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16 Great Things to Do in Prior Lake, Minnesota

There are 10,000 lakes in Minnesota and Prior Lake is one of the ten most popular, which means that there are many, many opportunities to enjoy a whole range of water activities. If you look beyond just the lake, though, you will find the town named after the body of water: Prior Lake. Beyond the water sports, Lake Prior is home to an interesting variety of activities within the town and nearby.

Gamble at Mystic Casino, or take a hike in the Cleary Lake Regional Park. You can also enjoy baseball or basketball at one of the sports parks, or enjoy ice or inline skating. In winter, cross-country skiing and dog sledding are there for you to discover among all the great things to do in Prior Lake.

Relax by the lake at one of the most peaceful things to do in Prior Lake
Relax by the lake at one of the most peaceful things to do in Prior Lake

1. Lakes

There are fifteen lakes in Prior Lake and the queen is Prior Lake itself, after which the city is named. It is the largest and most popular of the lakes. Spring Lake is the second-biggest lake and is also popular. Both of these largest lakes are popular spots for fishing, swimming, boating, and wildlife viewing. Spend a day, or spend a week exploring the lakes and enjoy all the activities available.

2. Fish Lake Park

Fish Lake Park must be one of the best places to visit with your family on a lovely day all the way from spring through to fall. With the baseball diamond and basketball court, you will keep busy and active for hours. Then it’s time for a picnic or barbecue in one of the picnic shelters, where you will also find charcoal grills.

3. Cleary Lake Regional Park

In Cleary Lake Regional Park, summer means swimming, boating, golfing, hiking, biking, camping, fishing… the list could go on and on. Winter means snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and dog sledding. Then there is geocaching, depending on the weather, not to mention fishing and the dog trails suitable for dogs of all breeds and sizes. Perhaps that will help you to see why this is one of the most popular parks in the whole of Minnesota.

4. Spring Lake Regional Park

If you are one of those people who just love the outdoors, wandering through the forest, or hiking the various walking trails, then Spring Lake Regional Park is exactly where you should be. You can simply enjoy the beauty of the creeks, or go on an adventure to find the source of one of them. Then there are the wetlands, with their particular wildlife. Spring Lake holds so many natural delights for you and is one of the most relaxing things to do in Prior Lake.

5. Thomas Ryan Memorial Park

Thomas Ryan was the first citizen of Lake Prior who was killed in Vietnam and this park is named in honor of him. It was established in 2000 as a comprehensive sports complex for baseball, soccer, and football.  If you are watching your family play, then is a picnic area for spectators or the athletes after the game. The kids can also enjoy the playground, where they will let off their own energy.

6. Playworks

Playworks is an indoor play area and amusement center for kids, specifically aimed at providing both fun and learning. There is a range of interactive activities that need them to use their bodies and minds. One of the highlights is a musical floor that lights up when they dance. This is a good place for anyone to visit but makes a really excellent party venue.

7. Lakefront Community Warming House

Cute young boy sprayed with snow as he is sledging
Hold on tight as you experience one of the most exhilarating things to do in Prior Lake

Sometimes it’s just too cold to do anything outside in winter. Or it’s just too hot to do anything active outside in summer. Or you just feel like a bit of winter fun at any time of year. The Lakefront Community Warming House will give you all of this, with the ice-skating rink and sledding hill. Indulge your inner ice lover and skim over the surface

8. Skateville

If wheels are more your scene than blades and wood are more to your taste than ice, visit Skateville for a wonderful day of roller or inline, skating. The 14000 square foot floor will give you plenty of space for a lot of fun. This is high-class indoor skating at its best – on the special maple rotunda floor. Go solo, or with friends, or host a party. However you do it, take to the floor and skate.

9. Prior Lake Players Community Theater

This is a one hundred percent volunteer-based performing arts group that aims at training people in the theater and giving them the experience of performing and working behind the scenes. The group stages productions based on established and original scripts. If you want an experience of theater in all its aspects, then the Players Community Theater will give you that. If you are not interested in the workings of the theater, then you can just sit back and enjoy a night at the theater.

10. Footloose Cycle Cruise

Have you ever pedaled your way to dinner – on a boat? Well, take a Footloose Cycle Cruise and you will surely have an absolutely unique experience. The cycle boat is a thirty-six-foot (ten meters) pontoon, with a bar in the middle. Along the bar and twelve paddle stations, so you can keep fit while enjoying your drinks. Paddle the lakes in Prior Lake and have something to write home about.

