Events in Minnesota

Berit Thorkelson
| April 27, 2024 | 4 Minute Read
Illustration of landmarks in Minnesota Adam Grason

Turtle races, unicycle world championships and the Minneapolis Monarch Festival are a few of our favorite events across the state this summer.

Attention nature lovers! Everyone’s favorite late-summer insect makes its amazing 2,300-mile journey from Minnesota to Mexico each year. Flutter over to Lake Nokomis Community Center in Minneapolis for the Minneapolis Monarch Festival and celebrate all things monarch (below), milkweed and migration on Sept. 7, with butterfly-inspired art projects, native plant sales, habitat education and more.

A monarch butterfly feeding on milkweed. iStock

Calendar of Events

Keep your calendar full with these can’t-miss activities in Minnesota.

May 4
Country Roads: The Music of John Denver
John Denver fan? The place you belong is the Paradise Center for the Arts in Faribault, as fellow Denver lover and frontman Dennis Curley, backed by a six-piece band, plays favorites and encourages audience storytelling.

May 9–12
South Lake Minnetonka Community-Wide Garage Sales
Spend a few spring hours hitting up the garage sales in the Tonka Bay area, taking in the lake views and scoring deals in the process.

May 10–12
St. Croix Valley Pottery Studio Tour
It’s your annual chance to linger in the studios of accomplished Minnesota potters and visit with them and their guest potters from around the country. This year there are seven studios and more than 70 artists.

May 10–June 2
Men on Boats
A modern, gender-bending take on John Wesley Powell’s 1869 expedition down the Colorado river blends adventure and humor on the Theatre in the Round stage in Minneapolis.

May 18 & 19
Duluth Air and Aviation Expo
The United States Air Force Thunderbirds headline this popular annual show. Ticket upgrades include flight-line seats, photo passes and the Presidential Chalet Pass. Those perks include a shade tent, food and drinks and the chance to meet the airshow performers.

May 18–June 16
Cirque du Soliel BAZZAR
A big top set up outside of the Mall of America hosts the amazing, magical world of acrobats, dancers and musicians in a production that breaks new creative ground while still referencing Cirque’s roots. (For AAA Member-exclusive discounts on performances and more, visit

May 30–June 9
20th Annual 10-Minute Play Festival
Vote for your favorite short original performance during the Lakeshore Players Theatre’s popular annual event at Hanifl Performing Arts Center in White Bear Lake.

June 3–14
I Want My MTV (Totally ’80s)
Break out the hairspray, flip that collar and get your tickets to a throwback night of new wave, pop, hair metal and other musical covers during the Fabulous Armadillos’ two week run at St. Cloud’s Pioneer Place on Fifth.

June 5–Aug. 14
Nisswa Turtle Races
Don’t let another summer pass without checking off this northern Minnesota bucket list item! Your $5 entry fee includes the use of a racing turtle, held Wednesdays through Aug. 14.

June 14
Absolutely Elvis! Excursion
Former Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines performer Todd Anderson is Elvis—singing voice, satin scarves and all—during this two-hour evening cruise along the St. Croix that leaves from Taylors Falls. He’ll return for a Sept. 6 cruise, too.

June 20–22
70th Annual Buffalo PRCA Championship Rodeo
Established in 1955, this is Minnesota’s oldest pro rodeo, complete with bucking horses, rodeo clowns and post-competition live music. It all happens just northwest of the Twin Cities in Buffalo. (For AAA Member-exclusive discounts on rodeos and more, visit

June 21–July 14
A Wrinkle in Time
The Madeleine L’Engle time- and space-traveling fantasy classic takes the stage at Minneapolis’ immersive Theatre in the Round.

June 21–Aug. 4
Disney’s Finding Nemo Jr.
A musical adaptation of the hit movie, this show is part of the celebration of Hopkins’ Stages Theatre Company’s 40th season.

