Plan Your Summer Vacation in Shakopee
This summer, visit Shakopee! Conveniently located to the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Shakopee is home to exciting attractions, concerts, festivals, unique dining, shopping, and more.
Fun attractions for everyone
Whether you’re planning a family vacation, friends getaway, or a couple’s weekend, Shakopee is home to some of Minnesota’s top attractions. Valleyfair is the Upper Midwest’s largest amusement park, with over 75 rides and attractions ranging from thrilling coasters to Peanuts-themed fun at the Planet Snoopy Kids’ Area. Cool off at the park’s Soak City Waterpark, which features a wave pool and waterslides.
More thrills can be found at Mystic Lake Casino, the state’s largest casino. Play the slots and blackjack, check out Cosmic Bingo, enjoy live music on the weekends, or catch a show at the Mystic Showroom.
Cheer on your picks at Canterbury Park, where the live horse racing season starts on May 27 and runs through September 16, 2023. The park also hosts special events like corgi and weiner dog racing and outdoor concerts.
Once you’ve experienced everything Shakopee has to offer, visit some nearby regional attractions. Combine dinner and a show at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, with entertainment including Broadway-style musicals, concerts, and comedy. In the summertime, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is especially beautiful, with dozens of colorful gardens and plant collections that visitors can explore via pathways like the Three-Mile Walk and Three-Mile Drive.
Rock, country, family-friendly shows: Shakopee offers concerts for music lovers of all ages. The Canterbury Concert Series features national acts in an intimate, outdoor venue, with a variety of seating options. The 2023 lineup will feature Night Ranger, the Marshall Tucker Band, Killer Queen-A Tribute to Queen, Smash Mouth and Spin Doctors, and Randy Houser.
Experience downtown Shakopee with Rhythm on the Rails, a free seven-week outdoor concert series held on Wednesday nights in June, July, and August. In addition to live music from top-notch local opening acts and regional headliners, there’s a free kids zone with family activities and food and drink vendors.
Both rock and country fans will love the Lakefront Music Fest, held July 14-15, 2023. One of the Twin Cities metro area’s largest outdoor music festivals, the first night features classic rock acts, with headliner Lynyrd Skinner. Night two is devoted to country music, with headliner Darius Rucker.
Another local venue for great music is Mystic Lake Casino, which features national acts in their indoor showroom and outdoor amphitheater.
Can’t Miss Festivals
Save the date for Shakopee’s festivals, which draw crowds from across the Midwest. The
Minnesota Renaissance Festival will be held weekends August 19 through October 1, 2023, plus Labor Day and Friday, September 29. The country’s largest renaissance festival features an artisan marketplace, live jousting, entertainment, kids’ games and activities, tasty eats, and more.
Visitors are welcome at the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Wacipi (powwow) held from August 18-20, 2023. The SMSC Wacipi is a contest powwow, with dancers of all ages competing in a variety of dance categories and age groups. The wacipi also incorporates Native American religious ceremonies, traditions, and drumming.
From pancakes to steak, tacos to pizza, Shakopee offers dining options for every appetite. Start your day at Wampach’s, an old-school diner that serves breakfast all day. If you’re looking for an upscale vibe that’s part supper club, part speakeasy, stop by Shakopee House for craft cocktails, pasta, and steak (try to find the restaurant’s hidden basement bar, Rum Row TIki Bar).
Other local favorites include Bravis Modern Street Food for fresh, modern Mexican cuisine and Pablo’s Mexican Restaurant for an extensive menu of California-style Mexican specialties and delicious margaritas (try a few different flavors with a margarita flight). Turtle’s Bar & Grill has a tasty made-from-scratch menu, including fried chicken, Angus burgers, and pizza, and O’Brien’s Public House serves elevated pub fare.
Craft beer fans should pick up a South of the River Brewery Trail passport, which will give you a discount at local taprooms like Mana Brewing and Shakopee Brewhall. Other places to sip local include Badger Hill Brewing and Mousse Sparkling Wine, a winery that uses locally grown fruit to make wine and hard cider.
In addition to being close to regional shopping destinations like the Mall of America and Twin Cities Premium Outlets, Shakopee is home to unique locally owned retailers. Kids and kids-at-heart should visit Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store for a mouth-watering selection of nostalgic sweets, sodas, jams, jellies, honey, and more (the store is cash-only, but there’s an ATM on-site).
Shakopee’s downtown is a walkable, vibrant historic district with boutiques and other small retailers. The Farmhemian has an eclectic range of decor and accessories that are a little bit farmhouse and a little bit boho, and Bluff Creek Boutique offers stylish womenswear and accessories. Ramble On Records has a huge selection of new and vintage vinyl, and Bill’s Toggery has been selling high-quality menswear since 1931 (they’re especially known for their range of extended sizes, including big and tall).
From hotels to campgrounds, Shakopee has a lodging option for you, with comfortable accommodations at a range of price points. Book your stay in Shakopee today!