Situated approximately 16 kilometers south of Saint Paul, Minnesota, is the small but picturesque suburb, Cottage Grove. This charming city is 10 miles southeast of the state’s twin cities, Minneapolis and St. Paul, sits on the north bank of the famed Mississippi River and has a population of 37,120. Cottage Grove has been slowly gaining popularity from both local and international tourists as it offers various attractions, scenic landscapes, and unique outdoor experiences. Cottage Grove is also becoming an ideal location for home seekers looking for the perfect place to settle down with their families.
Whether you’re planning to spend a few days in this beautiful place with your loved ones, relocating to enjoy a simple suburban life, or searching for family fun adventures, here are some of the best things you can do in Cottage Grove, Minnesota.
What Makes Cottage Grove MN Such a Great Place
Aside from its panoramic outdoor sceneries, Cottage Grove is slowly becoming one of the best and safest places to live in Minnesota. The city’s tranquil environment allows its residents to live a comfortable life with their loved ones while having access to high-quality living and urban-like resources.
Residents of St. Paul are generally able to live comfortably as the cost of living in MN, specifically in Cottage Grove, is relatively lower than in other cities. Cottage Grove boasts of its low poverty rate, healthy economy, safe neighborhoods, and quality education. Residents can experience multiple cultures as the population of Cottage Grove, Minnesota, is becoming more diverse every year. It also has a myriad of establishments that attract different types of consumers.
Best Things to Do in Cottage Grove
Whether you’re staying for a quick family weekend getaway, scouting the area to look for Companies that buy houses in Minnesota, or firms that advertise “Buy my house in Minneapolis,” here are some of the best and fun things you can do while you’re in Cottage Grove, MN.
- Visit the plants at the Zywiec Garden Center
For a relaxing nature experience, make sure to visit the plants at Zywiec Garden Center. This beautiful garden showcases a variety of foliage, including herbs, vegetables, succulents, trees, and shrubs. A day in the Zywiec Garden Center will not only treat you to a relaxing nature respite while being surrounded by beautiful floral sceneries, but you also have the opportunity to enhance your plant knowledge, especially those locally nurtured in Cottage Grove. The garden center also holds community events for different kinds of occasions. You should also check out their gift shop, as they have an extensive collection of gardening supplies.
- Hone your biking skills at the Cottage Grove Bike Park
Whether you’re a novice or professional biker, you will certainly enjoy showing off your biking skills at the Cottage Grove Bike Park. The 2.4-acre family-friendly bike park offers biking enthusiasts of all ages different bike adventures. It is equipped with numerous dirt trails, including a mountain cross-track, a pump track, and challenging dirt jumps. You can safely practice your bike stunts as the bike park is well-maintained by local volunteers.
- Enjoy the sunset At Arbor Meadows Park
If you’re fond of watching sunsets, head to Arbor Meadows Park, as it is an excellent spot to wind down with your loved ones at sundown. This eight-acre community park in Cottage Grove is nestled in a scenic neighborhood, equipped with several amenities such as walking trails, soccer fields, basketball courts, a picnic facility, and a kids playground. It also has a beautiful pond that adds life to its lush surroundings. Arbor Meadows Park is the perfect destination for those looking for a quiet and comfortable evening with nature.
- Perfect your golf swings at River Oaks Golf Course
The River Oaks Golf Course is a beautifully-designed golf course located next to the Mississippi River Valley. Golf professionals and enthusiasts can level up their golfing skills in this 18-hole top-rated course while enjoying a relaxing ambiance surrounded by lush greeneries. River Oaks Golf Course is also a popular event venue for special occasions and features a charming restaurant that offers delicious dishes.
- Get pampered at the Healing Place
After a full day of family fun adventures, treat yourself and your loved ones to a spa session at the Healing Place. This famed spa in Cottage Grove, Minnesota, offers its clients exceptional massage and beauty treatments conducted by experienced and licensed therapists.
Did You Know This About Cottage Grove Minnesota?
Here are a few interesting facts about Cottage Grove, Minnesota:
- Approximately 10 years ago, Cottage Grove had a drive-in theater, which was one of the two remaining in the Twin Cities area. It was later torn down and replaced by a Wal-Mart branch in March 2014.
- Over the last five years, Cottage Grove welcomed new residents from different states. While the city’s population growth rate is not as high as other areas in Minnesota, more people are beginning to see the living potential of this charming city. It is also important to note that since this year’s MN housing market trends favor home sellers, more individuals are expected to relocate to this dynamic city.
