A Mighty Good Time on the Mighty Mississippi

The Mississippi National River and Recreation Area is a national park that stretches for 72 miles through the Twin Cities region including the stretch of river that makes up the eastern border of Inver Grove Heights (you read that correctly, the Twin Cities is home to a national park!).

There are a number of ways to enjoy the Mississippi in Inver Grove Heights and we’re here to help you #FindYourPark while you visit.

IMG_1560 (1)
Pier at Swing Bridge Park

Boating, Canoeing and Kayaking

If you’d like to take your boat out for a day or two, River Heights Marina offers day launch passes and transient dockage as well as season long slip rentals.  Canoeists and kayakers can launch there as well!  Twin City Marina offers seasonal slip rentals, as well as a ‘Land and Launch’ option for storing your boat on shore with an unlimited number of launches at their private ramp.  Castaways Marina has slips for rent and a limited number for sale.

Dan Grevas Photography
Dan Grevas Photography


Head to River Front Park if you’d like to cast a line but are lacking in the boat department.  You can fish from shore at this small city park.  This area is part of Pool 2 on the Mississippi River and boasts  an above normal abundance of walleye, sauger and catfish (according to the MN DNR website when it comes to catfish you can find some ‘real whoppers’ in Pool 2).  Be sure to check out the regulations at the MN DNR website.

Sightseeing, Hiking, Photography and Birding

Pine Bend Bluffs
Pine Bend Bluffs

Swing Bridge Park offers a unique view of the river on it’s railroad-swing-bridge-turned-walking-pier.  The 670 foot pier offers stunning views of the river and is a unique spot for photos, birdwatching or simply getting a little bit closer to the Mighty Mississippi.

River Front park is a small neighborhood park on the Mississippi River that is another good spot to break out the camera, or to find a little inner peace as you watch the river roll by.

Managed by the Minnesota DNR Pine Bend Bluffs Scientific and Natural Area is 256 acres of largely undisturbed land with breathtaking views overlooking the river.  Visitors are welcome to enjoy low impact activities there such as hiking, photography and bird watching.

The Mississippi River is the flyway for 40% of North America’s waterfowl and 35% of its bird species, making it an ideal location for birding.  Check out this informative map from Audubon for more information about birding in the Twin Cities.

Pine Bend Bluffs
Pine Bend Bluffs


The Mississippi River Trail is slated to be complete this year and will extend along the Mississippi River for 27 miles from St. Paul to Hastings, with beautiful views of the river and connections to local trails and parks along the way.  Swing Bridge Park offers a unique scenic overlook of the river, bathrooms, a bike repair station and picnic shelters among other amenities.  Pine Bend Bluffs is another worthwhile stop on the trail, with breathtaking views of the river below.

IMG_1902 (1)

Dining and Drinks

No visit to the river would be complete without taking some time to kick back and enjoy some delicious food and refreshing beverages.  Mississippi Pub is open year round and offers menu that is sure to please even the pickiest eaters.  They have a great patio and frequently have local artists performing acoustic music on the patio in the warmer months.

Fried Pickles from Mississippi Pub
Fried Pickles from Mississippi Pub

Overboard Bar and Grill is another riverside establishment offering beautiful views of the river.  The laid back atmosphere makes it a perfect place to grab a burger and beer!

Both the Mississippi Pub and Overboard Bar and Grill are accessible by land or by river with convenient docking at each location.

With scenic views and endless opportunities for riverside activities, put a trip to Inver Grove Heights on your calendar and experience the wonder of the Mighty Mississippi!  Don’t forget to tag your photos with #VisitIGH and we may just share them on our social media!

For more information about lodging options and hotel packages in Inver Grove Heights, click here.

Golfing in the Grove

Dan Grevas
Dan Grevas Photography

Golf season is here, and with two gorgeous courses a trip to Inver Grove Heights should be on your golf bucket list!


Inver Wood Golf Course is a beautiful course with rolling wooded terrain that makes you feel like you’re on a retreat to northern Minnesota, but only minutes from downtown St. Paul.  Offering both an 18-hole championship course and a 9-hole executive course, Inver Wood is perfect for golfers of all levels, from avid golfer to those who are just starting.

