Memorial Day Weekend at Fort Snelling

Fort Snelling is the perfect place to spend part of your Memorial Day Holiday.  There’ll be special events and activities taking place throughout the day on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.  You can find ticket information, as well as the daily schedule, here on the website.

On Memorial Day Weekend at Historic Fort Snelling, explore the grounds, visit with costumed interpreters and engage with the many stories that make up the site’s history. Learn about American Indian history and the fort’s role in U.S. expansion. Explore stories of African Americans at Fort Snelling, including Dred and Harriet Scott whose struggle to gain freedom from slavery helped ignite the Civil War. Watch demonstrations like cannon firings, hearth cooking, blacksmithing and more. Join in historic games on the parade grounds, and kids can try out the History Scavenger Hunt and earn a Fort Kids button.

Throughout the weekend, visit the stone barracks and talk with costumed staff representing different eras of U.S. military history. On Saturday, staff will present stories about U.S. expansion during the 1800s. On Sunday, the focus will be on the 20th century and the growth of the U.S. into a global power. On Monday, don’t miss a special “living timeline” of America’s military past on the parade ground, with costumed staff and reenactors sharing the history of Americans serving in armed conflicts.

Site admission is free for active military and veterans on Memorial Day.

The Opening of Three Rivers Park District Swim Ponds and Beaches

It might not feel like summer today and quite possibly not tomorrow.  However, we live in Minnesota and you just never know what the weather will be from one day to the next.  We can tell you that Saturday, May 27th, will be the day the swim ponds and beaches open for the Three Rivers Park District.  Maybe you just put your toes in the sand.  Whatever you do, at least there’ll be options.   Check out all the locations here on their website.

It’s hot, the sun is shining, and it’s a beautiful day. Is there any better way to enjoy an unbeatable Minnesota summer than to splash around at the beach? Swimming is a great, low-impact way to exercise your whole body. Better yet, it’s fun for the whole family. Swimming areas in Three Rivers are located near play areas, trails, visitor centers, campgrounds, and more so you can make a day of it.



A Quiet Nature Hike in Bloomington: Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge

A Quiet Nature Hike in Bloomington: Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge

Sometimes you find nature in the most unsuspecting places.  Just a few blocks from the Mall of America and just a few short blocks from the airport, nature quietly awaits those who choose to find it.  The Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge is home to countless birds and other creatures.  So close to the hustle and bustle and yet so far away, it almost feels like you are hundreds of miles from anything.

We spent our Sunday walking along the trails, watching an eagle, and listening to the sounds of an abundance of other birds.  One of our girls spotted a snake in the weeds along the trail and another one pointed out the orange feet of a duck in the pond.

I can honestly say that the weather was perfect on our hike and we had the perfect mix of shade and sun as we walked.  Next time I think we will bring binoculars so we can get a better view of some of the wildlife.  If you’ve never been to the Minnesota Wildlife Refuge, put it on your list of must see places.

A Quiet Nature Hike in Bloomington- Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge

Mississippi River Trail Grand Opening

We always enjoy checking out different parks and trails.  Thankfully Minnesota has a long list of great places, all for the public to enjoy. Saturday we can celebrate the opening of yet another piece of nature.  The Mississippi River Trail Grand Opening takes place on Saturday from 9-noon at the Spring Lake Nature Reserve in Hastings.  The event will have activities for the whole family including:  live music and refreshments, birding lessons, live raptor programs, kid’s activities, a community bike ride and more. Fun for the whole family and a chance to check out a new trail.  If you aren’t able to make the event, be sure to check out Spring Lake Nature Reserve another time.  The park offers some great scenery as well as a playground for the kids.  

Biking & Hiking in Burnsville

I think we can finally put our snow shovels and winter coats away.  I’m going to be cautiously optimistic and have them close by, but out of site for now.  It’s time to get outside and enjoy some walking or biking.  Burnsville has some great options, including some mountain biking options.   You can find the locations and descriptions here on their website.

