Posted on March 30th, 2016
Editor’s Note:Â AIMCLEAR‘s Lifestyle posts are intended to showcase the cities we love and call home: Duluth and St. Paul. Whether visiting for the legendary Zenith Marketing Conference, a workshop or a trip to one of our storied offices, we hope you’ll #staytheweekend and come to realize why we so proudly callÂ Minnesota home.Â
Many of us here at AIMCLEAR have mini AIMCLEARians and Duluth is a fantastic town for young families! Whether a Duluth native or one of the thousands of tourists who visit our fair city each year, there are always new activities to uncover. We love that Duluth hosts so many options for family adventures and have compiled a list of our favorites because, let’s be honest, when visiting an unfamiliar town, kids tend to get crazy and we need good places to run ragged!
Outdoor Activities Fit For a Kid
Brighton Beach is part of the gateway to the North Shore and is one of our favorite spots to to skip rocks, go agate hunting and take a quick dip! Most kids like throwing rocks, so this is the perfect place to let them throw to their hearts’ content!
Lester River & Chester Park
For hiking, more rock throwing, and some amazing river and waterfall views, check out Lester River or Chester Park. There are playgrounds for the smaller kids, picnic tables and grills available for a picnic. Plus, there are a ton of trails to explore!
Hartley Nature Center
Hartley Nature Center has exhibits and fun, educational activities as well as many trails for hiking, biking, snowshoeing and cross country skiing. It’s located past the UMD campus in the Woodland neighborhood.
Enger Tower sits atop the hill on Skyline Drive and affords priceless vistas (sunrise OR sunset)! Climb the tower for one of the best views of the city and let the kids run in the large, grassy picnic area!
Heading down the hill, we land in Bayfront Festival Park, located at the beginning of the Lakewalk. Home to a popular playground (Playfront Park), it’s also a perfect place for kite flying (if the wind is just right)!
Leisure (or paddle) along theÂ Lakewalk
While down by the water, check out Wheel Fun Rentals in Canal Park. They have variations of bikes, from kids bikes to rickshaw-type vehicles. Spend the afternoon wearing the kids out by biking along the Lakewalk!
If the weather is right, go rent a paddleboard from North Shore SUP or book a guided paddleboard tour through Day Tripper of Duluth. Trust us, this is worth checking out! Even those with minimal balance (like a few of us at the office!) can master this and have an absolute blast.
North of North
Heading up the North Shore â€”Â if the kids are good travelers â€”Â Split Rock Lighthouse and Gooseberry Falls are must-sees. With displays, exhibits and videos, there’s a lot to learn about the history of the gorgeous Split Rock Lighthouse. The view is something to behold as well!
Gooseberry Falls is fantastic all the time, but one of our favorite season is the spring when the snow is melting and the waterfalls and river are raging like mad! There are trails that run over and around the river and falls, so it can be checked out (& Instagramed) from all angles!
A photo posted by Megan Rivas (@meganlynnrivas) on
Into baseball? Go check out our Duluth Huskies! I mean really, nothing beats outdoor baseball, a brat and a brew!
Great Lakes Aquarium
Fish are always cool too, and the Great Lakes Aquarium is full of fantastic exhibits. From the variety of fresh water fish, to Agate and Ore the otters (a kid favorite), to reptiles and amphibians, there’s always something fun to see.
Lake Superior Zoo
In our experience, animals are always winners with kids. The Lake Superior Zoo is a solid bet for an afternoon of fun â€” grab a picnic lunch and visit the animals!
Duluth Children’s Museum
The Duluth Children’s Museum has exhibits so fun the kids won’t even realize they’re learning. The Dino Dig Site is a hit â€” letting the kids get to dig around to find fossils!
Ye Ol’ TRAINS
If your kid is like Sheldon Cooper and loves trains, (who doesn’t?) the Lake Superior Railroad Museum, located inside the Duluth Depot, is full of trains to explore. They even offer train rides up the North Shore on the North Shore Scenic Railroad.
Adventure Zone & Vertical Endeavors
Always a crowd favorite with laser tag, batting cages, video games, indoor mini golf, and even a bouncy slide activity area for the tots, Adventure Zone down in Canal Park is a great place to take the kids when the weather just won’t cooperate!
While at Adventure Zone, if you’re in for even more of an adventure, check out Vertical Endeavors. Never tried climbing? Doesn’t matter! They have instructors, equipment for rent, and routes with varying degrees of difficulty as well as routes with self-belaying ropes! For a different sort of challenge that’ll really wear the kids out, check out the bouldering cave upstairs!
If visiting Duluth and not already staying at The Edgewater hotel, their waterpark is still available for walk-ins at varying hours of the week! BONUS: A $12 kid’s wristband includes a free adult pass.
Clearly Duluth is not lacking in the fun department. With these activities, even the kids might think we’re cool (which, we are, #literally), and we all know that is a pretty tough designation to get! While these are some of our favorite places, check out the calendar of events because there are constantly fun, new events being held around the city. Go, explore, and have some adventures!
*All photos courtesy of area businesses and AIMCLEARians 🙂