Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Brooklyn Park, MN

  • Published 2023/04/10

Brooklyn Park is a thriving suburban city about 11 miles north of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Home to over 86,000 residents according to the 2020 census, the city is also the sixth largest in the state in terms of population size.

The city occupies a total area of 26 square miles, with the Mississippi River making up its entire eastern border with the neighboring county of Anoka.

As with the rest of Minnesota, Dakota people had settled in the region for thousands of years before the arrival of the French explorers in the 1600s.

Forming a part of the Missouri Territory in the early 1800s, the federal government opened the region to new settlers in 1852.

The establishment of Hennepin County in 1852 also saw the creation of Brooklyn Township in 1854.

As with many newly-established villages of the time, the pioneers named the settlement in honor of their home village of Brooklyn, Michigan.

While the township was primarily agricultural, transporting wood logs and other goods along the Mississippi River also provided significant economic opportunities to the locals.

Brooklyn Township eventually split in 1911, forming the modern-day cities of Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center.

However, it would take until 1954 for Brooklyn Park to be incorporated as a village, then finally as a charter city in 1969.

Today, the city boasts a highly-livable suburban environment with many fun activities.

Over 60 recreation parks and green spaces dot the city, occupying 2,000 acres.

The city also boasts a network of trails spanning 47 miles across the cityscapes.

Along with many outdoor recreation spots, the city also hosts a plethora of excellent hubs for sports, entertainment, and nightlife.

Here are the best things to do in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota.

Enjoy the Twin Cities Harvest Festival and Maze

Entrance of Twin Cities Harvest Festival and Maze

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Twin Cities Harvest Festival and Maze is filled with fun attractions and activities at the northwestern edge of Brooklyn Park during the fall season.

The place opens on weekends from September 17 to the end of October each year.

The event harkens back to the city’s humble agricultural past with farm-themed activities.

For starters, you can try to find your way out of their complex corn mazes that resemble more gigantic pieces of art than a maze.

Young ones can also explore the mini corn mazes, which feature fun layouts.

Moreover, kids and adults can jump around and play at the corn pits.

Other enjoyable features in the venue include inflatables, yard games, magic shows, and barrel train tractor rides.

Of course, the farmyard experience will not be complete without pony rides and a petting zoo.

On the other hand, they also host a pumpkin patch and farm market where you can buy fresh produce and vegetables.

You can also grab a tasty meal from several food trucks parked around the premises.

With all these delightful features, Twin Cities Harvest Festival and Maze guarantee a wholesome fun experience for everyone.

Explore the Mississippi Gateway Regional Park

One of the most famous attractions in Brooklyn Park is the beautiful Mississippi Gateway Regional Park on the city’s northeastern edge.

The park covers an area of 160 acres along its namesake river,withCoon Rapids Dam serving as its most prominent structure.

To get up close and enjoy spectacular views of raging waters passing through the dam, visitors can take the 12-foot-wide observation walkway, which runs its entire length.

You can cast your reel along the fishing deck if you have obtained a state fishing license.

You can also enjoy paddling and kayaking along the calm river waters.

On the other hand, the park also contains a web of outdoor trails spanning over two miles, making it an excellent spot for hiking and biking.

Owing to its pristine environment, the park is home to many animals like deer, river otters, and turtles, making it one of the top places in Brooklyn Park for wildlife-watching.

You can also relax in the park’s picnic areas and enjoy the refreshing surroundings away from the bustle of the city.

With its breathtaking views and soothing atmosphere, Mississippi Gateway Regional Park is the perfect place to enjoy a day outdoors.

Hit the Greens at Edinburgh USA

If you’re itching for some tee time, head to Edinburgh USA, and play on its beautiful 18-hole golf course.

Situated in the central part of the city, the public golf course offers world-class features and amenities for a premium golfing experience.

Spanning 6,904 yards from the back tees, the golf course boasts fantastic fairways and immaculate greens for smooth rolls.

Dotted with lakes and bunkers, the course’s tricky layout also seriously challenges seasoned players.

However, you can also enroll in their comprehensive golf lessons to improve your skill.

Its famous clubhouse and distinct Scottish manor architecture further complement the gorgeous golf course.

