6 Fun Things To Do in St. Paul | Riverboat Cruise, Zoos & Baseball

fun things to do in st. paul

As the world continues to open back up as the pandemic subsides, people are heading back out into the world and looking for fun things to do. At Paddleford Riverboats, we’re here to help, so here is a list of fun things to do in St. Paul as we head toward the second half of the summer of 2021.

Margaritas on the Mississippi Cruise

When looking for fun things to do in St. Paul, you can’t beat a great happy hour, and there is no better happy hour than on Paddleford’s “Margaritas on the Mississippi,” cruise, which runs from 6-7:30 pm on Wednesday and Thursday evenings through September.

Minnesotans love to be outside during the summer; that’s what happens when winter keeps you inside for four+ months. There are very few better outdoor experiences than the Margaritas on the Mississippi cruise!  Just imagine you and your closest friends, work buddies, or family sipping on two-for-one margaritas and snacking on chips, salsa, and our taco bar as you cruise down the iconic Mississippi River.

If you’re looking for fun things to do in St. Paul and a great way to unwind after a long day at work, the “Margaritas on the Mississippi” cruise is a bucket list event for any fabulous summer.

St. Paul Saints Baseball

Big news for the beloved St. Paul Saints baseball franchise in 2021—they are no longer part of an independent league; they’re the AAA affiliate of the Minnesota Twins! Any list of fun things to do in St. Paul has always included Saints games, but now the action on the field is even better—just one rung below the big leaguers playing at Target Field in Minneapolis.


The Saints are no longer an independent team, but that doesn’t mean they’ve done away with their independent spirit! Owner Mike Veeck and the Saints staff still put the fans first in everything they do at CHS Field. And speaking of CHS Field, that beautiful ballpark is reason enough to go to a Saints game.

There’s nothing quite like the atmosphere at a Saints game. When you go to a Twins game, there’s no mistaking that you’re in a big-league stadium in a big-league city. A Saints game, however, has all the quaint charm that minor-league baseball has to offer. It truly is baseball in its most romantic form.

Sightseeing Cruises on the Mississippi River

The Twin Cities have a great reputation for being beautiful and having four distinct seasons every year. One of the fun things to do in St. Paul during the summer and fall months is taking a sightseeing cruise on the Mississippi River to take in many of the best sights in the Twin Cities while cruising on the iconic river that Mark Twain was once a riverboat pilot on.

minnesota sightseeing cruise

Padelford Riverboats runs sightseeing cruises every Tuesday through Sunday at noon and 2:30 pm. These narrated excursions depart from Harriet Island in St. Paul, and sights along the way include the St. Paul High Bridge, Pig’s Eye Cave, the Minnesota River mouth, Pike Island, and all of the timeless splendor of the mighty Mississippi River.

All of the sightseeing cruises offer a fully stocked bar and limited snacks available onboard.

Como Park Zoo & Conservatory

Does a free zoo sound too good to be true? Como Park Zoo opened in 1897 when St. Paul received a donation of three deer and provided a fenced-in pasture for the animals. Over 120 years later, the zoo and conservatory remain near the top of any list of fun things to do in St. Paul.

Como Park Zoo & Conservatory is free and open to newcomers and frequent visitors alike all year long. With a mission to inspire the public to value the presence of living things in our lives, the zoo and conservatory serve over two million visitors annually.

Como conservatory
Marjorie McNeely Conservatory in Como Park in Saint Paul, Minnesota

The zoo is home to a wide variety of animals, from monkeys to polar bears and more. With a strong focus on conservation, their expert staff is dedicated to the wellbeing of the many plants and animals that live there. While still free of charge, the zoo currently requests that you make a reservation to visit.

Sunset Dinner Cruise

Summer is about making memories. It’s about getting outside and enjoying the beautiful weather in the Twin Cities that we don’t get during the winter months. It’s about being carefree and relaxing.

You can put a checkmark next to all of the above with Padelford Riverboat’s “Sunset Dinner Cruise,” which is one of the very best “fun things to do in St. Paul.”

sunset dinner cruise fun things to do in st. paul

Imagine cruising down the Mississippi River in a riverboat taking in the beautiful scenery, gentle breezes, and watching the sun slowly set across the Minnesota sky. In addition to stunning views, enjoy a fabulous dinner of tender corned beef brisket, grilled bone-in lemon pepper chicken, cheesy hash potatoes, garlic and olive oil grilled vegetables, caesar salad, chef’s choice dessert, dinner rolls, and coffee.

The Sunset Dinner Cruise runs every Tuesday and Friday evening, from 7-9 pm from June through August, and from 6-8 pm in September, and on select evenings in October.

Science Museum of Minnesota

The mission of the Science Museum of Minnesota reads: Turn on the science: Inspire learning. Inform policy. Improve lives. It’s safe to say the museum is knocking their mission out of the park!

Founded in 1907, the museum sits on the banks of the Mississippi River in St. Paul and offers 370,000 square feet of space. It includes a 10,000 square-foot temporary exhibit gallery, five permanent galleries, acres of outdoor space, and an Imax Convertible Dome Omnitheater.

With a permanent spot on any list of fun things to do in St. Paul, the museum impacts over a million people from around the world every year through trips to the museum, school visits, traveling exhibitions, and Omnitheater films.

The museum is open Wednesday-Sunday, and currently, you need to make a reservation to visit.

The Twin Cities are hard to top in the summer and fall, with so many fun things to do in St. Paul and Minneapolis. The clock is ticking on the summer of ’21, so get out there and make some fun memories!