July 13, 2020
Unique Gems to See Around the Metro and Beyond
Want to get out and about? Sick of walking around your neighborhood for the millionth time? Below, you will find some creative and unique ways to spend your time off without breaking quarantine. All places are family-friendly, but you don’t need to be a kid to enjoy!
Nature Centers and Trails:
- Minnetonka: Purgatory Park (perfect for kids)
- Plymouth: French Park
- St. Louis Park: Westwood Hills Nature Center
- Bloomington: Richardson Nature Center
- Fridley: Springbrook Nature Center (kids will get muddy)
- Eagan: Lebanon Hills Regional Park
- St. Paul: Tamarack Nature Center (Kids will get muddy)
All the Minneapolis beaches are currently open, but go at your own risk, as they get pretty crowded. Ramsey County beaches remain closed.
- Minnetonka: Shady Oak Beach (no lifeguards present)
- Plymouth: French Park Public Beach (no lifeguards present)
*Each city is making their own rules, and they are constantly changing. Research the beaches in your area for more information.
More Unique Finds:
- Gale Woods Farm in Minnetrista. This place has chickens, goats, sheep, cows, horses and more. They closed the main house, so it’s all outside with plenty of green area to run around or enjoy a picnic. Free!
- Hot Sam’s Antiques and Foto Park in Lakeville. This place is wonderfully quirky. It’s $10 for a family—more if you take professional pictures. It’s a treasure trove of unique finds from a UFO and aliens, to a giant Tweety Bird in a cage. You can climb a silo, check out an old school firetruck (and many other antique cars and trucks), pretend to pilot a propeller plane, and hang by a tiki.
- Fawn Doe Rosa in St. Croix Falls, WI: There is a deer yard (where deer just hangout around you), farmyard, pony rides and petting zoo. $9.50 for adults and $8.50 for kids ages 2-12. Pay additional fees for feedings and rides.
- Minehaha Falls in Minneapolis. If you haven’t been here yet, now is the perfect time to check it out. Its vast trails and green areas are a blast to run, bike, rollerblade or walk. Don’t forget to climb up to the waterfall. It’s breathtaking.
- Extreme Sandbox Heavy Metal Drive-Thru in Hastings. Watch construction vehicles put on a show right from the comfort of your own car. $35 per car for a front-row spot. $25 per car for a back-row spot. Free general admission (meaning you don’t park at all. You circle around.)
- Minnesota Zoo Drive Through in Apple Valley: In order to raise money to keep the zoo open during the pandemic, the zoo has begun to sell drive through tickets. Cost is $50 per car, and members get 50% off.
- Strawberry Picking at Berry Hill Farm in Anoka: Come pick fresh strawberries right off the vine. Each group is assigned a row, and they are asked to stay 8 feet away from the group ahead. Berry Hill is providing all containers, and they’re sanitized (no outside containers allowed)
- Quaking Bog at Theodore Wirth Park in Minneapolis: Bring your oldest shoes, as they will get muddy, and check out the unique eco-system in the heart of the city.
- Pizza Farms! This relatively new phenomenon is taking the Midwest by storm. If you’re willing to drive a bit, check out The Stone Barn in Nelson, WI. Like all pizza farms, there is lots of green space to run around and sit, and the pizza is amazing.