Quarry Hill Nature Center • 701 Silver Creek Road NE • 328-3950 • www.qhnc.org
Quarry Hill Nature Center is built on Quarry Hill Park, a 320 acre city park with many trails, a fossil bed, a fishing pond, caves, a hands-on exhibit hall, and ski and snowshoe rental. Quarry Hill is free to the public (though they do have a membership program $50/family per year that gets you discounts on birthday parties (really fun), kids classes/summer nature camps, and early registration privileges). Quarry Hill is a great family-friendly place to take a hike, look for wildlife, and become one with nature.
Oxbow Park and Zollman Zoo • 775-2451 • www.co.olmsted.mn.us
Oxbow Park is a unique 572 acre Olmsted County park facility, located approximately 15 minutes from Rochester in Byron. The park offers picnic areas, fishing, semi-primitive campsites, playground equipment, hiking trails, a nature center, and the Zollman Zoo (visit with the 30+ native MN animal species including bobcat, cougar, wolf, black bear, goats, and a really cute donkey). Oxbow is a favorite way to spend a day no matter what the season (last winter we spent a sunny afternoon building snowmen by the cougar cage). The park is free to the public (though there is a fee to camp) and is open 7am-10pm daily. The zoo and nature center are free to the public and are open. Check out their website for more info on fun park programs for kids and adults (ex. Feed the Otters, All About Bison, and Children's Zoo Hour).
ON THE FARM
Scanlan's Red Barn Learning Farm • 27251 State Highway 30, Hayfield • (507)365-8321 or (507)272-7465 • www.redbarnlearningfarm.com
The Red Barn Learning Farm is a destination that your kids will talk about for months to come! Come climb in the silo, jump on the straw bales in the barn, cuddle with a farm kitty, drive our pedal tractors, pick your own vegetables, and visit our large variety of barnyard animals. We offer group tours for your organization, public hours for family fun, and use of our facilities for birthday parties/corporate events. We can't wait to see you at the farm! Open April 1 through October 31. Visit our website or call us for hours and schedules of special events.
Ironwood Springs Christian Ranch • 7291 County Road 6 SW, Stewartville • 533-9933 • www.ironwoodsprings.com/content.asp?id=77
Ironwood has several horses suited for every level of rider year round. Trail rides are available with advance reservations. Call to make reservations. (If they don't answer, leave a message - they will get back to you.) Riders must be 8 years or older. Ironwood also offers horseback riding lessons (one-time and ongoing).
Silver Lake Boat and Bike Rentals • 800 West Silver Lake Dr NE • 261-9049 • www.silverlakefun.com • firstname.lastname@example.org
Silver Lake Boat and Bike Rentals in Silver Lake Park is on the west side of beautiful Silver Lake. Complete with 2-4 person electric paddleboats, canoes, kayaks, bikes for all ages and sizes, tandem bikes, 2-4 person 4 wheeled family bikes and mini golf. Stop by for a fun filled day with the family. Typically open April through September 30. Open October through March 31.
Chester Woods • 8378 Highway 14 East, Eyota • 507-287-2624 • http://www.co.olmsted.mn.us/parks/chester_woods.asp
Chester Woods Park is located on the headwaters of Bear Creek in the rugged bluff country of Southeastern Minnesota. The 52 unit (37 have electrical hookups) campground loops through a wooded area. Restrooms have showers (don't forget your flip flops). There is a sandy beach (don't forget your sand toys, beach blankets, and sunscreen). All vehicles entering the park are required to display either an annual ($25/year) or daily ($5/day) entrance permit. Permits may be purchased at the park entrance. Chester Woods also offers family friendly programs throughout the year. Usually held on the weekends, visit our Calendar of Events to find out more.
White Water State Park • Located 3 miles south of Elba on State Highway 74 • (507) 932-3007 • www.stayatmnparks.com
Campers enjoy a sandy swimming beach (small enough to easily keep track of the kids), restrooms with showers, a year-round visitor center, easy-to-challenging hiking trails, a group camp, and a modern group center. Come winter, enjoy cross-country skiing, snow shoeing, or stay at the group center in rustic, winterized cabins. All vehicles entering the park are required to display either an annual ($25/year) or daily ($7/day) entrance permit. Permits may be purchased at the park entrance.