Its in-house restaurant, the Brooklyn, offers a delicious menu of salads, sandwiches, and steaks you can enjoy after a round of golf.

Edinburgh USA’s top-of-the-line golf course and first-rate amenities make it a must-play for avid golfers and everyone.

Go Ice Skating at the Community Activity Center

Located right at the city’s heart, Brooklyn Park’s Community Activity Center is a recreation complex where you can enjoy ice skating and other fun activities.

The center hosts two ice arenas where you can watch local youth hockey teams pit against each other.

However, you can also enjoy ice skating during open skate schedules, where they provide skate rentals for your convenience.

If you’re not in the mood for skating, you can take brisk walks on the center’s 630-foot walkway, which loops over the ice skating rink.

The center also houses racquetball and wallyball courts and a fully-equipped fitness room where you can burn calories.

The center created the Sunfish Pond to promote the love for fishing among the the younger generation.

Kids and accompanying adults can enjoy fishing from spring to fall each year.

You can always find something to enjoy in the Community Activity Center, an all-in-one place for ice skating, exercising, and playing.

Experience Rural Life at Eidem Farm

Located along 101st Avenue North in the northeastern part of the city, Eidem Farm is a proud reminder of Brooklyn Park’s humble agricultural past.

Occupying 19 acres, the farm was established during the early 20th century mainly to provide a fresh supply of produce to the outskirts of Minneapolis.

Among the notable farm structures include a farmhouse, a barn, and a few other smaller buildings.

The farmhouse features rustic interiors reminiscent of the era and retains its original wood furniture and home décor.

You can also find several farm implements that are more than 100 years old, like old farm wagons and carts.

Of course, you can also visit the garden, which grows various seasonal produce and flowers.

Moreover, the farm also allows you to interact with the barnyard animals like cows, goats, and chickens.

On the other hand, you can also explore the farm by trekking along the trails that weave around it.

However, you can also choose to stay and relax in its picnic areas and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

The farm hosts special programs such as Stories from the Porch and Snow Days at the Farm.

Eidem Farm’s relaxing atmosphere, fun features, and fascinating history make it a worthwhile visit.

Try Handcrafted Beers at Heavy Rotation Brewing Company

One of the most popular hangout spots in Brooklyn Park is Heavy Rotation Brewing Company, located in the north-central part of the city.

The homegrown brewery boasts flavorful, handcrafted beverages served right at their 16 rotating taps.

They also offer various flavors, from the light like American corn lager Country Road to the fruity yet intense Season in the Abyss.

Moreover, many patrons swear by their delicious cream ales, which come in several choices.

On the other hand, their taproom exudes an industrial vibe with its high ceilings and brewing vats on plain view.

They also feature outdoor patio seats where you can enjoy their refreshing beer, alfresco-style.

As a bonus, several food trucks also come by where you can grab delicious snacks to pair with your booze.

Live music and special events like Thursday Night Trivia provide entertainment for a memorable night out.

With their delicious offerings and friendly environment, you should have a fantastic time at Heavy Rotation Brewing Company.

Enjoy an Authentic Vietnamese Sandwich at Mi-Sant Banh Mi Co

Located in the eastern part of Brooklyn Park, Mi-Sant Banh Mi Co boasts one of the top-rated restaurants in the city.

The restaurant specializes in a Vietnamese sandwich called banh mi.

It combines French and Vietnamese ingredients to make for a flavorful gourmet experience.

A banh mi generally consists of baguettes with meats, pâté, carrots, pickled cucumbers, cilantro, and mayonnaise.

Their specialty banh mi comes in nine delicious choices, ranging from classic, which contains an assortment of Vietnamese hams, to Korean bulgogi beef with kimchi.

The restaurant is also famous for its croissants, where you can choose among eight flavors, like Nutella and strawberry cream cheese.

Other delicious food offerings include egg rolls, rice, and noodle bowls.

You can pair these delectable treats with their aromatic Vietnamese coffee, tea, or non-dairy milk choices.

The restaurant also features modern interiors with light colors and well-spaced tables for a comfortable dining experience.

Try Mi-Sant Banh Mi Co’s Vietnamese sandwiches if you want something new.