- Cottage Grove yearly holds a Strawberry Fest, which takes place around June. It is a four-day event that features carnival rides, live entertainment, fireworks, a parade, hot air balloon rides, talent shows, a petting farm, car shows, softball tournaments, a strawberry pie-eating contest, and a medallion hunt.
Best Things to Do in Cottage Grove if You Have Children
Over the years, Cottage Grove, Minnesota, has been attracting families, as there are numerous fun-filled kids activities you can do in this lively city.
- Go ice skating at Peter Thompson Park
For families who are fond of ice skating, make sure to spend a day at Peter Thompson Park during the winter season. Peter Thompson Park is well-known for its magnificent outdoor ice skating rinks and has hosted several local events. You can teach your little ones the basics of ice skating and then enjoy playing in the park’s playground for the rest of the day.
- Have a family picnic at Woodridge Park
Woodridge park is one of Cottage Grove’s finest and most-visited parks. This lovely park features two baseball fields, an ice skating rink, a sand volleyball court, two tennis courts, two basketball courts, and an inclusive 23,000-square-foot playground. There are several nature trails you can explore as well as picnic areas where you can enjoy a nice picnic day with your little ones.
- Take your kids on a nature walk at Oakwood Park
If you want your kids to fully appreciate the beauty of nature, take them on a hike or a nature walk at Oakwood Park. You can enjoy a relaxing lunch with your family while admiring the city’s beautiful landscapes.
- Go apple picking at Afton Apple Orchard
Located near Cottage Grove, the Afton Apple Orchard attracts thousands of visitors every year. This family owned orchard offers its guests the chance to pick their own produce including strawberries, pumpkins, squash, fall raspberries, and apples. Enjoy a fun day of fruit and vegetable picking with your little ones on this beautiful farm that sits on more than 250 acres of land.
- Enjoy kayaking at St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park
Another nearby park destination you can explore with your kids is St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park. Located in Washington country, this 685-acre famed park provides its visitors the perfect nature escape as it has a myriad of scenic landscapes such as wooded ravines, rolling upland prairies, and bluffs. You can go kayaking or canoeing with your little ones while enjoying the beauty of nature. Other park’s amenities include a modern campground, hiking trails, cross-country ski trails, a pavilion, picnic areas, and basketball courts.
Local Parks in Cottage Grove
Cottage Grove is home to various parks that offer different outdoor experiences all year-round. Below are some of the local parks you need to visit if you’re in Cottage Grove, Minnesota.
- Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park
Another popular park in the city is the 515-acre Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park. The park boasts of wooded ravines, beautiful hills, cross-country skiing trails, and a small lake. It features a variety of fun activities throughout the year. Local wildlife also tends to roam the park during the warmer months.
- Hamlet Park
Regarded to be Cottage Grove’s largest park, Hamlet Park offers adventure seekers over 150 acres of vast space. The park features basketball courts, football fields, a bike park, scenic trails, picnic shelters, baseball fields, a playground, ice skating rinks, and a skateboard park. Residents and tourists will never run out of things to do in this local park favorite.
- Kingston Park
Another famous park in Cottage Grove, Minnesota is Kingston Park. The park can be found along Jessen Avenue and is adjacent to Cottage Grove Middle School Athletic Complex and Grey Cloud Elementary. Kingston Park features more than eleven soccer fields, tennis courts, basketball courts, trails, tennis courts, and fully-equipped playgrounds for your little ones.
Play Centers in Cottage Grove, Minnesota
Aside from kid-friendly parks and tourist attractions, you can also take your kids to these play centers and theme parks located in Cottage Grove, Minnesota, and other nearby areas.
- Pipsqueaks Indoor Playground
- Lookout Ridge Indoor Playground
- Monkey House
- Good Times Park
- Jumps and Downs
- Eagles Nest
- Maple Maze Indoor Playground
- Nickelodeon Universe
- Pump It Up Plymouth
- Tiny Tots Playhouse
- The Thomas Irvine Dodge Nature Center
Attractions in Cottage Grove
Here are other popular attractions you can visit in Cottage Grove and other regions of St Paul:
- Children’s Museum
- Cathedral of St. Paul
- Como Park Zoo and Conservatory
- Mall of America
- Minnesota Zoo
- Treasure Island Resort and Casino
- James J. Hill House
- Minnesota History Center
- Ordway Center
- Twin City Model Railroad Museum
- Wabasha Street Caves
- Historic Fort Snelling
With various exciting and unique activities you can do with your kids and a collection of interesting places to explore, Cottage Grove, Minnesota, should undoubtedly be on every traveler’s destination bucket list.