Catching the Last Waves of a Twin Cities Summer
Catching the Last Waves of a Twin Cities Summer
In the Twin Cities in August, the weather can be hot and the nights balmy, but not always. Weather is unpredictable here but that’s all right because we Minnesotans have been trained to be complacent about the weather. Cone flowers and all varieties of daisies are headlining in the flower beds and sunflowers are standing tall in the fields.
There is a collective and audible sigh of relief from parents with the beginning of the school year in sight. Their kids are contemplating their return to the class rooms as well. Some are reluctant to see the end of summer vacation, while others are excited with anticipation of what is ahead for them in the new school year.
We are in the final weeks of the season, somewhere just beyond midsummer glory and before its swan song. These days are lush and bountiful. We savor them with the knowledge that all too quickly they will come to an end. Let’s make the most of these final weeks as we countdown to fall. Whether you chose to spend the time feeling idle and blessed soaking up the warmth of the sun, or want to turn these last weeks into a full-scale celebration here are some ideas that will help you squeeze every drop of joy out of these last days of summer.
15 Ways to Celebrate the Month of August in the Twin Cities
- Make time for your favorite warm weather activity. Go golfing, play tennis, ride your bike, go fishing or boating or swimming. Just make sure you don’t sit at your window looking at the first snowfall of winter saying, “I didn’t feed my summer passion enough this year.”
- Visit your local farmer’s market. August is the month when tables at the market are overflowing with colorful flowers, fruits, and vegetables from Minnesota gardens. Stock up on your favorites and look for new ways to enjoy them. Live life on the edge and try something new! Need some inspiration. Here are 30 recipes for Minnesota sweet corn from Midwest Living Magazine.
- Go camping in your back yard. Invite some friends over and grill dinner. Gather around the fire pit and toast marshmallows or indulge in S’mores. Tell stories, strum the guitar and have a sing-along. When it’s time for bed, pitch a tent or grab your sleeping bag and lay out under the canopy of stars. Need some inspiration? Check out this article from Parents Magazine.
- Go jump in a lake. Since Minnesota is the Land of 10,000 lakes, and here in the Twin Cities Metro alone we have 19, pick one and hit the beach for a day of sun and swimming.
- Host a Sangria Party. Mix up a batch or 3 or 4 of your favorite Sangria and invite your friends and neighbors for a summer food and drink party. Ask everyone to bring over a favorite summer supper or snack item and let the fun begin. Being a Sangria fan myself, I have a Pinterest board devoted to this wonderful Spanish and Portuguese adult beverage treat. Cheers!
- Read a book. Enjoy a blissful idle summer afternoon in a hammock or your favorite yard or deck quiet place and devour a great summer read. You need to keep hydrated so don’t forget a tall glass of iced tea or lemonade will do nicely. Check out the Hennepin County Library staff favorites for book suggestions and enjoy!
- Experience the Fringe Festival. Chose from 169 shows performed on 15 stages around the Twin Cities Metro. This is theater that pushes the boundaries and endeavors to take the audience to places they have never been before. This is art that takes risks. It’s edgy and provocative but that’s why it’s fringe right! There is a great guide to this very popular event on City Pages. It’s happening now and ongoing through August 14th.
- Go boating. If you don’t own a canoe or kayak but would like to give either of these a try consider borrowing or renting one. Lots of options are available around the Metro and surrounding area. If you want to keep it tame and stay in the city check out what is available with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Dept. This is a great option for the novice. If you are more experienced and want to take a longer canoe ride, The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is another great resource and ditto The Three Rivers Park District. Twin Cities Blog also has great suggestions for canoe trips in adjoining counties.
- Go on a picnic. Pack a lunch and head to your favorite urban or suburban park for a lunch or dinner. Be it a romantic picnic for two, or a family affair with the kids this is a wonderful way to celebrate summer. Don’t forget the blanket and the Frisbee and leave those video games at home!
- Take a bike ride. Minneapolis is recognized as one of the top cities for biking in the country and is the only US city to make the world list of friendliest biking cities. So get out those cycles and go for a ride! Check out City Pages best 5 trails in the Twin Cities for inspiration or check out your city’s website for local suggestions.
- Take a cruise. Take a lunch or dinner cruise or just sight-seeing. Available on both Lake Minnetonka and the Mississippi River locations. Complete information available on Twin Cities Cruises website.
- Paddle and Putt. Visit Centennial Lake Park and spend the day. Play miniature golf, rent a paddle boat, take in a game of lawn bowling or croquet. Enjoy lunch at one of the restaurants on the park’s perimeter or dine al fresco on one of the many tables provided in the park and people watch. Centennial Lakes Park is considered by many to be the crown jewel in the Hennepin County Park System, and if you have never been there, you owe it to yourself take a look.
- Pretend you are a tourist and take a guided bus tour of the Twin Cities. Whether you are a lifelong resident or fairly new to the area when you look at it from the perspective of new eyes you are sure to see something you never have before. Check out the Grayline tours of the Twin Cities for complete details.
- The Game is Afoot. The Walker Art Center mini golf comes with amazing views this year. Due to the renovation of the Sculpture Garden campus, the 9 hole course on the roof terrace becomes one of the Twin Cities most unique settings. Worth noting is that every ticket includes free gallery admission for each golfer. More information available on the Walker Art website.
- Attend the Minnesota State Fair. For so many our Twin Cities locals, summer would not be complete without visiting this stellar attraction. Our fair is acclaimed as one of the best in the nation and I agree. All your favorites will be there as well as some new foods, events, and attractions. There is something there for everyone. Fair dates are August 25th through Labor Day September 5th. Find out everything you want to know about this year fair on their website.
Whatever you do, enjoy these final weeks of warmth and sunshine. In my opinion, it arrives too late and leaves too soon but that is just me. Summer, with its golden days and Sapphire nights sprinkled with stars, is meant for making memories that will take you through the long cold Minnesota winter!
You might also enjoy: Celebrate the Last Delicious Days of Summer Twin Cities Style and My Favorite 15 Summer things