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12 Fun & Best Things to do in Shakopee, Minnesota

12 Fun & Best Things to do in Shakopee, Minnesota

Shakopee is located in the southwestern part of Minneapolis along the Minnesota River. This thriving community forms just a perfect spot for a vacation. If you are dreaming of a favorite place where you can go to vent out, Shakopee is a worthy destination.

Shakopee has many spots to spend your day and activities to keep you busy. The best things to see in Shakopee range from Minnesota River Valley to Mystic Lake.

Both adults and kids have the best things to do in Shakopee, making it a perfect destination for families. The city boasts the largest amusement park and the best eateries, such as Mystic Lake casino hotel.

Besides the town of Shakopee and the areas around it has 5-star hotels and all-around accommodation for all visitors who go to the city every year.

So, do you have specific places or things to do in Shakopee? Read on as we unveil fun things to do in Shakopee that are worth your time.

TLDR

1. Valleyfair Amusement Park

Valleyfair Amusement Park, one of the fun things to do in Shakopee
Image by Tony Webster used under CC 2.0 license

Valleyfair Drive, Shakopee, MN 55379. Phone:  952-445-7600

If you are looking for the best place to have fun with your family, there is no better spot than Valleyfair. The Park features more than 75 rides and attractions and boasts the iconic North Star roller coaster that rises in the sky like skyscrapers. It is the preferred destination in the twin cities.

The Valleyfair was opened in 1976 and has become one of the largest amusement parks in the Upper Midwest. It sits on a 90-acre land, just to tell you how vast it is. You can enjoy your fun moments whichever way you choose.

If you are tired of engaging in energy-intensive events, you can get fresh air at Soak City Waterpark. You can also switch to Planet Snoopy or Dinosaurs Alive. This is one place with all you need for your family vacation.

It is important to note that Valleyfair opens seasonally. So, you need to know when to visit. It is open from May to August. This is the appropriate time to go there with your kids. September and October are for adults. During these months, Valleyfair becomes a Halloween-themed Park. Only adults are allowed in to have the best experiences of their lives.

Valleyfair is a favorite spot for different occasions. Whether you are just hanging out with friends, spending time with the family or your special one, or adventure as a group, you will enjoy the best.

See Related: Best Things to Do in Waconia, Minnesota

2. Canterbury Park

Canterbury Park sign, a casino, horse racing, and concert facility in Shakopee, Minnesota
Image by Tony Webster used under CC 2.0 license

1100 Canterbury Road, Shakopee, MN 55379. Phone: 952-445-7223

Canterbury Park is known for horse racing and other sports for adults. If you are a racer, this can be your favorite vacation spot to enjoy all the races and participate.

Canterbury Park is just a few minutes drive from Minneapolis city center. Its main highlights are the casino and racetracks. 

Canterbury Park offers some of the fun things to do in Shakopee. You can choose to go with your family or just have some alone time watching live thoroughbred and quarter horse races.

The Canterbury Park casino offers a wide range of games to adults of legal age. It is open 24 hours a day, every day of the week. You can walk in at your preferred time to entertain yourself with Omaha, Texas Hold ‘em, 7-Card Stud, Blackjack, EZ Baccarat, Pai Gow Poker, Let it Ride, and other classic games.

Mark a date on the calendar to visit the Park. It is more fun to go there during peak seasons. However, it is also a perfect spot for hosting events and concerts during the off-season.

Enjoy the races of your life at Canterbury Park.

3. Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, in neighboring Chaska

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
Image by Thomson200 used under CC0 1.0 license

3675 Arboretum Dr. Chaska, MN 55318. Phone: 952-443-1400

If you are the adventurous type and like spending your time with nature, don’t miss going to Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. It sits on 1,100 acres of land covered with beautiful gardens.

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum has a broad collection of plant species, including prairie and woods. It is the largest public garden in the entire Upper Mideast, established in 1958 as part of the University of Minnesota. Since its establishment, the Arboretum has served as a community and national resource. Students from the University of Minnesota and other researchers have used it for research.

The Arboretum is located just a few minutes’ drive from Shakopee in Chaska, another lovely small city in Minnesota. It has been a tourist destination ever since its establishment. It will give you the best nature walk of your life with its beautiful trails winding through magnificent plants and flowers.

Visitors can also stop by to view nature-inspired exhibitions, have a quick lunch at the café, and explore the Bee and Pollinator Center. The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum offers guided public tours. You can choose to go on foot or board the Trumpet Creeper Tram.

4. Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, in nearby Prior Lake

2400 Mystic Lake Blvd., Prior Lake, MN 55372. Phone: (800) 262-7799

The Mystic Lake Hotel was founded in 1992 by the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community. Since then, it has grown to be the largest casino in the Midwest. Some of its features include thousands of casino games, many restaurants, a championship golf course, spa, fitness center, and hotel.

Mystic Lake is a complete community with everything you need to feel comfortable and spend your vacations. Whether on a business trip or just for pleasure, the hotel offers luxurious accommodation and modern amenities to ensure you enjoy your stay there.

The Mystic Lake casino can be the best spot for a family getaway, a corporate convention, or a girls’ weekend. It has the entertainment to give everyone a heart-pounding excitement. Enjoy a complete resort experience at the casino.

It’s only 20 minutes from downtown Shakopee, so think about it as a day trip from Shakopee or the Twin Cities, or even as a place to stay on your vacation in Minnesota.

See Related: Best Things to Do in Prior Lake, Minnesota

5. Scott County Historical Society

235 South Fuller Street, Shakopee. Phone: (952) 445-0378

Scott County Historical Society is the place to be if you are a historian or just want to learn about the history of Scott County. You can go there as an individual researcher or on a guided tour.

The Historical Society has the Stans Museum, which also incorporates the boyhood home of the infamous Nixon-era politician, Maurice Stans. It features varieties of artifacts and exhibits that reveal the hidden treasures of Scott County.

The place also has a treat for your eyes and will give you a feeling of what life was. Apart from the artifacts, you can also find furnishings and embellishments. You will have a chance of a lifetime to see the cross-gable roof, a popular architectural design during that era. It also offers renovated outdoor designs with aesthetically appealing pergolas, beautiful butterfly gardens, and gravel walkways.

But as mentioned, you can only get to the Stans if you have an appointment through ground tours. Do it today to discover what Scott County has for you.

6. Wacky Walks Adult Scavenger Hunt Adventure

Minneapolis - St. Paul International Airport
Image by Gabriel Vanslette used under  CC Attribution 3.0 Unported license

Are you new to the Twin Cities Metro Area? Curious about Minneapolis? Are you looking for adult day trips from Shakopee? No problem.

Wacky Walks adult Minneapolis scavenger hunt adventure is all you need. It will help you explore the city in a fun way at Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota.

This game allows visitors to discover Minneapolis. Any player relies on a mobile app to find treasures all around the city and collect points. And responds to fun challenges to earn points. Besides, the scores and rankings come live in the app. All scavenger players are remotely monitored and given help when necessary.

Your remote host offers you help for 2 hours. The package includes hints to get to the destination and even more challenges to overcome. If you visit Shakopee, don’t forget to experience adventuring with Wacky Walks.  

Another alternative is the Saint Paul Scavenger Hunt which helps visitors explore Saint Paul’s soaring sights. This 2-hour guided tour is an epic adventure. You can do it as a team or an individual to solve puzzles and explore epic historical landmarks. Like Wacky Walk, Saint Paul also allows participants to compete for the top spot!

7. Minneapolis Convention Center, in Minnesota’s BIGGEST City

1301 2nd Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55403. Phone: 612.335.6000

Looking for another day trip idea from Shakopee?

The Minneapolis Convention Center was opened in 1990 and is just what its name describes. It is located in downtown Minneapolis, a block away from Nicollet Mall, and features a unique architectural design. Its quadruple dome-shaped roof makes it the perfect venue for hosting multiple events on the same day.  

Minneapolis Convention Center is accessible through the skyway system and many hotels nearby. The highway also connects visitors to different restaurants with the best dishes, shopping destinations, and other attraction sites. You can also park from the nearby ramps.

The center also has on-site service. So, you won’t have to move out for refreshment. Guests can be attended to by the team that monitors all activities in the building. It is a safe place to spend your day with the family. Get delicious, on-site bites, brews, and coffee from the menu. You will have unlimited options to choose from or even have a chance to try new dishes.

And if you are new to the city, friendly downtown ambassadors are ready to help you navigate your way through. Save Minneapolis Convention Center in your things to do on the Shakopee list for the upcoming vacation. 

Y’know, use this as an opportunity to have a night out in the thumping heart of Minnesota’s action. Minneapolis is filled with terrific attractions, interesting landmarks, world-famous museums, and art galleries, top-notch restaurants and eateries, and an ever-increasing number of popular breweries and distilleries.