Play Bowling and More at Bowlero

Brooklyn Park’s Bowlero can be found along Brooklyn Boulevard in the southcentral part of the city.

The bowling center houses 48 alleys with features like an underground ball return system, LCD computer displays, and nice comfy couches.

More than your traditional bowling alley, they also added other fun features for a total amusement package for the whole family.

Across the bowling alleys are several billiards tables where you can show off your trick shots to your peers.

They also have an arcade containing dozens of modern and classic games for button-mashing fun.

You can also engage in exciting laser tag matches with your friends without leaving the center.

After a tiring game, you can reward yourself with mouthwatering treats like burgers, oven-fired pizzas, and chicken wings, which you can order at the in-center café.

Moreover, you can also relax and chill at the sports bar while enjoying a glass of crafted beer.

Boasting tons of bowling alleys and superb recreation facilities, Bowlero is jam-packed with features for everyone to enjoy.

Relax and Play at Central Park

Central Park is a 73-acre patch of green space at the heart of Brooklyn Park.

As a popular place for playing and recreation, the park contains a tennis court, football field, a nine-hole disc golf course, and a spacious playground.

If you’re itching for some tee time, you’ll never have to go far since the park also houses a public golf course, the Brookland Golf Park.

On the other hand, the park contains walking trails stretching over a mile, making it a perfect spot for quiet and relaxing strolls.

During winter, the park transforms into a snow-blanketed wonderland where you can enjoy ice skating and sledding.

You can also relax in the park’s picnic areas or lay down on the clean lawn and immerse yourself in the relaxed environment.

Thanks to its location, the park also serves as the default venue for many city events, most notably Movies in the Park and National Night Out opening.

Central Park guarantees unhampered recreation and relaxation across the urban jungle.

Enjoy Captivating Views of the Mississippi River at River Park

River Park is a simple but charming 41-acre oasis situated along the Mississippi River in the city’s eastern part.

Take a hike along the paved trails, and you’ll be greeted by the scenic views of the river and lush trees dotting the riverside.

Thanks to the built-in boat ramp near the parking lot, you can also enjoy boating and kayaking along the river.

On the other hand, you can also play at the park’s basketball and tennis courts and on its wide open fields.

The park also contains picnic shelters equipped with grills, making for an enjoyable cookout with family.

River Park is a must-visit in Brooklyn Park, boasting some of the most excellent Mississippi River views.

Enjoy a Slice of Johnny Boy’s Pizza

If you’re craving pizza, look no further than Johnny Boy’s Pizza.

Situated along Broadway Avenue, the small pizzeria boasts over 30 flavors of their mouthwatering specialty and premium pizzas.

You can order classics like the Loaded Pepperoni and meaty favorites like Bacon Cheeseburger and BBQ Tender.

They also added a delectable and refreshing twist to the timeless favorites with their Taco Pizza and Philly Steak Pizza.

Health buffs and calorie-counters are not left out; they can enjoy the guilt-free Gourmet Veggie Pizza.

On top of its impressive pizza menu, the pizzeria offers many other food choices like sandwiches, burgers, and hotdogs, to name a few.

For dessert, you can try their cheesecake as the perfect wrap-up for an enjoyable feast.

Boasting the best pizzas in the city and other fantastic food offerings make dining at Johnny Boy’s Pizza a highly satisfying experience.

Try Exquisite Cocktails at Skaalvenn Distillery

Boasting a fine selection of premium spirits, Skaalvenn Distillery can be found along 73rd Avenue North in the southwestern part of the city.

The proudly homegrown distillery’s product line comprises vodka, rum, aquavit, habanero rum, and bourbon.

Their spirits are handcrafted in small batches, ensuring consistent high quality with every bottle.

Their distinctly clean and smooth taste also makes for delicious cocktail mixes, which you can enjoy at the distillery’s Cocktail Lounge.

You can have a glass of classic cocktails like a martini or try their signature Skaal Sour, a flavorful concoction made of bourbon, passion fruit, yuzu, lemongrass, and aquafaba.

The lounge’s dimly lighted interiors and dark accents complement the premium drinks, which evoke a genuinely classy vibe.

Special events such as Grand Piano Thursdays, where the lounge’s resident pianist serenades guests, add to its luxurious atmosphere.

