Summer Fun at Spirit Mountain’s Adventure Park – Duluth

Spirit Mountain Scenic Chair Lift

During the winter Spirit Mountain in Duluth is the place to go for skiing, snowboarding, tubing and winter fun, but did you know that it can be just as fun in the summer?

This week we headed to Spirit Mountain to check out Adventure Park and found it it’s packed with fun adventures – including some unique activities you may have never experienced before.

Spirit Mountain Alpine Coaster

Timber Twister Alpine Coaster

My hands-down favorite has to be the “Timber Twister” Alpine Coaster. Note that it is called an Alpine COASTER, which is totally different (and in my opinion BETTER) than an alpine slide.

Alpine Coaster Spirit Mountain

To imagine the coaster, just think of your typical amusement park roller coaster, but it goes all the way down a mountain and you are in your own individual cart that you get to control how fast or slow you go – up to 25 mph. It is FUN!!! It’s also a beautiful ride as you zip through the forest and get occasionally glimpses of the views in the distance. I could seriously ride it over and over again all day long.

Timber Flyer Zip Line

For more thrills you can ride the “Timber Flyer” Zip Line. For this unique zip line you’re on a seated on a bench and kept in place with security belts. (You can ride alone or with a partner.) The ride goes for 700 feet through the tree tops – again with an amazing view toward the water. It’s a quick ride at about 90 seconds, but definitely fun.

Spirit Mountain Mini Golf

Mini Golf Course

The 9-hole Mini Golf Course is another option that’s good for the whole family. The course has a unique design that makes it playable for all abilities. (Make sure to let the little ones cheat if you ever want to get finished and off the course!)

Spirit Mountain Jumping Pillow

Jumping Pillow

To get some physical activity in, try the giant jumping pillow. You can jump, bounce and generally be silly. The pillow is available for everyone ages two and up.

Spirit Mountain Scenic Chair Lift (1)

Scenic Chair Lift

Just like the Alpine Coaster, I could ride the Scenic Chair Lift all day long! The views of Lake Superior, the St. Louis River, and city of Duluth are AMAZING! It’s a beautiful, relaxing ride that take about 7 minutes in one direction. We also enjoyed watching mountain bikers racing down the paths below us.

Mountain Biking Spirit Mountain

Mountain Biking

Speaking of mountain biking, I had no idea how popular mountain biking at Spirit Mountain is. If you do a Google search of best mountain biking trails in Minnesota, you will see Spirit Mountain come up on every list, as well as appearing on lists of the best in the entire midwest. That scenic chair lift I mentioned above will take you and your bike up to the top where you can then choose from multiple trails for different skill levels. Bike rentals are also available.

Spirit Mountain Disc Golf

Disc Golf

Mini golf isn’t the only golf at Spirit Mountain – you can also play disc golf! The 18 hole course traverses through forest, trails and wide open spaces. You can bring your own discs or rent them at Grand Avenue Chalet (when open). Course fee is $6 per person and there’s an honor box to use outside of chalet hours.

Spirit Mountain Grand Avenue Chalet Pizza

Grand Avenue Chalet

If you’re hungry or thirsty and need to take a break, Grand Avenue Chalet (at the base of the Scenic Chair Lift) houses Riverside Bar and Grill. They feature a full bar and craft beer. The menu includes burgers, wraps, pizza, appetizers and more. They had some great specials while we were there too.

Riverside Bar and Grill Duluth Tacos

The chalet also has a store to grab gear or Spirit Mountain apparel and a snack bar for quick bites.

Spirit Mountain Adventure Park Rates

Your best value for visiting Adventure Park is to buy an all-day wristband, which includes unlimited use of the Alpine coaster, zip line, mini-golf, jumping pillow, scenic chairlift ride and disc golf course (not disc rental). If you pre-purchase 24 hours in advance, you’ll save $10 per wristband. There are also other ticket discount specials and deals available here.

If you prefer, you can buy separate tickets for individual attractions. This can be helpful if you have one person in your group who only wants to do one activity – i.e. Grandma only wanting to ride the scenic chair lift and playing mini golf. Find individual attraction fees here.

Spirit Mountain Campground

Spirit Mountain Camping

An amazing way to stay close to the fun and action is camping at Spirit Mountain! The Spirit Mountain Campground offers both walk-in tenting as well as 73 campsites equipped with fire pits, picnic tables, and electricity. Thirty-nine sites have water hook-ups, and two shower buildings offer 24-hour convenience.

