Being the largest city in central Minnesota and the 10th largest across the state, you can discover tons of fun things to do in St. Cloud. St. Cloud Minnesota is packed with an abundance of shopping, sports enthusiast options, restaurants, breweries, parks, and more. Whether you are one of its 70,000 residents, visiting loved ones, or taking a family vacation, St. Cloud has is it all. Grab your keys and discover one or more of the fun things to do in St. Cloud, Minnesota.
First, on our list of fun things to do in St. Cloud, Minnesota is shopping. From traditional indoor malls to adorable boutiques, and unique shops, there are plenty of places in St. Cloud to find those must-haves and one-of-a-kind items. Pack your wallet, charge your phone, and head out to one of these great shopping destinations throughout town for a day of fun things to do in St. Cloud.
Crossroads Center is a traditional indoor shopping mall and the largest mall in the state, outside the Twin Cities. It has major anchor stores you’ll be familiar with including Scheel’s, DSW, Macy’s, JCPenney, and Target. Originally opened in April 1966, the mall has had a few renovations and expansions over the years. In 1976, 200,000 square feet was added for Dayton’s, which became Marshall Field’s in 2001 and finally Macy’s in 2006. The renovations of 2004 included adding more skylights, a food court, improved traffic flow through the parking lot, and a soft play area for kids.
Midtown Square Mall hosts a combination of retail stores, professional services, and event space among its two-story shopping center and a four-story office building. Many of the city’s local important offices are located here including healthcare, legal, and community resources. The site is also home to a 27,00 square foot fitness center and a large event space called The Tuscan Center. Inside the mall, you’ll find a variety of hair salons, a nail salon, and two tattoo shops. Clothes, shoes, and uniforms can also be found at Midtown Square along with cell phones and electronics stores.
Evelie Blu Boutique has a variety of items including on-trend women’s clothing, home decor items, and unique gifts. In this store, you can find Minnesota-themed shirts, wooden signs, and kitchen accessories. Women’s clothing comes in sizes small to 3X, and they also offer shoes, handbags, jewelry, and more. When it comes to finding a special gift, check out their selection of puzzles, games, books, drinkware, candles, and bath & body care items. Don’t forget the perfect card to go with it! Their stationary selection has a variety of beautiful cards for any occasion.
Believe it or not, some of the fun things to do in St. Cloud include getting active … or at least watching others be active! The city hosts three splash pads, seven wading pools, three dog parks, and 11 outdoor ice rinks plus two sledding hills in winter. If none of that suits you, try one of these three other ideas.
SCSU Teams – St. Cloud State University hosts six men’s teams and 10 women’s teams. Men’s sports include baseball, basketball, hockey, soccer, swim & dive, and wrestling. Women’s sports include basketball, cross country, hockey, Nordic ski, soccer, softball, swim & dive, tennis, track & field, and volleyball. There are plenty of ways to cheer on the Huskies all year long. Grab your tickets online, don your red and white, and grab a seat in the stands for a fun day of college sports.
Whitney Recreation Center & Sports Complex – Over 100,000 people visit this athletic complex each year. It includes an indoor public gym that has three basketball courts and five volleyball courts that can be used as six Pickleball courts. It features year-round climate control, a walking track, and an exercise room. Outside, you’ll find 12 baseball/softball fields and eight soccer fields. Stretch your legs on the walking trail. The outer loop gives you 1.5 miles of space, and the inner loop is 0.85 miles long. The facility hosts several team practices, scrimmages, and tournaments, as well as activities for youth and adults, fitness classes, and special events.
Youth & Adult Activities – No matter your age, there are plenty of ways to get active in St. Cloud. Popular youth activities include swimming lessons, baseball and softball clinics, basketball, a disc golf league, kickball, fishing club, soccer, and volleyball. If your little one isn’t quite sure what they’d like to play, sign them up for the Sports Sampler where they get to try a few different activities to see what they like most. For the adults, join a softball or volleyball team, or grab your friends for a casual game of pickleball. If you’re looking to get in shape, there are a variety of fitness classes offered including wellness camps, cardio classes, Zumba, and walking groups.
Eating & Drinking
St. Cloud is an underrated dining destination, in our opinion. There are plenty of unique restaurants in every cuisine and even two breweries in town with a few more sprinkled throughout the metro area. Next time you’re looking for some fun things to do in St. Cloud, try one of these great spots.
Pantown Brewing – In 1917, Samuel Pandolfo established the Pan Motor Company in St. Cloud, developing Pan Cars in an attempt to become “the new Detroit”. World War I took many resources and he was later imprisoned for fraud. However, the area of town he settled in became known as Pantown, which is where this local brewery gets its name. They’re brewing up a wide range of craft beers from cream ales, to Märzens, to IPAs and stouts. You can often find them under a tent at local beer festivals or selling real estate around town (the co-owners’ “day” job together!)
Beaver Island Brewing Co. – In downtown St. Cloud, in the spot of the former Bo Diddley’s, you’ll find craft beer worth telling your friends about. The team at Beaver Island is passionate about the tradition of brewing, respecting the ingredients, and helping the local community. They’re serving up brews with a thoughtful twist including Kölsch-style ales, American wheats, IPAs with Minnesota-grown hops, and a winter ale with spruce tips, among many others. Visit them on Wednesday nights for Tending for a Cause, their mission to donate funds to local nonprofits.