Many of these places can be enjoyed on a Minneapolis walking tour like the Minneapolis River Walk, or another Adult Minneapolis bar hunt! It’s also a very easy city to navigate with public transportation and has some splendid hotels.

See Related: Where to Stay in Minneapolis

8. Minnesota Renaissance Festival

Terpsichory Courtly Dance Consort at Minnesota Renaissance Festival
Image by marie_la_f used under CC BY-NC 2.0 license

3525 145th St. W., Shakopee, MN 55379. Phone: 952-445-7361

The Minnesota Renaissance Festival was founded in 1971, and the residents have held onto the culture ever since. It has become one of the largest renaissance festivals in the entire country.  

The Minnesota Renaissance Festival attracts thousands of people from different states every year. The attendees get the best entertainment and excitement, making it almost addictive. Once you have your first experience, you will hope for another.

Goers are treated to the best performances from archery and live jousting to artisans who display their best talents and skills. There are also modeled ground villages that reflect European history from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance period.

Never letting things like history and facts get in the way of a good time, the Ren’ Fair is perfect for anyone looking to indulge in some fancy dress, with the minority dressing up in actual Renaissance outfits, and the majority donning medieval, fantasy, or steampunk attire.

Seriously, go nuts; the last thing this amazing multi-month-long event is about is the Renaissance!

If you want the best things to do in Shakopee, mark the dates for this festival on your calendar. It is held on weekends in August and September every year.

The venue is also themed according to the season. The ground is changed into Trail Terror for Halloween. The main features included are the indoor maze, haunted hayride, and other events to offer you the best excitement on weekends of October. What follows soon after the Renaissance Festival ends.

9. Paisley Park; Prince’s Chanhassen Home

Paisley Park interior
Image by US Department of State used under CC BY 2.0 license

7801 Audubon Road, Chanhassen, Minnesota 55317. Phone: (952) 495-6750

Visiting Paisley Park is one of the best things to do on a day trip from Shakopee. It is a private estate that used to be the production venue for the legendary musician, Prince. Paisley Park is located in Chanhassen town, just a 10-minute drive from Shakopee.

Paisley Park is treasured by fans of the Prince who have been allowed to visit this private property. Tour guests are allowed to tour the premises to view artifacts and personal archives of the singer. Some of them are satisfying, and the feeling of being at the studio is out of this world.

On-site, you will see his concert wardrobe, awards, artwork, motorcycles, and some of his rare video recordings.

Paisley Park has become a historical site where music, art, fashion, and culture are celebrated. It attracts visitors from all over the world.

2187 County Rd 101, Shakopee, MN 55379

10. The Landing

The Landing is a historical event held from Wednesdays to Saturdays from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The event also occurs on Saturdays and Sundays from Labor Day to 30th October.

The venue of The Landing is Minnesota River Heritage Park. But how is it one of the fun things to do in Shakopee? The event is worth your time. The participants start by reenacting the lives of 19th Century Minnesotans by displaying historic buildings. This performance covers the prehistoric era up to the late 1800s.

As a visitor, you can take a walk through the grounds and river trails at no fee or participate in one of the activities on the site. Each event is made unique by inviting a historic, special guest. That is why people want to go there every year.

11. Minnesota Zoo, is just 30 minutes away!

Tiger in Minnesota Zoo
Image by Sharon Mollerus used under  CC BY 2.0 license

13000 Zoo Boulevard, Apple Valley, MN 55124. Phone: 952.431.9200

If you are done with the history and other fun things to do in Shakopee, you can round up by visiting the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley, just a half-hour drive away. It was created by the state of Minnesota and started operation in 1978 with a mission to enhance the coexistence between people and animals.

Minnesota Zoo has cutting-edge exhibitions that offer excitement to visitors. You will be introduced to different animal species scouted from around the world. There is also an educational program that keeps the audience busy at the Zoo. If your list of things to do in Minnesota is complete, you can save Minnesota Zoo for next time.

The Minnesota Zoo offers the best place to reconnect with nature. If you have kids, it can be a favorite spot to watch animal species of all shapes and sizes in the Zoo. It will be an entertaining and learning opportunity for you and your family.

12. Sever’s Corn Maze & Fall Festival

Sever's Corn Maze & Fall Festival
Image by minnemom used under CC BY-ND 2.0 license

Address: 3121 W 150th St, Shakopee, MN 55379

If you are looking for fun, you can find it at the Sever’s Corn Maze. This is one of the top Shakopee attractions for the whole family. Adults and kids can both enjoy the fall festival and unique experiences here.

