Save These Duluth With Kids Activities
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Have you ever visited Minnesota? Would you like to visit Duluth with kids? Do you have additional fun things to do in Duluth with kids? Let us know in the comments below!
A Note from The Travel Mama: Wheel Fun Rentals and Great Lakes Aquarium hosted my family. We also received a discounted media rate at the Pier B Resort. All opinions are mine, as always.
Enger Park & Enger Tower
Built in 1939 of native blue stone as a tribute to Norwegian-American businessman and philanthropist Bert Enger, the 80-foot Enger Tower sits high atop Duluth’s bluffs. Situated in Enger Park and adorned with a green beacon, Enger Tower looms 531 feet above the lake, providing prime views of the city and Duluth Harbor. Visitors can ascend the narrow stairway to the very top, where stiff breezes blow and spectacular 360-degree vistas offer unparalleled photo opportunities.
Immaculate perennial gardens greet visitors who stroll the grounds. Be sure to admire and ring the Japanese Peace Bell, which was installed as a gift from Ohara, Japan, Duluth’s sister city.
Take time to hike the section of the Superior Hiking Trail running along the edge of the gardens. It parallels the ridgeline above Skyline Drive and has plenty of great photo opportunities overlooking the lake and the city. Rock climbers and bouldering enthusiasts enjoy the craggy short boulders just off the trails adjacent to the Twin Ponds parking lot in the park. Climb with the locals at Slab Boulder at the east end of the park and the Upper and Lower Walls on the west side.
Address: 16th Avenue West & Skyline Parkway, Duluth, Minnesota
Ss William A Irvin Ore Boat Museum
Youve heard the song about The Wreck of Edmund Fitzgerald, right? Written and performed by Gordon Lightfoot, the song tells the story of the sinking of a cargo ship on Lake Superior during a storm. Board a similar freighter at the S.S. William A. Irvin Ore Boat Museum to gain insight about that fateful storm. Visitors also learn about the iron ore trade and the importance of Duluth as a lake port city.
S.S. William A. Irvin Ore Boat Museum in winter
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Tweed Museum Of Art Duluth Mn
The University of Minnesota Duluth Tweed Museum of Art is a teaching and art collecting institution. The seed of its collection of more than 9,000 art objects was the collection of 19th and 20th century American and European paintings donated by art collector Alice Tweed after the death of her husband. She also donated the funds for the current museum building, which opened in 1958.
The original collection and many subsequent acquisitions and gifts today represent many periods of art history and a range of cultures. The Tweed Museum of Art is now a major educational and cultural resource for Duluth and the Upper Midwest.
University of Minnesota Duluth Campus, 1201 Ordean Court, Duluth, Minnesota, Phone: 218-726-8222
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Christmas City Express Train
The performance of the Christmas City Express begins in the Lake Superior Railroad Museum , where youll be treated to a reading of the new Christmas City Express story, eRead More »njoy carolers, and a visit from a special guest! Then climb aboard the train for a 30 minute ride up to Lake Superior. Onboard, enjoy hot chocolate, cookies and holiday tunes. $25.00 for Adults, $20 for children 3 years and up +$3 on Saturdays Space is very limited. Reservations are strongly encouraged for this show. Tickets can be purchased in-person at the The Duluth Depot complex starting at 3pm on the dates of performances if space is available, but space is very limited and reservations are strongly recommended. There will be a $1.00 handling fee per ticket. Wheelchair Information: The performance of the…
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Minnesota Adventures: Not only has Minnesota made a name for itself as a top-US mountain biking destination, it’s also home to a superb network of hiking trails, including the popular Superior Hiking Trail, which takes in most of the lake’s northern shore. Enjoy camping? Then be sure to consider checking out the many excellent camping opportunities in Minnesota.
Minnesota’s Cities: Other great Minnesotan cities in which to do some sightseeing include the state’s third biggest city of Rochester, famous as the home of the Mayo Clinic and popular for its many pleasant urban bike trails. The state’s biggest urban area comprises the city of Minneapolis and the capital of St. Paul, aka the Twin Cities, which together make for a great cultural getaway thanks to their first-rate museums, galleries, and theaters. Grand Rapids is another popular Minnesota place to visit, especially for those who enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking and biking.
William A Irvin Haunted Ship Tours
Submerge yourself in the horrors aboard the historic Lake Superior steamer, the SS William A. Irvin. Tickets and full tour schedule available online soon. Guests under 12 will not be admitted without a parent. What are you afraid of?