Not ready for an overnight camping adventure? Try a day trip. Leave Rochester early enough to get lunch at the Oasis Drive Inn in St. Charles (on Hwy 14). Then make your way to White Water's beach where the kids can build sandcastles and swim and you can spend your time repeatedly slathering them with sunscreen. After an afternoon snack, pack up the family and take a hike on one of the park's trails — start with Easy Trails and work your way up. At night buy some firewood (available at the park office), start a fire (at one of the many fire pits in the South Picnic Area), and make some smores (if you need supplies stop at Mike's Food Center in St. Charles).
Oxbow Park • 775-2451 • www.co.olmsted.mn.us/parks/oxbow_park_&_zoo.asp
Oxbow campground is a semi-primitive area has 30 campsites available, running water, restrooms, and showers. The campground is part of the larger Oxbow Park (a unique 572 acre Olmsted County park facility). In addition to the campground, the park offers picnic areas, fishing, playground equipment, hiking trails, a nature center, and the Zollman Zoo (visit with the 30+ native MN animal species including bobcat, cougar, wolf, black bear, goats, and a really cute donkey). The park is free to the public (though there is a fee to camp) and is open 7am-10pm daily. The zoo and nature center are free to the public and are open daily.
Ironwood Springs Christian Ranch • 7291 County Road 6 SW, Stewartville • 533-4315 • www.ironwoodsprings.com/content.asp?id=81
Ironwood has two campgrounds. There are 45 campsites available. They all have electricity available and water nearby. There is 20-50 amp service. There is no limit to the list of things to do for all ages. From wagon rides and trail rides, horseback riding to hiking, playing on the Rainbow play system, the two tennis courts, a basketball court, an indoor recreation center, and swimming. Call for reservations.
CITY PARKS/BIKE TRAILS
City Parks • www.rochestermn.gov/departments/park/parks/index.asp
There are more than 100 city parks in Rochester. Wow! Various park amenities include: playgrounds (the biggest being that at the Silver Lake Park, our personal favorite being that at Slatterly Park — there's a toddler jungle gym and a big kid jungle gym and you can easily view both from a park bench in the middle), picnic shelters (there are 14 that can be reserved/rented for your family/friend get together), baseball fields, softball fields, football fields, soccer fields, running track, basketball courts, tennis courts, sand volleyball courts, horseshoe courts, frisbee golf courses, archery range. Park maps are available for $1 at the Park & Recreation Department main office at City Hall.
City Trails • www.rochestermn.gov/departments/park/trails/index.asp
Dust off your Burley — Rochester's 60 miles of recreational trails are bituminous or concrete surfaced and are available for pedestrian, bike, inline skate, wheelchair, and stroller use. Map brochures of the trails are available from the Park and Recreation Department in City Hall for $1.00. Things to remember on the trails: stay to the right; announce your presence when passing others; slow down for sharp curves; watch for hazards on or near the trail; and bring your water bottle.
Mystery Cave • Preston • 1-866-857-2757 • www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/forestville_mystery_cave/index.html
Mystery Cave is located in Forestville State Park in Preston. Daily tours are available (days/times vary throughout the year). Tickets range from free to $7/person. A state park vehicle permit ($7/daily or $25/annual) is required. Reservations can be made in advance by contacting the state park reservation service.
Niagara Cave • Harmony • 1-800-837-6606 • www.niagaracave.com
Niagara Cave is one of the most fascinating and unique geological attractions in the Midwest. During the one-hour guided tour, visitors will witness a waterfall, nearly 60 feet high, stalactites both delicate and massive, calcite flowstone, fossils that have been dated to over 400 million years old, and a wedding chapel in which over 300 weddings have been performed, plus much more. Niagara cave is a constant 48 degrees year around, so a light jacket or sweatshirt is suggested. Walking shoes are recommended. We took our then 18-month old on the tour, and other than having to carry her most of the way, she did fine. If you're planning to make a day out of the cave, note that there is an adjacent picnic area and a short nature trail. Give them a call or check out their website for ticket prices (ranging from free to $8.50+tax) and days/hours of operation (they vary throughout the year).
Family Garden Plots • Rochester Park & Rec, 201 4th St SE, 55904 • 328-2525
The City has two sites, Essex Park and Zumbro South Park, where people may rent garden plots. The plots measure 20' x 30' and rent for $25.00 each. Reservations are taken at the Park and Recreation Department in person or by mailing in the fee after January 1st of each year.
