Edit ModuleShow Tags

Spend a Day in Kid-Friendly Stillwater


Published:

Two of my best friends live in the pretty river town of Stillwater, about a 30-minute drive from my house in St. Paul. Whenever I visit, I become plagued with an ailment best described as Stillwater envy. There are plenty of really wonderful reasons to live in St. Paul, but there’s just something about Stillwater. It has this vibe, this energy, this unique historic beauty that leaves a lasting impression on you long after you leave. It’s like the cool kid who doesn’t try to be cool, it just is. 

I’ve been to Stillwater too many times to count, for celebrations like Lumberjack Days (replaced as Log Jam), Harvest Fest, Oktoberfest at Gasthaus, and girls’ nights out, but during the summer, I like to go to Stillwater because it’s a family-friendly close-to-home escape. The only problem is that we don’t spend enough time there. One of these days, I'm going to plan the perfect family day in Stillwater. It would go something like this:

10:30 a.m.: After heading down Highway 36 toward downtown Stillwater—with the beautiful St. Croix River looming large on our right—we’d pass by The Freight House and keep driving to Nelson Street, where we take a left, and go up the hill to Teddy Bear Park (on South Second and Nelson). The free parking lot across from the park would be nearly empty. (This is my perfect day, after all. In a perfect world, parking is never an issue.) The park—with plenty of sand, slides, climbing structures, teddy bear sculptures, soft astroturf, and picnic seating—was specifically designed for kids 7 and under. My boys think it’s fantastic.  

After playing at the park, we would have lunch on the patio of Leo’s Grill & Malt Shop, followed by a sweet treat from Tremblay’s old-fashioned candy store. Everyone would be stuffed silly, but we’d find the energy to walk along the river (it’s too pretty not to!), watch the boats go under the bridge, and let the kids chase each other on the grassy riverfront lawn. Maybe I'd even get a little boutique shopping in on Main Street. (Or, probably more accurately, a little window shopping until I return solo or with girlfriends.)

After that we would go on a geocaching adventure (search the Stillwater zip code 55082), followed by a Storytime Trolley ride (just like the one in Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood!), and finally have dinner at Brine’s before heading home—happy, sun-kissed, and exhausted.

*Other Stillwater favorites include Nacho Mama's, Chilkoot Cafe and Cyclery, dinner or drinks at The Green Room or Lolo, and ice cream from Nelson’s, with more than 40 (!) delicious flavors. 

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Whether you are a seasoned Twin Cities traveler or planning your first trip to Minnesota, this blog will introduce you to many new adventures to add to your itinerary. From day trips and scenic discoveries to luxurious girls weekends, travel tips, and insider scoops, our editors will give you all the information you need to enjoy your stay Up North.

Learn about the contributing writers.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Travel Blog

Minnesota Love in 3 New Books

The Boundary Waters, First Avenue, and fun facts about Minnesota—all highlighted in these recent publications

Holiday Volunteer Opportunities Around the Twin Cities

While counting your blessings on Thanksgiving, think ahead to helping others in December by volunteering your time at one of these locations around the Twin Cities metro.

What Else To Do on Black Friday: Alternative Plans across the State

Things to do on Black Friday in Minnesota—other than shop

Where to Run a Turkey Trot in Minnesota This Thanksgiving

Burning off those Thanksgiving Day calories is a great way to start the day before giving thanks for what you have. Join one of these fun (and local) turkey trot races on Thanksgiving morning.

Sue Z.'s Charitable Check-In: November

Sue Z.'s ideas for getting charitable this month include baking with North Minneapolis teens and the annual Taste of the NFL

Finding Neverland Brings the Story of Peter Pan to Life

There was never a dull moment during the performance of Finding Neverland, the story of how Peter Pan came to be.

Drag Queens Fill First Ave for Puerto Rico

Flip Phone and drag queen Phi Phi O'Hara team up for a First Avenue show in Minneapolis with all proceeds benefiting victims of Hurricane Maria

Photos from Nigeria: A Series with a Cause by a MN Resident

MN photographer Bre McGee's series "Stolen Lives: The Lost Futures of Nigeria's Trafficked Youth" raises money for victims of child labor and sex trafficking

Calhoun, Mud Lake, and Pig’s Eye: A Brief History of Renaming Minnesota Places

Lake Calhoun is on its way to becoming Bde Maka Ska, but it's only the latest in the history of Minnesota place renamings, which includes N-word lakes, Pig's Eye, and a middle school almost named after Prince

Staging a Magazine: A Storytelling Pop-Up in St. Paul

St. Paul's Fitzgerald Theater hosts a "live magazine"—where journalists become performers

What to Do on Halloween around the Twin Cities

Celebrate scariness over the weekend—or on Tuesday,, October 31—with haunted tours, a First Ave monster mash, and the last Zoo Boo

Pumpkin Nights: 3,000 Artful Jack-o'-lanterns

In this photo essay, check out how the MN State Fairgrounds have transformed into a Halloween celebration—and go for yourself this weekend

The Weird Beauty of Scream Town

How the decade-old Minnesota scare fest, in the middle of a Chaska cornfield, has combined today’s "Insidious"-conditioned jump-scare obsession with the dreamlike, strangely touching allure of old-world Disneyland

Hit the Road for a Fall Weekend in Alexandria, Minnesota

When fall comes around in Alexandria, Minnesota, the leaves aren’t the only things that are colorful. Fall festivals and events brighten up the first chilly months and give life to a city that lives on the lake during summer.
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags