Outdoor Fun in Shakopee, From Natural Beauty to Roller Coasters

There is certainly no shortage of exciting attractions in the Minnesota River Valley. And during the spring and summer months, outdoor activities in Shakopee make the region a true delight for any traveler.

The thrilling rides you’ll find at Valleyfair are unparalleled in the entire region. As the Upper Midwest’s largest amusement park, it features rides and events that people of all ages can enjoy while celebrating the fantastic weather. Another popular way to spend time outdoors in Shakopee is by seeing horse races, playing table games, and attending lovely events at the famous Canterbury Park. And of course, what is a trip to the Shakopee area without seeing and playing with all of the animals and wildlife at the Minnesota Zoo?

Although Shakopee’s famous attractions are serious must-see’s, you will truly miss out by straying off the beaten path. The natural beauty of the Minnesota River Valley, paired with the unique experiences you can find in this region, will make you wish you could stay for good. But don’t forget to add these incredible activities and adventures to your itinerary on your visit to Shakopee this year:

Nature & Wildlife

There is no better place to experience the wonders of spring than the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. This premier northern garden was established from the University of Minnesota Horticultural Research Center in 1958 and is filled with 1,200 acres of flowers, trees, prairie, and miles of trails.

After the Zoo, the next must-see animal haven is the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. With options to explore on your own or in a group, this refuge is perfect for visitors interested in photography, environmental education, fishing, and bird watching!

The Minnesota State Recreation Area is another perfect place to get outside this year. For those interested in hiking, biking, and other adventurous activities, Shakopee is a great spot to begin. The Minnesota Valley State Trail actually runs from Shakopee all the way to Chaska. Every year countless visitors travel to the area to see wildlife, explore the great outdoors, and view the beautiful landscapes.

For adventurers on the hunt for the best camping site, your search is over. In addition to the campgrounds in the Minnesota State Recreation Area, Shakopee has many of the best options for visitors, including Dakotah MeadowsCleary Lake Park Campground, Town & Country Campground, and Fish Lake Acres Campground.



Exploring the great outdoors through nature is always a lovely experience. But, Shakopee also offers options that include fascinating historical experiences! This area is a brilliant place to learn about the lives of early Midwesterners. The Landing within Minnesota River Heritage Park is an  88-acre museum that depicts life in 19th century with authentic buildings, living history demonstrations, and a stunning scenic river trail and overlook.

This summer, you’ll have another way to experience history outdoors at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival! The festival opens August 19 right here in Shakopee and features themed weekends, live entertainment, along with food and shopping to boot.

The Minnesota River Valley is the place to be this spring and summer. Shakopee is full of events and experiences for you and your family to explore nature and history while enjoying the sunny days to come.