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

Minnesota Amazon Prime Day Deals

Disclosure AffiliateMinnesota AMAZON Prime Day Deals

It’s Amazon’s Prime Day! There are tons of deals today and you can find them all HERE, but we wanted to point out a few that are of extra interest to us Minnesotans! We’ll try to update the list over the course of Monday and Tuesday, so be sure to check back when you’re ready to shop!

For the upcoming “Hands Free” law:

More awesome deals that aren’t Minnesota specific:

The Cafe Meow – Minneapolis’ Own Cat Cafe!

Disclosure AffiliateCat in The Cafe Meow - Minneapolis

If being surrounded by a whole bunch of sweet and adorable cats is your kind of fun, make a trip to Minneapolis’ first cat cafe – The Cafe Meow.

The cat lounge at The Cafe Meow is filled with a clowder of cats (fun fact: a clowder is the technical name for a group of domestic cats), who are all being fostered until they are adopted through local rescue organizations.

The Cafe Meow Minneapolis

I have been wanting to visit The Cafe Meow since it opened and finally did last week with a Groupon deal. I have my own cats at home that I love to play with, so I wasn’t sure if it was silly to want to drive 20 blocks to go play with OTHER cats, but we had a blast!

Cafe Meow Mpls

The cats in the lounge have lots of fun play spaces from cat trees and hammocks to climbing shelves that go all the way to the ceiling. Plus there are lots of cat toys, which let you interact and play with the cats.

In a separate area of The Cafe Meow you’ll find a coffee shop serving organic and Fair Trade Certified coffee and tea, as well as baked goods from other local businesses. You’re free to bring your beverage or treats into the cat lounge.

Minneapolis Cat Cafe

There is a $10 cover fee for an hour in the cat lounge, with sessions starting at the top of each hour. Reservations are recommended as only a limited number of people can visit the cats at once.

If you don’t want to spend a whole hour with the kitties, try Cat Lounge Happy Hour where you can stop in for 15 minutes for $3 Every Tuesday – Thursday from 2pm – 6pm! (Walk-in only)

The Cafe Meow Cat Trees and Toys

The Cafe Meow also hosts special events like Catgo (aka Bingo), yoga with cats, a “Paint Your Cat on Cavas” class and more.

There is currently Groupon deal for The Cafe Meow where you can save 20% off an hour in the cat lounge or 25% off yoga with cats! Get it HERE.

The Cafe Meow Cat Cafe Minneapolis

STUBER Advance Screening – Get Your Passes!

Disclosure Affiliate

I know a lot of you are Dave Bautista fans. I am too, but I’m also a HUGE fan of Kumail Nanjiani! His movie THE BIG SICK is one of the BEST! Now the two of them are teaming up in STUBER and it looks hilarious!

STUBER is coming to theaters everywhere on July 12th, but you and a friend have a chance to see it EARLY with a special advance screening on Wednesday, July 10th!

Take a look at the trailer and then keep reading to get your advance screening passes:




When a mild-mannered Uber driver named Stu (Kumail Nanjiani) picks up a passenger (Dave Bautista) who turns out to be a cop hot on the trail of a brutal killer, he’s thrust into a harrowing ordeal where he desperately tries to hold onto his wits, his life and his five-star rating.  Directed by Michael Dowse, this action-comedy from 20th Century Fox also stars Iko Uwais, Natalie Morales, Betty Gilpin, Jimmy Tatro, Mira Sorvino and Karen Gillan.

Dave Bautista as Vic and Kumail Nanjiani as Stu in “Stuber.”


STUBER Advance Screening:

You and a guest are invited to an advance screening of STUBER on Wednesday, July 10 at Showplace ICON at 7:30pm. To download a pair of passes click HERE (while supplies last). Seating is based on first come, first serve. It is recommended to arrive early.

Day Out With Thomas in Duluth – Reader Giveaway!


