Afton State Park Winter Fun

IMG_1654

Afton State Park Winter Fun

for the whole Family

 

Where: Afton, Minnesota

When: Feb-March

How long: Friday-Sunday

 

Where to stay:

Recommendation: Afton State Park Camper Cabins for a full on winter experience

Or if that is roughing it too much, check out Afton House Inn

Things to do nearby:

Downhill ski at Afton Alps

 

Things to do at Afton State Park:

Cross country ski (18 miles of trails)

Snowshoe (4 miles of trails)

Winter hiking (6 miles of trails)

Here is a link to the trails.

Bring your dinner to make over the fire or campstove! Or you can always check out downtown Afton or Stillwater for some delicious food.

 

 

 

Minneapolis Travel Guide

Minneapolis Travel Guide

Your Minneapolis Travel Guide

Traveling to Minnesota would not be complete without a trip to Minneapolis & St Paul. It is a top family destination in the Midwest.

Minneapolis is full of outdoor activities with lots of Minnesota lakes, culture, great food, and the Mall of America in Bloomington.  And yes, it is where I call home!

If you can’t imagine what 0 degrees feels like then you need to plan a summer trip here. But Minneapolis is a winter wonderland for the hearty travelers.

 

Here is your Minneapolis Travel Guide tips and recommendations:

Where to go:

Minneapolis, mn

When to go:

Summer or Fall or Winter

Note: Spring weather is varied and not predictable – it could be snowing in April

How long to stay:
5-7 days

 

Where to stay:

Downtown Minneapolis

Hilton Garden Inn Minneapolis Downtown – great for familes

The Grand Hotel Minneapolis – includes access to the Lifetime Fitness next door.
Residence Inn Minneapolis – includes The Depot indoor waterpark and indoor ice skating next door.
Bloomington (where the Mall of America is located)

Must stay at the Radisson Bloomington Hotel attached to the Waterpark of America – the kids will love you

Or try the new hotel connected to the Mall of America – Radisson Blu

Note: the light rail will take you to the Mall of America and you can take it downtown Minneapolis

 

Things to do in the Summer and Fall:

Lake Calhoun is the summer hotspot in Minneapolis

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden an outdoor art gallery

Walker Art Center   – after the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden head to their neighbor for more incredible art

Minneapolis Institute of Arts – Free and filled with great exhibits for the whole family

See a play at the Children’s Theatre

Target Field – home of the MN Twins, great outdoor ballfield

Stone Arch Bridge – one of the most beautiful and scenic spots in Minneapolis

Mill City Museum – Right by the Stone Arch Bridge, a museum that was built into the ruins of the world’s largest flour mill.

Minnehaha Park and try Sea Salt for delicious seafood and fish

Lake Nokomis is great to jog, bike, walk or enjoy the beach and playground. A lot less busy than lake Calhoun

Uptown for fun and delicious dining

Mall of America – who doesn’t want to go to America’s largest mall

Minneapolis farmers market – Great place to pickup some of our locally grown food and anything else you could be looking for.

MN Zoo in Apple Valley (20 miles south of Minneapolis)  – Don’t miss the Minnesota Trail to see the animals from around MN.

Visit Ft Snelling State Park (day use only) for a picnic, beach or bike ride.

Things to do in the Winter:

Minneapolis has a skyway system so you don’t even have to walk outside downtown.

Ice Skate indoors at The Depot Skating Rink

Mariucci Arena for a MN Golden Gopher hockey game

Mall of America it is always nice in there

Midtown Global Market has some great food to try and fun place to shop.

Ski Buck Hill in Burnsville (15 miles south of Minneapolis) or Highland Hill in Bloomington

Tubing at Theodore Wirth Park

Waterpark of America – indoor waterpark where it feels tropical

Cross country ski or snowshoe at many of the parks in Minneapolis

Ice fish on one of our many lakes or rent an ice house on Lake Minnetonka (only 15 miles west of Minneapolis)

Sledding in Theodore Wirth Park or Columbia Golf Course or Powderhorn Park for some of the best sledding spots.