Location: 350 Harbor Drive, S.S. William A. Irvin Museum 722-7876 623-1236 | duluthhauntedship.com
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Lake Superior Harvest Festival
2022Dates to Be Announced
The Harvest Festival is fun family festival featuring one of largest farmers markets in the region, along with live music, an energy fair, handmade crafts, nonprofit showcase, live demonstrations, educational exhibits and a food court. Entry and parking are free to the public.
Location: Bayfront Festival Park
Skyline Parkway Duluth Minnesota
Skyline Parkway is a scenic drive that overlooks Duluth and Lake Superior. Along the way, there are observation points at the steepest and highest points – these areas offer the best views for visitors to Duluth.
Some of the best observation points are Bardons Peak, the area east of Haines Road, and Enger Park with its five story Enger Tower, gardens, picnic areas, and adjacent golf course. There are several activities that are popular along the parkway including cross-country skiing, hiking, and picnicking.
Highlights include the Magney-Snively Natural Area, a 1,800 acre old growth forest that is popular with hikers the scenic Stewart Creek Bridge built in the 1920s and Thompson Hill Travel Information Center.
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Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center
The Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center is a museum located on South Lake Avenue near the Aerial Lift Bridge in Duluth. Operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the center overlooks the entrance to the Duluth-Superior harbor and is one of the best Duluth attractions. Established in 1973, the center includes exhibits that focus on the history and operations of commercial shipping in the upper Great Lakes as well as information about the Aerial Lift Bridge.
Some of the items in the center include a three story steam engine, a pilothouse, historically accurate replica cabins, 50 scale models of ships, the historic 1901 Fresnel Lens, and much more. The center has several education outreach programs and also hosts special events.
600 South Lake Avenue, Duluth, Minnesota, Phone: 218-720-5260
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Lake Superior Railroad Museum
Parents of children obsessed with all things choo-choo, should plan a trip to the Lake Superior Railroad Museum. Housed in the historic Duluth Union Depot, the collection includes locomotives, train cars, and a caboose. Kids can even climb aboard some of these! Your family will likely not need more than an hour to explore all this museum has to offer.
Lake Superior Railroad Museum is a must for train-obsessed kids
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Bayfront Reggae & World Music Festival
Enjoy our 14th annual festival showcasing internationally touring performers while you enjoy ethnic foods, beverages and a variety of artisans displaying their wares. Enjoy Lake Superior views from this beautiful open-air venue. Visit our website for updates on the lineup, tickets, hotel accommodations, directions, and camping information.
Location: Bayfront Festival Park
Japanese Garden And Peace Bell
Ringing the Peace Bell just may be the highlight of a visit to Enger Park for kids. Located in a lovely Japanese garden, the bell is a replica of a Japanese temple bell that had been crafted in 1686. Legend has it, the original bell had been donated as scrap metal in Japan during World War II. According to OutsideInDuluth.com, After the war, American sailors from the U.S.S. Duluth found the bell miraculously intact in a Japanese shipyard and sent it as a gift to Duluth, MN, their ships namesake. It sat for eight years in Duluths City Hall until 1954, when it was returned, as a gesture of friendship, to its home in Ohara, Japan. In 1991, the city of Ohara presented a replica of the bell to Duluth.
To learn more about the Peace Bell and get kids excited for a visit to Duluth, buy a copy of The Peace Bell, a childrens book by a local Duluth author.
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Things To Do In Duluth Area Attractions & Events
Looking for things to do in Duluth? Youve come to the right place! Browse the list of attractions, events, and fun activities below.
Hotel and Casino Hotel and Casino toll free
Enjoy 24-hour gaming, including slots, blackjack, poker and bingo. Dine in the Seven Fires Steak House, the Buffet at the Bear or Sage Deli. The hotel has 408 rooms, pool, hot-tub, sauna and kids arcade. MPGA 18-hole championship golf course and driving range. Cobalt Nightclub features entertainment Thursday Sunday nights.
Theres something for everyone amid the excitement and glamour of Fond-du-Luth Casino in downtown Duluth. Every day there is 24 hours of excitement for adults 21 years of age or older. We offer video slots, keno, video poker, and blackjack tables with limits up to $1,000! Plus, we have a large selection of spirits and comfort foods.
The Duluth Art Institute serves our region and artists with the opportunity to create, exhibit, explore and enjoy visual art through exhibition, education and professional development. It sponsors contemporary exhibits of local, regional and national artists. The Duluth Art Institute provides programs in ceramics, photography, fiber arts and more.