Firefly Berries (formerly the Sterling Fruit Farm) is a pick-your-own fruit farm that specializes in strawberries, raspberries, currants and Concord grapes. Located five miles north of Rochester, 5542 23rd St NE. Open Monday through Saturday, June through October, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Hours may vary depending which fruit is in season. They highly recommend you call to confirm fruit availability BEFORE you get in your car and drive out. Email email@example.com to be added to our mailing list (and receive up-to-date info on berry availability and pricing). Firefly Berries • 252-1309 • www.fireflyberries.com
NORTHWOODS ORCHARDS offers pick-your-own or pre-picked apples fresh from the orchard, two corn mazes, a wide assortment of fall ornamentals (including pumpkins), and the Back Forty Animal Area for up-close, hands-on farm animal interaction (feed the goats, see if the hen laid an egg, pet a bunny, visit the pig pen). Wagon Rides are offered as conditions permit. Visit their website for days and times. Northwoods Orchard • 8018 75th Ave. NW, Oronoco • 280-0591 • www.northwoodsorchard.com
Tweite's Pumpkin Patch is so much more than just a pumpkin patch. Enjoy over 20 acres of amusements, including corn maze, golf, live entertainment, gem mining, theme parks, specialty foods and more. For a complete listing visit our web site at www.tweitesfamilyfarm.com. While there, sign up for our e-newsletter for updates and special promotions and a chance to win free tickets to the farm. We just can't wait for you to visit! Tweite's • 1821 Frontier Road SW, Byron • 365-8035 • www.tweite.com.
Sekapp Orchard and Farms, the apple, berry, produce and pumpkin place, offers 30 varieties of apples, fresh garden produce, pumpkins (tons to choose from on display in their front yard), fall decorations, jams, maple syrup and honey. Call (no website) for days and hours. Sekapp's is located one mile east of Rochester on County Road 9 (which is Collegeview Road). Only accept checks or cash. No credit cards. Sekapp • 3415 Collegeview Road East • 282-4544 • www.sekapporchard.com.
Apple Ridge Orchard • 843-3033 • www.appleridgeorchard.com
Enjoy the festive fall family atmosphere at Apple Ridge Orchard. You will enjoy our Kid's Corn Mazes, wagon rides, alpaca petting area, pick -your own apples, grapes and pumpkins. Apple Ridge Orchard, a short drive north of Rochester in Mazeppa. Caramel apples, apple pies, jams and prepicked apples are available. Our website has days, hours and an easy map for directions.
Rochester Downtown Farmers Market • 4th Street & 3rd Avenue, SE • 398-8791 • www.localharvest.org/farmers-markets/M2615 • firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Rochester Downtown Farmers' Market has a fantastic selection of locally grown foods from our Southeastern Minnesota farmers and growers. Open Saturdays, 7:30am until Noon, May to October, the Farmers' Market offers a huge variety of vegetables, fruits, meats, breads, plants, and fresh cut flowers. Buy local, support your community! The Downtown Farmers' Market also hosts a winter market. Held in Building 41 at the Olmsted County Fairgrounds from 9 a.m. to noon on several Saturday's from November through April.
Rochester Honkers • 289-1170 • all home games played at Mayo Field • www.rochesterhonkers.com
The Honkers are a college-level baseball team in the Northwoods League. Haven't been to a game? You've got to go. There's Slider (the baseball-headed mascot), free giveaways (provided by sponsors at many games), and fun between-inning activities. Oh yeah, and there's baseball. Check out their website for a schedule of games.
Rochester Royals • Mayo Field (home games played here)
The Rochester Royals are a Minnesota Amateur Baseball Class B team. The team plays in the Southern Minny League. The Royals were Class B State Runners Up in 1999 and 2000 and placed third in 2001 and 2002. The Royals posted a 3-2 record in the 2003 State Tournament.
Silver Lake Pool • www.rochfamy.org/documents/silverlakeflier.pdf
The pool has lifeguards, lockers, limited number of beach chairs and a free kiddie pool.
Soldiers Field Pool • www.rochestermn.gov/departments/park/facilities/Pools_Beach/index.asp
The pool has lifeguards, male and female locker rooms (bring your own padlock for the lockers), beach chairs (free of charge, limited availability, first come first serve), and a small concession stand (nachos, candy and slushies). Remember to bring pool toys (label them w/ a black sharpie — it turns out every kid in Rochester owns the same red pail and yellow shovel), snacks (there's no problem bringing in your own food), and towels. But you can leave your floaties at home. No flotation devices allowed.
