10 things to do in Fargo when it’s hot outside

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not always frigid in Fargo. It can get hot…really hot. Throw a little humidity into the mix and it can be downright sweltering. If you find yourself in Fargo on one of these hot days, here are a few fun things to do to beat the heat.

1. Ice cream

Few foods are more refreshing than ice cream on really hot days. Two of the longest standing ice cream spots in Fargo are the Moorhead Dairy Queen and the Moorhead Tastee Freez.

Grab a Dilly Bar at Dairy Queen, as this sweet treat was invented here.

Several new kids are on the ice cream block, too.

Downtown you’ll find rolled Thai ice cream at Tea & Crepe, cookie dough and ice cream mixtures at Scoop N Dough Candy Co, and small batch gourmet ice cream at The Silver Lining Creamery.

For something even richer, three shops in town serve creamy Italian-style gelato. Downtown? Find Nichole’s Fine Pastry. Near West Acres Mall? Opt for Sweet Dreams Confections or the newest addition, Kone’s Kreamery.

2. Swim

Fargo has several swimming pools where you can channel your inner kid or lounge on a deck and cool off with a dip.

3. Play on the Red

If you’ve never gone canoeing or kayaking on the Red River, a hot day is a great time to try it. Chances are, you’ll probably get splashed as you paddle, which will cool you off, or you can dip your feet or hands in as you go. Don’t be fooled by the color of the water – it’s just silt! The Red River is one of the cleanest in the United States.

Kayak and canoe rentals are available all summer at about $10/hour.

Kayaking and canoeing on the Red River

4. Sip an iced coffee or lemonade

Any of the gourmet coffee shops in Downtown Fargo would be happy to serve you an iced coffee… perfect for taking along as you shop or for sitting in the shade and wondering when the heat wave will end.

Several of them also serve non-caffeinated cold beverages, like lemonade.

5. Go to a movie

Avoid the sun altogether in a darkened room and watch a new movie. By the time you emerge, hopefully the heat of the day will have passed.

6. Beach day at Buffalo River State Park

While the Fargo area isn’t known for its beaches, the swimming beach at Buffalo River State Park can be pretty appealing on a hot day.

7. Art museum

The best thing about an art museum besides the fantastic art? Temperature controlled rooms. Not only can you escape the heat, you can avoid the humidity (it’s bad for the art, after all).

Bonus: both the Plains Art Museum and the Rourke Art Museum are completely FREE.

8. Shopping

Popping into air conditioned shops is a great way to get out of the heat. If you’d rather keep it all air-conditioned, head to West Acres Mall… you can even eat lunch at the food court without having to set foot outside.

9. Cold beer

If you’re over 21, beat the heat with a nice cold beer. Any of the seven local breweries would be happy to pour you their seasonal summer brews, which include everything from shandies to experimental IPAs to sours.

10. SS Ruby boat tour

See the beautiful Red River from a different view – on the SS Ruby pontoon. The boat has a canopy cover so you’ll be in the shade. You can also bring your own food and drinks on-board. So get together a group of friends and enjoy a relaxing outing on the river!

Boat tour on SS Ruby on Red River in Fargo


Looking for free things to do in Fargo? Check out this post.

Stay the night

Book a room in your new favorite city