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MEA Weekend in Grand Rapids

Are you looking for a place to safe social distance over MEA weekend? MEA is an annual break for school aged children in Minnesota.This gives an opportunity for families to getaway for a long weekend vacation.

Grand Rapids, Minnesota is an easy drive destination that is conveniently close but far enough to provide a real escape over MEA Weekend. Things to keep in mind when you are traveling during COVID-19 outbreak:

  • Wear masks while indoors, and when around groups of people
  • Wash your hands often and utilize hand sanitizers
  • Check with lodging property prior to arrival to understand what is and isn’t provided
  • Call ahead to area attractions, businesses, and restaurants to understand their requirements, hours and guidelines
  • Plan ahead and be aware of changes that might be made short notice

We have put together a Top 5 Things To Do Over MEA Weekend in the Grand Rapids, Minnesota area that allow for safe social distancing.

  1. Hiking & Fall Colors

The great outdoors is a wonderful safe social distance opportunity up north in the Grand Rapids, MN area. We have hundreds of miles of hiking trails within a 50 mile radius of downtown. A couple of trails that we suggest are 1) Legion Trail (easy to intermediate)-10 minutes from downtown within the city limits of Grand Rapids(located at Reif Arts Council), 2) Suomi Hills (easy to intermediate)-30 miles north of Grand Rapids on Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byway in the Chippewa National Forest, and  3) Simpson Creek (easy)- 45 miles northwest of Grand Rapids located on the Avenue of Pines Scenic Byway in the Chippewa National Forest).

  1. Pumpkin Patch, Hayrides, Corn Maze, and Farm Animals

Cowhorn Crossing Farm and Pumpkin Patch is a wonderful place to take families of all ages to enjoy hayride to feed the cows in the field, got lost in a corn maze, play in the hay mound, pick out the perfect pumpkin to make this year’s Halloween jack-o-lantern, pet the farm animals, and get your picture taken at the many selfie stations. They are open extra hours over MEA (Thurs, Oct 17-Sunday, Oct 20: 10am-6pm). Admission is $7/person and groups of 10 and more are $6/person (includes a small pumpkin). Pre-registration is required. Masks are required while inside the barns and while in groups of people.


  1. Judy Garland/Children’s Discovery Museum

The Judy Movie has brought Judy Garland’s story back to life. Best known as Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, Judy Garland, was an American Idol from the late 1930’s to the late 1960’s. She was an actress, singer and dancer. Judy Garland was born in Grand Rapids as Frances Ethel Gumm in June 10, 1922.  Grand Rapids, Minnesota has memorialized her life with the Judy Garland Museum that includes hundreds of Judy Garland and Wizard of Oz memorabilia. The house where she was raised while in Grand Rapids, Minnesota is attached to the museum, and was recreated and furnished as it would have been when Judy and her family lived here. The Judy Garland Museum is attached to the Children’s Discovery Museum. The Children’s Museum is a wonderful place for children ages toddlers to pre-teens. There are many interactive stations that feature math and science theories. The Lake Life exhibit recreates a wooded landscape like a theater cabin, bog walk, fishing pier, wooded bridge, tree fort, and more. This allows children to enjoy Minnesota’s nature indoors. Great for cold, rainy and snowy days. Admission is $10/person and includes access to both the Judy Garland Museum and the Children’s Discovery Museum. Call ahead to ensure admission: 218-327-9276.

  1. Be Entertained

People assume that small towns don’t have much going on. That is not true! There is live music at Klockow Brewing Companies, Rapids Brewing Company. The Itasca County Historical Society is hosting a Spooky Escape Room through October 31, 2020 for up to groups of 8 people. Pre-registration is required and masks are required. Step back in time, find the clues, solve the riddle and escape! Learn more about HERE.

  1. Family Friendly Places to Eat & Drink

Grand Rapids, MN has great family friendly places to eat and drink. Grand Rapids has two local breweries, and a wine bar.Klockow Brewing Company is a locally owned craft brewery that serves beer, soda, and tea. They host live music on the weekends. Rapids Brewing Company is a craft brewery that celebrates the northern lifestyle with premium beer, locally sourced food and great live music. Unwined Up North is a Minnesota Wine bar that features flat bread pizza, salads and specialty sandwiches. Boulder Tap House is an upscale American bar cuisine restaurant. Their open floor plan has televisions on all walls that allow for lots of entertainment options for the entire family. For a healthy option try Spartan Deli, Brewed Awakenings, and Bixby’s. They all specialize in fresh, nutritious and delicious food and beverages that are made with healthy whole food ingredients. Great for picking up something quick on the go.

Find Cozy Lodging

To start your search for overnight lodging accommodations in the Grand Rapids, MN area click HERE. The amenities selector located on the left side of the page, will help narrow your search. Grand Rapids has conveniently located in town Hotels/Motels that offer continental breakfasts, are pet friendly, and have additional onsite amenities like pools and hot tubs. There are many Minnesota Family Friendly Resorts where you can rent an entire cabin for your family, to come together, make meals together, and enjoy Minnesota’s nature on an area lake. We have a Bed & Breakfast located on Pokegama Lake that provides a warm breakfast each morning. You will also find several vacation rental homes located on stunning area lakes which gives you an opportunity to have a remotely located home to your family. You will also find several camping options.

Learn More

Click HERE to click through the Grand Rapids Visitor Guide. You will find articles and ads are linked to learn more.


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