Yes, Summer Comes to Minnesota and This Is When

Is It Summer Yet?

Sunrise over Vermillion River
••• Alexander Lamar Photography / Getty Images

Spring in Minnesota can be short and tends to come late, which can have visitors and residents alike itching for the warmer weather of summer. Here's a look at Minnesota's seasons and when you can finally enjoy summer in the state. 

Leading Up to Summer

March is firmly a winter month in Minnesota. Although winter is easing and snow melts on warmer days, usually more snow falls through this month. With the first official day of spring typically falling mid- to late-March, you wouldn't know it here.

The weather doesn't mind the seasonal labels that are relevant in many other states. You'll have to wait well until springtime until Minnesota actually feels like spring. 

April has many above-freezing days and the potential of warm spring days when it is delightful to be outside. The snow has usually melted by the end of April. Finally, it feels like spring.

But not for long. The beginning of May is usually cool, and the temperature warms throughout May to see real summer weather and heat by mid-May.

What feels like true summer weather usually starts sometime in May in Minnesota, well before the official first day of summer in mid- to late-June. Then summer can hit hard, depending on where you are located in the state. Up north, summer highs tend to hover in the high 70s (Fahrenheit) and the mid-80s in the south. There, temps can spike as high as 114 degrees. 

When is the Official Start of Summer in Minnesota?

The official start of summer in Minnesota is on the summer solstice, either June 20 or June 21.

Unofficial Markers of the Start of Summer in Minnesota

  • Getting your first mosquito bite.
  • Getting your first sunburn.
  • Your first swim in a lake.
  • Seeing the first small car with a large canoe strapped to the top of it on the road.
  • When the giant pile of snow in the downtown St. Paul Sears parking lot has finally melted.
  • When people who whine about snow switch to whining about the humidity.
  • Being stuck in your first road construction traffic snarl, described by the adage "Minnesota has two seasons: winter and road construction."

Annual Summer Events in Minnesota

If you're visiting Minnesota over the summer, here are few highlights of annual events worth checking out. 

Minnesota Fringe Festival: The annual Minnesota Fringe Festival, held the first week in August, features hundreds of performances in locations throughout the state. See live music, theater, and dance performed as part of this artistic celebration. 

Loring Park Art Festival: The first weekend in August, head to Loring Park for a great, annual fine art festival. 

Uptown Metris Art Fair:  Another popular art festival is Uptown Metris, held the first weekend in August. The  Uptown Metris Art Fair is widely considered one of the most esteemed fine arts festivals in Minnesota and beyond. It's known throughout the Midwest. 

Powderhorn Festival of the Arts: If you want to see the top local fine art and crafts, head to the  Powderhorn Festival of Arts, held every August.