If you’re looking for a variety of fun things to do in Champlin and its surrounding area, then Elm Creek Park Nature Reserve is a great place to start. But wait, there’s more! Just a little beyond Elm Creek awaits a ton of places to visit and great activities to take part in as well as some really great eateries and coffee shops. Let’s take a look at all the wonderful things to do in Champlin, Minnesota that will keep you and your family busy throughout all seasons.
1. Elm Creek Park Nature Reserve
The Elm Creek Park Nature Reserve is the biggest park in the Three Rivers District, covering an area of 4900 acres. The park offers just about every outdoor activity for the family, year-round.
In winter, there are trails for cross country skiing, snowmobiling, and snowboarding. The manufactured snow complements nature’s fall and means the skiing season is longer. The trails accommodate all levels of skier, from beginner to advanced. For real first-timers on skis, the beginner-level slope is perfect. Skis and snowboards are available for rental.
In summer, the trails are the perfect place for hiking and bike riding. There are also paved cycling trails, which are perfect for all levels of cyclists. You should be able to catch sight of wildlife, such as deer, and birds of many kinds. For horse enthusiasts, there is a mown horseback riding trail.
When you have spent a busy summer’s day in Elm Creek Park Nature Reserve, you can cool off in the swimming pond. It is chlorinated and filtered, so the water is clear and inviting. In between dips in the water, you can relax on the beach. The pond is near the picnic area, so you can also take a break from your picnic to cool off.
Eastman Nature Center
Part of being in Elm Creek Park Nature Reserve is the chance to find out more about your environment and everything that is around you. The hands-on activities at the Eastman Nature Center will teach you and the family about the natural environment and the animals that inhabit it.
2. Highpointe Park
Highpointe Park is one of the best things to do in Champlin for kids to visit and have fun. There is a great playground, with equipment that will feed their imaginations and keep them active for a long time. For older kids, there are tennis courts and a baseball field. You can also enjoy the fresh, open-air by taking a walk along one of the paths. In winter, there is a sliding hill and a sledding spot for fun in the snow. Best of all, you can take your pets for some fun too.
3. Mill Pond
If you are a keen fisherman or just want to try your hand with a fishing pole, or you want to introduce your kids to fishing, Mill Pond is a perfect place for all of you. Fishing from the pier in this pond will give you the chance to catch Bluegill, Yellow Blue head, and other varieties of fish. If fishing is not your thing, the pond is 2.3 miles (3.7 km), which makes a nice distance for a walk or run while the others are fishing.
4. Doris A. Kemp Park
Sometimes, you just need to take time out and, literally, smell the roses. Doris A. Kemp Park is the perfect place for this. The gardens are beautiful and will keep you entranced as you take a stroll through them. Pause on the edge of Mill Pond and let the peace of the water mix with the beauty of the gardens. The park is close to the city and restaurants, so you can visit it before or after a nice cup of tea, or a tasty lunch.
5. Anoka-Champlin Bridge
Across the Mississippi, between Anoka and Champlin stands a magnificent open-spandrel arch bridge that is worth taking a trip just to see. The bridge was opened in 1929 and has seen millions of vehicles pass over since then. When you have admired the bridge from a distance, then make sure you do travel across it to get to the other side of the Mississippi.
6. Champlin Mann Theater
Champlin’s premier movie house brings you the latest attractions to enjoy in comfort. The theater is family-owned and the focus is on helping you to have the best movie experience possible. The seats are comfortable and there are plenty of refreshments to choose from. The theater is upgraded regularly, so you will always enjoy your experience.
7. Jackson Middle School Observatory
If you have looked up to the sky at night and wondered what the planets look like, or exactly how many craters there are on the moon, then a visit to the Jackson Middle School Observatory is a must. Before going into the dome to look at such attractions as the North Star and other seasonal highlights through the 14 inch (36 cm), you will be introduced to the world of the sky through a presentation. You will find out a lot more about the sky above you when you visit the observatory.
8. Donie Galloway Park
The Donie Galloway Park is named after a former police chief of Champlin. It is set along the banks of the Mississippi River, with walking trails you can explore. For the kids and those young at heart, the big open play area is the perfect place to run around, invent some games, or just play ball or Frisbee. For more organized sport, there is a soccer/lacrosse field that is also used for high school practice. You can also admire the varieties of trees in the dedicated tree nursery.
9. Champlin Ice Forum
Champlin Ice Forum has an indoor and an outdoor rink, which are open at specific times for lessons and recreational skating. The Forum is home to schools and association ice hockey teams, so taking in a game is also something you can do there. The rink can be rented for specific use and the Forum is a great place to host a birthday party.
10. Caribou Coffee
One of the best places to have a great cup of coffee is Caribou Coffee. Only the best premium coffee is on offer, that has been crafted with the customers and the environment in mind. To accompany your coffee, there are food options available. Caribou has in-store, drive-thru, and curbside options, so you really can pick up your coffee at your convenience.
11. Maverick’s Wood Grill
At Maverick’s Wood Grill, you will find steaks flavored with the smoky taste that comes from the blend of hardwoods used in the firing process. All the meat is sourced locally and all the dishes are made from fresh ingredients. To go with the tasty food, you will find a wine list that is constantly updated to reflect contemporary tastes. The cocktails are crafted to satisfy just about any taste. Maverick’s Wood Grill is an intimate eatery, where everything is about you, the customer.
12. Champlin’s Skate park
Champlin houses the perfect skate park for kids. It is big enough for kids to have space to do their thing on skateboards, inline skates, and trick bikes. Champlin Skate park is open 24 hours, so skaters can go there literally at any time.
13. Dunning School Museum
The Dunning schoolhouse was in use from 1876 to 1947 and was restored and preserved as close to its original state as possible. The school is a Historical Place Museum and is maintained by the Champlin Historical Society. Visit the museum to have an insight into schooling back in the day.
Favorite Things to Do in Champlin?
Of all the fun things to do in Champlin, it’s not easy to find your favorite. If you enjoy the outdoors, then there are plenty of parks to choose from. If you enjoy a fun night out at the movies or touring the galaxy, you will find the perfect place for this. Ice skating, fishing, and a good cup of coffee. That will just about round off your visit and discovery of the best things to do in Champlin.
Leave a comment below and let us know which activity in Champlin was your favorite.