Ways to Beat the Heat in Minnesota

Cool off this summer with these indoor and outdoor activities

Minnesota is facing a massive heat wave this week, with temperatures expected in the upper 90s and heat indexes into the 100s—not to mention the lingering smokey haze from blazing Canadian wildfires. While there are individual steps we can take to improve the health of our planet long term, including saving energy at home, walking, biking, or taking public transportation, and eating more vegetables, there are several short-term activities Minnesotans can incorporate into their routines to beat the heat this week.  

Head to the Movies 

“Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” took to the screen this weekend, making a combined total of $311 million at the box office. Sit back in a recliner, grab some popcorn, and chill out in some air conditioning with a double feature, all while getting in on the biggest blockbusters of the summer. 

All About Art 

With 12,000 pieces by over 2,300 artists, the Walker Art Center tells stories through many mediums, including films, paintings, performances, sculptures, and more. A little over a mile away, the Minneapolis Institute of Art boasts 90,000 pieces of artwork, spanning 5,000 years. Gallery admission is $15 at the Walker and free at the MIA. 

Water Works 

We are the Land of 10,000 Lakes after all. Skip sunbathing and opt for swimming, rafting, or tubing in one of the many bodies of water nearby. 

Check out the library 

Local libraries act as community cooling stations. Dust off that library card, check out a book or two, and spend the day reading. Many libraries also offer additional free programming throughout the summer that can be viewed on their websites. 

Swing by Mall of America 

A little shopping never hurt anybody! Keep cool and take a loop around Mall of America. Whether window shopping, trying a Nickelodeon Universe amusement ride, or checking out the Sea Life aquarium, the mall has something for everyone.  

Binge a Series from Start to Finish 

When it’s better to stay inside instead of out, there’s no time like the present. Plop down in front of a big box fan or air conditioner and complete a book, TV, or movie series that has been sitting on the backburner. 

Order Ice Cream  

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! Cool treats are a great way to decrease body temperatures and increase overall happiness. Check out some of our favorite sweet spots. 

Game at an Arcade 

Let that inner gamer lose at one of the areas many arcades. Play Ms. Pac Man, Frogger, Donkey Kong, and all other fan favorites in a retro environment that’s out of the sun.  

Museums are a Must  

The Mill City Museum highlights Minnesota’s roots, sharing a history of flour and bread baking indoors. If experiments sound more engaging, check out the Science Museum of Minnesota, where there are experiments and educational opportunities for all ages.   

Go Bowling  

No matter someone’s skill level, there’s something nostalgic about bowling. With over 20 bowling allies in the Twin Cities, there are plenty of places to get a game in.  

Visit an Indoor Ice Rink  

Nothing says cool like an ice box. Dig to the bottom of the closet, grab some skates, and head to an indoor ice-skating rink for a Minnesota tradition that’s a fun and refreshing form of exercise.