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    Summer Family Fun

    Summer Family Fun in Grand Rapids, MN

    Create Family Memories This Summer

    This blog article gives you ideas on how to create Summer Family Fun in Grand Rapids, MN. Do you remember some of your favorite summer vacation memories when you were a child? What made them special – the scenery? The people you were with? The delicious food? There are so many different things you can do with a family to create those forever memories that always leave a smile on your face. Here are some ways in which you can create Summer Family Fun and childhood summer memories in Grand Rapids, MN.

    Family Friendly Lodging

    Summer Family Fun

    You will find many family friendly places to stay in the Grand Rapids, Minnesota area. From in town Hotels/Motels, Air BnB, and Bed and Breakfasts that are close and convenient to the in town trails, area attractions, restaurants, golf course, and shops. Some in town lodging have an onsite pool, hotel tub, and some include continental breakfasts. Then you will find Minnesota Family Resorts that are located on beautiful area lakes that are close to the trails, offer full cabins, condos, and vacation rental cabins. You get access to the lake, dock, sometimes a beach, access to rentals and water toys. Some cabins come with full kitchens so you can cook family style meals together. And some come with fire pits or fire rings where you can make all kinds of s’more creations. There is something special about enjoying roasted marshmallows outside under the stars. The choice is yours on what type of lodging best suites you and your family this summer. Find Family Friendly Places To Stay In Grand Rapids, MN.

    Downtown Shops, Art, Historic Sites, and Places To Eat & Drink

    Summer Family Fun

    Small town downtowns are the heart of a community! This is definitely true for Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Downtown Grand Rapids is a vibrant place to shop, dine, view public art, and enjoy historic buildings and attractions. The Itasca County Historical Society Museum is FREE to tour. Make sure to check out their current exhibits: River Room, and the Itasca Area Veterans. Kids enjoy the trains and woolly mammoth tusk too. Kids age 9+ will also enjoy the Murder Up Nort Escape Room (which does have a per person fee). The cute gift shop includes responsibly priced items that represent your trip to Grand Rapids. Make sure to stop and take a picture at Big Red Paul Bunyan’s Chair located on the corner of Pokegama Ave and 4th Street and walk across the yellow brick road out front of the Old Central School. Step back in time when it would have been like to attend school in the late 1800’s by taking a self-guided tour of the school. It is open Monday-Friday 9am-5pm. Take a self-guided tour of the Grand Rapids Downtown Art & Historic Sites.

    The boutique styles shops offer one of a kind items like nothwoods, gift, souvenirs, home decor, clothing, shoes, jewelry, locally created art, home goods, and more… There are also fun places to eat & drink downtown like Forest Lake Restaurant, the VFW, Rapids Brewing Co, Unwined Up North, Brewed Awakenings Coffeehouse, Dotties, Hotel Rapids + HR Bistro, and a couple of fast food chains. 

    For More Places To Eat & Drink and Shopping Resources:

    Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce Restaurants

    Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce Places To Shop

    Deer River Chamber of Commerce Dining

    Deer River Chamber of Commerce Shoppin

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    Beaches, Parks & Playgrounds

    Summer Family Fun

    You can enjoy Minnesota’s beauty from dry land, but in the land of 10,000 lakes, we have got to highlight for some of the area beaches, parks and playgrounds to enjoy near water: Tioga Beach on Pokegama and Blandin Beach on Forest Lake. These two beaches and recreation areas make for the perfect summer swimming afternoon for your family. Pack lunch and enjoy a picnic. Don’t forget to protect your skin from the sun and keep a close eye on swimmers so everyone can leave your beach day happy and healthy. There is no lifeguards on duty so it is swim at your own risk. There are fishing piers to fish from on both of these lakes. The fishing piers are located just down from the beach area. Another great idea for Summer Family Fun in Grand Rapids, MN is to paddle the Mississippi River or one of the reclaimed mine pits like: Tioga Pit and LuRue Mine Pit.

    Additional Resources: 

    Beaches

    Parks & Playgrounds

    Hike, Bike and ATV

    Summer Family Fun

    If you are looking for outdoor Summer Family Fun in Grand Rapids, then we suggest heading into the Minnesota forests. Quite a few outdoor enthusiasts attribute their wilderness yearnings from exploring state and national parks with their families when they were young children. Grand Rapids has everything you need to spark the back-country bug in your little ones.

    There are many hiking trails to explore in the Chippewa National Forest where you can bring your family to go exploring safely into the forest to view mix forests of tall pines and hardwoods, view wildlife and native plants. Take a step back in time and spend the day in the serene, secluded Lost Forty, located in the Chippewa National Forest, where the pine trees are over 300 years old! Here your family can enjoy camping, hiking, picnic areas, and amazing fishing. This location is definitely worth the drive north about 1 hour of Grand Rapids. If you are not wanting to drive that far away from Grand Rapids, then we suggest some closer places to hike like: Legion TrailTioga Recreation Area, or the River Front Trail where you can hike along the Mississippi River.

