A drone shot of Lake Harriet in Minneapolis

10 Things to Do in Minnesota This Spring

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A drone shot of Lake Harriet in Minneapolis 
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10 Things to Do in Minnesota This Spring

By Caitlin Hannah

Whether you want to see thundering waterfalls and adorable baby animals, try a new restaurant, or visit one of our amazing museums, spring in Minnesota is bursting with vibrant energy. Find something to do this season with our guide to spring.

  1. Find all the waterfalls
    The middle falls at Gooseberry Falls State Park

    Get an up-close view of the middle falls at Gooseberry Falls State Park / Justin Pruden

    Find all the waterfalls

    Nothing says spring in Minnesota like the rushing waterfalls across the state. 

    Gooseberry Falls State Park, one of the top-visited state parks in Minnesota, features a series of three vast and impressive waterfalls on the Gooseberry River, which then gushes into Lake Superior. Additionally, Tettegouche, Split Rock Lighthouse and George H. Crosby-Manitou state parks deliver rushing falls that won't disappoint. 

    Farther north on the Canadian border, tumbling over the Sawtooth mountains of Cook County, High Falls in Grand Portage State Park is a sight to behold. At 120 feet, it is the tallest waterfall in Minnesota. 

    In the Twin Cities, the falls at Minnehaha Park cascade 50 feet as the creek rushes toward the Mississippi River. The falls anchor this popular park, where you can hike, rent a bike, catch a concert or kick back on the patio at the seasonal Sea Salt Eatery. The smaller, more secluded Hidden Falls are tucked away in a pretty riverside park in St. Paul. 

    In southern Minnesota, head underground to Niagra Cave to see the almost 60-foot-high waterfall. In Mankato, you can see Minneopa Falls at Minneopa State Park, Minnemishinona Falls or head to Ramsey Park in Redwood Falls or Winnewissa waterfall at Pipestone National Monument in Worthington.  

    Find all the waterfalls in Minnesota and plan your road trip.  

  2. Admire baby animals
    Piglets Farm Babies Minnesota Zoo

    Piglets are just one of the many adorable species born during the Minnesota Zoo's Farm Babies event every spring

    Admire baby animals

    Spring is an exciting time for nature in Minnesota. As the weather warms up, our once-icy waterways thaw and open, flowers and trees sprout their hopeful buds of spring and a fresh new batch of adorable baby animals is welcomed to the world at zoos in Minnesota

    The Minnesota Zoo’s annual Farm Babies event is one of the zoo’s largest — and cutest — events. Throughout the event, calves, goat kids, lambs, bunnies, chicks, ducklings and piglets will be on display at the Wells Fargo Family Farm. This beloved event provides guests with unique, up-close experiences that provide great photo opportunities.

    In addition to this annual event, the Minnesota Zoo may welcome bison calves, snow monkey babies and prairie dog babies in other areas of the zoo. Enjoy the warmer weather as you stroll along the Northern Trail to view tigers, gazelles, moose or brown bears at the Russia Grizzly Coast. 

    Take a break from the animals and go for a ride on the hand-crafted Conservation Carousel, located on the Northern Trail. This carousel features 56 animals from around the world like tigers, bison, rhinos and more. Keep your eye out for “close encounters” throughout the zoo. This program provides guests with one-on-one opportunities to speak with zookeepers and interact with various critters.   

  3. See a show
    Guthrie Theater Minneapolis

    The Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis

    See a show

    Minnesota has an incredibly strong performing arts community. Venues range from venerable institutions to community-oriented startups and summer stock theaters. 

    At just about any time of the year, culture vultures can find noteworthy performances, including touring Broadway shows, locally produced dramas, concerts from regional and international musicians, modern and traditional dance routines, and standup sets from rising and reputable comedians. 

    In the Twin Cities, popular theaters include the Guthrie Theater, Children's Theatre Company, Theatre Latte Da, the Jungle Theater, and Penumbra. Smaller gems also include Open Eye Theatre, Theater Mu, Mixed Blood, and Ten Thousand Things.

    Find more shows, concerts, and live music this season.  

  4. Go fishing
    Two women fish from a small boat on Lake of the Woods

    Fishing for walleye on Lake of the Woods  / Paul Vincent

    Go fishing

    For serious or even halfway-serious anglers in Minnesota, the fishing opener is a sacred holiday and the unofficial beginning of summer—a day that roughly half a million anglers eagerly await each year.   

    Minnesota offers some of the best freshwater fishing in the country, from big lakes to scenic trout streams and the mighty Mississippi. Roaming our waters are large and smallmouth bass, trout, panfish, northern pike, muskies, walleye and more. 

    Find a spot to fish in every corner of Minnesota.  

  5. Visit a museum
    A couple walks into the foyer at the Minneapolis Institute of Art

    Minneapolis Institute of Art  / Paul Vincent

    Visit a museum

    Did you know May is International Museums Month? Museums dedicated to art, history, science and more are scattered throughout Minnesota. The Science Museum of Minnesota and Minnesota Children's Museum in St. Paul are must-sees for families, and the Lindbergh family and James J. Hill legacies have their own historic sites.

    Science and history come together at such places as the Runestone Museum, Bell Museum and The Bakken Museum. Art museums can also be found in Rochester, Duluth, Minneapolis and beyond. 

    Explore an art museum, history center, food museum, or learn more about Minnesota’s Native American communities

  6. Try a new restaurant
    A couple friends chat with the chef at Owamni

    Owamni / Paul Vincent

    Try a new restaurant

    Food & Wine named Minneapolis-St. Paul one of the Sleeper Food Cities of the Year in 2022 and it keeps getting better. Our diverse and award-winning dining scene is a must for serious foodies.

    Visit some of the best restaurants in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Duluth and Stillwater, or feed your pizza craving in the Twin Cities and beyond.

  7. Hit the links
    A women swings a golf club at the Baker National Golf Course

    Baker National Golf Course / Paul Vincent

    Hit the links

    From city and suburban courses to rugged north woods terrain and sweeping Mississippi River Valley vistas, Minnesota golf is second to none. 

    Travel to any corner of the state to Biwabik in Minnesota's Iron Range or the southwest prairies of Morton and you will find a test for your game. 

    Minnesota has hundreds of golf courses to play. Don’t miss these 10 iconic golf holes or plan an epic weekend of golf in northeast Minnesota, the Twin Cities metro, Brainerd, and more. 

    Find more places to golf in Minnesota.  

  8. Celebrate at a festival
    A man doing a split high above onlookers during the St. Patrick's Day Parade in St. Paul

    St. Patrick's Day Parade in St. Paul

    Celebrate at a festival

    Whether you're into art, live music, or food, you're sure to find an event worth traveling to this season in Minnesota. From St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, to maple syrup events, cultural celebrations and more. 
    Find even more fun in the Festivals & Events calendar.   

  9. Visit a garden
    Flowers at Munsinger Gardens

    A patch of pink flowers at Munsinger Gardens / Andrew Parks

    Visit a garden

    The flowers will be blooming in Minnesota this spring. Take a tour of the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Munsinger Clemens Gardens in St. Cloud, and more. Learn more about Minnesota’s wildflowers and find out when and where they will be in bloom.  

  10. Go birding
    Bird watchers in Duluth

    Bird watchers in Duluth  / Visit Duluth

    Go birding

    Minnesota is home to nearly 250 species of birds, and many species are returning for the season. Get our beginner's guide to birding, explore the Pine to Prairie Birding Trail, attend the Festival of Birds in Detroit Lakes in May, and more.  

    Learn more about Minnesota birding or birding events happening this spring. 


Caitlin Hannah

Caitlin Hannah is Explore Minnesota's senior digital social strategist. When traveling around the state, she likes spending time near the water, hiking, antique shopping, trying new restaurants, and watching hockey.