ALL COMERS TRACK MEETS
All Comers Track Meets • www.rochestertrackclub.com
Grab your kids and their running shoes. The All Comer's Track Meets are held on select Tuesdays during the summer. Visit their website for this year's dates. Races start at 6pm and are held at Soldier's Field Memorial Park. (You can park in the pool/golf course parking lot.) Age-based, for-fun (everyone gets a ribbon) races are held for kids ages 2 through high school. Events range from 50 meters to the mile. These FREE meets are sponsored by the Rochester Track Club.
Skyline Raceway • 2250 40th Street Southwest • http://www.skylineracewayrochester.com
Skyline Raceway offers go-karts, mini golf, and panning for emeralds, gemstones or fossils. Open in the summer. Go online for dates, times, and ticket information.
RochesterFest • 285-8769 • www.rochesterfest.com
Held every June, this fun week-long citywide festival has a little bit of everything: food booths (on Civic Center Drive behind the Library and Post-Bulletin), parade (kids, bring a bag — there's lots of candy...parents bring a chair — it's a looooong one), PossAbilities Ice-cream Social (with ice cream and fun kids' games it's always a huge favorite), Family Fun Night and more. Visit their website for a complete lineup of this year's events and activities.
Winterfest • www.rochestermn.gov/departments/park/activities/winter/WinterFest/index.asp
Welcome in winter at WinterFest IX. Families will find fun indoor and outdoor activities (sleigh rides, snow sculptures, youth ice fishing contest). Proceeds benefit local nonprofits. Go online,for a complete lineup of this year's events and activities.
Photos on this webpage provided by Olive Juice Studios.
Zumbro River Community Festival • www.campvictory.com • 843-2329
Held on a Saturday in late June, the Zumbro River Community Festival is part of the Rochesterfest lineup and is held at Camp Victory (58212 403 Ave, Zumbro Falls - 20 minutes from Rochester). Free Admission. Some rides and games require the purchase of a ticket - most do not. Rides and games typically include: wagon rides, moon walk, giant slide, sumo wrestling, laser tag, obstacle course, climbing wall, zip line, dunk tank, face painting, petting zoo, Euro bungee jump, fireworks, silent auction, live entertainment. Event raises funds to provide scholarships for kids and families in need.
Festival of Trees • www.hiawathahomes.org
The Hiawatha Homes Festival of Trees is held the Wednesday before Thanksgiving through the Sunday after. Your family can take in the approximately 100 beautifully decorated trees, get the kids’ picture taken with Santa, decorate a gingerbread cookie, and much more. Adults $5 and kids $3. Visit their website, for additional details (times, schedule of events) and to check out pictures of last year’s trees.
LIGHTS @ BLUFF VALLEY
KTTC Lights @ Bluff Valley • www.bluffvalley.com • 1-877-GO-SEE-IT
The only lighted maze in the world. The maze is one-mile long and includes 450 displays. Enjoy the free nightly entertainment at 7pm and 8pm that includes "American Pop Forever" a fabulous rotating schedule of music, dance, choreography and talent performed by area high school youth. Also enjoy Park and Play Activities including: nightlight basketball golf, mini-golf, disc golf, and wagon rides. A dinner buffet is also available. For more info, including directions, visit their website.
Sledding Hills • www.rochestermn.gov/departments/park/activities/winter/skiing_sledding.asp
There are two areas within the city that are designated sledding hills. There are no warming facilities available at these locations.
• Schmidt Park - 6300 blk 24 Avenue NW
•Judd Park — 3rd Street & 36 Avenue NW
Tubing • Ironwood Springs Christian Ranch • 7291 County Road 6 SW, Stewartville • 533-4315 • www.ironwoodsprings.com/content.asp?id=79
$12 donation per person per session (discounts for groups of 80-100 people). 2 hours per session. Both large and small groups should be scheduled by calling 533-4315 to ensure a snow tubing time (times will vary from week to week). To reserve the hill for private use for your group... you must either have a group of 40 or more people OR be willing to make a donation equal to this amount. (Groups under this amount will have the hill shared with other groups and families). Money will be collected before the tubing session begins. Large groups should have a $50.00 deposit sent in advance along with a snow-tubing agreement (Call 533-4315 to recieve one by mail). The payment will be deducted from the total when you come tubing. It is NON-REFUNDABLE, but in case of severe weather, rescheduling must be done by the end of this tubing season. We provide the tubes (do not bring your own), warming house, towrope, and lights. We also provide hot water in a large pot. You are welcome to bring snacks, hot cocoa mix, cups, and warm clothes! Ironwood does not provide any medical/liability insurance. Snow tubing is at your own risk. Please ensure that all snow tubers and their guardians are aware of this.