    As for family biking we suggest the Mesabi Trail which has a trailhead located at the Itasca County Fairgrounds north parking lot. This trail is the longest paved trail in Minnesota with over 150 paved miles. Make sure to purchase your Wheel Pass before you hit the trail. If your family is into mountain biking then we suggest the Tioga Recreation Area which offers over 25 miles of multi-level single-track trails that are perfect for all ages. This premiere outdoor recreation area includes the mountain bike trail, fishing piers, two lakes to paddle, boat, float, fish and swim, and miles of trails to hike. The Legion Trail also has 7 miles of more rugged single-track mountain bike trail that is maintained by GRIMBA

    And if your family prefers four-wheeled motorized outdoor recreation, then you have to come to Grand Rapids! You will find Summer Family Fun on 300+ miles of ATV Trails around Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Within a 30 minute drive, you can ride designated ATV trails for days! You can get on the UPM Blandin ATV Trail and ride down to Hill City for lunch or dinner and back to the trailhead – Smith Creek (approximately 4 hours). Another family favorite is the Balsam to Bigfork ATV Trail (AKA B&B ATV Trail) which is a full day ride. Drive and park at the Scenic 7 B&B ATV Trailhead – just north of the Balsam Store, and ride to Bigfork for lunch and back to the trailhead. Along the way you can stop at Antler Lake Store for ice cream or beverages at the Antler Lodge. Both routes are very family friendly and include scenic routes of mixed hardwood and pine forests, tamarack bog areas, around area lakes, and rest areas in between to stretch the legs.

    Additional Resources For Family Friendly Outdoor Recreation 

    Paddle, Boat & Fish

    Summer Family Fun

    If you are looking for outdoor Summer Family Fun in Grand Rapids, then we suggest heading into the Minnesota forests. Quite a few outdoor enthusiasts attribute their wilderness yearnings from exploring state and national parks with their families when they were young children. Grand Rapids has everything you need to spark the back-country bug in your little ones.

    There are many hiking trails to explore in the Chippewa National Forest where you can bring your family to go exploring safely into the forest to view mix forests of tall pines and hardwoods, view wildlife and native plants. Take a step back in time and spend the day in the serene, secluded Lost Forty, located in the Chippewa National Forest, where the pine trees are over 300 years old! Here your family can enjoy camping, hiking, picnic areas, and amazing fishing. This location is definitely worth the drive north about 1 hour of Grand Rapids. If you are not wanting to drive that far away from Grand Rapids, then we suggest some closer places to hike like: Legion TrailTioga Recreation Area, or the River Front Trail where you can hike along the Mississippi River.

    As for family biking we suggest the Mesabi Trail which has a trailhead located at the Itasca County Fairgrounds north parking lot. This trail is the longest paved trail in Minnesota with over 150 paved miles. Make sure to purchase your Wheel Pass before you hit the trail. If your family is into mountain biking then we suggest the Tioga Recreation Area which offers over 25 miles of multi-level single-track trails that are perfect for all ages. This premiere outdoor recreation area includes the mountain bike trail, fishing piers, two lakes to paddle, boat, float, fish and swim, and miles of trails to hike. The Legion Trail also has 7 miles of more rugged single-track mountain bike trail that is maintained by GRIMBA

    And if your family prefers four-wheeled motorized outdoor recreation, then you have to come to Grand Rapids! You will find Summer Family Fun on 300+ miles of ATV Trails around Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Within a 30 minute drive, you can ride designated ATV trails for days! You can get on the UPM Blandin ATV Trail and ride down to Hill City for lunch or dinner and back to the trailhead – Smith Creek (approximately 4 hours). Another family favorite is the Balsam to Bigfork ATV Trail (AKA B&B ATV Trail) which is a full day ride. Drive and park at the Scenic 7 B&B ATV Trailhead – just north of the Balsam Store, and ride to Bigfork for lunch and back to the trailhead. Along the way you can stop at Antler Lake Store for ice cream or beverages at the Antler Lodge. Both routes are very family friendly and include scenic routes of mixed hardwood and pine forests, tamarack bog areas, around area lakes, and rest areas in between to stretch the legs.

    Additional Resources For Family Friendly Outdoor Recreation 

    Family Friendly Area Attractions

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    Grand Rapids, Minnesota offers a wide variety of family friendly places to learn about history, have fun on exhibits, and discover beautiful works of art.

    First up is the Children’s Discovery Museum is a great place to let the kids run off some much needed energy, especially on a rainy day. The Children’s Discovery Museum is a learning through play and open explanation space filled with fun, educational, hands-on exhibits kids and adults are sure to enjoy. The Judy Garland Museum is located in the same building and includes various Wizard of Oz and Judy Garland exhibitions and Judy’s charming 1920’s restored childhood home.  

    Next is the Forest History Center. Experience the stories of the north woods and learn about the lumberjacks who called these forests home. Explore Minnesota’s forests of yesterday and today through exhibits and nature trails. View More Family Friendly Area Attractions and More Family Friendly Things To Do