Located in Nicollet County, St. Peter is just a short drive north of the Mankato and North Mankato metro area. Even though the city has a small-town feel and a population of just over 12,000 people, there are lots of fun things to do in St. Peter MN.
Are you ready to explore this little city with a big heart? Let’s dive in and learn all about St. Peter!
Outdoor Activities in St. Peter Minnesota
If you’re eager to get outdoors and enjoy Minnesota’s beautiful spring and summer weather, we’ve got you covered.
1. The Gustavus Adolphus College Arboretum
First on our list of great things to do in St. Peter MN is to visit the Gustavus Adolphus College Arboretum. Known affectionately as “The Arb,” the Arboretum is located on the Gustavus Adolphus College campus.
At The Arb, nature lovers can explore several different botanical gardens, along with a 125-acre arboretum that’s covered with trees that were planted in 1973 on land designated for agriculture.
The Arb isn’t just for flowers, either. As an important St. Peter community hub, you can take in concerts, participate in educational activities, send your kiddos to nature camps, and enjoy signature events.
2. Drive a Tank
Have you dreamed of getting behind the wheel of a military tank? You can do that in St. Peter at Drive a Tank. Whether you’re wanting to spend a little money or you’re looking for a splurge for a special occasion, there’s a package for you.
3. Lake Washington Regional Park & Campground
Located on 166 acres, the Lake Washington Regional Park & Campground has primitive tent sites, a group camping site, and 27 RV sites.
At the park, there are hiking trails, a fishing dock, playgrounds, open recreational fields, basketball, Shanaska Creek, and fire pits.
4. Public parks
Next on our list of awesome things to do in St. Peter MN is a trip to one of its many parks. The city of St. Peter is home to more than 20 public parks, and the amenities vary by park.
Seven-Mile Creek Park is located on 628 gorgeous acres from the valley grasslands to the Minnesota River. Other popular parks include Acres of County Park, Gorman Park, Acre Park, Acres of County Park,
Historical Places in St. Peter Minnesota
For visitors who are interested in history, St. Peter has excellent offerings.
5. Treaty Site History Center
In 1851, the Dakota Nation sold millions of acres to the U.S. government. Today, the Treaty of Traverse des Sioux and the history surrounding early inhabitants and settlers to the area are commemorated at the Treaty Site History Center in St. Peter.
At the Nicollet County Historical Society on-site, visitors can explore the history of the treaty and the lands surrounding St. Peter. There are special exhibits at the center, along with a gift shop where you can buy original gifts or souvenirs. The historical society also serves as the genealogy hub of Nicollet County.
6. Hillstrom Museum of Art
Next on our list of great things to do in St. Peter MN is a trip to the Hillstrom Museum of Art. When you visit the Hillstrom Museum of Art, you can see both temporary exhibits and a permanent collection of all types of artwork, including regional, national, and international.
7. Eugene Cox House
To immerse yourself for an hour in the Victorian era, all you need to do is visit the Eugene St. Julien Cox House in St. Peter, Minnesota. Cox, an attorney, and early St. Peter settler built the home with his wife and raised their children there. Later, two of the daughters in the family made 19th-century history with their participation in local and state government.
The Best Entertainment and Annual Festivals in St. Peter Minnesota
Do you and your family love festivals and seasonal events? How about performing arts? St. Peter has something for everyone.
8. Maker Fair Minnesota
If you’re looking for fun Fall things to do in St. Peter MN, be sure to check out the Maker Fair in October. Located at the Nicollet County Fairgrounds, the Maker Fair celebrates the area’s artisans and craftsmen.
At the Maker’s Fair, you can browse unique crafts and gift ideas, hear live music, and sample delicious foods.
9. Fest at Linnaeus Arboretum
Every October, the Linnaeus Arboretum is home to the wonderful Fall Festival. The Fall Festival is free to attend, and your family can experience a day full of fun, including games, live entertainment, face painting, hayrides, vendors, crafts, and a special treasure hunt.
Of course, there are also plenty of delicious regional foods available.