The White Horse – When you’re looking to head out for date night, birthday dinner, or another special occasion, you’ll want to visit The White Horse. This downtown restaurant serves up a delicious menu of appetizers, wings, pizza, salads, burgers, sandwiches, Wild Caught Canadian Walleye, Certified Piedmontese New York strip steak, pasta and more. They also have an extensive drink selection, evident by the rows and rows of liquor bottles behind the bar. Open for lunch and dinner, Monday through Saturday, they also host various events and have surprise food specials. Follow them on Facebook to be the first to know about what’s new at The White Horse.
Within the City of St. Cloud, Minnesota, there are 95 parks that cover over 1,400 total acres. About 80 of those parks are considered “neighborhood and mini-parks”. The largest developed park is Whitney Memorial Park at 243 acres. It is the former site of the city’s regional airport but is now home to a recreation and sports complex. When you’re looking for calm yet fun things to do in St. Cloud, try visiting one of these great spots.
Munsinger and Clemens Gardens – These adjacent gardens provide 21 total acres of flowers, trees, and green landscaping for everyone to enjoy. The Munsinger Gardens were developed in the 1930s by the Works Progress Administration. They planted tall pine trees and flowerbeds, created a lily pond, and installed a fountain, as well as installing brick paths lined by flowers.
These gardens were refurbished and expanded in the 1980s. The Clemens Gardens were developed in the 1990s by Bill and Virginia Clemens, who then donated them to the City. This formal, European-style garden features six gardens, each hosting different breeds of flowers, as well as a trellis and four fountains.
Lake George Park – For an all-in-one experience, check out the facilities at Lake George Park. Not only can you fish off the dock or simply enjoy the view of Lake George, the property also has two playgrounds, picnic and grill areas, a splash pad, and a performance stage, all with ample parking available. And don’t forget about the Lake George Municipal Complex. Open to the public, this building includes a Community Room with a fireplace and comfortable seating, Preschool Room for play dates with the kids, and two event rooms for rent along with additional access to the kitchen area. It’s the ideal place to catch up with a friend over coffee or host your next big get-together.
Quarry Park and Nature Preserve – Hop over to nearby Waite Park to explore the 684 acres of woodlands, prairie, wetlands, and bedrock areas. The site is the largest in Stearns County and features 20 granite quarries, two for swimming, as well as mountain bike paths and trails for jogging, hiking, and walking the dog. You can also try fishing for trout, rock climbing, scuba diving, and geocaching. During the winter, get out and enjoy the snow on the cross country skiing, winter walking, snowshoeing, and fat-tire bicycle trails.
Other Ways to Have Fun in St. Cloud, Minnesota
There are a ton more fun things to do in St. Cloud, but we wanted to make sure we shared these three great places with you. If you happen to visit, let us know what you think of them!
Paramount Center for the Arts – Built in 1921, the Sherman Theater (as it was originally known) showed silent movies. In 1930, the sound system was upgraded to accommodate the new “talkies”. Although it spent the last half of the 20th century falling into disrepair, it has since been renovated and continues to host operas, concerts, Broadway shows, speeches, political rallies, plays, and movies. Outside the theater, three art galleries feature rotating works from local artists. There are also summer art camps for children, as well as art classes for adults including pottery, jewelry-making, writing, and painting.
St. Cloud River’s Edge Convention Center – Chances are, if you’re heading to a conference or other major event in St. Cloud, you’ll be visiting the River’s Edge Convention Center. This 150,000 square foot building overlooks the Mississippi River and hosts conferences, meetings, consumer and trade shows, weddings, social events, and other entertainment events. Many services are offered to make every event complete including coffee, catering, liquor, decorating, internet, electrical, and more. Inside, there are 19 meeting rooms, a 16,000 square foot ballroom, and 60,000 square feet of exhibit space. All areas are designed to be flexible to accommodate a variety of events and groups.
Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame – More than just America’s pastime, baseball is a popular sport in Minnesota, too. From youth sports to adult leagues, to semi-pro and minor league teams, the Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame seeks to preserve the history of the sport throughout the state and share it to inspire future generations. Conveniently located on the second floor of the River’s Edge Convention Center, you can view uniforms, caps, photos, bats, balls, gloves, and event programs from all levels of athletes. Their archive room has thousands of similar items to view, so be sure to visit often and find more of the prized treasures of Minnesota baseball.
Visiting St. Cloud, Minnesota
It may not have as much hustle and bustle as The Cities, but there are tons of amazing things to do in St. Cloud. There are plenty of ways to have fun here, so don’t miss out on a visit to the Granite City! We hope you come and enjoy it as much as we do! After discovering a new adventure in St. Cloud, let us know which was you or your family’s favorite.
If you’re interested in a day trip, you can head on down the road to Minneapolis where you can find 23 Amazing Things To Do.
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Born in Madelia, MN, to a now 5-generation Minnesota family, Ryan’s MN roots go deep.
A painter by day, Ryan founded Life in Minnesota in 2013 with his wife Kelly to chronicle their musings on everything Minnesota. Ryan and Kelly are raising their 7 kiddos in Maple Grove, MN.
When he’s not shuttling his kids around to hockey practice, you might find him in the shop working on his leatherwork. Undoubtedly, there will be a family trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area every summer, and of course weekends at Grandpa’s cabin up north in the summer.