Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Bring Big Fun to Your Little This Summer

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and nature’s colors are back in full force, so why not get outside and enjoy this summer? Central Minnesota provides endless opportunities to get outdoors and have exciting activities with yourLlittle. Check out these options for a little inspiration and a lot of fun.

Make a Splash

Check out the three local splash pad locations for a fun-filled way to ward off the heat. Lake George/Eastman Park, Riverside Park, and Westwood Park are all officially open as of May 15th and will remain open for use until September 15th (weather permitting). Hours are 9 AM – 7 PM daily. To find more information visit the city of Saint Cloud website and get splashing!

Dive into Nature

If you and your Little want to be active outdoors and explore this summer, visit Saint John’s University Abbey Arboretum. With more than 15 miles of hiking trails, you and your Little will be busy all day long. For more information and a map of the trails visit their arboretum information guide. For even more to do at the arboretum, check out their website.


Catch a Home Run

Are you looking for peanuts, Cracker Jacks, and an evening full of excitement? Check out the Saint Cloud Rox baseball team, the local Northwoods League team that promises fun for all ages. Hoping to adventure out of town for a bit? Sundays are Kids Days at Twins games for kids 14 and under. This includes player autographs, half-price meals for kids, and running the bases after the game. Visit the Kids Day page for specialty days that the kids can receive gifts for being one of the first 10,000 people through the gates.


Rides, and Ring Toss, and Funnel Cake, Oh my!

Summer fairs and festivals are an exciting way to experience endless fun together! Including a petting zoo, rides, games, musical performances, and a derby, the Benton County Fair in Sauk Rapids runs from August 1st – 6th this summer. Hours vary depending on the day. Local parades and town celebrations allow you two to grab some candy and celebrate the state’s various towns, as well. Check out other county fairs and town festivals in the area.

Hoping to experience the largest fair in MN this summer? The MN State Fair, located in Saint Paul, runs from August 24th – September 4th. Hours vary depending on the days and attractions you visit.

Feel an Adrenaline Rush

Make a trip to Valleyfair this summer and enjoy rides to satisfy the gentlest rider to the most adventurous thrill seeker – not to mention the massive outdoor waterpark. Open from the end of May to the beginning of September, the park's hours vary depending on the day. Beginning in September, the amusement park turns into Valleyscare, extending the frightful fun into the fall!

Is the weather outside not ideal but you and your Little still want to enjoy a day of adrenaline-pumping fun? Head to MOA – Mall of America, located in Bloomington, for a day full of adventure! Enjoy Nickelodeon Universe, Sea Life, Legoland, and more. Nickelodeon Universe is a fully indoor amusement park containing rides for all ages. Sea Life is an enclosed underwater adventure where you can view sharks and various water creatures. Legoland is a free area to walk through and play with Legos while admiring gigantic Lego structures. Check out MOA’s attractions website for more information.

For discounted ticket coupons for Valleyfair, Nickelodeon Universe, and Sea Life check your local Subway and Credit Union locations.

Central MN offers endless opportunities to get you and your Little on the move. Connect with other pairs from the Big Brothers Big Sisters network for more ideas. If you are looking for even more options to get out and explore, read our past blogs on fun activities to try with your Little, or visit community bulletin websites such as and

If you are interested in volunteering, donating, enrolling a child, or for more activity ideas check out Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central MN!