Moreover, the lounge can also be rented out for private events like birthdays and office parties.

Skaalvenn Distillery’s delicious cocktails and elegant atmosphere make it a fantastic spot for a night out with friends.

Enjoy a Hearty Breakfast at Fat Nat’s Eggs

Located in Edinburgh Festival Centre on the eastern side of Brooklyn Park, Fat Nat’s Eggs serves scrumptious breakfast meals daily from seven to lunch.

The eatery takes pride in its menu, all made from fresh ingredients, cut and prepared daily.

As such, you can guarantee top-notch quality of their breakfast staples like eggs, bacon, and pancakes.

They also boast a varied menu for a breakfast restaurant; their omelets are available in 11 delicious and loaded variations.

Available in eight choices, their egg benedict selections range from trendy bacon avocado to flavorful green chili.

On top of their tasty sandwiches, all their burgers are made from fresh Angus beef for a deliciously tender goodness with every bite.

Along with usual breakfast choices, you can also try their flavorful Mexican huevos rancheros if you’re craving something spicy.

Moreover, you are assured of a complete and satisfying meal every time, each serving in generous portions.

It may just be a simple restaurant, yet Fat Nat’s Eggs’ mouthwatering breakfast staples and other great food selections make it one of the top gourmet destinations in Brooklyn Park.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Go on an Outdoor Adventure at Elm Creek Park Reserve

Boardwalk at Elm Creek Park Reserve

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A quick 12-minute drive northwest from downtown Brooklyn Park to Maple Grove, Minnesota, will lead you to the pristine Elm Creek Park Reserve.

Spanning a massive 4,900 acres, it is also the largest in the Three Rivers park system.

Miles of outdoor trails weave through the park’s various terrains, making it the ultimate spot for hiking and biking.

It is also home to several bird species and small animals like beavers and deer.

You can enjoy wildlife-watching while trekking along the trails.

Marsh at Elm Creek Park Reserve

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Another prominent feature of the park is its vast swimming pond, complete with its clean sandy beach where you can enjoy sunbathing.

Other recreation facilities in the park include an 18-hole disc golf course and multiple picnic areas.

The park also houses the Eastman Nature Center, which contains educational exhibits and programs to expand your knowledge and appreciation of the environment.

Moreover, the park also has a dedicated Winter Recreation Area, which features downhill ski and snowboard hills and miles of cross-country ski trails.

Whether you’re an outdoor adventurer or simply looking for a refreshing environment to relax and enjoy nature, Elm Creek Park Reserve is the perfect place.

A dog at Elm Creek Park Reserve

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Enjoy the Waves at Bunker Beach Water Park

Touted as the largest outdoor water park in Minnesota, Bunker Beach Water Park is in the nearby city of Coon Rapids, Minnesota, 24 minutes from Brooklyn Park.

The seasonal water park opens from June to August every year.

It boasts many attractions for casual swimmers and thrill-seekers alike.

One of the water park’s most notable attractions is its large wave pool, where you can drift along or fight against its air-generated waves reaching up to three feet high.

However, if you’re seeking something calmer, the 900-foot-long Lazy River, with its gentle flow, makes for a perfect spot to lie down on a floater and relax.

Kids and adults will also have fun swimming and playing in Rocky Bay, equipped with ten-foot Aqua Climb walls and water basketball nets.

Those looking for extra thrills can take on Splash Cove’s and Twisted Towers’s nerve-wracking slides or test their balance and upper body strength in the Plunge Pool.

Smaller children can enjoy splashing fun at Adventure Pool and the Lagoon, with cool features like a spiral tunnel, bubblers, and a waterfall.

On the other hand, the park also houses food concessions where you can order pizza, ice cream, hotdogs, and other delicious snacks.

Bunker Beach Water Park should be at the top of your summer trip itinerary, with a great wave pool, exciting water slides, and plenty of other cool features.

Final Thoughts

Brooklyn Park’s refreshing suburban environment as evidenced by the number of recreation spaces dotting its landscape.

The city has everything you need, from a premium golf course to fully-featured amusement centers, first-rate restaurants, and everything in between.

Discover the best things to do in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota!

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