Most often when you have a family and a home you may have one day of the weekend that you need to do chores around the house or run errands, but the other day can be used for Day adventures. Every city has something to offer, but here in Minnesota, in the Twin City area, we are lucky to have many fun options.
The trick in daily adventures and fun is to combine some activities and do your research on your area. For example, if you are going biking on the Cannon River bike trail, which is an awesome paved trail along a beautiful creek through the woods, between the towns of Redwing, Minnesota and Cannon Falls, Minnesota, you should also fit in a trip to the Redwing pottery shop, not far from the trail head and also lunch at about the middle of the trail in the town of Afton. Again good planning is the key to having a fun filled day.
One of my favorites especially in the spring, when the water is high and gushing on the St. Croix River, is a day hike at Interstate Park, appreciating the beautiful St. Croix River and the unusual geology. This is for any age, but hang onto your children by the cliffs. Bring water and a picnic. Bring your camera and check out the local shops and restaurants after your visit.
The Coon Rapids Dam on the Mississippi is fun for fishing or biking. They have a great biking trail that goes all the way to Elm Creek Park Reserve. Elm Creek park reserve has one of the greatest kid play areas ever and a swimming beach.
Canoe down the St. Croix. They have a bus that takes you from William O’Brien State Park to a location upstream where you rent a canoe and paddle down the river back to your car at William O’Brien. If you have younger kids, go in the Fall when the water is low and slow. It is a beautiful trip. You must bring your own food and drink along. You can stop in areas along the river where you can get out and swim or eat your lunch. This is an all afternoon or you can make it into an all day event if you choose. Take a camera if you can. Anything you bring could get wet, so put it into a dry container.
Well you get the idea. Plan well for the day, by doing your research. You want to know what to bring ahead of time to ensure that everyone is comfortable and so that your timing works for the event. For example, you do not want to get to Interstate Park with your kids, right at lunch, unless you brought your lunch. You want to time your event so everyone is rested and fed.
- Spring Valley Cave in Wisconsin and then find a local restaurant that serves Wisconsin Cheese curd or stop at the cheese factory
- Hiking Afton State Park and then a trip to the shops in Stillwater which also has a great selection of Restaurants.
- A really nice biking trip is to start from Ft. Snelling and end up at Minnehaha Falls, which also has a really cute outdoor restaurant. This is a really nice ride for a Saturday or Sunday.
- Minnesota Zoo and Como Zoo are always fun no matter what age. The Como Zoo conservatory is a great place to go in winter and a great place to practice photography if you like that or look at all of the flowers if you like gardening.
- Go to the Science Museum of Minnesota and either before or after, go eat the best Pizza ever at Cosetta’s in St. Paul.
- Go see the Arboretum in the spring. It gets you in the spring mood but it is awesome anytime of year. We have even gone in the winter and learned to make pretzels with wheat flour that we ground.
- Spring Brook Nature Center in Fridley, Minnesota has awesome trails, is free, and you can develop a birding list or just enjoy the fresh air while hiking the trails.
- The Minneapolis Institute of Art is always interesting and can be combined with a trip downtown for lunch or a picnic.
Sometimes, we even combine chores with Fun activities. For example on a Saturday, we get up early, do a home project like painting or remove the wallpaper from a room and then in the afternoon go to the local meat raffle, a bike ride or on the boat. It gives an incentive to get the projects done and a fun thing to look forward to while getting that ugly job done.
Make your own list of cool things to do and tape it to the refrigerator, so that when you find yourself with a free day you or your kids can pick a spot and you can enjoy the day at a new adventure.