Duluth is a beautiful port city in Minnesota, located on Lake Superior. For a family looking forward to a nature vacation with lots of things to do in Duluth with kids, you should not only think of the Mall of America and the Twin Cities when Minnesota pops into your mind, there’s so much to do in this jewel town of Minnesota. Undoubtedly the activities revolve around Lake Superior but there are tons of exciting things to do in Duluth with kids.
The activities range from exploring Lake Superior, fishing, sailing the waters, swimming, to aerial lifts, a walk in the park, and smelling roses, amongst other things.
Here is the thing, Duluth is the Crown Jewel of Minnesota getaways and it isn’t regarded as such for nothing. The town is blessed with a lot of natural beauties and serenity that can only come from nature. There are lots of things to do in Duluth with family. When planning to go to Minnesota, Duluth is often the destination in mind. The treasures of the town call on visitors to explore and enjoy.
Complete list of Things to do in Duluth with Kids
Looking for things to do with your kids in Duluth? From museums to playgrounds, we’ve got you covered. And if you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, be sure to check out our list of things to do in Duluth that are off the beaten path. No matter what you’re looking for in Duluth, we’re sure that we’ve got the perfect thing for you and your family.
Here is the complete list of things to do in Duluth with kids:
Adventure on the Spirit Mountain
If you’re looking for an unforgettable experience with your family, then Adventure on the Spirit Mountain in Duluth is the place for you! This outdoor destination offers a variety of activities, including skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating. But that’s not all – there are also hiking trails, a suspension bridge, and much more.
What’s more, Adventure on the Spirit Mountain offers a variety of packages that let you customize your experience. So whether you’re looking for an adrenalin-pumping adventure or a relaxing day out, this is the place for you!
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Explore the Animal Life of Lake Superior
The aquarium gives a picture of what goes down in Lake Superior and the Great Lakes. Insights into the fishes and animals that live in the lakes of Duluth are given here. At the aquarium, your kids will get to learn about the local fishes and other animals inhabiting the lakes like Black Croppies, Brook Trout, Lake Sturgeon, and other sea life.
Your kids will get to see, learn and connect with the sea creatures at the Feel Connected Touch Pools area. For the adults, watching the American Crow exhibit will be quite fascinating and engaging. The Crow’s sorting skills as it solves puzzles and identifies objects are unrivaled and ‘Freeway Bucks’ worthy.
Smell the Roses at Leif Erikson Park.
Truth is that you are not only going to be smelling the roses but may as well engage in other things while you are here at the park with the kids. The recreational park boasts a green scenic landscape, perfect for picnics with access to a beach and walking paths to relax in the embrace of nature.
However, the Duluth’s Rose Garden is a centre of attraction within the park, captivating and calling unto your soul with its 3,000 Rose Bushes, a Statue of Leif Erickson– the Nordic explorer, a gazebo, and even 12,000 more plants of different kinds and species. One of the things to do in Duluth with Kids is to take out time to appreciate nature in its glory at the park.
You might just begin to weep from its intoxicating beauty and this isn’t an exaggeration, not with the view of Lake Superior in the background. I know that the town is all about nature already, but the beauty of this rose garden and the entire park is unrivaled.
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Rent Bikes and Kayaks at Wheel Fun Rentals
There are bicycles and surrey for kids and adults at the Wheel Fun rentals in Canal Park to rent for a time riding through the Lake Walk together or peddle and steer the lake.
You will have quite a family time filled with so much laughter having to struggle to peddle the surrey and a good time engaging in bicycle ride competitions and struggling to overtake one another or stay ahead.
Have a 365-Degree View of Duluth from the Top of the Enger Tower
The Enger Park and Tower is a 5-Story structure, formerly known as Grand Mountains, that has been in existence since 1939. It was commissioned by Crown Prince Olav and Crown Princess Martha.
The top of the mountain offers a spectacular view of the entire Duluth town and even beyond. Pse for a family photograph at the top of the tower with a view of the entire town of Duluth beneath as the background for your shots. Enjoy family picnics in the Enger Park and hike the trails up the tower with your adventurous bigger kids. The toddlers can make do with just exploring the gardens in the park.
Take a Leap into Lake Superior from the Cribs
This half-sunken building in Lake Superior was built in 1919. No doubt, Duluth has a great number of historic landmarks, even too many for its size. This crib was built to be used to dig up sand and gravel for trucks to transport to the needed locations. It is also known as Icehouse or Uncle Harvey’s Mausoleum.
After a heavy storm struck and sank the building in 1922, it was rather abandoned and has since been used and explored by teenagers for youthful adventures. Your kids may love to join in this daring adventure by climbing to the top of the Crib and giddily jumping into Lake Superior for a swim. It is adrenaline-pumping and exciting and seems like one of the fun things to do in Duluth with kids, especially the grown kids.
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Explore the Lake Superior Railroad Museum
You can’t say you’ve had things to do in Duluth with kids without a trip to Lake Superior Railroad Museum making the list, especially if your kids love engines and machines.
The railroad museum is within the historic Duluth Union Depot and features train cars, locomotives, and a caboose. Your kids will love to explore these machines and pop up as many questions as possible and they will only be too glad to be engaged.