In addition to the two courses, the facility boasts a uniquely designed practice center.  With two fairways, along with strategically placed greens and bunkers, add more dimension to the driving range experience.  Golfers can work on their game in an authentic “on course” environment.

Dan Grevas Photography
Dan Grevas Photography

The course underwent major renovations in the later half of 2016, that were implemented with improved playability and increased pace of play in mind.

Dan Grevas Photography
Dan Grevas Photography

If you’re looking to stay ahead of the latest sports trends Inver Wood offers FootGolf in addition to traditional golfing.  FootGolf is a sport that combines soccer and golf to create a fun and invigorating game for the whole family.  If you’re interested in learning more check out this post to get started.


Lillie Suburban Newspapers
Lillie Suburban Newspapers


Arbor Pointe Golf Club is a challenging executive nine hole course that is enjoyable for golfers of any skill level!  This course offers picturesque views and well-manicured greens.  The 31-par nine-hole layout makes it a perfect choice for a group outing with an efficient pace of play.

Dan Grevas Photography
Dan Grevas Photography

With spring in full swing, it’s time to pack up your clubs and make your way to Inver Grove Heights to check out our two gorgeous courses!

Dan Grevas Photography
Dan Grevas Photography

Spring Break fun in the Twin Cities and Inver Grove Heights: Make unique and affordable vacation memories with your family this spring!


Spring break doesn’t have to break the bank!  We’ve put together a list of ways to have a memorable vacation full of affordable family fun in the Twin Cities and Inver Grove Heights.

Swing Bridge Park on the Mississippi River in Inver Grove Heights.
Swing Bridge Park on the Mississippi River in Inver Grove Heights.

1: It’s spring break, so go ahead and get wild! The Como Zoo is home to lions (and sea lions), and tigers, and (polar) bears (oh my!), plus many more amazing creatures.  While you are there make your way through the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory for a tropical getaway and add a little color to your life among the beautiful flowers in the Sunken Garden.  Best part?  Como Zoo asks for a minimal voluntary donation for admission ($3 for adults and $2 for kids).  If you’re looking to ‘hit the beach’ make your way to the Minnesota Zoo for their Tropical Beach party (February 18-March12).

Courtesy of Jackie Scherer Photography & Como Zoo
Courtesy of Jackie Scherer Photography & Como Zoo


2: Dive in to delicious dining! One of our favorite parts of vacation is checking out the local eateries, and you can’t go wrong in Inver Grove Heights!  Check out Mississippi Pub for a meal with waterfront views (they’re located on the shores of the Mighty Mississippi).  Stop by Old World Pizza for some ‘za that will have you begging for more.  Head to El Azteca for a taste of Mexico and make your way to B-52 Burgers and Brew for their award winning burgers.

Fried Pickles from Mississippi Pub
Fried Pickles from Mississippi Pub

3: Go ahead and make some waves at The Grove Indoor Water Park, with two large slides, a variety of splash features and a lily pad crossing there’s fun for everyone! If you’re more of a landlubber, head to Drkula’s Bowl for gold old fashioned family fun, or kick back and relax in the reclining leather seats at AMC Inver Grove 16 and catch up on the latest Hollywood blockbuster.  While you’re here be sure to check out the Mississippi River from Swing Bridge Park or visit one of the many other beautiful parks in Inver Grove Heights!

Make a splash at The Grove!
Make a splash at The Grove!

4: If you want to sneak in a little educational enrichment while you’re here, take in the new Mythic Creatures exhibit at the Science Museum of Minnesota (it’s so much fun the kiddos won’t have any idea that your engaging in some extracurricular learning). Or head to the Minnesota History Center to travel back in time.   If you’re looking for a Broadway experience without the NYC prices, Hennepin Theatre Trust brings the experience to the Midwest!  Check out their great spring line up including The King and I, Matilda the Musical and Wicked.