Spirit Mountain Camping

The camping sites are each tucked into the forest with plenty of trees surrounding them to make your site feel like your own. While we didn’t camp on this visit, we drove through the campground and found it to be very pretty with big campsites. The campground is open through late September. Rates range from $30-$45 per site. For more information and to book online, visit,

Spirit Mountain Sign

Reader Giveaway: One lucky Thrifty Minnesota will win an awesome Spirit Mountain prize pack including a two-night camping stay at Spirit Mountain along with a four-pack of wristbands for the Adventure Park!* To enter, just complete the entry form below by 11:59pm CT on 7/29/19. Good luck!

*Don’t worry – if you win and you’re not a camper, you can use the Adventure Park wristbands without an overnight stay.

Spirit Mountain Adventure Park Giveaway

Free Haircut at Sport Clips Brooklyn Park

Men and boys can freshen up their look with a FREE haircut at Sport Clips Brooklyn Park! To receive this offer, visit this Groupon page and click the “Buy” button. This is valid for new customers only, with a valid ID. (Of course, while the haircut is free, you should still tip your stylist.)

If you’re not a new customer, you can still save with the MVP Experience for $15, also available via Groupon. You’ll get a coupon via Groupon, then pay the $15 in-store upon redemption. The MVP Experience includes shampooing and conditioning, a precision haircut, hot steam towel wrap, and relaxing neck and shoulder massage treatment.

Please note that this is valid at the Brooklyn Park location only (5901 94th Avenue North, Suite 102).

Touch A Truck Event In Maplewood: July 24th

Do you have kids that love to get up close with anything that has wheels and a motor?  Bring them to theTouch A Truck event in Maplewood tomorrow evening, July 24th from 6-7:30pm.  It’s a free event hosted by Maplewood Parks & Recreation and City of Maplewood.

There’ll be police cars, firetrucks, garbage trucks, snow plows, School buses, a limo and more.


*Free Admission and all activities are free!
*Free Hotdog, Chips, Water and GoGo SqueeZ!-
– Jump castle
– Get up close to a K9
– Nature Center activities


Kolacky Days in Montgomery – July 26th – 28th


The small town of Montgomery (about an hour south of Minneapolis) celebrates Kolacky Days this weekend, July 26th to 28th. They have many activities including Czech dancing, a Bohemian tractor pull, classic car show, sporting events, and lots more.

Get the scoop on all the events HERE.

(By the way…a kolacky is a small dinner roll-like pastry which is folded, enclosing filling in the center.)

Meet Red + The Hatchlings from THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE 2 This Weekend!

Are you as excited for THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE 2 as I am? I think this movie will be extra funny as the flightless angry birds and the scheming green piggies are actually teaming up to save both of their islands.

This weekend is your opportunity to meet Red + The Hatchlings at three different events around the Twin Cities! Besides getting to meet the characters, you and your kids can participate in family fun activities and play games for a chance to win advance screening passes and swag from the new film.

Chrysa had a chance to meet up with Red and the Hatchlings in LA this spring and they really are super cute!

Now you’ll be able to hang out with Red + The Hatchlings at the following events:

Red + The Hatchlings Present: Angry Birds at Waite Park (Minneapolis) – Friday, 7/26 from 7 – 9 pm
Stick around to watch The Angry Birds Movie which will start 15 minutes after sunset!

Red + The Hatchlings at Aquatennial Family Fun Zone (Mill Ruins Park – Minneapolis) – Saturday, 7/27 from 4 – 10 pm
Stick around for the Minneapolis Aquatennial fireworks!

Red + The Hatchlings at Mall of America – Sunday, 7/28 from 11 am – 3 pm

Here’s what THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE 2 is all about:

The flightless angry birds and the scheming green piggies take their beef to the next level in THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE 2! When a new threat emerges that puts both Bird and Pig Island in danger, Red (Jason Sudeikis), Chuck (Josh Gad), Bomb (Danny McBride), and Mighty Eagle (Peter Dinklage) recruit Chuck’s sister Silver (Rachel Bloom) and team up with pigs Leonard (Bill Hader), his assistant Courtney (Awkwafina), and techpig Garry (Sterling K. Brown) to forge an unsteady truce and form an unlikely superteam to save their homes.



THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE 2 flies into theaters August 14!

Valleyfair: $29 Admission During Youth Sports Days (7/26 to 7/29)

This upcoming weekend (July 26 – 29) is Youth Sports Days at Valleyfair in which youth sports participants and their families can enjoy discounted admission. Tickets are $29 for regular admission ($48″ or taller) when you present this flyer at any Valleyfair ticket booth.