Thomas the Tank Engine is returning to Duluth this summer to the North Shore Scenic Railroad for Day Out With Thomas: The Steam Team Tour 2019. We had a blast at this event a few years ago!

This year’s event features:

  • 25-minute (approximate) ride with a talking Thomas the Tank Engine
  • Meet & Greet with Sir Topham Hatt, Controller of the Railway
  • Thomas & Friends Imagination Station featuring a variety of activities
  • All-new “Ask an Engineer” booth in which several kids can talk to an engineer and learn about trains and working on the rails
  • A “Passport to Adventures” booklet for children to track their journey at the event and receive a special prize upon completion
  • Thomas & Friends-themed activities including toy play, photo ops, musicians, magicians, mini golf, inflatables, face painting and more

Dates: July 26 – 28 and August 2 – 4. Gates open at 8:30 am and close at 5:30 pm. Thomas departs on the hour from 9 am to 4 pm.

The tour, now in its 24th year, will make 37 stops across the U.S. and Canada and is expected to welcome nearly one million passengers in 2019.


Tickets for Day Out With Thomas: The Steam Team Tour 2019 are on sale now and available by calling Ticketweb toll-free at 866-468-7630, or by visiting Ticket prices are $22 for Thomas and an additional $8 to add a ride with Percy plus tax for ages 2 and up (service charges and fee may apply).


For more information about the wonderful world of Thomas & Friends, please visit their website or Facebook page. For bonus material and exclusive content, check out their YouTube channel.

Thomas Tank Jr Engineer Certificate

Check out our Day Out with Thomas – Duluth review HERE!

Reader Giveaway: One lucky Thrifty Minnesota reader will win a set of four tickets to Day Out With Thomas on July 26th at 4 pm. To enter, just complete the entry form below by 11:59 pm ET on 7/8/19. Good luck!

Day Out With Thomas Duluth Giveaway

Great Wolf Lodge (Bloomington) – Up to 40% Off!

One fantastic destination for your family’s summer getaway is Great Wolf Lodge! Right now you can save up to 25% when you book your stay through this link! This offer is good all summer long.

You can also try the coupon code RCOUNT3 through 7/19/19 to save up to 40%. Discounts vary depending on the night you choose.

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 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 an arcade with more than 100 games and Scooops Boutique, where visitors can get fun nail polish and glitter tattoos.

  • Extended and exclusive water park access: You can enter the water park at 1 pm on the day you check in and stay until close on the day you check out (essentially 2 days’ water park admission). And since there are no day passes for outside visitors, resort guests have exclusive access and won’t get stuck in long lines.
  • 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. Some suites offer extra privacy with enclosed bunk beds.
  • Fuel up with food and drinks at eight restaurants and snack bars.
  • Add a Paw Pass or Pup Pass to your stay to enjoy kid-friendly activities and sweets at Creation Station, Oliver’s Mining Co., 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!

Twin Cities Bridal Show Discount Tickets

Attention brides to be! Get ready and grab your Twin Cities Bridal Show Discount Tickets before it arrives at Saint Paul RiverCentre on Sunday, September 22nd! If you’re determined to make your dream wedding a reality, skip all the nightmarish running around and spend a fun afternoon enjoying the Twin Cities Bridal Show.

Your Pinterest boards come to life at this all-encompassing expo, which includes the Aisle of Style fashion show, Glam 2 Go Makeover Zone and the Inspiration Station, spotlighting the latest design trends. More than 130 companies are set to be on hand with samples, previews and planning advice, from caterers and photographers to DJs, florists, lighting experts and beyond.

Buy your tickets now and you can snag Twin Cities Bridal Show Discount Tickets for only $10.50 (regular price is $15).

Another option: Use the coupon code BOGO at to get your tickets buy one, get one free! This code also works for the general admission + fashion show tickets.

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*IT’S BACK* Como Town Discount Tickets – Save 50%!

**This offer is no longer available.

We grab this Como Town deal every year! It’s a great way to plan ahead for a fun summer day at both Como Zoo AND Como Town! Right now you can get 2 all-day wristbands and 2 temporary tattoos for $27.95 (a $55.90 value).

