Summer Fun and Festivals

There’s something about summer that brings about the wild and carefree spirits in all of us. It may be the excuse to eat multiple ice cream cones or the fact that school’s out and it’s recess every day. Either way, the gloriously warm days mean time outside celebrating with friends and family, doing the things we love.

For me, that means exploring the city and aiming to hit as many festivals as I can. Last weekend, I travelled to Chicago with my girl friends for the Spring Awakening Music Festival (SAMF). SAMF is an electronic music festival that takes place in Chicago every year since 2012. It orginated from a concert series in 2008, and with the expansion of electronic dance music (EDM) and the love to rave from all across the nation, it’s become a “must-go” for all Midwest electronic music fans. Organized by React Presents, the festival welcomed headliners such as Deadmau5 and Steve Aoki. You’ll find an abdundnace of people in neon tops, japanese kitten hats and galaxy printed leotards. The more unique, the better. Being my first time, I went for a slightly more subtle option – a bright, bouncy tutu.

My weekend at SAMF inspired me to attend more festivals and city events around Minneapolis, to make the most of the rest of summer. This past weekend, Minneapolis hosted the Northern Park festival at the Mill City Museum in the uber-cool Ruins Courtyard. The festival was themed “Climate Chaos / Climate Rising”, showcasing top local artists expressing climate change through a variety of artistsic mediums. Such events bring citizens together to celebrate a culture and apprecation for what the city has to offer, similarly to SAMF.

Interested in exploring and festival-ing too? Here’s my list of the next festivals and fun summer events to hit in Minneapolis. There’s something for everyone:


  1. June 15th: Eclectic music full of French flare, Latin heat, and Bohemian attitude is the one and only, Dan Newton’s Cafe Accordion Orchestra (CAO). Northrop Plaza.

  2. June 16th: KESHA. Enough said. Catch the international superstar at Mystic Lake.

  3. June 17th: June 17 – 25. Two of Minnesota’s dance powerhouses, Black Label Movement and Contempo Physical Dance join forces to produce the Cowles Center’s first ever collaborative dance concert.

  4. June 18th: Mill City Farmers Market runs multiple days until August 20th, so you have plenty of time to enjoy products from local, sustainable and organic farmers and artisans, complimented by the beautiful view of Stone Arch Bridge.

  5. June 18th: Rock the Garden Pre-Party. Skip the traffic and join the celebrations early at Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lounge.

  6. June 18th: Minneapolis is all about great music. You can’t miss the Rock the Garden concert at Boom Island Park, presented by Walker Art Center. One day, two stages, and eight bands!

  7. June 19th: Jazz at the Jungle presents jazz vocalist Connie Evingson in SUMMER SAMBA to celebrate the summer season.

  8. July 4th: The biggest Fourth of July celebration is at Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, Rock and Rockets. Lots of red, white and blue decor, the massive free gathering features food trucks and live outdoor music.

  9. August 4th: The Social Science Night for adults (21+) is a time where you can grab a drink but be a kid at heart and explore the science museum and the special programs.

  10. August 4th – 14th: Minneapolis Fringe Festival. Enjoy a lineup of awesome and adventurous artists.  

  11. August 18th:  Minnesota’s traditional Renaissance Festival features entertainment, artisans, food, history and more.