Residents Share Their Favorite Summer Activities in Plymouth

Kelli Slavik takes a morning jog by Parkers Lake.

Anyone who lives in Plymouth will tell you it’s a special place to be in the summer. There are the beaches and pools, traditions such as Music in Plymouth, top notch Parks and Recreation programming and no shortage of spots to grab an ice cream cone or a cold beer. In celebration of the season and all that the city has to offer, we asked a few residents about what they like to do in Plymouth during this wonderful season.

Kelli Slavik, mayor

At the top of Mayor Kelli Slavik’s summer activity list is getting outside for a run on the city’s trails. While she enjoys the Luce Line and areas around Parkers Lake and Medicine Lake, she likes to mix up her running routine and explore new neighborhoods and parks. “I like to get out and just kind of explore and get lost in my run a little bit,” she says.

Slavik also enjoys the Plymouth Farmers Market during the summer. She’s excited to watch it continue to grow at its new location and loves the variety of items offered from the produce to the homemade ice cream to the flowers. “I think it’s a little more than just a farmers market,” she says.

Aside from the beloved Music in Plymouth event, Slavik is looking forward to the Live at the Hilde concert series this summer. The event started in the last couple of years as a new way to showcase the outdoor facility and bring contemporary music to the space. She’s had the opportunity to meet and introduce the bands in past years; this month, Cheap Trick performs.

One of Slavik’s favorite summer spots is Sunshine Factory Bar & Grill, where she heads with a group of friends or to hold parent meetings on the patio. “Any chance we can be outside is a lot of fun,” she says. Whether she’s spending time on the trails, on a patio, at city events or biking to breakfast with her kids, Slavik’s priority for the summer is to take full advantage of the weather while it’s here. “Our season is short, but it’s very beautiful,” she says.

Kim Dahl, nurse

Kim Dahl’s first job as a teenager growing up in Plymouth was as a summer swimming instructor for the city. Years later, the nurse and professional photographer makes sure to sign her three young kids up for lessons every season. She fondly remembers eagerly awaiting the Parks and Recreation activities guide during summers as a kid, and recalls her mom heading to City Hall early in the morning to wait in line to get her signed up on swimming registration day. “It’s just fun as a parent now to still have that book come out,” she says. “It’s like Christmas when it’s in the mailbox.”

Aside from the city’s recreation programming, Dahl and her family love to spend leisure time at their community pool, which she says “has been a phenomenal way to make friends in our neighborhood so that our children get to know each other, and to keep neighborhood communication going.” It’s also a great location for potlucks and lively events during holidays including the Fourth of July.

Other favorite summer spots for Dahl and her family are Honey & Mackie’s for ice cream and Latuff’s Pizzeria, where she’s been going since she was a kid. “That is a Plymouth landmark, no doubt about it,” she says.

(Two of Kim Dahl’s children, Nico and Nina, enjoy swimming in their neighborhood community pool.)

Todd Flanders, headmaster

During the summer months, Todd Flanders, headmaster of Providence Academy, loves to go for scenic morning walks with his wife. As residents of the Bass Lake Heights neighborhood, finding scenery close to home is easy. Their routine involves a 5-mile walk around Bass Lake to chat while overlooking the lake before heading back home to start the day. “To live in a town where you can do things like that—that’s really special,” Flanders says.

Along with staying active outdoors and going to parks with his wife and four kids, Flanders loves to cook outside. He especially enjoys barbecuing and incorporating fresh vegetables from the Plymouth Farmers Market into meals. For Flanders, the ability to enjoy spending time out in the neighborhood is “a quality of life that you can’t always find everywhere these days.”

His summer also wouldn’t be complete without Music in Plymouth, which he calls a “must-do” each year. “It’s a remarkable civic event,” he says. Since moving to Plymouth about 16 years ago, Flanders has found the city’s community spirit to be rare and unique compared to other places he’s lived. From the “neighborly attitude, remarkable system of parks and really coordinated, city-based activities” to the shops, schools and houses of faith, Flanders has found Plymouth to be a lovely community—during the summer and year-round.

(Todd Flanders, headmaster of Providence Academy, grills while his wife Jane and daughter Beata hang out on the family’s patio.)

Jovaughn Bowen, student

For 15-year-old Jovaughn Bowen, summertime is all about getting involved in the community. During the school year at Wayzata High School, he’s on the varsity swim team, runs track, is a member of DECA, and stays heavily involved at his church.

While he continues swimming and working with his church during the summer, he enjoys having more time for volunteering after school is out. Bowen spent last summer as a Summer Teen volunteer, helping the Parks and Recreation department with a day camp and events and volunteering at the Plymouth library. He especially liked the Discovery Day Camp, which offered the chance to work with kids and enjoy outdoor activities such as soccer and capture the flag and work on leadership skills. “It was really a learning experience,” he says. “It helped me become a better leader and have more confidence.”

In addition to continuing to volunteer this year, Bowen is looking forward to shooting hoops with friends and going for bike rides. From the well-coordinated events and activities to the many opportunities for getting involved and giving back, Bowen plans to take advantage of all Plymouth has to offer this season. He encourages others to do the same. “We have a lot of different activities that bring the whole community together, especially during the summer,” he says.

(Jovaughn Bowen at the Lifetime Fitness indoor pool.)