Snowkiting at Lake Calhoun

 

 

Festivals in Minneapolis & St Paul:

Summer

Minnesota Fringe Festival – an eleven day festival in August has many stage performances including dance, performance art, puppetry and spoken word at over 20 venues in Minneapolis.

MayDay Parade and Festival at Powderhorn Park

Basilica Block Party – Downtown Minneapolis music festival (they even have a Family Day on Sunday)

Lyn Lake Street Festival – local restaurants setup street food and local artists have craft booths and the art cars are a must see. Lots of kids activities too. The festival is run one Sunday in May as a fundraiser for the YMCA, Lyn Lake Business Association and Joyce Food Shelf. 

Uptown Art Fair – The annual event is held the first weekend in August in the heart of Uptown. Over 350 artists, food, drink and entertainment.

Grand Old Days – Is held the first Sunday in June in St Paul. It is the kickoff to summer festivals and the largest one-day festival in the Midwest. Definitely fun for all ages and don’t miss the parade!

Stone Arch Bridge Festival – one of the largest outdoor art and music festival held over Father’s Day weekend.

Aquatennial – 3rd week of July in Minneapolis for a 10 day water festival pays tribute to Minneapolis being the City of Lakes

Minnesota State Fair – The Great MN Get-Together is held every summer for 12 days at the end of August through Labor Day. Food, rides, music, animals, campers, farm equipment and everything on a stick!

St George Greek Festival – annual summer event in St Paul celebrates all things Greek. Fun for the whole family.

Twin Cities Pride – The third largest Pride celebration in the nation held in Loring Park. It is a two-day festival in June with lots of activities from family fun to beer gardens and commitment ceremonies.
Fall

Oktoberfest at Gastof’s in NE Minneapolis
Winter

Holidazzle Parade – in Downtown Minneapolis lights up downtown with all the lighted floats and costumes. It runs the day after Thanksgiving for a month.

City of Lakes Loppet – cross country ski through Minneapolis in the race or do the luminary ski/snowshoe with the whole family.

St Patricks Day Parade in Minneapolis (St Paul had a really large parade and festival for St Patricks Day)

St Paul Winter Carnival – it is called “the coolest celebration on Earth” where all things ice and snow are enjoyed.

 

Travel to Minneapolis for your next family vacation and use your Minneapolis Travel Guide to help plan your trip!

Minnesota Travel

Minnesota Travel

Minnesota Travel Information for Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

We have taken a lot of family camping trips throughout the years and are always looking for more Minnesota travel information for the State Parks.

I am sharing with you my favorite Minnesota State Park so you can check it out and enjoy it with your family.

Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

Kathio has the best campsites! Most of the state parks have little or no privacy and cram so many campers in one area but not at Kathio. Mille Lacs Kathio State Park has almost 9,000 acres – plenty of space for nice campsites.

It is located on the Rum River which you can canoe, there is a great playground, a swimming hole and beach. It is perfect for families. You will also find lots of history, hiking and horse trails too.

Here is the Minnesota travel information for camping at Mille Lacs Kathio State Park.

Where to Go:

Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

Onamia, MN

When to Go:

June – September 

How long should you stay:

Weekend – 4 days

 

Recommended places to stay:

Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

Campsites = We stayed in the Petaga Campground.

Sites 52 & 54 are great shaded sites but have no electricity. You have to book really early to get sites with electricity.

I would also recommend sites 49 and 51.

Sites 38e and 39e are great electric sites.

Note: If it rains, the lower sites towards the east get a lot of water in the sites.

Camper Cabins – for those looking for electricity, heat and a screened porch, rent a camper cabin.

 

 

 

 

 

What are the top things to do & travel tips:

Hiking = 35 miles of trails

Climb the fire watch tower

Swimming

Playground

Canoe on the Rum River

Horseback riding = 27 miles of trails

Fishing in the nearby great Mille Lacs Lake or Rum River

Naturalist programs for the kids to participate in

Historic sites throughout the park

Contact me if you have any questions or would like additional Minnesota travel information. I am here to help plan your next family travel destination.