Sleigh Rides • Ironwood Springs Christian Ranch • 7291 County Road 6 SW, Stewartville • 533-9933 • www.ironwoodsprings.com/content.asp?id=82
Tis the season for winter fun. Book a sleigh ride for your family's Christmas season celebration. The sleigh can comfortably hold 20 adults or up to 25 people with children. A quaint 50-minute ride through the woods and along the Root River is a memorable experience. Price starts at $120. Call for reservations.
Outdoor Skating Rinks • www.rochestermn.gov/departments/park/activities/winter/index.asp
The Park and Recreation Department maintains outdoor hockey and public skating rinks and warming sheds throughout the City. Check out their website for a complete list of rinks and locations.
Snow shoeing at Quarry Hill Nature Center • 701 Silver Creek Road NE • 328-3950 • www.qhnc.org
Youth and adult rentals are available during open hours (M-Sa, 9am-5pm, Sunday, noon-5pm). Rental availability based on snow conditions. Costs: $5 (adults up to 4 hrs), $3 (youth up to 4 hrs). Quarry Hill Friends Members receive a discount on snowshoe rentals.
Cross-country skiing at Quarry Hill Nature Center • 701 Silver Creek Road NE • 328-3950 • www.qhnc.org
Youth and adult skis and poles are available during open hours (M-Sa, 9am-5pm, Sunday, noon-5pm). Rental availability based on snow conditions. Costs: $7.50 (adults up to 4 hrs), $5 (youth up to 4 hrs). Quarry Hill Friends Members receive a discount on ski rentals.
Snowshoeing/Cross-Country Skiing at Oxbow Park's Zollman Zoo • 775-2451 • www.co.olmsted.mn.us
Classic cross-country ski gear and snowshoes available for rent. Rental of cross-country skis for $5.00 and snow shoes for $3.00 between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Soccer World • 424-3018 • www.soccerworldmn.com
Come check out our indoor paintball field - the only INDOOR paintball field in all Southeast Minnesota! We provide a safe playing environment for players by filling our field with 16 air-inflated barriers and by having all of our games refereed. Fully equipped playing facility, or bring your own! Capable of having 6v6. Variety of games to play. No mess (we will be using reballs). $18 per person, 1-hour game. All players must be 10 years or older.
Rochester Tennis Connection • 2700 Country Club Rd SW • 288-4851 • www.rochestertennis.com
We are both open to the public and offer memberships. For instruction for juniors and adults, please see our website. To reserve a court, simply call us! We have Bargain Courts (non-prime time) at reduced rates (see website or call us for times & rates!), rackets available at no charge and a ball machine that is fun to use at no charge...just pay for the court time! If any member of your family is involved in a program at our club, courts are available on Sundays for Family Day at the reduced member rate! Borrow our rackets and carts of balls to practice (no charge for those!). It's a fun place to play a great lifetime sport!
Rochester Area Family Y • 709 1st Ave SW • 287-2260 • www.rochfamy.org/kids/aquatics.html
The Rochester Area Family Y has a lot to offer. Classes/lessons include: swim lessons, T-ball, football, soccer, basketball, volleyball, karate, dance and much more including home school classes. All this and a fitness center, a preschool (Y tots), and Kids Care (childcare while you work out). Want to find out what's being offered? Check out their Program Schedule on their website.
Rochester Athletic Club (RAC) • 3100 19th St NW • 287-9335 • www.rochesterathleticclub.com
The Rochester Athletic Club (aka The RAC) offers Rochester residents a place to work out plus three pools, batting and golf cages, adult and youth classes, a Kids Play area for children six and under, a Junior Gym for kids 7-12years, and a Kids Club daycare facility (kids stay while parents play). All this and more. Visit their website for membership fees.
