Nobody does summer like Minnesota! We may be best known for our winters, but we know how to celebrate the sun. Maybe we’re grateful for the chance to skip out the door without gloves and scarves, maybe we just like an excuse to party. Whatever the reason, Burnsville is home to the hottest happenings in the southern Twin Cities metro area this summer. Come join the fun under the sun.
We’ve got festivities planned indoors and out, with special occasions and anytime options on the calendar. There’s always something to do in Burnsville.
Even when temperatures rise, it’s time to hit the slopes. Buck Hill Ski is an 80-acre community hub with 16 runs and 11 lifts, one of the few half pipes in the Midwest, and is the slope nearest to downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul—it also happens to be where Olympic champion Lindsey Vonn learned to ski. Locally owned and independently operated, Buck Hill is open to enjoy year-round, thanks to mountain bike trails, mountain bike races, disc golf, and live music. Enthusiasts of any age can buy a mountain bike season pass (or day pass) for access to all of the trails from June through October. Ride dawn to dusk on five miles that loop through trees and across gravel. Singletrack, pump track, and skills areas offer extra thrills and challenges.
Bring your lawn chair to Buck Hill for the Buck Concert Series, September 14-16, 2023, and ride a sound wave of entertainment from Jameson Rodgers, the Gear Daddies, Drive-By Truckers, and George Thorogood and The Destroyers, to name a few. This year’s event promises to be “One Hill of a Good Time”.
All summer long, free entertainment is planned at Nicollet Commons Park in the Heart of the City, Burnsville’s green space in its walkable downtown area. Nicollet Commons Park features a 250-seat amphitheater for concerts and events, though you’re also welcome to sit anytime to nibble on a picnic lunch or enjoy the water fountain that flows from late May through late September. Weekly events include Flicks on the Bricks, select Friday evenings that help kick-start the weekend with music and entertainment beginning at 7:00pm followed by a classic movie projected outdoors. The Thursday Rockin’ lunch-hour concerts are geared toward pre-school audiences, while the City of Burnsville Party on the Plaza events are for all ages with live entertainment, food trucks, community booths, arts and craft vendors, games and more (July 20 and August 24), and Art and All That Jazz, Friday and Saturday, August 18 and 19.
The 42nd annual Burnsville Festival Fire Muster is a community event that makes the four days it’s held—Wednesday, September 5 through Saturday, September 9, 2023 – feel like the good old days. One of Minnesota’s longest-running community festivals, the event’s feel-good vibe is hard to resist. Highlights include a Guinness Record-holding Fire Truck Parade that showcases antique fire equipment ranging from horse-drawn hand pumpers (circa 1900) to current state-of-the-art firefighting machinery, an antique car show, community parade, canine demonstrations, musical performances, craft beer tasting, one of the region’s largest fireworks displays, and much more.
Treat your eyes and ears to visual and performing arts at Ames Center, which boasts two theaters—including the best and nicest 1,000-seat theater in the Twin Cities metro area—and an art gallery in addition to event space. The performance calendar presents a range of dramas, comedies, dance and musical acts from local and national artists.
Escapology is the most mind-bending entertainment option at Burnsville Center, the community shopping mall anchored by JCPenney, and Macy’s. Escapology is open daily and is ready to challenge teams of two to six players with four different brain-teasing scenarios. Whichever one you choose, you and your friends and family members will have an hour to find clues, solve puzzles and open locks in order to escape. Difficulty levels vary, ensuring fun for all ages (though age seven and older is recommended).
For on-the-spot advice about what to do in Burnsville, head to Ficus & Fig located next door to Jensen’s Café in the Heart of the City. The boutique shop is packed with an eclectic mix of goods to browse and buy, from accessories to soaps, candles to socks and much more, but it’s also a local hangout staffed by some of the friendliest folks in town. So don’t be shy, stop by, say hi, and get recommendations if you need ‘em.
Burnsville, Minnesota is located near some of the Twin Cities’ biggest attractions including Mall of America, Valleyfair, and the Minnesota Zoo. Enjoy the convenient location plus free parking at any Burnsville hotel including the Best Western Premier Nicollet Inn.