Weekend Family Fun Guide to Stillwater

Known as one of the oldest cities in Minnesota, Stillwater is both a quaint small town and a step back in time. Many escape the urban hubbub of the Twin Cities to walk the preserved streets and shop the boutiques and antique stores. If you’re like me, you visit the farm store on Main Street to breathe in fertilizer and examine bird feeders. Stillwater is an escape to peaceful simplicity.

However, shopping is just one element of cultural charm that Stillwater has to offer. I think one of the best ways to experience Stillwater is to take it outside, on to her streets and in the parks that were once prairie.

axdahls mcguire 1 Weekend Family Fun Guide To Stillwater

(credit: Colleen McGuire)


Teddy Bear Park –

teddy bear park stillwater mcguire Weekend Family Fun Guide To Stillwater

(credit: Colleen McGuire)

207 E. Nelson St.
Stillwater, MN
Open 8 a.m.-8 p.m. daily

Teddy Bear Park

For the little ones, Teddy Bear Park is like Candy Land. For moms and dads, it could be the setting for your next family Christmas card, so bring the camera. This cute park, nestled in a hill overlooking downtown Stillwater has many slides and climbing opportunities, from an enormous train to a rock wall to a monkey bar set. I like that much of the ground is padded or covered in cushy astro-turf. There is also a free four hour parking lot adjacent from the park, and plenty of shaded seating for parents.


Pine Point Regional Park –

bike trail mcguire Weekend Family Fun Guide To Stillwater

(credit: Colleen McGuire)

11900 Norell Ave. N.
Stillwater, MN
Open 7 a.m. to sunset every day

Pine Point Regional Park

Are you more of an activity and exercise family? Pack up the bikes and head to Pine Point State Park, just five miles northwest of Stillwater. A beautifully paved 18-mile trail will take you through the open prairie of Washington County, on to Oakdale, North St. Paul, Maplewood, and end near downtown St. Paul. This trail also connects to Phalen-Keller Regional Park and Bruce Vento Regional Trail for shorter jaunts or a place to turn around and head back to Stillwater. Pack a lunch and take your time. On a lovely summer day The Gateway State Trail is one of the best ways to enjoy the Minnesota landscape.


Stillwater Trolley Company –

trolley stillwater mcguire Weekend Family Fun Guide To Stillwater

(credit: Colleen McGuire)

400 Nelson St.
Stillwater, MN
Open April – November
Tour hours vary
Call 651-430-0352 for hours

Stillwater Trolley

This 45-minute tour is a great way to get a little education in while resting your feet. You will learn the history of Stillwater and the lift bridge, see the architectural differences of the Victorian mansions owned by the lumber barrons and witness stunning views of the St. Criox River Valley. Plus, Stillwater streets are reminiscent of San Francisco, so take your camera and hold on!


Leo’s Grill & Malt Shop –

stillwater crosswalk mcguire Weekend Family Fun Guide To Stillwater

(credit: Colleen McGuire)

131 Main St. S.
Stillwater, MN
Open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. daily

Leo’s Grill

Leo’s Grill & Malt Shop is a classic remodeled1950s restaurant with burgers, sandwiches and malts which caters to families who need to feed hungry mouths or need a place to rest and have an ice cream. You can eat inside and be-bop to the classic radio station, but I like to sit on the patio outside or snag a cone from the walk-up window. Sitting outside on a warm day with a malt or ice cream cone, you can watch Stillwater happen around you. Better yet, take your dairy treat down to the St. Croix River just one block away, and wave at the pontoon boats passing by. In most cases, the boaters wave back.

Spend the Day at a Garden and Farm

On Manning Avenue, not far from downtown Stillwater, you and your family can pet a horse, roll a pumpkin and literally stop to smell the flowers.

Start with Axdahl’s Garden Farm. Open 9 a.m.-7 p.m. everyday spring through fall, the variety of plants and flora available are a great lesson for kids to compare colors and shapes. Behind the red barn there are two pens, one with horses and the other with goats. The goat pen even has a convenient food pellet dispenser that will cost you a quarter.

During prime apple picking season, Aamodt’s Apple Farm, Bakery and Store down the avenue from Axdahl’s is a sweet treat. Picking apples is fun, but a family can also check out the petting zoo, go on a wagon ride ($2), weave through a hay bale maze or romp around the trike and tractor farm. Grab a glass of apple cider or split a homemade apple pie on a bench outside the store. For the adults, the tasting room at St. Croix Vineyards, located next door to Aamodt’s, is open Thursday through Sunday between 10 a.m.-6 pm. Be sure to try the award-winning La Crescent Dessert Wine.

Axdahl’s Garden Farm
7452 Manning Ave.
Stillwater, MN
Open seven days a week
Summer hours: 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
Winter hours: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. (Monday-Thursday), 9 a.m.-7 p.m. (Friday-Saturday)

Axdahl’s Garden Farm

Aamodt’s Apple Farm
6428 Manning Ave.
Stillwater, MN
Open August – December

Aamodt’s Apple Farm

St. Croix Vineyards
6428 Manning Ave.
Stillwater, MN
Open Thursday-Sunday: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

St. Croix Vineyards


While these are my top five, there are even more opportunities in town and along the river to make Stillwater a best bet for an entire day of activity, in less than 30 miles from Minneapolis. For more information about all of the activities and events in Stillwater, visit
Discover Stillwater

Colleen McGuire is a digital marketing communications professional and author of the blog, Travel Snapshots. When she is not touring the Twin Cities for interesting festivals and events, she is wandering the world with her camera and notebook.

Comments (7)
  1. Drunken Dissed Orderly says:

    Spoken like a true person who is not from Stillwater. Most people I know who grew up in Stillwater, moved away and refuse to ever go back, even for a visit. Myself included.

  2. You forgot another great destination downtown. Northern Vineyards Winery, they make locally grown wines.

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