Season Openers & Summer Highlights

This Spring and Summer will bring lots of exciting opportunities for family fun. Read on to learn more about what’s happening at some of our favorite sports teams, events and amusement-filled attractions this season. From anniversaries celebrations and Dinosaur sightings to mountain biking and high flying fun – this summer promises to be BIG fun.

AMUSEMENT-FILLED ATTRACTIONS

Bright Lights & Big Theatre at the Ames Center

The Ames Center, formerly Burnsville Performing Arts Center, opened in January 2009. The center has two theatres, a 1,014-seat proscenium stage and an intimate 150 seat Black Box Theatre. Presentations at the Ames Center include cultural events, dramas, comedies, dance and musical acts from local arts organizations and national touring artists.

Upcoming performances include Tonic Sol-Fa & Shaun Johnson Big Band Experience, Madeleine Peyroux & Rickie Lee Jones, Under the Streetlamp, Todd Rundgren, Twin Cities Ballet of Minnesota’s Coppélia Nouveau, and Paul Shaffer. There’s something for everyone to enjoy this Spring and Summer at the Ames Center. www.ames-center.com

Stay Active at Buck Hill This Summer

Improve your skills, fitness and fun at Buck Hill’s Mountain Bike Day Camps for youth and adult mountain biking programming. Registration for summer camps begins April 1st at BuckHill.com. Plus, skiing, snowboarding and tubing continue all summer long on their new Neveplast artificial dry slope for year-round downhill fun. Don’t forget to grab lunch or dinner at Black Diamond Restaurant at Buck Hill, serving fresh scratch-made Mexican American cuisine and specialty cocktails daily. Details at www.buckhill.com.

Heart Pounding Racing & Entertaining Events at Canterbury Park

Summer is just a few short months away and that means it's time for live racing action at Canterbury Park. From a night out with friends to family friendly fun, Canterbury Park has you covered all summer long. Don’t miss the most exciting tail-wagging competition with Canterbury Park’s Memorial Day ‘Running of the Bulldogs’, Labor Day Wiener Dog Wars and Corgi dog races! Flock to the track for ostrich, camel and zebra races in July. Plus, every Sunday is Pepsi Family Day with free face painting and an interactive petting zoo. And as always, admission for kids 17 and under is always free of charge.

Live racing returns Kentucky Derby weekend May 5, so grab your best derby hat and come play. Check out CanterburyPark.com to see the full racing schedule here .

Garden Groovin’ & Blooming Butterflies at Como Park Zoo & Conservatory

Head to Como Park Zoo & Conservatory Mondays from Memorial Day to Labor Day at 10:30, 11:45 & 12:40 for Music Mondays as members of the Jack Brass Band lead a Second Line Parade through the zoo grounds. Groovin’ In The Garden is back every Wednesday in June and July from 6-8PM. While the grownups get their groove on with some of the Twin Cities best bands, the kids will be entertained by a climbing wall, bouncy house, and lawn games at these FREE outdoor concerts & activities on the Conservatory lawn.

The wildly popular Blooming Butterflies exhibit can once again be found in a colorful 2,500 square foot greenhouse. Featuring a thriving butterfly habitat that over the course of the summer will become home to over 100 species of butterflies from around the world, guests will delight in their interactions with the fascinating winged-creatures.Open daily from 10am to 6pm starting June 17 through September 5 and admission is free. www.comozooconservatory.org

Thrills Abound at Como Town Amusement Park
Opening Day - Saturday, April 22, 2017

What flies through the air, zooms around, and dumps an entire bucket of water on you? The rides at Como Town Amusement Park.

Como Town Amusement Park features 18 family-friendly rides and attractions. If you’re looking for something a little less thrilling for the little ones, check out Splash Zone, a water attraction for all ages. Still new to Splash Zone is Aquabend and Aquasheet, which offer spraying features and full flows of water. It’s a fun way to stay cool on a hot day. Located adjacent to Como Park Zoo and Conservatory, Como Town is the perfect spot to spend a day of fun, with the animals next door, ready to say hello. For more information, visit www.comotown.com or call 651-487-2121.