June 29 & 30
Twin Cities Pride Festival and Parade
Hundreds of thousands of people flock to Minneapolis’ Loring Park for this colorful entertainment-filled fest to celebrate LGBTQ+ lives and rights. This park has long been tied to queer history and has been the parade’s end point since the early ’70s.

June 29–Jan. 5
Judy Onofrio: Deep Dive
Just opened: a gallery full of massive, collaged, underwater-inspired sculptures at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum in Winona.

July 3–4
Blooming Prairie’s 50th Old-Fashioned 4th of July
This southern Minnesota small town’s Central Park serves as home base for all the key celebration elements: a parade, pony rides, a craft fair, a tractor pull, fire department tours, a street dance and more.

July 4
Excelsior Firecracker Run
Patriotic revelry in the form of running, with race distances for all levels: a 5K, a 10K or a family-friendly 1 miler, post-race popsicle included.

July 7
Kids Yoga
Stretch and reset with the whole family in the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum’s Nelson Shrub Rose Garden. Extend your relaxation with a stroll amid the summer blooms.

July 12–13
WSP Pride
It’s West St. Paul’s annual LGBTQIA+ celebration, including free crafts, entertainment and lunch for all.

July 14–26
Unicon 21
The 21st Unicycling World Convention and Championships hits America this year—Bemidji, no less—with a variety of single-wheeled events, including a race around downtown’s Lake Bemidji.

July 16–20, 23–27
The Addams Family: A New Musical Comedy
The challenge of Wednesday’s “normal” boyfriend sits at the heart of this production by Trollwood Performing Arts School students, showing at Moorhead’s scenic Bluestem Amphitheater.

Aug. 3
Tour de Tonka
Riders from across the state and around the country flock to this inclusive Minnetonka event, with routes from 16 to 100 miles long.

Aug. 5–6
Camp Tomte
Kids make a stuffed tomte—a mythical, magical creature of Swedish lore—among other creative and outdoorsy activities at this two-day camp at the Gammelgården Museum of Scandia.

Aug. 9–11
Grand Portage Rendezvous Days
Learn about the late-1700s fur trade’s busiest time of year at this annual historical reenactment near the Minnesota-Canada border. It’s timed to coincide with, and is within walking distance of, the Rendezvous Days Celebration Powwow, sponsored by the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.

Aug. 10
Green Lake Kids Triathlon
Kids ages 3 through 12 compete in miniature, age-appropriate versions of a tri. (The adult competition takes place the following day.)

Aug. 10
Toys for Tots Disc Golf Tourney
Amateurs are welcome at this annual summer fundraiser at Willmar’s Robbins Island Disc Golf Course; there are raffle and silent auction items, too.

Aug. 13–18
Steele County Free Fair
Check out Minnesota’s biggest county fair—a week-long admission-free State Fair appetizer in Owatonna filled with midway rides, livestock shows, grandstand events, fair food and more.

Aug. 17
Vining Watermelon Day
Come for the free all-you-can-eat watermelon, stay for the petting zoo, bingo and other small town fest charms.

Sept. 6–8
James J. Hill Days
Train aficionados of all ages, come and learn about Minnesota’s famed railroad magnate at this celebration in and near downtown Wayzata’s historic lakefront depot.

Sept.7–Oct. 28
Fresh Acres Fall Festival
This Monticello farm has all the main ingredients for a fun fall outing, including a corn maze, a pumpkin patch, a petting zoo and even a corn cannon.

Sept. 14
25th Annual Minnesota Children’s Book Festival
Enjoy book signings and readings by award-winning authors and illustrators, plus outdoor fun and food, at the Anderson Center at Tower View during this Red Wing event centered on kids literature.

Sept. 14–15
MinnesoThai Street Food Festival
Fire dancing, an art and souvenir market, lots and lots of food, and more set the stage for this celebration of Thai and Southeast Asian culture.

Sept. 21
Chester Bowl Fall Fest
Hosted at the Duluth ski and snowboard rec area, this farm market-craft fair-fall-party-fundraiser ensures that money isn’t a barrier to enjoying Chester Bowl’s year-round charms.

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