Downtown is filled with can’t-miss outdoor and public realm experiences, and they all bring unique vibes and opportunities to fully appreciate our city. Join us downtown at these green spaces, and use them to navigate through our five neighborhoods. We are excited to see you downtown enjoying the outdoors this summer! The best part is you.
Mpls Sculpture Garden
Take in the iconic Spoonbridge & Cherry and approximately 40 other works of art spanning 11 acres, all while enjoying the downtown skyline in the distance. The Mpls Sculpture Garden benefits from a partnership between the Walker Art Center (next door) and the Mpls Park and Recreation Board. Since opening in 1988, the Sculpture Garden has welcomed millions of visitors and showcased renown collections of modern and contemporary art in the setting of an urban park.
The Sculpture Garden is free, requires no tickets for admission, and is open 6 am to midnight each day.
Designed by renown landscape architect M. Paul Friedberg, Peavey Plaza opened in 1975 and is a notable example of modernist architecture. It was placed on the national Register of Historic Places in 2013.
In 2019, Peavey Plaza underwent a renovation thanks to a public-private partnership effort. Coen+Partners facilitated the project which preserved the Plaza’s historic modernist design while also adding modern amenities and lighting, improving accessibility, adding trees, re-establishing the water fountains, and transforming the pool basin into a reflection pond for easy access and water usage sustainability.
This summer, enjoy programming each week at Peavey.
Opened in 2016, The Commons is a 4.2-acre green oasis that replaced surface parking lots and helped in the revitalization of East Town. It sits at the doorstep of U.S. Bank stadium and is just blocks from both the Mississippi Riverfront and downtown’s central core. The Commons hosts visitors headed to the stadium, provides an outdoor space for employees, and provides a location for lawn games, reading carts, concerts, movies, food trucks and more. It is the ideal location to take a quick break from your day or to enjoy scenic views of the downtown community.
This iconic spot is also the birthplace of our city, with rich indigenous and milling histories that are visible and celebrated today. Stop by the Stone Arch Bridge and take in breathtaking views of both St. Anthony Falls and our downtown skyline. Spend some time at Mill Ruins Park and the new Water Works, a shared plaza with three outdoor firepits, a terraced lawn overlooking the river, a nature-themed playground, trial connections, and a two-story park pavilion with a restaurant called Owamni by The Sioux Chef—which will open in June. Take an Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam tour or try a paddle share experience through the National Park Service. Plus you can enjoy or share the gift music through a Pianos on Parade piano or the Aquatennial’s Target Fireworks in July. The Mississippi Riverfront is connected to downtown now more than ever, and this summer is a great opportunity to take in its beauty.
Located across the river, Boom Island is an Instagram-worthy location with skyline views and serenity along the Mississippi. It is a great open space for picnicking, biking, hiking and boating. While you’re there, visit the new Memorial to Survivors of Sexual Violence, the only one of its kind in the nation. Boom Island is also easily walkable and connected to downtown by trails and sidewalks on both sides of the Mississippi River.
Gold Medal Park
A stunning 7.5-acre green space neighboring the Mississippi Riverfront, the Guthrie Theater, and the Mill City Museum, Gold Medal Park offers a genuinely unique downtown experience. Its signature focal pint is the sculptural observation mound at the center of a spiral walkway. The park has more than 200 mature trees, several works of art which formerly resided in the Mpls Sculpture Garden, and its iconic GOLD MEDAL PARK lettering that lends to great Instagram opportunities. Gold Medal Park is also steps away from the Interstate 35W Bridge Remembrance Garden located along West River Parkway, dedicated to those lost in the I-35W bridge collapse on August 1, 2007.
Walk Pairings + Getting Around
Need a few tips on how to explore mpls downtown’s parks? We’ve got you covered. Her are a few groupings that make for fun, scenic walks. Or take a Nice Ride: Click here to find all the Nice Ride bike and Lyft scooter locations. Take one and explore our mpls downtown community while enjoying great green spaces!
EAST TOWN: Stone Arch Bridge/St. Anthony Falls | Gold Medal Park | The Commons
NORTH LOOP/ MISSISSIPPI RIVERFRONT: Boom Island | West River Parkway | Nicollet Island | Water Works | Stone Arch Bridge/St. Anthony Falls
CENTRAL CORE: Water Works | Washington Avenue | Nicollet | Peavey Plaza | Loring Greenway | Loring Park
LORING PARK: Loring Park/Berger Fountain | Irene Hixon Whitney Bridge | Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
ST. ANTHONY MAIN: Boom Island | St. Anthony Main | Water Power Park