Valleyfair is offering a special ticket price to all participants in youth athletics, coaches and their families during our annual Youth Sports Days. With more than 75 rides and attractions, Valleyfair is the Twin Cities’ amusement park, where your next family adventure is closer than you think! Discover a summer of fun from thrilling coasters and Planet Snoopy and our brand new family-thrill ride, Delirious! Admission includes unlimited access to rides, shows, Planet Snoopy™ and Soak City Waterpark!

PS – Skip the lines! You can also buy your tickets in advance for the same price (plus tax, of course). With Mobile Ticket and Print-N-Go, you won’t pay any extra fees, either.

If this discount doesn’t apply to you or you’re planning to visit at a different time, don’t forget that you can get Valleyfair discount tickets through this link any time and find big Valleyfair deals on Groupon HERE!

Legends and Logging Days in Park Rapids

The Park Rapids area offers so many things.  You’ll find everything from biking, hiking, water events to great places to eat.  For those that need time to plan for traveling we are letting you know that August 8-11th is their annual Legends and Logging Days.   This annual festival offers something for everyone.  Check out the full schedule here. 

  • Historic Encampment
  • Music including a free concert on Sunday the 11th, featuring Nashville recording artist Dariann Leigh
  • War Cannon Demonstrations
  • Food Court
  • Carving Demonstrations
  • Plus a whole lot more

Upstairs Circus MPLS: Discount DIY Projects and Drinks

Here’s a fun idea for a unique night out: head to Upstairs Circus MPLS and create a DIY project while enjoying creative libations from the bar! And you know I’m always on the lookout for a discount…right now there’s one available via Groupon!

Options include:

  • $34 for One Project and One Select Drink for One Person (reg. $50)
  • $68 for One Project and One Select Drink Each for Two People (reg. $100)

This appears to work similar to those “paint and sip” workshops in which you express your creativity while also enjoying a libation or two. Check the Upstairs Circus MPLS website for some pictures of the different projects you’ll be able to choose from, including bracelets, wall art, shelves, and more.

Upstairs Circus is a DIY workshop-meets-bar concept where people can gather together to create unique leather working, woodworking, jewelry making, art & design DIY projects while enjoying craft cocktails, beer, wine & mocktails. Upstairs Circus invites patrons to sign up for Project Socials, which are events where guests can create any one of the 30+ DIY projects on the Upstairs Circus Project Menu while socializing with other patrons. Creative Assistants mingle with the menagerie of guests, helping them overcome any obstacles they may encounter while completing their various projects and inspiring creative ideas. All the while, libations flow from the onsite bar, which concocts cocktails like their popular “Circus Donkey,” serves craft beer, a variety of wine and inventive mocktails. While the drinks aren’t technically part of the projects, the creative spirit they unleash nonetheless help guests in their artistic endeavors.

Get your Groupon HERE!

Rose City Threshing & Heritage Festival: July 27-28

Although my Dad would take us to Threshing shows all over MN,  the Rose City Threshing Show and Heritage Festival was just a few short miles from where I grew up. The noises of the engines, the smells of the food and all of the other sites and sounds make them a fun event for all ages.

Rose City Threshing Show and Heritage Festival takes place the last full weekend of July.  This year it falls on July 27-28.  Rose City is located in central MN, not far from Alexandria, Osakis and several other up that way. Admission is $8 and 12 and under are free.  A full list make the admission price worth it!  Some of the activities include:

  • This year’s feature Feature will be Garden Tractors and Attachments
  • Parade each day at 11am
  • Children’s Barn
  • Black Smith house will be forging projects
  • Lumber sawing demonstration
  • Music
  • Saturday is Petal Pull Tractor Pull in the morning and the big boys Tractor Pull in the afternoon.
  • Sunday is the ATV and Lawn Mower Pull.
  • Breakfast served each day (hearty sausage links, pancakes, sweet rolls and beverage)
  • Porkchop dinner
  • Buildings to go through
  • Chainsaw carver
  • Plus a whole lot more!

What does “Threshing” mean: 

So what really is a “threshing show”? Back in the day, all farmers threshed their grain. Usually, neighbors got together, and helped each other with this chore. The grain had to be cut, shocked and stacked. After a week, the grain was loaded unto bundle rack and hauled up to where the threshing machine was set up. The grain bundle was toss unto the platform and the chains took the bundle into the machine. There the heads of the grain are beaten off from the straw. The grain goes into a box and the straw is blown out of the back of the machine unto the ground.