11. Beaches

On Prior Lake itself, there are two public beaches, both of which, are lovely places to visit. Right on the lakeshore, both Watzl’s Beach and Sand Point Beach invite you to lie in the sun or to enjoy the water.

Watzl’s Beach

A quarter-mile (400 meters) from the parking area, you will find Watzl’s Beach, with its sandy area for lying in the sun, or building sandcastles. You can swim at leisure in the designated swimming area, or have a paddle on the lake. The beach is easily accessible from the water, which means you can launch your boat at the boat slip and make your way to the beach that way.

Sand Point Beach

Sand Point Beach is the place to enjoy the water, either swimming in it or boating on it. Or both. There is a fishing pier and you can launch your boat at the boat slip, or keep your kayak in one of the racks available for hire. If you are feeling active, there are three sand volleyball courts on the beach. Take a break and have a picnic in one of the two picnic shelters on the beach.

12. Discovery Flight

Have you ever seen yourself behind the yoke of an airplane, as you fly in the wide blue of the sky? Inflight Pilot Training gives you this opportunity, even if you have no experience in a cockpit at all. A Discovery Flight is an introductory flying lesson with a licensed flight instructor and is just the experience you may be looking for. Of course, if you want to take a pilot’s course, or if you are an experienced pilot already, then Inflight is where you can develop or hone your skills.

13. Mystic Lake Casino

Croupier behind gambling table in a casino.
Try your hand at a little gambling

What would Prior Lake be without a little gambling and nightlife? Mystic Lake Casino is a hotel and gambling venue open to residential guests and visitors alike. Take a chance and try your luck at tables, or on the one-armed bandits. When you are tired of the lucky life, then take in a show, or have a meal at one of the fabulous eateries.

Little 6 Restaurant

Apart from being the name of a small casino, Little 6 is the name of a restaurant at Mystic Lake, at which you will be guaranteed some fine dining. After an evening of gambling, what would be better than a tasty meal before hitting the shows?

Mystic Showroom

Lake Prior offers you the best of visiting country and pop performers, comedians, and even Broadway musicals – just some fabulous entertainment you can expect to enjoy at the Mystic Showroom. The venue has great acoustics, so you will take in every word and note; excellent sightlines, which means you can see most of the stage from anywhere in the auditorium; and LOTS of space to stretch out and watch the shows in comfort.

14. Charlies on Prior

Charlies is a popular restaurant and marina on the waterfront. When you visit, you can expect to enjoy the general ambiance and your overall dining experience. The menu offers classic American dishes, including those that feature walleye, an iconic American fish. Charlie’s has the upper dining room and patio, where you will book for a more formal meal, and the waterfront bar.

The Landing and outdoor patio area are where you can grab a seat and a snack for a quick visit. If you are out for a walk or run with your dog, then this is the perfect place to aim for, as the lower area is leashed dog-friendly. Charlie’s is not about eating alone, though. You can also rent a boat and enjoy the lake from on the water too.

15. Boathouse Brothers Brewery

Assorted beers ready for tasting at one of the most refreshing things to do in Prior Lake
Assorted beers ready for tasting at one of the most refreshing things to do in Prior Lake

At Boathouse Brothers, every beer is crafted to reflect the typical lake life in Minnesota. Each new mix is brewed in small batches so that each is individual and the tastes linger. When you spend time in the taproom, you will feel as though you are right at home in your own holiday cabin. Sit back and take the time to sample a few of the local brews. At Boathouse Brothers Brewery, the motto could be to love the lake and love beer.

16. Edelweiss Bakery

Have you ever just had that yen for a pastry, or fresh bread, or a slice of cake? Take a trip to downtown Prior Lake, then and stop by Edelweiss Bakery. All the delicious fare is baked onsite for your enjoyment. Edelweiss is the perfect spot for a light lunch, tea, or coffee break, or a destination after a walk, jog, or cycle.

Discover Great Things to Do in Prior Lake

Among all the activities and fun things to do in Prior Lake surely one will speak to you; or even more than one. Who knows until you visit? Or until you try out the options. Take a leaf out of the book of many, many visitors to, or residents of, Prior Lake and have a meal at Charlie’s or a pastry at Edelweiss Bakery. Go for a cycle cruise, or take a Discovery Flight. Whatever choice you make, Lake Prior is your oyster and you just need to look for the pearls.

After discovering all of the great things to do in Prior Lake in and out of the water, let us know which activity was your favorite by leaving a comment below.

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