The Sever’s Corn Maze was established in 1997. It has grown to be the most valuable Shakopee adventure venue. There are endless activities for everyone here!

This venue is known for an adventure through a corn maze, but it offers many more activities. You can also enjoy corn pits, an animal park, jumping pillows, a straw bale maze, an obstacle course, pig races, zip lines, live music, and more!

Where To Stay in Shakopee, Minnesota

If you are visiting Shakopee, Minnesota, you should know where you will spend your night in advance. There isn’t a ton of accommodation in Shakopee proper, but fortunately, many hotels and resorts offer accommodation services nearby. Check the following recommendations:

Best Budget Hotels in Shakopee

Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites

Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites
Source: Booking.com

This hotel is located close to Valleyfair Amusement Park and Canterbury Park. That makes it one of the best and on-budget hotels for visitors to these destinations. Once you check in, you will have access to free WiFi, an entertainment system, a fitness center, and launderette facilities.

Travelodge by Wyndham Valleyfair/Shakopee

Travelodge by Wyndham Valleyfair Shakopee
Source: Booking.com

Travelodge offers affordable accommodations to guests, especially those visiting Valleyfair, which is a few kilometers away. All the rooms are air-conditioned and have a TV set and a safety deposit box. 

The rooms are also fitted with private bathrooms with hairdryers and toiletries. A continental breakfast is also offered to guests every morning.

Mid-Range Hotels in Shakopee

Hampton Inn Minneapolis

Hampton Inn Minneapolis Shakopee
Source: Booking.com

This hotel is located just a few kilometers from downtown Shakopee and Mystic Lake Casino. It features an indoor pool and spacious rooms equipped with a television unit. As a guest, you will be served a daily buffet breakfast and can use the gym. Book now for the best deal on Hampton Inn Minneapolis/Shakopee.

Fairfield Inn and Suites

Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott Minneapolis Shakopee
Source: Booking.com

This 3-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms, a shared indoor pool, and a fitness center. You also find a desk and a coffee machine in every room. Continental breakfast is also served every morning. Lastly, there is a business center and free parking for guests.

Luxury Hotels near Shakopee

Loews Minneapolis Hotel

Loews Minneapolis Hotel
Source: Booking.com

The hotel features a restaurant, 24-hour fitness center, a bar, free WiFi, parking, parking, and conference space. It is located just a walking distance from downtown Minneapolis. Your comfort when staying at the hotel is guaranteed.

The Saint Paul Hotel

The Saint Paul Hotel
Source: Booking.com

The Saint Paul Hotel’s central location makes it a favorite hotel among travelers looking to explore the Shakopee area. Como Zoo in Saint Paul and Conservatory and Nickelodeon Universe at the Mall of America are also within a driving range.

Shakopee Rentals

If you don’t want to stay at the hotels, you can rent an entire home for your vacation. That is ideal if you are traveling with the whole family.

The prices of rental homes vary depending on the size and location. Other factors that affect the rental amounts include available facilities. Some can cost as low as $70 a night, while others go up to $300 a night. The guest suite you rent will depend on your budget and the features you want.

Visit Airbnb.com to book a Light Spacious 2BD private destination getaway for $98 a night or a 4-bedroom home at $299. You can explore the site for more options if you have other preferences.

See Related: Best Cabins in Minnesota: Top Rentals, Airbnbs, Resorts

Getting around Shakopee

The best way to navigate Shakopee is by car. If you are with a small family, partner, or alone, you can use car rental services to visit all places on your list. But for large groups, you can organize guided tours offered by different companies. Note that some sites may not allow individuals.

FAQ

What is the best thing to do with kids in Shakopee?

There are many activities for kids in Shakopee. Visiting Amusement and theme parks is the most common, but also go to the Sever’s Corn Maze, The Landing, Minnesota River Heritage Park, and other places.

What are some fun things to do in Shakopee?

The fun never ends when you visit Shakopee. You can think of The Landing and Sever’s Corn Maze if you have kids. But as adults, you can enjoy hiking trails, Shakopee Brewery Ruins, 3 rivers fishing adventures, Sever’s fall festival, and much more.

What are some things to do in Shakopee when it’s raining?

Shakopee has the best for visitors all year round. When it is raining, you can consider having fun at the Badger Hill Brewing Company, Turtle’s bar and restaurant, or KaZoom Playcenter.

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