Step Back in Time With the Lords & Ladies at the 2017 MN Renaissance Festival
Opening Day - Saturday, August 19, 2017

The Minnesota Renaissance Festival’s 47th season begins on Saturday, August 19, 2017. Festival patrons can enjoy 16 stages of live entertainment, 250 artisan vendors, 7 theme weekends, full combat jousting and food fit for a king. Our new Wizard’s Flight School Zip Line will astound all those who wish to soar above the Festival grounds. Stary Olsa, the crowd favorite Belarusian band from last year, will be back during our Labor Day weekend on September 2, 3 and 4, as well as Oktoberfest on September 30-October 1. With over 50 free family friendly activities and plenty of bawdy entertainment for the older crowd, the Minnesota Renaissance Festival offers a memorable and fun outing for all who visit. The Festival is open weekends, August 19 through October 1, along with Labor Day and Festival Friday, September 29, 2017 from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m., rain or shine. www.Renaissancefest.com

Beaches, Babies and Kangaroos at Minnesota Zoo

This summer, bring your family to the Minnesota Zoo, where amazing lives. The beach is back and bigger than ever at their annual Tropical Beach Party going on now through March 12. Farm Babies will be back March 24-April 30th at the Wells Fargo Family Farm where you’ll coo at adorable piglets, lambs, goat kids, bunnies, chicks and calves. All the cute happens daily, with special family activities each weekend. Lastly, join kangaroos, emus and wallabies on a real-life Australian walkabout, in the heart of the Minnesota Zoo. Get an up-close look at the outback, with fun activities for kids and families. Hop on over to the Zoo and experience the land down under, up north May 27th through Labor Day. www.mnzoo.org

230-foot North Star Makes its Debut at Valleyfair This Summer
Opening Day - Friday, May 2, 2017

With more than 75 rides and attractions, Valleyfair is the Twin Cities’ amusement park where families come to play the Minnesota way. Discover your next adventure on one of eight thrilling coasters, hanging out with the Peanuts gang at Planet Snoopy, reliving your childhood on the classic rides in Route 76 or making a splash at the area’s premier waterpark. Find your true north in 2017 with the all-new 230-foot North Star. The only ride of its kind in the upper Midwest, North Star will spin riders 20 stories above the ground at speeds up to 40mph. www.valleyfair.com


FASHION & FUN

The Nation’s Largest Mall Turns 25

In 2017, the nation’s largest Mall will turn 25. Now bigger and better than ever, Mall of America® is ready to celebrate in style all year long. It’s our birthday, your party. With our indoor theme park, Nickelodeon Universe®, a brand-new Crayola Experience where magic comes to life, plus over 50 restaurants, 10 attractions and 520 stores (no sales tax on clothing or shoes!)—Mall of America has a little bit of everything… for everyone. Photo: Mall of America® www.mallofamerica.com

Big Savings & Fun Events at Twin Cities Premium Outlets

Twin Cities Premium Outlets is not just about amazing deals and luxury brands, they have several exclusive events right at their center. Celebrate Mom on May 13th for their Celebrating Moms event from 11am – 3pm where a number of vendors will be offering a variety of products and/or services that women can indulge and treat themselves in; in addition, they’ll have some fun giveaways and prizes too. On May 21, bring your little princesses to a Princess Party where they’ll be hosting six of your favorite princesses for a meet and greet from 11am – 3pm. In addition, their Summer FUN Series will continue from July 8 – August 12 where a unique performance will entertain and enlighten your shopping experience. www.premiumoutlets.com


SPECTACULAR SPORTS

Minnesota Lynx Basketball
The Minnesota Lynx Home Opener will take place on Sunday, May 14, 2017, 6:00pm, at the Xcel Energy Center against the Chicago Sky. Get TicketsSee Schedule

Minnesota Twins Baseball
The Minnesota Twins Home Opener will take place on Monday, April 3, 2017, 3:10pm, at Target Field against the Kansas City Royals. Get TicketsSee Schedule

Saint Paul Saints Baseball
The Saint Paul Saints Home Opener will take place on Monday, May 8, 2017, 6:00pm, at CHS Field against the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks. Get TicketsSee Schedule

The X-Games Minneapolis
Don’t miss the X-Games when they come to Minneapolis this summer. Like other events on the X Games schedule, X Games Minneapolis will be distinct and reflect the vibrant and youthful culture of the city, tapping into its rich sports, music and cultural scene to surround the competition with a festival that highlights the intersection of sports and lifestyle that exists in action sports. The 2017 X Games will take place July 13 – 16, 2017. Learn More