Located adjacent to Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, Como Town Amusement Park is a family-fun amusement park for kids ages 2 to 12.

Enjoy more than 18 rides and attractions including all-time favorites and new, interactive rides that can’t be found anywhere else in the upper Midwest.

Our family always has SO MUCH fun at Como Town. It’s a small park, but they pack a lot of fun into that small space. My favorite ride is the scrambler, but we all like the bumper cars too.

Plus, once you’re done at Como Town (or before) you’re right next door to Como Zoo where you can spend a few hours exploring the animal exhibits.


Stranger Things Q&A and Costume Contest at Mall of America this Weekend!

Calling all Stranger Things fans! I know you’re probably super hyped up for Season 3 coming to Netflix on July 4th (who needs fireworks when you can binge watch, right?) Well, another thing to get super excited about is that Chief Hopper (David Harbour) will be at the Mall of America this Sunday, June 23rd for a fan event!

Stop by the Rotunda at 3 pm for a Q&A in which David will answer questions from the fans. If you want a chance to meet David, get your costumes ready and come early as the best 15 costumes win passes to a VIP after party at Hard Rock Cafe with David!

About Stranger Things Season 3:

The highly anticipated third season of Netflix’s Stranger Things premieres on July 4th. It’s 1985 in Hawkins, Indiana, and summer’s heating up. School’s out, there’s a brand new mall in town, and the Hawkins crew are on the cusp of adulthood. Romance blossoms and complicates the group’s dynamic, and they’ll have to figure out how to grow up without growing apart.

Meanwhile, danger looms. When the town’s threatened by enemies old and new, Eleven and her friends are reminded that evil never ends; it evolves. Now they’ll have to band together to survive, and remember that friendship is always stronger than fear.

Mall of America Stranger Things Costume Contest Details:

The entry period for the costume contest is from 1 – 2 pm. Once you’re signed in, you’ll receive a number and be escorted into the Rotunda for the start of the competition at 2 pm. Costumes will be judged on accuracy, presentation, and construction.

Each of the Top 15 winners will get a plus one to attend the private party, and the first, second, and third place winners will receive a Mall of America gift card! For more details, please see the event page.

Stranger Things Gift Ideas

LATE NIGHT Advance Screening – Get Your Passes!

Disclosure AffiliateLate Night Movie Poster Emma Mindy

It’s time for a fun movie night out for the grown-ups only! Have you seen the trailer for LATE NIGHT yet? It looks so funny, which doesn’t surprise me since it combines the comedic talents of both Emma Thompson and Mindy Kaling.

Late Night Movie Still Emma Thompson

LATE NIGHT is coming to theaters everywhere on June 14th, but you and a friend have a chance to see it EARLY with a special advance screening on Monday, June 10th!

Take a look at the trailer and then keep reading to get your advance screening passes:




Katherine Newbury (Emma Thompson) is a pioneer and legendary host on the late-night talk-show circuit. When she’s accused of being a “woman who hates women,” she puts affirmative action on the to-do list, and presto! – Molly (Mindy Kaling) is hired as the one woman in Katherine’s all-male writers’ room.

Late Night Movie Still Mindy K

But Molly might be too little too late, as the formidable Katherine also faces the reality of low ratings and a network that wants to replace her. Molly, wanting to prove she’s not simply a diversity hire who’s disrupting the comfort of the brotherhood, is determined to help Katherine by revitalizing her show and career – and possibly effect even bigger change at the same time.

Late Night Movie Poster Emma Thompson

LATE NIGHT Advance Screening:

You and a friend are invited to an advanced screening of LATE NIGHT on Monday, June 10  at 7pm at Lagoon Cinema in Uptown Minneapolis. To download a pass to admit two people, click on the link below (while supplies last). Seating is on a first come, first served basis. It is recommended to arrive early. Get your passes HERE.