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12 Best Things to Do in Shakopee, Minnesota

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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. 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.

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, Shakopee and its areas have decent hotels and accommodation options for all visitors who visit the city annually.

TL;DR

1. Valleyfair Amusement Park

Aerial view of Valleyfair Amusement Park and rides in Shakopee, Minnesota
Jacob / Adobe Stock

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 over 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 to tell you how vast it is. You can enjoy your fun moments in 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. You will enjoy the best whether you are just hanging out with friends, spending time with the family or your special one, or adventure as a group.

See Related: Things to Do in Waconia, Minnesota

2. Canterbury Park

Thrilling horse racing at Canterbury Park, Shakopee with jockey and crowd in vibrant sRGB colors (source: [Canterbury Park](https://www.canterburypark.com/wacky-races/))
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

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 minute’s drive from Minneapolis city center. Its main highlights are the casino and racetracks.  Canterbury Park offers some fun things to do in Shakopee. You can go alone with your family or watch 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.

See Related: Best Hotels in Prior Lake

3. Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, in neighboring Chaska

Panoramic view and foliage at Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska, Minnesota
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum / Facebook

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

If you are adventurous and like spending 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 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.

The Arboretum is just a few minute’s 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 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

Mystic Lake Casino & Hotel sign and skyline
wolterke – stock.adobe.com

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 become the largest casino in the Midwest. Some of its features include thousands of casino games, many restaurants, a championship golf course, a spa, a fitness center, and a 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 accommodations 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: Things to Do in Prior Lake, Minnesota

5. Scott County Historical Society

Scott County Historical Museum in Shakopee, Minnesota
Scott County Historical Museum / Facebook

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

Scott County Historical Society is the place to be if you are a historian or 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 a variety 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 like. Apart from the artifacts, you can also find furnishings and embellishments. You will have the 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

Modern Architecture of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, a hub for visual, performing, and media arts
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

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 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 individually 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

Panoramic view of Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis Convention Center / Facebook

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 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 refreshments. 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 has 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 splendid hotels.

See Related: Where to Stay in Minneapolis

8. Minnesota Renaissance Festival

Crowd and Shops in Minnesota Renaissance Festival
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

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 the weekends of October. What follows soon after the Renaissance Festival ends.

9. Paisley Park; Prince’s Chanhassen Home

Inside the Prince Memorial, Prince's Chanhassen Home  at Paisley Park, Chanhassen, Minnesota
Paisley Park / Facebook

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 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 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 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.

10. The Landing

The Landing - Minnesota River Heritage Park in Shakopee, Minnesota
Rose H. / TripAdvisor

2187 County Rd 101, Shakopee, MN 55379

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 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!

Entrance signage at Minnesota Zoo
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

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

If you are done with the history and other fun things in Shakopee, you can visit 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. An educational program also 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, watching animal species of all shapes and sizes in the Zoo can be a favorite spot. It will be an entertaining and learning opportunity for you and your family.

12. Sever’s Corn Maze & Fall Festival

Panoramic view of the crowd and kids enjoying the Sever's Corn Maze & Fall Festival in Shakopee, Minnesota
Sever’s Fall Festival / Facebook

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

If you are looking for fun, you can find it at 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 its adventure through a corn maze but 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!

See Related: Things to Do in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota

Places to Stay in Shakopee

1. Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Shakopee, an IHG Hotel Top Recommendation

The Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Shakopee puts you right in the center of all the fun of Minnesota, within driving distance to several major attractions like Valleyfair Amusement Park and Canterbury Park. Meanwhile, the hotel's central location makes it easy to get around town.

2. Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott Minneapolis Shakopee

The Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott Minneapolis Shakopee offers guests an indoor pool and a fitness centre. Free WiFi is provided. Each room at this hotel is air conditioned and comes with a flat screen TV with cable channels. Rooms have a private bathroom fitted with a bath or shower.

3. My Place Hotel-Shakopee, MN

My Place Hotel is a modern hotel located in the Shakopee, Minnesota area. With easy access to many of Minnesota's top attractions like Mall of America, Target Field and U.S. Bank Stadium, My Place Hotel is your one stop destination for an unforgettable stay.

See Related: Best Cabins in Minnesota

How to Get 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.

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