Half Day Adventures

Things to Do


If you have only a half day to spend in our park, there are plenty of activities from which to choose. Check out some of our favorite suggestions for both great weather and for the more less favorable weather we sometimes experience in Minnesota! Some of these activities are seasonal, so call in advance of your visit.
A group of people walk past a stone-walled fort.

Kayak the River and Bike the Bank

Don't have a boat or a bike? Try the Paddle Share program. Rent a kayak for a few hours and take a float down the river. Check the kayak in at the drop-off station and then rent a bike from Nice Ride Minnesota and ride back to your starting point dropping off your bike upon arrival.

Tour Historic Fort Snelling

A former military outpost, Fort Snelling offers historic reenactments tours and other programs showcasing the rich history of the fort. Take part in the fort’s everyday life as it was back in the 1820’s. Shoulder a musket, mend clothes, smell the stew, scrape a hide or sing along with the soldiers.

Visit the Mississippi River Visitor Center

Fly like an eagle, paddle the Mississippi River, learn about history of the area are all interactive exhibits that you can find at the Mississippi River Visitor Center. Rangers can help you plan a hike, walk, bike ride, park programs or suggest other places to visit or things to do. Because we are located in the lobby of the Science Museum of Minnesota, visiting the museum is easy to do as well. We also have a visitor center at the Upper St. Anthony Lock and Dam in Minneapolis, which is open seasonally from Memorial to Labor Day each year.

Stroll Indian Mounds Regional Park

Situated atop Dayton's Bluff, east of downtown St. Paul, Indian Mounds Regional Park is a burial site for at least two American Indian cultures and is upstream from where the first historic Kaposia village site was located.The park has paved trails that traverse the bluffs. There is an outstanding view of the Mississippi River and of the St. Paul skyline. Picnic tables and a large pavilion are also available.

Hike to Coldwater Spring

Park your car in the free lot and take the short hike out to the spring house on an accessible trail. Coldwater Spring was the site of the first American settlement in Minnesota, where soldiers lived while they were building the historic Fort Snelling and later, where the Bureau of Mines analyzed some of the first moon rocks and studied mine safety.

Explore the Minneapolis Riverfront

Whether it’s exploring the remnants of abandoned flour mills, walking the Stone Arch Bridge, enjoying the decks and patios at St. Anthony Main, visiting the Mill City Museum or strolling through the area's many riverside parks, the Minneapolis riverfront provides a wide range of experiences.

Stroll Around Minnehaha Regional Park

Located at the intersection of Hiawatha Ave. and Minnehaha Parkway,Minnehaha Regional Parkis one of Minneapolis’ oldest and most popular parks. Home to the 53-foot Minnehaha Falls and the Minnehaha Creek, the park offers a river experience unlike any other. Minnehaha Park also provides visitors with numerous trails, scenic overlooks, eateries and park accommodations for all types of gatherings.

Hop on a Riverboat

Take a riverboat ride on the Mississippi River and experience its unparalleled beauty. Spot bald eagles, herons, egrets, falcons, other wildlife, and city skylines as you travel back in time with a more leisurely form of travel. More information about these cruises can be found with an Internet search.

Explore Early History at the Sibley House

Explore some of the early history of the Minnesota fur trade and some of Minnesota's oldest buildings, including the house of Henry Hastings Sibley, a fur trader and Minnesota's first governor.

Visit the Milling District

The falling water at St. Anthony Falls powered logging and flour mills that shaped much of the upper Midwest and about the way we think about food. To learn more about this once global economic power of this place, visit the Mill City Museum.

Last updated: February 12, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

111 E. Kellogg Blvd., Suite 105
Saint Paul, MN 55101


(651) 293-0200
This is the general phone line at the Mississippi River Visitor Center. Please leave a voicemail if we miss your call and expect a return call within 1 day, often sooner.

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