The celebration is on Saturday, June 8, from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. and there will be a brief ribbon cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. This event is free and open to all ages.


Free Fitness in the Parks Classes in St. Paul

Once again, St. Paul Parks and Recreation is offering free Fitness in the Parks classes this summer! There is no registration required and classes are open to all fitness levels. All ages are welcome and no experience is necessary.

Classes run June 1st through August 31st at thirteen different parks in St. Paul. You can download the brochure here and/or check the Google Calendar for dates and times.

Silverwood OnStage

The best part about summer, there’s so many great outdoor events and activities to enjoy.  The Silverwood OnStage is a free concert event taking place on Wednesday evenings throughout the summer.  The Three Rivers Park District’s Silverwood Park is located in St. Anthony and has a beautiful outdoor stage area.


2019 Performances:

Wednesdays | 6:30–9 PM

June 5 | Jessica Manning
June 12 | Michael Monroe
June 19 | 26 BATS!
June 26 | Con Davison

July 10 | Doug Otto & The Getaways
July 17 | Sister Species
July 20 | Nur-D
July 24 | Andy Cook
July 31 | We Are The Willows

August 7 | Meg Kirsch
August 14 | Bora York
August 21 | Katy Vernon
August 28 | Lady Midnight

In case of rain, concerts will be moved into the visitor center.

WaterFest at Lake Phalen – Saturday, June 1st

The 20th annual WaterFest at Lake Phalen takes place this coming Saturday, June 1st. This event is fun for the whole family, with lots of great activities taking place.

WaterFest is a free family festival celebrating our clean lakes with fun outdoor activities and hands-on learning about local watershed topics. The event runs from 11 am to 4 pm at Phalen Regional Park in Saint Paul.

Some of the free activities will be:

  • Paddling a Voyageur canoe, kayak, or canoe
  • Games like archery, mini golf, and more
  • Arts and crafts – plant print or bead critter
  • Exhibits – identify an insect, recognize a bird song, tie a fishing lure, and more
  • Climb in the cab of a street sweeper
  • Music and dance performances throughout the day

You can find more information on the event on their website.


Tamarack Nature Center – Free Discovery Walks and Drop-in Discovery Stations

Nature centers are one of my favorite places to go with my kids. They’re almost always free, and there’s usually plenty to explore both inside and outside. You can go when the weather is nice and hike around the area, or visit when it’s too rainy or cold (or hot!) and see what they have to offer inside.

One nature center I haven’t yet visited is Tamarack Nature Center in White Bear Township. It has a building, nature play area, garden, and trails – all free.

Saturdays in spring and summer are an especially good time to visit as they have two different free programs going on:

  • Discovery Walks – Free, guided walks will give visitors glimpses of spring birds and blooming summer prairies.
  • Drop-in Discovery Stations – Tamarack’s Discovery Hosts will be on-hand on Saturday mornings with nature’s most wonderful surprises! Participants can experience up-close visits with live animals, touchable artifacts, drop-in activities and outdoor explorations.

This upcoming Saturday (June 1st) is noteworthy because they will be hosting two different discovery walks as well as the drop-in discovery stations. Check out a Spring Birds walk at 8 am (bring binoculars if you have them), and stick around for the Prairie Wildflower walk at 9 am. Then from 10 am – 12 pm, get up close and personal with “Reps & Phibs.”

Explore Your Parks Day in Washington County – Saturday, June 1st

Get out and explore your Washington County Parks this Saturday, June 1st! All of their county parks will be free to enter with a number of planned activities:

Big Marine Park Reserve – Family Fishing
10 am – 12 pm, 1 – 3 pm
Registration required

Lake Elmo Park Reserve – Campfire Program
7:15 pm

Pine Point Regional Park – Fitness Hike
9 – 10:30 am

and more! Check out the full list of events HERE. If you can’t make it this Saturday, don’t forget that Washington County Parks are also free to enter on the first Tuesday of every month (next one is June 4th).

Free Fishing Series

I have to admit, fishing is something I have very limited knowledge about.  I’ve tried it but it’s been many years.  I found the perfect event if you feel the same way or maybe you’ve never even tried it.  The Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge is hosting a Free Fishing Series coming up.  Taking place June 4th, 7th, and 8th in Bloomington and Burnsville.  (Click on the date for additional information)

Additional Information about the events:

Join Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge as we enjoy the natural waters around us through fishing. Fishing is open to the public and there is NO COST to participate! Fishing rods and bait will be provided. Event open to all ages.