19 Exciting Things To Do in Chisago Lakes this Summer with Kids

Our communities shine in the summer! We’ve got it all: charming downtowns, thrilling outdoor adventures, exciting sporting events, and inviting local farms! From Chisago City to Taylors Falls, life along Highway 8 is pretty great all summer long. If you’re looking for fun things to do with kids this summer in Chisago Lakes, you’re in the right spot! This article highlights some of our favorite family-friendly things to do in the summer, from canoeing down the St. Croix River and meandering quiet trails to lunching with alpacas. Whether you are looking for the best outdoor activities in Chisago Lakes this summer or unique adventures in our area, use this list to plan your itinerary and fill your summer bucket list. Get ready to discover our top picks for the 19 Exciting Things to Do in Chisago Lakes this Summer with Kids!

Get Inspired at Franconia Sculpture Park

Located in Shafer, Franconia Sculpture Park is a whimsical and enchanting place for families to stroll and explore together. The wide paths are free from bikes and other vehicles, allowing even the youngest adventurers the chance to roam freely. Grassy trails meander around inspiring (and often, massive) sculptures throughout a 50-acre park, ensuring kids of all ages stay entertained along the way.

Encourage your kids to pick their favorite sculpture. While you meander the park, ask them questions about what they hear, see, and smell during the journey. Finally, admission is free (though donations are welcomed), making Franconia Sculpture Garden one of the best free things for families to do in Chisago Lakes. There’s plenty of parking and well-maintained bathrooms in the gallery, too!

Have Fun at Adventure Falls Mini Golf + The Drive In Restaurant

Ready for a little friendly competition this summer? Add Adventure Falls Mini Golf to your summer bucket list. With 18 unique mini-golf greens, a friendly staff, and beautiful grounds, Adventure Falls Mini Golf offers everything needed for a fun family day out. Not to mention, it is one of the best things to do in Chisago Lakes with kids!

The greens wind around ponds, streams, and a playful waterfall. Each hole is creatively designed, with a few challenges along the way, which will surely delight kids and adults alike. Grab a putter, gather your kids, and set off on a mini-golf adventure that promises a day of laughter and family bonding. Afterward, win or lose, everyone can celebrate with a milkshake or root beer float at the nearby Drive In Restaurant!

Rent a Kayak or Canoe for a Trip Down the St. Croix River

Looking for one of the best outdoor activities in Chisago Lakes this summer? Canoeing down the St. Croix River with your family is the answer. Taylors Falls Canoe & Kayak Rental provides multiple options for all skill levels and ages, ranging from 3 to 7 hours. Each self-guided experience takes your family down the St. Croix River, during which time you can paddle, enjoy picturesque views, swim, and fish together.

New to canoeing with kids? The One-Way Trip to Osceola is an excellent option! This 3-ish hour excursion takes you from Interstate State Park to Osceola. Families can select a canoe, kayak, or tandem kayak for the journey. Life jackets are provided. Upon arrival, a staff member will provide detailed instructions for your journey. Then, you can paddle your way downriver to Osceola.

During the experience, stop as many times as you and your kids want! There are several beaches, sandbars, and islands that are perfect for swimming, fishing, or a picnic. Plan to bring a cooler with snacks and drinks. Then, keep your eyes peeled for turtles, fish, and eagles along the route! Once you arrive in Osceola, a shuttle bus will bring you back to Interstate State Park. Talk about an epic adventure with kids in Chisago Lakes!

Admire the Views from a Taylors Falls Scenic Boat Tour

If you want to enjoy views of the St. Croix River, but aren’t interested in paddling, embark on a scenic boat tour with Taylors Falls Scenic Boat Tours! While there are several tour options for all ages throughout the summer (including sundown and twilight cruise options), each tour allows you to climb aboard a riverboat with an iconic red paddlewheel and gently make your way down the St. Croix River. Tours range from 45 to 80 minutes.

As one of the best things to do in Chisago Lakes with kids, a knowledgeable guide joins each tour to provide facts about local history and highlight fascinating rock formations along the river. While you listen, sit back and take it all in while the riverboat maneuvers along the water. Whether you choose indoor or outdoor seating, you’ll enjoy sweeping views of the river and its shores. Finally, there is a small concession area, and restroom facilities are on board.