Indoor Ice Skating at Recreation Center • 21 Elton Hills Drive • 328-2500 • http://www.rochestermn.gov/departments/park/facilities/recreationcenter/index.asp
If it's too cold to skate outdoors, the Recreation Center offers indoor skating (and skate rental). Call for times and rates.
Prairie Walls Climbing Gym • 4420 19th Street NW • 292-0511 • www.prairiewalls.com
Designed and built in 1998 by Prairie Wall Construction, Prairie Walls Climbing Gym is a state of the art indoor rock climbing facility. Featuring 9500 square feet of highly featured climbing surface, their walls are designed to inspire and challenge first time climbers as well as seasoned veterans of the rock.
Prairie Walls Climbing Gym is a full service indoor rock climbing facility. They offer a wide variety of services including lessons (Kids Club and Parent/Child classes - see our Calendar of Events for more information) and birthday parties.
Recreation Lanes • 2810 North Broadway • 288-2601 • www.reclanes.com
Recreation Lanes offers bowling, mini golf, batting cages, and kids birthday parties. Rec Lanes also offers Thunder Alley, complete with Lights! Music! and Bowling! Call for open bowling times and rates.
Bounce World • 4430 19th St. NW • 316-0788 • www.bounceworldmn.com
Bounce World is a 15,000 sq ft indoor bounce playland. At Bounce World, we have our bounce arena packed full of inflatables that we rotate from our large Jolly Jumpz collection! In addition to our bounce houses and inflatable games, Bounce World also has carnival games and a concession area. Parents can relax in our parents lounge that has free wi-fi and a large screen tv.
Monkey Junction • 4500 60th Ave. NW • 254-9205 • www.lifelutheran.com
Monkey Junction is an indoor play space designed for children ages 0-6 to use under a parent or guardian's supervision. It is located inside of Life Lutheran Church. Open several mornings throughout the week. Closed during summer months. Open fall, winter and spring. Sign up on their website for the Monkey Junction newsletter so you can stay informed about closings and special events. Admission is $1/child.
Pipsqueaks • 903 W Center St (United Way Building) • 328-2525 • www.rochestermn.gov/departments/park/facilities/pipsqueaks
Ever feel like your kids just need a place to run, jump, scream, and play? Pipsqueaks is a public indoor play zone designed for children kindergarten-age and younger to play under parental or guardian supervision (children may not be dropped off). Pipsqueaks offers young children a safe, clean play space to burn off energy during the long winter months. Play zones include toddler/crawler, climb and slide, riding, and an imagination center. Soft-soled clean gym shoes are allowed in play areas - no boots, stockings or bare feet allowed. A fun place to go with your kids and/or to meet with your play group, Pipsqueaks is located at the United Way of Olmsted County. Admission per session is $2/child; $6/for up to four children. Pipsqueaks is open Monday through Saturday for the majority of the school year. Pipsqueaks will be closed on all major holidays and when the Rochester Public Schools are closed because of inclement weather. Go online to check out their schedule.
Minnesota Children's Museum of Rochester • 1643-1/2 North Broadway Street, River Center Plaza • 507-218-3100 • rochester.mcm.org
At Minnesota Children's Museum Rochester, children and families will have a blast discovering an exciting, interactive world that ignites their curiosity, increases their understanding and sparks an appreciation for learning. Our 5,000 square foot space is uniquely designed to provide a hands-on, stimulating environment with rotating exhibits and a classroom with new programs and activities every week. Admission: $5.50 – ages 1 to 101. Groups also have the opportunity to reserve the Museum for private visits and parties. Please visit our website for more information.
Olmsted County History Center Museum • 1195 West Circle Drive SW • 282-9447 • www.olmsted history.com/museum.htm
The History Center of Olmsted County is located on a 46-acre site that includes numerous gardens, walking (and snowshoe) trails, two farmsteads, and several historic buildings. From May through September, many of these buildings are open for self guided tours. Inside the main building, the History Center museum features permanent exhibits about the events and people that shaped the history of Olmsted County, Minnesota. Exhibit topics include Saint Mary's Hospital, IBM, and the 1883 Rochester tornado. Admission to the museum and grounds is $5 for adults, $2 for children, and free for members. The History Center has many special events and programs throughout the year that are family friendly! Please visit our website to view all upcoming events.
