100 summer activities for toddlers

1. Cut a watermelon in half and eat immediately with spoons. 

2. Master somersaults.

3. Have a teddy bear picnic at Teddy Bear Park in Stillwater.

4. Take in a matinee with real butter popcorn at the Riverview Theater. Or hit the cheap seats in Hopkins.

5. Make your own popsicles.

6. Pajama day, all day.

7. Make your own play dough.

8. Lewis Park Splash Pad, St. Paul.

9. Highland Fest, July 14–16, St. Paul. Or Lowertown Blues & Funk Fest, July 21-22. Or search this!

10. Conny’s Creamy Cone, St. Paul.

11. Backyard campout.

12. Make up a cookie recipe using toddler suggestions. Or just make these

13. Neighborhood parade.

water balloons

14. Water balloon toss.

15. Root beer floats for dinner.

16. Cook over an open fire. Carefully.

17. Cloud shape contest.

18. Bike and trike around Lake Calhoun.

Minnehaha Falls

19. Hike Minnehaha Falls and eat lunch at Sea Salt.

20. Fly kites at Lake Harriet.

21. Mia with your kid leading the way the whole time.

22. Catch a Puppet Wagon!

23. Rainy day? Child o’ mine, meet The Flintstones.

24. Dance in the rain!

25. Bathing suit bubble bath in the outdoor kiddie pool.

26. Brunch at Tilia.

hand puppet

27. Make your own sock puppets.

28. Toddler Tuesdays at MOA.

29. Dinner on the patio at Longfellow Grill.

30. Make your kiddo try FIVE new foods ... at the State Fair, Aug. 24–Sept. 4.

31. Lemonade stand! Use the proceeds to bring pet toys to the Humane Society.

32. Finger painting.

33. Apple Valley Aquatic Center.

34. The beach at Snail Lake, Shoreview.

35. Paddleboats at Como Lake followed by food and music at the pavilion.

36. Wild Rumpus bookstore. 

37. Catch a movie in the park.

38. Eat through the Midtown Global Market and blow off steam at the play area.

39. Izzy’s, Sebastian Joe’s and Grand Ole Creamery — all in one day (and vote)!

40. A Twins game.

41. A Saints game!

42. Plant flowers.

43. Decorate your bikes and trikes.

44. Animal spotting at Lebanon Hills: How many can you count?

45. Lake Hiawatha Wading Pool.

46. Oak Hill Splash Pad, St. Louis Park.

47. Cascade Bay, Eagan.

48. Nicollet Commons, Burnsville.

49. Kelley Park, Apple Valley.

50. Chutes and Ladders, Bloomington. 

como pool

51. Float in the lazy river at Como Pool

52. Big Woods Playground, Lake Rebecca.

53. Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store, Jordan.

54. Gibbs Farm, St. Paul.

55. St. Anthony Park Library and a leisurely lunch with books on the lawn.

56. Run through the sprinkler.

57. Hot Wheels races with a makeshift trophy.
 
58. Hopscotch.

59. Catch the Okee Dokee Brothers.

60. Caponi Art Park, Eagan.

61. Sampling at Great Harvest Bread Company.

62. Pump It Up!

63. Day trip or overnight to Duluth.

64. Brunch at Hell’s Kitchen.

65. DUPLO at Brickmania.

66. Dinner at yum! kitchen and bakery.

67. Richfield Farmer’s Market at Veterans Memorial Park. 

68. Gale Woods Farm, Minnetrista. 

69. Cookies at Wuollet followed by Creative Kidstuff, Grand Avenue, St. Paul.

70. Fake moustaches.

71. Water wading and a nature walk at Hidden Falls, St. Paul.

72. Lake Minnetonka Swimming Pond.

73. Popcorn party on the porch.

74. Como Zoo carousel.

75. Square Lake, Stillwater.

76. Mini golf on the roof of the Walker Art Center.

77. Firefighters Hall and Museum.

78. Dragon Festival, July 9–10, Lake Phalen, St. Paul.

79. Skip across the Stone Arch Bridge.

80. Freezy pops, barefoot in the grass.

81. Franconia Sculpture Park, Shafer.

82. Colvill Park, Red Wing.

83. Dodge Nature Center, West St. Paul.

84. Summer-long project: Map the Peanuts characters.

85. Poppies, popcorn and playground, Pahl’s Market, Apple Valley.

86. Macaroni art.

87. Fishing at Lake Nokomis Pier.

88. Pick your own raspberries or blueberries.

89. Grow the ingredients for and make your own salsa.

90. Create a backyard scavenger hunt.

91. Make your own pizza together.

92. Mud pies.

93. Pick a country to learn about.

94. Active game night with Duck, Duck, Goose and musical chairs.

95. Heat-wave crazy? Go ice skating at Wolfe Park Rec Center, St. Louis Park for winter in July.

97. Rooftop milkshakes at Annie’s Parlour in Dinkytown.

98. Build your own sandbox.

99. Bug terrarium, fireflies recommended.

100. Print out all three months of pictures and look through them together. 

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Jen Wittes is a freelance writer and mother of two who lives in St. Paul. Learn more about her work at jenwittes.com. Send questions or comments to jwittes@mnparent.com