Splash and Play at Beach Park in Lindström

Nothing is more Minnesotan than spending time on one of our picturesque lakes this summer! Hot summer days are perfect for hitting the beach with kids (just be sure to bring sunscreen). For families seeking the best outdoor activities in Chisago Lakes with kids, having a picnic on the beach and swimming is undoubtedly a great option.

Curious about the best swimming spots in Chisago Lakes? Beach Park is one of our favorites! Centrally located in Lindström, it offers a sandy beach where kids can dip their toes in the water. Plus, Beach Park also features an excellent fishing pier, a playground, and much more. Finally, pack a picnic to make it a full day of fun on the water with your kids!

Take a Hike at Wild River State Park

Nestled along the Saint Croix River near Center City and Almelund, Wild River State Park is undoubtedly one of the top things to do with kids this summer in Chisago Lakes. Beloved by hikers and bird watchers, the park features 30+ miles of trails. In fact, 14 of the trails that weave through the park are considered easy or moderate – perfect for hiking with kids of all ages and skills this summer.

Looking for trail recommendations? The Old Logging Trail is an accessible, 2.4-mile out-and-back paved trail that is excellent for those hiking with strollers. Then, if you are hoping to see birds and wildflowers, take the River Terrace Loop. This easy loop trail starts near the picnic area. Meanwhile, experienced family hikers may prefer Sunrise Loop. It is a 5.1-mile loop trail with forest and river views (and a large beaver dam). Finally, parking is easy to find at Wild River State Park but requires a Minnesota State Park seasonal or day pass. And, modern bathrooms are located in the trail center.

Explore Interstate State Park

Minnesota’s second oldest state park and the nation’s first interstate park, Interstate State Park is located near downtown Taylors Falls. This park is known for its unique topography and family-friendly hiking trails. In fact, it’s a prime spot for outdoor adventures in Chisago Lakes. Begin your visit by exploring the iconic glacial potholes. From there, choose from various trails featuring exposed lava flows and abundant wildlife.

Firstly, consider hiking the Sandstone Bluffs Trail (a moderate, 0.9-mile loop) or the Walter F. Mondale River Trail (an easy, 2.3-mile out-and-back trail). Both feature rugged terrain and occasional rocky outcroppings. Depending on recent rainfall, you might even spot waterfalls along the Sandstone Bluffs Trail.  Finally, parking is relatively easy to find (but can be tricky on peak summer days – in this case, park in town and use the safe pedestrian path under the bridge to reach the park from downtown). Parking also requires a Minnesota State Park seasonal or day pass. Rustic bathrooms are near the Visitor’s Center.

Meander Allemansrätt Park

Nestled in the heart of Lindström, Allemansrätt Park offers families a charming blend of nature and Swedish heritage. It’s a local favorite for fishing and offers one of the best kid-friendly hikes in Chisago Lakes. With several miles of easy trails, including a delightful 1.3-mile loop, the park features packed dirt, gravel roads, and boardwalks.

Wandering through Allemansrätt Park, you’ll encounter towering trees, glacial eskers, and serene wetlands, all with picturesque lake views. The park boasts three lakes, making it a haven for wildlife and nature enthusiasts alike. Kids will enjoy spotting birds and squirrels among the trees, and with a bit of luck, you might even catch sight of a beaver or muskrat near the water. Finally, parking is conveniently available, and the park is equipped with restrooms and portable toilets. There is no fee to park or enjoy the park, making Allemansrätt Park one of the best free things to do in Chisago Lakes.

Walk or Bike Along the Swedish Immigrant Regional Trail

One of the newest additions to Chisago Lakes, the Swedish Immigrant Regional Trail has quickly become a top spot for locals and visitors alike. Although the final section near Center City is still under construction, five trailheads between Chisago City and Taylors Falls offer perfect starting points for your next adventure with kids. As one of the best things to do in Chisago Lakes with kids, each trailhead features a dedicated parking lot, allowing you to begin and end your journey at any point along the 20-mile trail. The Swedish Immigrant Regional Trail undoubtedly showcases how our unique small towns collaborate together to create one fantastic community!

These easy, out-and-back trails are paved, making them ideal for strollers, young kids on scooters or bikes, and wheelchair users. We recommend the Taylors Falls trailhead for families due to its accessible parking area and picnic tables. Along your chosen route, families can enjoy birdwatching and spotting other small animals, all while taking in beautiful seasonal views and flowers.