Learn at the Duluth Children’s Museum
The museum is dedicated to teaching children physics and other forms of science through hands-on play. The STEM Stations are created to enable students to learn by manipulating balls, ramps, and magnets. There are other fascinating things like boats, boat slides, a cargo hold, and an Aerial Lift Bridge that children will love to explore. It is a make-believe facility but no one is telling the kids that!
At the museum, the children will also get to learn about Minnesota through the Manoomin exhibit where the five stages of the harvest of Minnesota’s sacred wild rice are being taught to the children. Now trust your kids to request that you order the rice at the next restaurant you enter to eat!
Visit Lake Superior Zoo
The zoo opens all year round although some exhibits Like Barnyard petting zoo and Beautiful Butterflies are often closed or only offer limited hours during winter.
There are so many animals to see at the zoo including African lions, snow leopards, and wallabies. So it doesn’t matter what time of the year you visit, making a stop at the zoo is one of the things to do in Duluth with kids for your kid’s vacation pleasure.
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Sip Beer at Family-Friendly Brewpubs
You read that right! Yes, kids can drink beers too but hey, it’s not the regular grown-up beer. Duluth is big on Beer and as a matter of fact, owned their first brewery in 1886. It was the Fitger’s Brewing Company and today it’s a recognized and registered historic place and still open as a small shopping complex and restaurant.
For a kid-friendly beer, the Fitger’s Brewhouse Brewery and Grille offer Driftwood Draft Rootbeer. Your kids will love the foamy mug in its glory placed before them and won’t wait to sip them all away. You won’t be having just beer as they also offer fish, chips, hamburgers and so many other meals.
You can as well get to Canal Park Brewing Company for some craft beer made with local but healthy grains, hops, malts, and other ingredients. Their patio offers a beautiful view of Lake Superior and you should order a meal, preferably a local specialty like fried Cheese Curds or Tempura Walleye, to go with your craft beer.
Stuff your Mouth With Candies and Sweets
The Hepzibah’s Sweet Shop offers the best fudge ever with their locally made fudge consisting of chocolate truffles, Jelly Belly beans, licorice, and old-fashioned candies. If your kids love candies and sweets, for the best and most unique of them all, try out the Hepzibah’s Sweet Shop and be glad you did.
Stroll Through the Canal Park
It is an old warehouse district converted into a community featuring various restaurants, lakeside hotels, shops, indoor and outdoor cafes, and art galleries. Your kids will love strolling through the area, eyeing souvenirs at the souvenir shops (and you may like to get them some), watching seagulls who will only be too glad to jump for their snacks and take them right from their hands. Trust your feisty kid to struggle for his candy or simply just surrender it to them
There are other family-friendly attractions along Canal Park that you may like to stop by. The Lighthouse Pier is accessible from the park and your family may like to stop by.
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Tour Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center
The complex is an indoor educational maritime museum and is free. The exhibit provides details of the history of the Great Lakes through movies, photos, and artifacts from Duluth’s shipping industry history, and model ships. Your kids will only be too fascinated by this discovery.
And for further satisfaction of their curiosity, they will be allowed a peek at the 3 crew cabins to get to see what life was like on the historic ships. They won’t leave without swiveling the life-size wooden steering wheel.
Sight the Aerial Lift Bridge
Sightseeing is one of the best ways to experience the cityscape and enjoy the natural beauty of Duluth. There are many amazing places to see in Duluth, and one of the most iconic is the Aerial Lift Bridge. This steel structure offers stunning views of the Duluth harbor and city skyline. It is a popular tourist destination and a must-see for anyone visiting Duluth.
From the Park Canal, your kids will stay transfixed watching the popular Aerial Lift Bridge go up and down as ships pass through the port, they should look forward to hearing the blast of the whistle.
Kids love to watch things they consider captivating and the giant cargo ships coming from around the world is surely worthy of their admiration.
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Drive Through Minnesota’s Scenic North Shore
Go for a drive on the popular Highway 61, which is Minnesota’s scenic north shore. It is a stretch along Lake Superior with a magnificent view of Cliffs, lighthouse, pine trees, and Lake Superior – which is the largest of all the Great Lakes of North America, covering both the United States and Canada.
There would be deers running around the stretch as well as wolves and even bald eagles on a lucky day! Your kids will be fascinated by the sight and if you think it isn’t so much of a big deal of the things to do in Duluth with kids, then think again!
There are quite a great number of things to do in Duluth with kids as described in this article for maximum fun and unique learning experience. It is even more interesting that these activities are not limited to just kids but the adults and the entire family on a visit to the town will enjoy it as much as the kids. This makes the town a perfect option for a family vacation. If you’re looking for things to do in Duluth with family, this article is the perfect suggestion for you.
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If you’re new and wondering where to stay in Duluth, check out Trips.com for reservations. If you’ve not been to Duluth before, you may not know the options available and what will be right for your family’s stay. If your vacation is booked for August and around that time, you should consider lodging at Bayfront Festival Park for easy access to the Bayfront Blues Festival. However, Pier B Resort is affordable, chic and classy with a view of Lake Superior and the Aerial Lift Bridge.