Best of Rochester - Young Family Spots

Posted by Barb Rechtzigel @BRechtzigel, May 4, 2017

This is a call to Mayo employees in the Rochester and surrounding areas. If you know of great areas, restaurants, and activities that are family-friendly, please share! For those of you that are new to Rochester, tell us what you are looking for. Someone may know of a resource you’ll love!

For Nature Lovers:

I was lucky enough to chaperone a field trip to Mystery Caves recently with my 5th grader. If you are into nature and ecology, this was a great experience. We loved the tour of the cave. Here is the website to the Mystery Caves in Forestville, which is just 40 miles from Rochester. There are many other outdoor activities in this area to take in while you are there.
http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/forestville_mystery_cave/index.html

Liked by solucky

REPLY

Another outdoor, family friendly area is Nerstrand Big Woods State Park, about an hour NW of Rochester. The park includes a picnic area and a hike to a waterfall. My 6-year-old and 12-year-old like walking in the water, tossing rocks in the water, etc. Dog-friendly too 🙂

REPLY

For dancers in Rochester…. My 13 year old daughter is taking classes at Allegro (by the Costco). They seem like really caring and service focused people. So far, the classes (ballet and contemporary) are challenging (in a good way – they are teaching, not just telling). Janet Lang was the other options, but they closed their Rochester location.

REPLY

Summer of Service is excellent as well – two weeks of community service organized by the Rochester’s rec department (I think). There are 4 sessions during the summer. My daughter will get 60 hours of community service credit, and she has a place to hang during the day when I’m at work. So far she’s weeded gardens, made a meal, packed food, helped with a move, and did something with puppies/cats (not sure on that one).

Liked by Susan Benysh

REPLY

And don’t forget Quarry Hill Nature Center right here in Rochester. You can even go fishing!

Liked by Jayme Cody

REPLY

Oxbow Park in Byron is a great family place. Huge picnic area, zoo, hiking trails, fishing, camping and almost all of it is free.
There is also Chester Woods camping area. Again, hiking, fishing, boating, swimming, biking, camping and there is even an orienteering by GPS set up there. But this is a State Park, so you will need to purchase the state park sticker.
Whitewater State Park is just outside of St. Charles. A lot of varied activities there as well. Again a State Park so stickers are required.

REPLY

I recently visited the Tweites Family Farm, and what a great experience! It has an exciting variety of play areas for kids of all ages, a corn maze, gem mining (what?!), pumpkin picking, and much much more. Make sure you give yourself a good afternoon to explore, as I feel like we simply didn’t have enough time to take it all in. Fun fun fun!
http://tweitesfamilyfarm.com/

Liked by Treasure Ransom

REPLY
@BRechtzigel

I recently visited the Tweites Family Farm, and what a great experience! It has an exciting variety of play areas for kids of all ages, a corn maze, gem mining (what?!), pumpkin picking, and much much more. Make sure you give yourself a good afternoon to explore, as I feel like we simply didn’t have enough time to take it all in. Fun fun fun!
http://tweitesfamilyfarm.com/

Jump to this post

We love Tweite’s! This has been an annual fall activity for our family since the boys were very young. It is always fun to compare their growth from year to year at the “How tall are you” picture stations. Now that the boys are older, there favorite activity has become the maze.

REPLY

Have kids looking for Cheer? Minnesota Xtreme is located in Rochester and is a fantastic gym to check out if your daughter or son is looking to continue or explore the exciting world of competitive and/or performance cheer! They have a number of teams for various ages and skill levels starting as young as 3 years old. They also offer flexibility and tumbling classes as well which also complement the cheer programs. They provide a strong team environment with experienced and caring owners and coaching staff as well as a cheer-family atmosphere!
http://mxallstarcheer.com/

REPLY
@mrk5161

Oxbow Park in Byron is a great family place. Huge picnic area, zoo, hiking trails, fishing, camping and almost all of it is free.
There is also Chester Woods camping area. Again, hiking, fishing, boating, swimming, biking, camping and there is even an orienteering by GPS set up there. But this is a State Park, so you will need to purchase the state park sticker.
Whitewater State Park is just outside of St. Charles. A lot of varied activities there as well. Again a State Park so stickers are required.

Jump to this post

@BRechtzigel

I second Oxbow Park. They have a great zoo with Minnesota animals (optional donation). They also rent snowshoes/cross country skis in the winter (3 for snowshoes, not sure about skis). I had a great time when I went with a large group. We also had a guide at no additional charge when we went snowshoeing, though not sure if they do that if its just a few people.

REPLY

Eagle Bluff is south of here and has excellent summer camps and single classes. Their high ropes course, as well as anything on the river is great. For older kids they just opened up their Counselor in Training. Finally, for adults, they have some amazing guest lecturers, skills class, and wonderful seasonal events.
http://www.eagle-bluff.org/

REPLY
Please login or register to post a reply.