We’ve put together a list of 18 events and activities in Inver Grove Heights and the Twin Cities to make the summer of ’18 your best summer yet.  Full disclosure: Inver Grove Heights and the Twin Cites region have WAY more than 18 attractions, experiences and events to live your best life this summer, so be sure to check out our Explore and Events pages for more ideas!


1. Outdoor Music

The rich music scene in the Twin Cities is on full display at summer festivals, music in the park series and acoustic patio performances.  Inver Hills Community Band performs at various locations throughout the summer.  Mississippi Pub hosts acoustic performances by local artists Wednesday and Thursdays 6pm to 9pm and Sundays from 4pm to 7pm.  Be sure to keep an eye on B-52 Burgers and Brew’s Facebook page to find out when they have acoustic performances on their rooftop patio.

Mississippi Pub patio

Live music on the Mississippi Pub patio.

2.  Biking the Mississippi River Trail 

Check out the Mississippi River Trail in all of it’s emerald summer splendor!  Portions of the path will have you peddling right next to the river. while at other spots you’re hard work will be rewarded with spectacular views of the river valley from the bluffs!

Pine Bend Bluffs Scientific and Natural Area, Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota

Mississippi River Valley at Pine Bend Bluffs SNA

3. Farmers Markets

Farmers markets abound in the Twin Cities.  Our favorite happens to be held every Sunday from June 17th to October 7th, 8am to 1pm at Veterans Memorial Community Center.

4. A&W Restaurant’s Cruise Night

Love classic cars?  Dig a good root beer float?  If you answered yes to either of those questions, A&W Restaurant in Inver Grove Heights is the place to be on Thursday evenings when they host their weekly Cruise Night Classic Car Show.  The event is held weekly from 5pm to sunset.

5. Cheer on the Minnesota Vixen

The Minnesota Vixen Women’s Football team earned a post-season berth and will take on the Wisconsin Dragons at Simley Senior High on June 30th.  Cheer loud and proud as the Vixen look to advance a step closer to bringing home a WFA championship in their 20th anniversary season!

6. Hmong International Freedom Festival

The 38th annual Hmong International Freedom Festival celebrates culture, entertainment, food and sports at Como Park’s McMurray Fields June 30th and July 1st.  The festival features a multitude of athletic competitions including soccer, flag football, and sepak takraw, which is similar to volleyball however competitors are not able to use their hands or arms.  In 2017 the event drew over 57,000 attendees.  In addition to sporting events, the festival features  food, dancing and singing performances and much more!

Dancer at Hmong International Freedom Festival in Saint Paul Minnesota

Hmong International Freedom Festival Photo credit: WY.Wennicha

7. The Dragon Festival

The Dragon Festival returns to Lake Phalen in St. Paul for it’s 19th year July 14-15.  The celebration of Asian-Pacific cultures brings together a captivating array of traditional cultural dances, dragon boat races, authentic ethnic cuisine and arts.

8. Lowertown Blues & Funk Fest

On July 20th and 21st, Mears Park in St. Paul will be the headquarters of funkified rhythm as the Lowertown Blues & Funk Fest returns for its 5th year.  This free event will have you feeling the groove.

Lowertown Blues and Funk Fest

Lowertown Blues and Funk Fest at Mears Park

9. X Games

Prepare to be awed by jaw dropping stunts when X Games return to US Bank Stadium July 19-22.  Four days of thrilling skateboarding, BMX and Moto X competition coupled with an awesome musical line up will make this an event you won’t forget!  

10. Vikings Training Camp

Get a first look of your favorite Vikings players in action as they prepare for their 2018 season at Training Camp in their new training facility, Twin Cities Orthopedic Performance Center!  Rookies are scheduled to report for the season on July 24th with their first practice on July 25th and veterans reporting on July 27th, with their first practice on the 28th.  Reserved tickets will be required to attend camp practices this year, with full details available on the Vikings’ website.

TCO Performance Center

Twin Cities Orthopedic Performance Center. Image Courtesy of Minnesota Vikings.

11. Little Shop of Horrors

Inver Grove Heights Community Theatre makes their big debut this summer with Little Shop of Horrors.  You’ll be dancing in your seats as you watch this classic show!  Performances will run August 3rd to the 12th. 

12. Dakota County Fair

Entertaining families since 1858, the Dakota County Fair brings together fair food favorites, live music, grandstand events, rides and much more from August 6-12.  Be sure to check out Heritage Village, designed to resemble a typical Dakota County village of 1900.  

Dakota County Fair

Dakota County Fair

13. Irish Fair of Minnesota

You can find the luck of the Irish at Harriet Island in Saint Paul August 10th-12th at the 18th annual Irish Fair of Minnesota. This free event is perfect for those with Irish heritage and those who are Irish-at-heart.  Full of fun events such as Gaelic sports, step dancing, live music, kids activities and more you’ll be hooked after just one visit! 

Irish Fair Countdown

Irish Fair of Minnesota at Harriet Island

14.  Minnesota State Fair

Every great summer vacation should include a trip to the Minnesota State Fair.  From marching bands to metal bands, from art to agriculture, from the Midway to the mini-donuts, the fair has fun for the whole family to enjoy. The great Minnesota get-together runs August 23-September 3 (Labor Day).

Minnesota State Fair

Minnesota State Fair

15. Summer Beer Dabbler

Beer lovers rejoice!  On August 25th the Beer Dabbler gathers your favorite brewers and ones you may not yet be familiar with at CHS field for a carefree afternoon of beer tasting and live music.  

The Beer Dabbler at CHS Field

The Beer Dabbler at CHS Field

16. Valley Fair

No summer is complete without experiencing the thrills and adventure of Valley Fair.   There is something for everyone with more than 75 rides and attractions, including eight thrilling coasters, Planet Snoopy’s 16 kid rides, and the brand new 7 story looping thrill ride, Delirious!

Soak City at Valley Fair. Image Courtesy of Valley Fair.

17. Sports, Sports, Sports!

The Twin Cities area is a sports lover’s dream, from the perennial champions, the Minnesota Lynx, to the new kids on the block, Minnesota United there is no shortage of cheering to do be done when you’re here.  Baseball fans can double up on the fun by catching a Minnesota Twins game and and taking in all the wacky antics at the St. Paul Saints home games.

Saint Paul Saints

St. Paul Saints at CHS Stadium.

18. Golf

We have golf on the brain in #VisitIGH, so much so that you can find three ways to play while you’re here!  Traverse the beautiful North Valley Park as you seek disc golf glory.  Challenge your long game on Inver Wood’s championship course or perfect your putt at Arbor Pointe Golf Club’s 9-hole course.  Or leave the clubs behind and try out FootGolf at Inver Wood. 

Foot Golf at Inver Wood

Foot Golf at Inver Wood Golf Course