Things To Do in Brainerd

28 Ways To Explore The Brainerd Lakes Area as a Family This Summer Printable Checklist (2016)

Things to do in Brainerd

Created by the Mom Squad Central of Brainerd, MN

Visit a Zoo: Our area has two wonderful zoos in a 30 mile radius. Check out the Pine Grove Zoo in Little Falls and Safari North Park in Brainerd. AND, if you are I the mood for a little jaunt, be sure and check out one of my favorite zoos; Paul Bunyan’s Animal Land in Bemidji. Read more about it here.

Get Your Art On: The Franklin Art Center and Crossing Arts Alliance has wonderful programs and events happening all summer. They also have great programs for kids including Art Camps.

Learn More About Trains: The Northern Trackers Club in Crosslake has depictions on display of historic and contemporary railroad heritage of the settlement and economic development of north central Minnesota from the early 1900’s to the present. Things to see at this museum includes a 1/2 scale replica of the William Crooks loco and cars, operating model railroad layouts, museum (artifacts, photography and interpretative displays and exhibits

Croft Mine: Mining is a huge part of our area’s history and the Croft Mine Historical Park is built on 17 acres of the original Craft Mine. This park includes an interactive underground mine tour and museum.

Go Down on The Farm: The Farm at St. Matthias offers wonderful events, like their Social Animals-Field of Dreams, many growing and picking opportunities, and appearances by the Evergreen Grass Band.

Check out some Bike Trails: Our area has several paved bike trails including The Cuyuna Lakes Trail and the Paul Bunyan Trail. The Cuyuna Lakes Trail Association exists to promote, create, and maintain paved bicycling trails connecting various communities in and around the area known formerly as the Cuyuna Iron Range.

Crow Wing County Fair: The Fair is coming! Mark your calendars for August 2- August 6, 2016. The fair began as an agricultural event for the purpose of providing a place for county residents to exhibit their products. Youth projects such as 4-H and FFA were able to enter and compete for prizes. While many aspects of the fair have changed over the years, the main philosophy remains the same, to provide opportunity for our patronage to touch base with the agricultural heritage of Crow Wing County.

Attend a Music Event: There are many chances to hear live music outside this summer in the Brainerd Lakes Area. Check out events like Bands in the Park – Pequot Lakes Trailside Band Shelter, Crosslake Outdoor Music Series 2015 at Crosslake Town Square, Iconic Music Fest and Lakes Jam.

Listen to good music: With events like Lakes Area Music Festival, Lakes Jam and Crosslake’s Outdoor Music series, kicking back to some good tunes can be part of your summer itinerary.

Catch a Play: Organizations like Geritol Frolics and Stage North Theatre, there are always opportunities to enjoy a live show.

Get your Adventure on: This area is brimming with awesome adventure-filled opportunities including paddle sports via Cycle Path and Paddle, Brainerd Zip Lines, Pine River Riding Stables,stand-up Paddle Boarding, Scuba Diving and Gull Lake Sailing School.

Experience the Pine River Duck Races: Pine River Duck Races dates are July 10 (1:30pm – 2:30pm) and Fridays June 17 through August 12, 2016 Registration starts at 1:30pm with races at 2:00pm

Go for a Float: This area is blessed with not one, but two, amazing large boat experiences. Book a ride on the Breezy Belle or Destiny Cruises and see what people are in love with the lakes of the Brainerd area and beyond.

Mini Golf and Go Carts: If you are in the mood for some mini golf and go cart racing, there are several option to choose from. Pirates Cove Golf and Billy Bones Raceway are right on highway 371 North. Close-by is another attraction; Northland Kart Kountry. Northland Kart Kountry also has water wares and climbing walls to keep everyone active and busy!

Go Camping: Pick a campground…any campground! This area is blessed with many quality camping area. Check the listings HERE.

Pig Races: The Leader Pig Races are back! Check out the full scoop on this incredibility fun and unique event HERE.

Explore our Many Area Parks: Check out the DNR’s Park Finder or check the websites of area parks like Crow Wing State Park, Mille Lacs Kathio, Father Hennepin State park and Charles Lindberg State Park.

Join a Summer Reading Program: The Brainerd Public Library has many fun things going on during the summer months and one is there Summer Reading Program. Round up your little bookworms and get the full scoop on the activities HERE.

Learn the History of our Area: Crow Wing County Historical Museum The Minnesota Military Museum at Fort Ripley, The Minnesota Fishing Museum and the Mille Lacs Indian Museum are both great ways to learn about culture and history as a family.

Attend an Art Fair: Fun events like Bean Hole Days, Arts in the Park and the Little Falls Craft Show are great places to see the work of local artisans.

Explore our area Lakes: There must be something in the water! Our area is blessed with many local lakes and public beaches. Check out this list of all of our area lakes and companies like Boats & Beyond Rentals, Lake Fun Rentals and Dave’s Sportland Bait, Fun Rentals & Storage help family make their lake time even more enjoyable.

Join The Northland Arboretum: “The Arb” always has wondering family-friendly events including the Country Sampler Picnic, Gardening 101 classes and Environmental Summer Camps for kids.

Grab a Movie: Check out these places to grab a flick: Bear Pause Theater – Hackensack, Grand Makwa Cinema – Onamia, Lakes 12 – Baxter, Sunset Cinema – Pequot Lakes.

Go Thrifting: Sometimes, it’s the “thrill of the hunt!” can make for a fun day of adventure! Go snooping and shopping for treasures to be had at these local thrift and second-hand stores: Cast-offs (Pequot Lakes), Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Common Goods, Goodwill, The Salvation Army and Second Time Around are all great places to hunt for treasures.

Disk Golf: Combine the sport of Frisbee and golf and you have a day of super-fun action. There are two Disc Golf locations in the Brainerd Lakes area. Lum Park has a robust Disc Golf course and so does Central Lakes College or check out the DGCourseReview.com site for more places to enjoy this sport.

A Fun Day at The YMCA: Our local YMCA has tons of great programs and day camps just for area kids. Members can also participate in swim lessons and summer sport classes.

Go Fishing: Not only is this area abundant with lakes, the lakes are full of fish! Fishing is a great sport that any family can enjoy. If you need a little guidance, check into book a pro angler to guide you and your family on a day of fishing fun to remember!

Paddle Boarding: Paddle Boarding is a newer sport that is taking this area by storm. A fun experience for all ages, families can score paddle boarding lessons, equipment and opportunities thanks to local companies like MnSurf.com, PowerPaddleMn.com and The Gull Lake Yacht Club.

GO HERE for your free printable of the above information. Have a exciting summer!

**Did I miss any? Email if you can think of something to add to the list! rebeccaflansburg@gmail.com

One Last Thing……

Summer fun is such an important part of life…BUT, I know you need to make a living as well. I firmly believe that earning all money in the world is not worth sacrificing the most precious moments in your life for. Not only is it OK to take a break, but it is imperative that you do so. Luckily there is a way to earn an honest income AND be able to have the flexibility to take time to smell the roses in life.

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