4 of the Best Places to Play in the Shakopee Area
Valleyfair Amusement Park
This 125-acre amusement park – the largest in the upper-Midwest – has been proudly entertaining people in Shakopee since 1976. With over 75 rides and attractions including thrilling coasters, Dinosaurs Alive!, Soak City Waterpark and Planet Snoopy, it’s no wonder this park has been revered as a top thrill-seeking destination. Visitors can enjoy one-of-a-kind thrill rides such as Renegade, Steel Venom or Wild Thing (tallest ride in the park), or engage in milder rides like the Ferris Wheel or, new for 2016, Flying Eagles.
Planet Snoopy is perfect for the younger kids who may not meet the height requirements on some of the larger rides. In Planet Snoopy, kids can enjoy great rides like Flying Ace Balloon Race, Kite Eating Tree, Lucy’s Tugboat, Peanuts 500, or Peanuts Road Rally. This child-friendly area also includes a chance to meet the Peanuts characters and see daily live stage productions.
Soak City Waterpark is included with your admission, and has some stay-cool water rides to enjoy. Breakers Bay Wave Pool is a 350,000-gallon wave pool which has you wade in a pool of ocean-like waves. Flow on the Ripple Rapids or enjoy the tallest side-by-side waterslides in the country, Breakers Plunge during your day in the waterpark.
Be sure to plan ahead since the park is only open from mid-May through late-October.
Like beautiful horses and live racing? Then head over to Canterbury Park, a horse-racing track and card room. This upper-Midwest attraction has a wonderful variety of things to do for people of all ages. Take part in some of the great special events for the family, or just the adults, by coming out to see Extreme Race Day featuring Camel, Ostrich and Zebra Races, Canturbury Beerfest with live music, Running of the Bulldogs, Corgi and Cupcake Day, and the Fireworks Spectacular on July 3. Live racing runs from mid-May through mid-September.
Canterbury Park also has great festivals and events throughout the year. Annual concerts such as Vans Warped Tour and Festival Palomino take place at Canterbury Park. Or, check out some of their great expos such as Junk Bonanza.
Minnesota Renaissance Festival
Bust out your inner Merlin or wench at the annual Minnesota Renaissance Festival. Guests can watch live games of jousting or get involved with the Bawdy Beer show, where visitors sing along to medieval songs over beer. After laughing at Puke and Snot (two comical Shakespearean performers), festival goers can browse more than 250 vendors selling renaissance goods and art. For an additional fee, couples can opt for a more romantic visit by enjoying an hour-long rendezvous in a secluded garden. During the rendezvous, a bottle of wine and light snacks are brought out while musicians play privately at your table. Or, take in the lively performance while dining at the Feast of Fantasy. Open weekends from mid-August through the beginning of October.
Mystic Lake Casino Hotel
Put on your best poker face when you visit Mystic Lake Casino Hotel. Guests have a choice of playing blackjack, bingo, slots and other games. Check the schedule in advance if you want to catch live performances at the Mystic Showroom. Former acts include Martina McBride, Rascal Flatts, REO Speedwagon, Kesha, The Beach Boys and more great performers. Once you’ve worked up an appetite from gambling, you can dine in style at the Mystic Steakhouse or visit The Buffet. The hotel is also highly rated for its service.
Mystic Lake Casino also has free, family-friendly festivals to enjoy during the summer like RibFest and Rock and Rockets.
These are just a handful of the things to do in Shakopee, a small town with big-city charm. It’s surrounded by beautiful nature and tons of outdoor activities from biking to playing golf. Shakopee is also a haven for water sports. To explore the city deeper, hit Main Street in downtown for window shopping and fine eats at the numerous boutique shops and restaurants.