The Duluth Playhouse proudly presents an outstanding season of shows and theater opportunities through the year. Dont miss a single event there is something for everyone!
Concerts held at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center Auditorium350 Harbor Drive
Minnesota’s North Shore Scenic Drive
Driving from Two Harbors to Duluth and from Grand Portage to Two Harbors along the north shore of Lake Superior, you will be driving through one of the most scenic roads in the country. No wonder it is often called the All-American Road.
Besides spectacular lake vistas, you will see steep cliffs, forested hills, rapid flowing streams, and magnificent waterfalls. The 154 miles of the lakeshore comprises seven state parks. Each little picturesque town you drive through has a story to tell.
Dont miss the Split Rock Lighthouse built in 1910, a museum of commercial fishing in Tofte and fur trading post in Grand Portage. The town of Grand Marais is a veritable arts center with galleries, a playhouse, and a folk school. Once in Duluth, check the Aerial Lift Bridge, old Depot train museum and the Great Lakes Aquarium.
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Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
Like Stone Mountain, the slopes of Kennesaw Mountain are rightly a magnet for anyone who enjoys the fresh air and the chance to stretch their legs.
Rising a couple of hundred metres above the surrounding landscape, the mountain is not just an attractive escape from the cities of the metropolitan Atlanta region, but also an important part of American history.
The location for a major battle during the civil war, confederate forces used the mountain as a natural defence, with their trenches and walls still visible in many places.
Artillery emplacements hosting cannon have also been recreated, while informative display boards help alert visitors to all that took place here.
The mountain lies approximately an hour west of Duluth.
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Spirit Mountain Adventure Park
A true four-season adventure park, Spirit Mountain is only 15 miles north of Duluth. Winter fun includes skiing, snowboarding, tubing, Nordic trails, and snowmobiling. Spring through fall offers adventures in downhill mountain biking, an alpine coaster, ziplines, chairlift rides, disc golf, and an enormous “jump pillow” for the kids.
Plan a weekday visit to the park for best access and start early in the day for the shortest ride lines. Also, take advantage of the “automatic photos” taken on the Alpine Slide. Riders have the option to purchase individual photos or an entire disc of the family in action for sharing when you get back home.
Bird-watchers are also in for a treat when visiting Duluth. Regarded as one of the top such facilities in the US, the Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory is set in some 365 acres of nature reserve, and features more than four miles of hiking trails. The best time to visit for nature lovers is from mid-August through November, when many thousands of broad-winged hawks migrate past the site, with the “big days” for bird-watchers taking place for a week or so mid-September.
Address: 9500 Spirit Mountain Place, Duluth, Minnesota
Good Word Brewing And Public House
Good Word is a combined brewery and taproom, where patrons are able to sample the latest creations of the craftspeople who dedicate their working hours to producing inspiring craft beers.
Among its 20 or so beers are traditional German pale ales, Italian-style pilsners, English bitters, Irish stouts, and American pale ales, meaning there really is something for every beer fan.
But dont worry if youre not a lover of all things brewed, Good Word has a good list of classic cocktails and wines too. This casual space is also known for its southern cuisine blended with a Latin flavour.
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North Shore Scenic Drive
With dramatic vistas and the stunning beauty of Lake Superior at every turn, the 148-mile drive along Highway 61 provides tourists with wonderful opportunities to experience life along the lake.
Begin at Duluth’s waterfront Canal Park and amble northeast. Views along the way captivate as acres of aspens, the majestic Sawtooth Mountains, waterfalls, cliffs, and beaches compete for attention.
The real fun comes from stopping at charming, small northern shore towns along the way. One-of-a-kind shops, restaurants, and local flavors make each a special gem.
Two Harbors is worth exploring, just 27 miles north of Duluth. Two Harbors Lighthouse is lovingly restored to its original 1891 splendor and offers visitors up close views of the various lanterns, lenses, and artifacts from Minnesota’s oldest continuously operated lighthouse. Nearby, Split Rock Lighthouse sits majestically off Highway 61 and is a must-see.
Gooseberry Falls State Park is a true all-season playground with hiking trails, picnic areas, splendid scenery, and a spectacular waterfall. Continuing north along the route, Lutsen is home to the Superior Hiking Trail, otherwise known as the “Appalachian Trail of the Midwest.” Skiing and snowboarding are the main things to do here in winter, with chairlift rides and BMX biking available spring through fall at the largest ski area in the Midwest.