10. Performing Arts at The Arb
St. Peter is home to some of the finest performing arts in the state of Minnesota, and at The Arb, you can participate in or enjoy performances that include dance performances and theatre, concerts, musical theatre, and more.
There are several opportunities for people of all ages to get involved in the arts in St. Peter. With four touring ensembles, handbell ensembles, a jazz ensemble, a wind orchestra, and a community orchestra, there is something for everyone.
11. Christmas in Christ Chapel
In December, the city of St. Peter, Minnesota partners with Heroic Productions to present Christmas in Christ Chapel. For this special concert, performances are offered by the Choir of Christ Chapel, the Gustavus Choir, the Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, the Christ Chapel Ringers, and the Lucia Singers and dancers.
The Best Restaurants and Bars in St. Peter Minnesota
All of this sightseeing and hiking may have you hungry. If that’s the case, check out some of the establishments below.
12. River Rock Coffee and Tea
For sustainable food and beverages, head over to River Rock Coffe and Tea. Coffee offerings feature brews from the region’s Wonderstate Coffee Roasters, and the coffee is held to the highest standards. Their flavored syrups are made in-house, and they use only organic sugar to make them.
In addition to coffee, you can sample homemade chai, rishi tea, fresh-squeezed juice, homemade lemonade, and sparkling sodas. River Rock also has a simple breakfast and lunch menu.
13. 3rd Street Tavern
The owners and staff of 3rd Street Tavern believe in three things: bourbon, barbeque, and blues. The menu consists of American pub fare that includes ribs, wings, fried pickles, brisket, sandwiches, and burgers.
Weekly events include fish fry every Tuesday, happy hour for four hours every day, and kids eating free on Sunday.
14. El Agave
For some of Minnesota’s best Mexican food, head straight to El Agave Mexican restaurant. Enjoy traditional Mexican cuisine favorites along with house specials, margaritas, and Mexican beer.
The Best Shopping in St. Peter Minnesota
Are you ready to shop ’til you drop? St. Peter has what you’re looking for.
15. The Cheese & Pie Mongers
You can find some of the best cheese in Minnesota at the Cheese & Pie Mongers in St. Peter. Selections include a huge variety of flavors of jack, cheddar, aged Swiss, blue, Cheshire, Abergele, gouda, goat cheese, camembert, and more.
Desserts you can buy include cakes, fruit pies, cream and custard pies, cheesecakes, and cookie cakes. Be sure to ask about regional favorites such as rhubarb pie and chop suey cake.
16. Playing Possum Antique Shop
If antiques are your thing, don’t miss Playing Possom Antiques and Whimsey. At the store, you can find primitive furniture, vintage toys, and fine antiques.
17. Swedish Kontur
Head over to Swedish Kontur for unique Swedish and Scandanavian gift options.
Other Things to Do in St. Peter MN
Still looking for great ideas for things to do in St. Peter? I’ve got some great ideas for you.
18. Chankaska Creek Ranch and Winery
At the end of a long day full of fun activities in St. Peter, Minnesota, you may be ready to relax with a glass of wine. If so, find your way to Chankaska Creek Ranch.
The wines at Chankaska Creek Ranch are made from cold-weather grapes that are grown right there in their own vineyard. In addition to the wine, you can fill up on antipasto, food-fired pizza, artisan cheese platters, and dry-cured meat.
19. Schaefer Art Gallery
For visitors to St. Peter who love art, the Schaefer Art Gallery is a must-see attraction. The gallery frequently features contemporary art by artist groups, regional artists, and national artists, along with student exhibitions.
20. St. Peter Area Visitors Bureau
For even more ideas for fun things to do in St. Peter MN, head over to the St. Peter Area Visitors Bureau. You can learn more about community events and places to go shopping or dining.
While you’re at the visitor’s bureau, be sure to take advantage of the cool photo op that’s next to the tourism office: St. Peter’s Pearly Gates.
Wrapping Up the Fun Things to Do in St. Peter MN
Now that you know how much fun you can do in this little city, which of the things to do in St. Peter will you do first?
After you discover all that St. Peter has to offer, be sure to check out our Things To Do page to learn more about Minnesota’s beautiful cities.