As you might know, (or if you don't) I'm a contributing writer for Area Woman Magazine and also Lake & Home Magazine which are based out of Fargo North Dakota/The Lakes in Minnesota.
This was originally published in the June/July issue of Area Woman Magazine and is titled "Summer Fun In Fargo - 6 Family-Friendly Activities You Won’t Want To Miss" there. You can click here to see it in the magazine.
The sun is finally here to stay, and that means it’s time for special memory-making activities to enjoy with your family and friends this summer. I can help you out with that. Our community is the perfect place to explore, with its vibrant culture, flavor, and unique personality, in addition to an abundance of summertime activities. Especially after the excessively long winter we had, we are all ready for an extended, hot season so here’s a list of six seasonal events you won’t want to miss out on this summer.
Photo by: Fargo Park District
1. Celebrate 701 Day
The FM region is so unique. The area is steeped in rich Scandinavian and Germanic history and culture. In addition, it's been seasoned with multiple spices from around the world. Include a strong farming demographic and you have the FM community.
701 Day is the day to honor all the qualities that make the 701 area code remarkable. On Friday, July 1st from 11 AM to 1 PM at the Broadway Square, agricultural machinery displays will be set up, trivia games for the entire family will be available, live music will be playing, Instagrammable photo booths will be present, interactive art will be on display, giveaways will be up for grabs, as well as a scavenger hunt. Be sure to pencil in this day of 701 fun!
Also, do you collect keepsakes? How about free souvenirs? If so, hurry, don’t stroll, to get your 701 Day craft activity, your own collection of 701 Day stickers (But be fast, since they are only available while supplies last). Also, bring your own t-shirt or another fabric item (like a decorative canvas pillow case or bag) to get screen printed for free. Yay for cool and free ways to remember fun days!
Photo by: Red River Valley Fair
2. Experience the Red River Valley Fair
Experiences are meant to be had at the Red River Valley Fair every year with the sun shining, your kids laughing on the carnival rides, and don’t forget to catch your favorite band performances. Kids enjoy the petting zoos, pony rides, and other kid-friendly interactive exhibits.
The Red River Valley Fair should be on everyone's summer bucket list. This season, it’s being held July 7th to 16th. The rides aren’t the only things buzzing with energy and life at the Fargo fairgrounds. Don’t forget about the tempting food–the all-time favorites like cotton candy, deep-fried Oreos, and bacon-wrapped everything. Are you more of a salty gal or a sweet tooth? Everyone can find something to enjoy at the Red River Valley Fair. You can get tickets online at their website: redrivervalleyfair.com
Photo by: M. Schleif Photography
3. Browse the Downtown Fargo Street Fair
Whenever I think of the Downtown Fargo Street Fair, visions of sunny days with freshly squeezed lemonade while wandering through the street vendor stalls with my sister and mom come to mind.
It's the ideal place to help small local businesses while also finding that classic piece of art you've been seeking, a lovely handmade necklace, or your new favorite homebrewed kombucha. There’s plenty to look through since the fair welcomes hundreds of unique vendors every year. It’s North Dakota’s largest outdoor event that’s free. Over 150,000 people end up visiting The Downtown Fargo Street Fair. Mark July 13th to 15th on your calendar, because you won’t want to miss out on the fun.
Photo by: Sandra Vigen
4. Take part in the Red River Valley Garden Tour
Do you have a green thumb? I wish I did, but I’m inspired by those who not only keep foliage alive but have gardens blooming with hundreds of stunning flowers and plants. It’s an art form.
The Red River Valley Garden Tour is taking place on July 19th to 20th from 1 to 7 PM. You can get tickets online at fargomoorhead.org/event/red-river-valley-garden-tour-2023 for only $10. They’ll showcase six local homeowners yards and some Growing Together Community Gardens. You’ll be able to see artfully curated private gardens filled with bright and colorful flowers. All the proceeds from the tours are going to Fargo’s Growing Together Community Gardens, which is a local non-profit with the goal of creating sustainable gardens for the community.
The Red River Valley Garden Tour offers a day of beauty, inspiration, and fun for flower-lovers. With vibrant colors, sweet fragrances, and flourishing greenery, you can explore some of the most stunning gardens in the FM Area with your flower-loving friends.
Photo by: Love & The Outcome
5. Rock For A Cause at ThriveFest
I know from experience that ThriveFest puts on a captivating show for the entire family. This is their sixth year putting on life-changing shows.
Did you know that by going to ThriveFest to listen to your favorite Christian artists at the Bluestem Amphitheater on Saturday, August 26th, you are also supporting young girls locally who are recovering from the abuse of human trafficking?
ThriveFest is put on by Rising Hope Foundation. They are building The Freedom Ranch which is 90% complete. It’ll be a place where 12 to 17-year-old girls can receive recovery care, mental health services, education and life skills, as well as equine therapy.
There is an amazing lineup of artists at ThriveFest this year: Jeremy Camp, Brandon Heath, Love & The Outcome, Mark Shultz, Fargo Worship, and Adelaide.
Go enjoy a night out with your family and friends listening to soulful uplifting music while also knowing that your contribution is going to make a difference in young girls’ lives forever. Tickets are being sold online at thrivefestnorth.org.
6. Enjoy Movies at The Square
Who doesn’t enjoy an outdoor movie experience? Every month this summer there’ll be different themes inspiring the movies that are playing every week. They’ll be playing Thursdays and some Saturdays. June is Superhero Series month, July is Throwback Series month, and August is Family Series month. Visit fargoparks.com/broadway-square/calendar to see when and what is playing every week.
It’s the perfect way to make memories with your family and friends and also a cool way to meet new people. Grab your favorite blankets, some snacks, and your family members. It’s movie time at the Broadway Square. Plus, if that isn’t cool enough, there will be vendors selling snacks, food, and drinks too.
I'm really fond of Fargo in the summer because of the variety of thrilling memory-making activities that are available for visitors and locals alike. Everybody's welcome, from celebrating North Dakota on 701 Day, having fun on the rides and listening to music at the Red River Valley Fair, attending inspiring concerts for a cause, exploring gardens, going to the Downtown Fargo Street Fair, or watching movies in the square.
There’s plenty to choose from, so round up your crew, grab your sunscreen and water, and make sure you have a great and sunny summer. You deserve it.