Trail Information

  • Mountain bike trails are open April 1 through October 31 (weather permitting), closing at dusk.
  • The City of Burnsville reserves the right to close trails at any time for repairs or protection.
  • Terrace Oaks is a sensitive natural area; help us protect and preserve it. Erosion is a concern, and trails may be closed or diverted during extremely wet or dry conditions.


Parks and Pints: The Lore of Lebanon Hills

Sometimes the most regular, unsuspecting places have the most fascinating, mysterious history.  This Friday evening May 12th at the adults only; Parks and Pints: The Lore of Lebanon Hills, history and mystery will be the theme.  This is a bring your own beer or wine event, and participants will receive a commemorative pint glass.  Advance tickets can be purchased here on their website.

Explore the mysteries and histories of Dakota County Parks. Bring your own bottle of beer or wine. Participants will receive a commemorative pint glass. Ages 21 and older. Pre-registration required.
Join experts from the Dakota County Historical Society as they share stories from the area that is now Lebanon Hills Regional Park.

Grand Opening Celebration at Oliver Kelley Farm

Although the Oliver Kelley farm is not new, the remodel and additions to the farm are new.  The Oliver Kelley Farm is located near Elk River and is part of the MN Historical Society.  Celebrate the official grand opening of the Kelley Farm’s newest facilities, including the beautiful new visitor center, Learning Kitchen, outdoor exhibits, animal barn, modern gardens and cropland and more.  The Grand Opening Celebration takes place this coming weekend May 6-7th. There will be several special activities taking place as well as live music, games and demonstrations both days of the event.  You can find the schedule as well as purchase tickets here on the website.


A Goodbye to the Three River Parks French Play Area

The weather might not feel quite like summer, but tomorrow is a celebration and farewell, to the Three Rivers Park French play area. The play area at the French Regional Park in Plymouth, has been around since 1989.  It’s time to make way for a new structure, which will open in 2018.  You can see the plans here.   The park is inviting the public to the park tomorrow from 1-3 to enjoy:  music, activities, a photo booth and more.

The French play area is closing soon to make way for a new and exciting play area opening in spring of 2018. But before the play area closes, everyone is invited to come out for one more opportunity to play on it!

On Saturday, April 29, from 1–3 PM, enjoy park activities, popcorn, music, and visit the photo booth. It’ll be a blast, and it’s all free!

The French play area will be open through April 30. To view the plans for the new play area, click hereclick here.

FREE Sunset Yoga class in Eagan

Have you ever done yoga?  If you haven’t, now is the chance to try it for free.  This Sunday April 23rd the Eagan Fitness Center is partnering with the National Park Service ParkRx Day, and will be hosting a FREE Sunset Yoga Class.  It will take place from 6:30-7:30 at the Eagan Community Center.  Hopefully the weather will cooperate for it to be outside, otherwise it will be moved indoors.

The Eagan Fitness Center is partnering with the National Park Service ParkRx Day to provide a FREE Sunset Yoga class. National ParkRx Day is a national celebration promoting the growing movement of prescribing park and nature to patients to improve human health. Celebrate with us on Sunday, April 23 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at the Eagan Community Center. Class will be outside or in the gymnasium (weather dependent).

Teddy Bear Park Is Open for 2017

If you’ve never been to the one of the kind Teddy Bear Park in Stillwater, add it to your list.  Not only does it offer some great outdoor fun for kids, it’s a nice spot to enjoy the view of Stillwater as it’s located up on the hill.  There’s also nice indoor bathrooms on site as well.  It’s not open all year, but we just received news that Teddy Bear Park is Open for 2017.  There’s sure to be plenty of warm days ahead to enjoy this great place.

Teddy Bear Park is located at 207 Nelson Street E on the corner of 2nd Street South and Nelson Street near downtown Stillwater. The park is open to the public 8 am to 8 pm from mid-April to mid-October weather dependent.
The park play equipment is designed for children 7 years of age and younger.  There is no admission to visit and play in the park.

We don’t live close enough to visit this great park very often, but we do stop by when we are in the area.  Are there other great parks you’ve discovered in outstate MN that we can write about?  Please send us a message or comment below. Would love share other great places with our readers.