Rochester Art Center • 40 Civic Center Drive SE • 282-8629 • www.rochesterartcenter.org
The Rochester Art Center presents an exciting schedule of contemporary exhibitions featuring local, national and international artists. It is a dynamic gathering place, offering diverse educational programs and vibrant community activities. For nearly 60 years, the Rochester Art Center has provided people of all ages an opportunity to enrich their lives by experiencing and enjoying the visual arts. The Rochester Art Center has something for everyone. Come and discover what it has for you!
On the first Saturday of each month, the Rochester Art Center offers Free Family Days (visit our Calendar of Events for more information), providing an array of free family-friendly activities including, hands-on art activities, special docent-led tours of the exhibitions and family guides. Throughout the year the Rochester Art Center also offers classes, camps, workshops, film presentations, lectures and gallery tours for all ages.
Admission: $3 for adults, $2 for seniors, Free for children under 18, students and members. Free on Thursday.
Chuck E. Cheese • www.chuckecheese.com
Visit Rochester's Chuck E. Cheese on 16th St. SE, behind the Apache Mall next to Trader Joe's.
ABC & Toy Zone • 286-8440 • Miracle Mile Shopping Center
ABC & Toy Zone offers story time Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 10:30am. Enjoy the day's stories, then check out the store's books and toys.
Barnes and Noble Bookstore • 1201 12th Street SW (Apache Mall) • 281-7950
The mall B&N location offers storytime. Call the store for days/times.
Christian Gift & Book • 815 N Broadway • 289-2590 • www.christbk.com
Christian Gift & Book offers Story Time with Miss Kristin Mondays at 10:15am.
Rochester Public Library • 101 2nd Street SE • 285-8000 • www.rochesterpubliclibrary.org
Rochester has one public library. It's located downtown and is connected to other downtown establishments via the skyway. The library offers several fun programs including: Story Time for Toddlers, Story Time for 3-5 year-olds, evening Bedtime Story Time for all ages, a summer reading program for all ages, Family Fun! programs on Saturdays during the school year, and Summer Fun @ The Library.
The library also has one bookmobile that operates year-round. Books may be reserved online for pickup at the bookmobile. Visit the library's website to checkout days/times for all events.
Home Depot Kids Workshops • 3050 41st Street NW • 288-6700 • www.homedepot.com
Offers Saturday DIY projects for kids. Call for details.
Lowe's Home Improvement • 4550 Maine Ave SE • 328-8920
Offers Saturday DIY projects for kids. Call for details.
CineMagic Theatre - Free kids movies on Saturdays • 2171 Superior Dr. NW • 536-7469 • www.cinemagictheatres.com
A FREE Kids' Movie is held most Saturday mornings. Visit their website for this week's movie and time.
Mayo Civic Center Events • 30 Civic Center Drive SE • 281-6184 • www.mayociviccenter.com/calendar.htm
Mayo Civic Center is located in downtown Rochester. It is southern Minnesota's largest event center and is home to conventions, trade shows (the annual Home Show — the community's annual motivator to get "projects" done around the house), sporting events (like the Harlem Globetrotters), and entertainment (Sesame Street Live among others). Check out their website for a full calendar of upcoming events.
ABC & Toy Zone • 286-8440 • Miracle Mile Shopping Center
A wonderful local toy store. Find everything a kid could want: trains, dolls, games, dress up, art supplies, and so much more. Sign up to receive the store's emails to find out all about latest arrivals and great discounts. Enjoy their story hour every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
Lark Toys • 507-767-3387 • Lark Lane, Kellogg • www.larktoys.com
LARK Toys is a destination point for thousands of visitors each year. The 20,000 square foot complex is an enchanted spot that you must see. They offer unusual shopping and browsing including a hand-carved carousel, wooden toys & puzzles that are made on-site, children's bookstore, a variety of developmental toys and games, nostalgic replicas, costumes, miniature golf, and lots more.
Mall of America • (952)883-8800 • www.mallofamerica.com
The Mall of America is about an hour away. It has more than 500 stores as well as fun attractions like: an indoor amusement park, Lego Imagination Center (this four-story LEGO showplace contains LEGO bricks to play with, models to look at, and sets to buy), Underwater Adventures (voted "World's Best Shark Encounter" by Discovery.com. Touch real sharks and stingrays at Minnesota's largest aquarium). The Mall can be a fun way to spend one of Minnesota's many winter days.
Do you know of other fun things to do in or around Rochester? Let us know. Send relevant information to ROCHESTERfamilies.com by e-mailing us at email@example.com.