Nevis, Minn.

A weekend of outdoor fun highlights Muskie Days Friday and Saturday. The annual event will be held 12 miles east of Park Rapids, Minn., and will offer plenty of activities to pique your interest, including parades, a music festival, art in the park, scavenger hunt, children’s events and a 5K run (1-800-247-0054).

Indianola, Iowa

“Into the Blue” is the theme for this year’s National Balloon Classic starting Thu. and continuing through Aug. 4. More than 100 colorful balloons of different shapes and sizes will fill the sky as professional pilots compete for prizes. Visitors are encouraged to sit back and enjoy the day or night flights or pay to ride high in the sky above Memorial Balloon Field. Other activities include a parade, live music, food vendors, fireworks and more (

Hoyt Lakes, Minn.

All things water and more highlight the 63rd annual Hoyt Lakes Water Carnival Thu.-next Sun. The family-friendly event includes festivities on and off the water with the major draw being the Shockwaves water ski show held at 6 p.m. on Fri and Sat. Other highlights include a 5K run/walk, games, a medallion hunt, a hot dog eating contest, parade, live music, fireworks and more (hoytlakes­

Grand Marais, Minn.

Everyone is invited to the 89th annual Fisherman’s Picnic hosted by the Grand Marais Lions Aug. 1-5. This is not your average cookout, as it will include logrolling and lumberjack activities, a parade, sports tournaments, games, the Minnesota State Loon Calling Championship and much more (

Colleen A. Coles