Rochester MN Ultimate Guide to Summer + Bucket List


The Rochester MN Ultimate Guide to Summer + Bucket List is sponsored by Experience Rochester MN

Rochester MN Ultimate Guide to Summer + Bucket List | Rochester MN Moms Blog

Summer has finally arrived!  You know what that means…endless activity out and about in our city to make up for the time spent indoors. The Rochester MN and SE Minnesota area has so many activities and events for you and your family. Use our Rochester MN Ultimate Guide to Summer and free printable Bucket List to choose your own adventure!

With over 12 categories and over 150 ideas, you’re sure to find a way to make 2019 your best summer ever.  Simply scroll down (and scroll and scrolls!) and click on the icon in the category to jump to that list.

Print out the checklist below and you can fill in what you’d like to do to truly customize your summer!  Have fun, friends.  Cheers to the best summer yet!

Experience Rochester MN

Experience Rochester MN is the official destination marketing organization for Minnesota’s Rochester: America’s City of Care & Innovation. Visit for an in-depth summer events calendar, and to explore things to do, festivals and events, dining, nightlife, shopping and entertainment. A valuable resource for visitors and residents, Experience Rochester MN is your go-to organization for information on the city’s scenic beauty, culture of caring, and friendly faces. Find your “destination inspiration” and savor your summer with Experience Rochester MN!

Rochester MN Ultimate Guide to Summer + Bucket List | Rochester MN Moms Blog
Rochester MN Ultimate Guide to Summer + Bucket List | Rochester MN Moms Blog
Rochester MN Ultimate Guide to Summer + Bucket List | Rochester MN Moms Blog
Rochester MN Ultimate Guide to Summer + Bucket List | Rochester MN Moms Blog

Ultimate Guide to Summer + Bucket List

The Great Outdoors

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Day Trips

Below is a list of great cities to visit as well as things to do while you’re there!

Field Trips

Check out these great local destinations for even more things to do!  Below you’ll find parks, museums, attractions and more!

  • Visit the otters, northwoods animals, playscape anymore at Oxbow Park
  • See if you can climb the Elba Fire Tower!  Bonus, it’s very close to Whitewater State Park!
  • Visit the National Eagle Center in Wabasha.  This center is very kid-friendly with demonstrations, classes, and even an opportunity to fish for food to feed the eagles.
  • Lark Toys is a must see! It is a place where magic, childhood and fun all combine into a store/amusement park/mini golf course/treat shop/museum/zoo.
  • The Science Museum of Minnesota is always a huge hit!
  • The Minnesota History Center in St. Paul is not your typical history museum! No roped off areas where you just gaze at decaying smelly artifacts. Interactive. Full hands-on experiences and some very unique immersion experiences await you!
  • Check out the many permanent interactive zones (construction! climbing! growing!) at the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota in Mankato.

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Festivals & Concerts

There are so many local festivals and concerts to attend in and around Rochester.  These events are listed by date for easy reference!




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Local Love

Rochester has so much to offer during the summer months. Why not become a tourist in your own city!  Consider exploring places and things you’ve never seen or done before.  Here’s a list to get you started!

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Around the Neighborhood

  • Join our Community and Conversation Group to meet other moms and families near you!
  • Attend a Safe City Nights with the Rochester Police Department
  • Attend a forWARD Neighborhood Park Concert
  • Have a camp out in the backyard
  • S’mores Bar (Try Reese’s Peanut Butter cups,  salted caramel chocolate squares, use Nutella instead of chocolate, etc)
  • Build a giant slip-n-slide and get crazy with foam or shaving cream
  • Water Balloon wars…maybe time to invest in one of these and make it EASY
  • Have a big neighborhood party for National Night Out (August 6th)
  • Family Game Night!
  • Play Giant Jenga or another awesome DIY Backyard Game!
  • Plan a neighborhood squirt gun war!  Winner picks the show for the next neighborhood movie night!
  • Create a neighborhood Scavenger Hunt (get inspiration here and here)
  • Ultimate Summer Beverage Contest: who can create the ultimate summer refresher?
  • Find all your amazing summer produce at the Rochester Farmers Market
  • Host an outdoor movie night
  • Make special treats and deliver them to neighbors
  • Have a neighborhood sidewalk chalk art contest
  • Organize a Neighborhood Garage Sale

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Food & Drink

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Fun Family Activities

Around Rochester

Indoor Fun

Around the House or with Friends

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SE Minnesota Love

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Sports Enthusiasts

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Staying Cool

Trying to beat the heat?  Check out these great ideas and destinations to stay cool this summer!

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There are so many area pools, beaches and other ways to stay cool in the water in our area! Check out our Complete Guide to Swimming in SE Minnesota! And for even more fun: check out all the things you can do on the water that AREN’T Swimming.

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June Events

Looking for a fun family event or maybe something just for you?  Check out our Guide to August Events!

Guide to August Events | Rochester MN Moms Blog

Printable Summer Bucket List

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click below to download

Rochester MN 2019 Summer Bucket List

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Still Need More Ideas?

Is there anything more quintessential than a summer parade?  We love a good parade, and our kids do too. 

Thursdays Downtown is THE place to be for food, fun, and all things Rochester MN!

Our comprehensive list of of all the breweries in Rochester MN!

Why not take the opportunity of the beautiful weather and summer sunshine to get an updated family photo?

Take a coffee tour around Rochester to all our great coffee spots!

Our comprehensive list of of all the taco trucks in Rochester MN!

Some people are real ice cream snobs, while others are just happy with any old frozen, sugary treat. In an effort to be inclusive, soft serve, gelato, frozen custard, and frozen yogurt are all included in the Rochester MN ice cream guide.

Our Guide to Running, Races & Fun-Runs: a complete guide to all the races and fun runs in our area! These events are almost all family-friendly and are great opportunities to get out and get running!

We’ve rounded up some nearby pizza farms for you to enjoy while the sun is still high. Enjoy the friendly, country settings and the delicious local food for a truly special summertime experience!

Check out this list of 9 (no food) date ideas in the Rochester, MN area as well as these summertime date ideas!

Rochester MN has fantastic hiking with unique characteristics and loads of natural beauty. Even better? There are some great trails and hikes just out your back door and there are some great ones for families!

Because we strongly believe in getting out and enjoying some adult time, we’ve put together a helpful guide to downtown Rochester, MN happy hours.