Great Wolf Lodge (Bloomington) – As Low As $99/Night!

One fantastic destination for your family’s summer getaway is Great Wolf Lodge, and right now you can stay for as low as $99/night when you book your stay through Groupon! Options include:

  • $119+/night for a Deluxe Bunk Bed Suite (includes wristbands for 6)
  • $99+/night for a Deluxe Bunk Bed Suite – 2 night minimum
  • $129+/night for a Family Suite (includes wristbands for 6)
  • $195+/night for a Family Suite with Wolf Passes (includes wristbands for 6)
  • $149+/night for a Queen Cabin Suite (includes wristbands for 6)

This is the first time I’ve seen a Groupon offer that includes a deal on Wolf Passes! These are normally $59.99 each, so this is a really great deal. Each Wolf Pass gets you the following goodies:

  • One MagiQuest game
  • Choice of classic or color wand, standard topper or Magi belt
  • One Great Wolf Lodge Candy Shop candy cup
  • One Oliver’s Mining Co. experience
  • One game of bowling at Ten Paw Alley
  • One Paw Points game card for Northern Lights Arcade ($5)
  • One all stay admission to Howler’s Peak Ropes Course
  • One double climb admission to Rustic Ridge Climbing Wall
  • One single scoop ice cream from Ben & Jerry’s

You can also save up to 25% when you book your stay through this link! Be sure to check this option as it might be a better deal than going through Groupon. This offer is good all summer long.

This summer they’re offering a Summer Camp-in from May 24th through September 2nd. This special promotion is packed with exciting ways to help you and your pack discover all that Great Wolf Lodge has to offer! They’ll have pool parties, barbecue dinners, and a Trailblazer Challenge that rewards you for having fun. Make memories that will last all summer long and beyond.

(Also keep an eye out for Great Wolf Lodge MN deals on Groupon!)


The heart and soul of Great Wolf Lodge Minneapolis/Bloomington is its 75,000-square-foot indoor water park. Splashy rides such as River Canyon Run—a four-story raft water slide—and a zero-depth-entry wave pool with 3-foot swells surround the park’s iconic hub: a four-story treehouse with a 1,000-gallon tipping bucket. Younger kids will have a blast with the gentle spray features of Cub Paw Pool.

The water park, which hovers around 84 degrees all year long, isn’t the resort’s only family-friendly activity. You’ll also find a bowling alley and an arcade with more than 100 games.

  • Extended water park access: You can enter the water park at 1 p.m. on the day you check in and stay until close on the day you check out (essentially 2 days’ water park admission).
  • Family-friendly fun: The resort has games and activities for kids of all ages. Explore options by age group here.
  • Hands-on crafts and activities such as face painting and balloon twisting during the Lunch Time Lineup can keep kids entertained when they want a break from the water park action.
  • Roomy suites comfortably sleep up to six guests.
  • Fuel up with food and drinks at seven restaurants and snack bars.
  • Add a Paw Pass or Pup Pass to your stay to enjoy kid-friendly activities and sweets at MagiQuest, Ben & Jerry’s, and more at a discounted rate. See everything that’s included—as well as other available packages—here (additional fees apply).
  • Safety first: Complimentary life jackets in multiple sizes and trained lifeguards help keep families safe and secure.
  • Distance from Minneapolis: 10 miles

Great Wolf Adventure Park

Besides the water park, don’t forget that there is plenty of dry fun, too! Great Wolf Adventure Park is filled with activities and experiences that are fun for the whole family. There are lots of active experiences to work off that never-ending kid energy and ways for them to put their thinking caps on, too. Check out our crew’s experience with Great Wolf Adventure Park in Bloomington to see what they have to offer!

Hause Park Food Truck Night: July 24th

Yes we LOVE food truck events.  Check out all the delicious fun at the upcoming fun at St. Paul’s Hause Park Food Truck Night.  It takes place Wednesday July 24th from 6-8pm.  With several different food trucks to choose from, you can be sure to find something for your entire family.  Would even be a great date night!

A few of the trucks participating include:

The Salsa Spot
D & D Goodies Gormans Corn Dogs
Hometown Creamery
North St Paul Lions
Deep Root Concessions
Drogo’s Coffee Caravan
I Heart Smoothies

There will also be live music by Any Day Now.

You can find additional information about the event on theFB event page.  Also be sure to check for weather updates just in case we have any crazy July storms come around.