Entertainment and recreation

We explain entertainment and recreation licenses.

License applications

Amusement Mechanical (arcade type) Machines  Mechanical, electronic, and video games for customers to play with a coin or token. Each machine must have a license. Here are a few examples.

  • Electric gun ranges
  • Games of baseball or hockey
  • Miniature pool tables
  • Photo machines
  • Pinball machines
  • Recording machines

Amusement (place of)  : Any place that has three or more amusement mechanical devices (arcade machines).

Block Event
This is a temporary gathering of people in the street or an alley. This license is for commercial block events.

We require:

Carnival : A traveling show with acts, games, vending machines or amusement rides.  

Circus : A traveling show with acrobats, clowns, entertainers or trained animals.

Courtesy Bench : Any bench near the street used by the public.  

Dance Hall :  A place where people pay to dance. 

Dancing School : A school where people pay to learn dance.

Entertainment, Place of : A business offering entertainment to the public.


  • Children's theater
  • Dance productions
  • Musical concerts
  • Public dances
  • Shows
  • Skits

A Place of Entertainment license is not required for:

  • Carnivals
  • Circus
  • Dance halls
  • Food establishments with less than 2,500 square feet
  • Movie theaters
  • Places with on-sale beer, wine or liquor licenses
  • Religious organizations 

Extended Hours of Operation : Any business that is open later than their legal hours.   

Pool Tables : A business that offers pool or billiards for customers.

Rental Hall  A building, available for rent, for a private event. A license is not required for theaters or businesses with an alcohol license. A Temporary Rental Hall License is available for places used for four or less days per year.

Shooting Gallery : A place for shooting guns at a target. Shooting galleries for only by military or police departments do not need a license.

Swimming Pool : Any structure that contains water for swimming by the public. Each pool, hot tub or whirlpool needs a license.

This includes:

  • Hotels
  • Health clubs
  • Apartments
  • Public pools

Theater : A place for live stage entertainment or movies.

Before you begin, look at our instructions about how to apply for a business license.

Request accessible format

If you need help with this information, please email 311, or call 311 or 612-673-3000.

Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

Contact us

Business Licenses & Consumer Services

Community Planning & Economic Development






Public Service Building 
505 Fourth Ave. S., Room 220
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Minneapolis Health Department




Public Service Building
505 Fourth Ave. S., Room 520
Minneapolis, MN 55415