Spend the Afternoon at Moberg Park

In Chisago City, Moberg Park is an excellent stop with toddlers and young kids. This park was designed as a tribute to the Swedish author, Vilhelm Moberg, known for his fictional story series. He famously traveled the area on his bike in the 1950s. His stories chronicle the lives of fictitious Swedish characters Karl Oskar and Kristina Nilsson, who emigrated and settled in this area.

Families will find a fun train-themed playground in the park where kids can play freely. Nearby, there is also a statue of Vilhelm Moberg on his bike, welcoming visitors to the park. Finally, a pavilion with picnic tables is located near the playground. It’s the perfect spot for a summer picnic together!

Indulge in Something Sweet at Anderson’s Ice Cream Shoppe

For some of the best ice cream in Chisago Lakes, head to Anderson’s Ice Cream Shoppe in downtown Lindström. Ready to serve you in their new location (near Deutschland Meats), this family-owned gem offers a delightful variety of ice cream flavors and treats, including popcorn and fun candies. Craving chocolate chip, coffee, bubble gum, black cherry, or a seasonal special? They have a scoop waiting just for you! They also offer rotating dairy-free options. Don’t forget to grab a Pop Shoppe Craft Soda for the road. Talk about the cherry on top to a fantastic summer day with kids!

Pick Your Own Fruit at Pleasant Valley Orchard

For a delightful summer outing in Chisago Lakes, Pleasant Valley Orchard is a must-visit with kids. Starting in mid-June, husband and wife team Jim and Judy invite visitors to their picturesque 71-acre farm in Shafer. Early summer is perfect for picking your own strawberries, making it a fun and educational family day out. As you explore, be sure to greet the goats, chickens, and the friendly farm cat, Pip. And, don’t miss the apple season that starts at the end of summer over Labor Day weekend.

For a relaxing stroll while exploring one of the best things to do in Chisago Lakes with kids, take a walk along the lovely trail adjacent to the apple orchard. It’s a serene way to enjoy the natural beauty of the farm. Although U-pick options are available only on weekends, the farm’s gift shop is open daily, offering delicious baked goods, crafts, and fresh produce.

Want to learn more about Pleasant Valley Orchard? Read our blog showcasing why Pleasant Valley Orchard is more than an orchard, it’s a tradition!

Set Up a Farm Tour at Heirloomista

For a charming summer visit in Chisago Lakes, head to Heirloomista, a cozy, woman-owned farm in Amador Township (just north of Almelund). This five-acre farm thrives on sustainable practices, producing a variety of fruits and veggies, and maintaining a pollinator garden with bees. Kelsey’s holistic approach ensures the freshest, most delicious produce around.

During the harvest season, from late April to late October, Heirloomista welcomes visitors to shop on the farm most Saturdays. For a more immersive experience, book a summer tour starting in June. These tours provide insight into the farm’s sustainable methods, daily operations, and seasonal produce.

In addition to shopping and tours, Heirloomista offers camping and volunteer opportunities, making it a perfect summer destination for those looking to connect with nature and learn about sustainable farming. Visit Heirloomista for a delightful, heartwarming experience in the Chisago Lakes area!

See the Animals at Farmaste Animal Sanctuary

Farmaste Animal Sanctuary in Lindström is an excellent summer activity with animal-loving kids. Dedicated to rescuing abused, neglected, and unwanted farm animals, this sanctuary provides a safe haven where animals roam freely across 30 acres of pastureland. A visit to Farmaste Animal Sanctuary is an enriching experience, perfect for anyone interested in animal care and rescue. Or, for those looking for fun outdoor activities in Chisago Lakes this summer!

Farmaste offers Saturday tours from June to October, with private tours available by appointment. These tours allow visitors of all ages to connect with resident cows, goats, pigs, and more, while learning about the sanctuary’s compassionate, vegan approach to animal care. Older kids and adults might find the tours particularly engaging.

Volunteering opportunities are also available for those looking to get more involved. At Farmaste, animal welfare is paramount, so the animals have the choice to interact with visitors at their own comfort level.

Have a Picnic with Alpaca at Evergreen Oasis Farm & Market

For a delightful summer outing in Chisago Lakes, Evergreen Oasis Farm & Market in Center City is a must-visit with your kids. This charming, locally owned farm is run by dynamic duo Brooke and Tim, who are dedicated to caring for their land and animals. Their warmth and humor make every visitor feel like part of the family!

On most Saturdays from June through mid-October, Evergreen Oasis hosts Farm Days, inviting visitors to pack a picnic and come to enjoy a day on the farm. You can pet and feed friendly alpacas and sheep, making it a hit with animal lovers of all ages. Undoubtedly, picnicking with alpacas and sheep is one of the best things to do in Chisago Lakes with kids! Additionally, u-pick flowers are available daily during the season, offering a beautiful and interactive experience. Finally, the farm also features a barn market boutique and rustic campsites, perfect for those looking to unplug and enjoy the stars.

Attend a Chisago Lakes Bulldogs Game

Cheer on the home team! Did you know that we have an amateur baseball league team right here in Chisago Lakes? Attending a Chisago Lakes Bulldogs game is a great way to enjoy beautiful weather, connect with neighbors, and teach your kids about America’s favorite pastime. In fact, the Eastern Minny League is Minnesota’s oldest active amateur baseball league! Games are fun, family-friendly, and a great way to connect to the Chisago Lakes community, whether you are a local or a visitor!

Concessions are available at all home games. They even feature local Deutschland Meats hotdogs, as well as fresh popcorn, chips, pop, water, and more (bring cash and or plan to Venmo for payment). Plus, after each home game, the first 24 kids (age 15 and under), receive a free Dilly Bar thanks to Dairy Queen of Lindström (one of the official team sponsors). Pack your cooler full of snacks and refreshments, grab your favorite lawn chair (or blanket for the bleachers), and we’ll see you at the next home game!

Take the time to read a good Chisago Lakes Bulldogs article by local blogger Tracy Blowers: Summer in Minnesota Means Baseball!

Get Local Produce at a Farmer’s Market

Visiting a farmers market during the summer is a delightful family activity filled with vibrant colors and fresh, delicious produce. Strolling through the stalls, you’ll find an array of juicy fruits, crisp vegetables, and homemade goodies. Kids can select their favorites to bring home or pick out their favorite flowers, while parents chat with local farmers and learn about local farming practices. The lively atmosphere, often accompanied by live music and friendly faces, makes for a perfect outing where everyone can savor the season’s flavors and support local businesses!

We are fortunate to have three farmers markets in Chisago Lakes:

Listen to Live Music at Harmony in the Park

Harmony in the Park is a summer concert series hosted at Lions Park Band Shell (next to City Hall) in Lindström. Each Wednesday from early June to early August, locals and visitors gather together to listen to live music, munch on yummy food, chat with their neighbors, and enjoy the best of summer together. The concerts are free to the public and are always family-friendly, making them one of the best things to do with kids in Chisago Lakes this summer. Bring a lawn chair or a blanket and enjoy a beautiful evening with talented musicians! Then, in addition to the concern, families will also discover local food vendors who make a tasty addition to the evening. You can find a list of bands and food vendors by clicking here.

Spend a Thrilling Day at Wild Mountain

For an action-packed summer day, head straight to Wild Mountain! This adventure hub offers a plethora of outdoor activities, from waterslides and a Lazy River to alpine slides and Go-Karts, ensuring adrenaline-pumping fun for the whole family.

Kick off your day by racing down the Arctic Rush Alpine Slide. With two slides available, kids can challenge their parents to a race to the bottom. Next, zoom around the Go-Kart course together, and for the daredevils, there’s the exhilarating two-story FreeFall XP platform (for those 46″ or taller).

After your land-based adventures, cool off at Wild Adventure Island Waterpark. Spend the afternoon splashing among jets, slides, and a massive 350-gallon dumping bucket. For even more excitement, race down the four Avalanche Alley Waterslides. With so many opportunities to race, splash, and bond, it’s no wonder Wild Mountain is one of the best things to do in Chisago Lakes for families seeking fun and adventure this summer!

Have Fun Exploring Chisago Lakes with Kids this Summer!

We hope you found this article featuring our favorite summer things to do in Chisago Lakes with kids helpful in planning your own family experiences. From hiking and kayaking to concerts in the park and even some free things to do in Chisago Lakes, our beautiful communities have it all! Have a great summer exploring Chisago Lakes with your family.


Stay In Touch

Sign up to get updates about what’s happening in the Chisago Lakes area.