Photo courtesy of Science Museum of Minnesota
Photo courtesy of Science Museum of Minnesota

5: If you’re thrill seeker tilt, twist and turn on the wide array of indoor amusement rides in Nickelodeon Universe® at Mall of America®. While you’re there continue your adventure at one of the newest attractions, SMAAASH, a world-class gaming and entertainment center!  Connect with some underwater creatures at Sea Life Aquarium and let your inner Picasso shine at Crayola Experience.  You can even take a flight across the country (and be back in time for dinner) at Flyover America!


Photo courtesy of Nickelodeon Universe


Inver Grove Heights offers family-friendly, affordable hotel accommodations and is only 10 minutes from St. Paul and 15 minutes from Mall of America.  Check out our Nickelodeon Universe and Mall of America® Visa card packages and book your spring break today!




Six ways to send off 2016 in and around Inver Grove Heights



If you’re as ready as we are to kiss 2016 goodbye and show 2017 a warm welcome, here are some ideas for you to bid adieu to the old and ring in the new.

For the early birds:

1. Celebrate NYE with the family at Veterans Memorial Community Center from noon to 3:30 p.m. Swim, skate, play bingo, and log roll for only $25 for a family of four or $8 for individual tickets.

2. Get wild, in the wild at Dakota County Parks’ New Year’s Eve in the Wild celebration at Lebanon Hills Regional Park. From 5-8 p.m. enjoy candlelight hiking, snowshoeing, ice skating, sledding, bonfires, live animals, a DJ dance party, storytelling, magic and more at the Lebanon Hills Visitor Center.  More than 1,200 luminaries will light more than 2 miles of hiking and snowshoeing trails.  Cost is $10 per person and children ages 5 and younger can attend for free.

3. Pack your hat and mittens, and layer up for a fun, family-friendly New Year’s Eve Candlelight Walk at Fort Snelling State Park from 4-8 p.m. Hike miles of candlelit trails, warm up at a roaring bonfire, toast marshmallows and more!



For the night owls:

4. Dress to impress in your best (or worst) black & white attire and join Mississippi Pub for their New Year’s Eve Black & White Party starting at 8 p.m. Enjoy drink specials, half price pizzas from 10 p.m. to close and a special champagne toast at midnight to ring in 2017!

5. Spend NYE with Your Dad’s Band at Jersey’s Bar and Grill from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. The first 50 tickets are on sale for only $5!  It will be a night to remember with awesome live music, party favors and a free champagne toast at midnight!  Visit their website to secure your tickets.

6. Head to B-52 Burgers and Brew from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. for an all-inclusive New Year’s Eve party featuring DJ Danny. Dine, drink and dance into 2017.  The $60 all-inclusive tickets include tap beer, bottled beer, rail drinks, call drinks and a free buffet.  Or upgrade your NYE with the $90 all-inclusive plus tickets which include any and all drinks except shots and high-end whiskeys and all menu items.  Visit their website for tickets.

Need a place to rest your weary head after all your NYE fun?  Check out one of Inver Grove Heights’ great hotels!

From all of us at the Inver Grove Heights Convention and Visitors Bureau, we wish you a fun and safe New Year’s Eve and all the best in 2017!

This weekend’s forecast calls for sightings of Santa in Inver Grove Heights!

Jersey's Bar & Grill
Jersey’s Bar & Grill

If you’re looking to catch up with the jolly man in the red suit, get to Inver Grove Heights this weekend! Rumors abound that he is sure to be seen about town. We would recommend starting your hunt at Veterans Memorial Community Center on Saturday December 10th. Inver Grove Heights Parks and Rec hosts Breakfast with Santa and a Candy Cane Hunt, with two sessions beginning at 8:30am or 10:30am. The cost is $5 in advance or $7 at the door and families can enjoy a light breakfast (donuts, muffins, juice and coffee) while visiting Santa, taking part in crafts a selfie booth and more! Stick around because rumor has it that Mr. Claus is strapping on some skates and hitting the ice from 6-7:30 ($5 in advance and $7 at the door).

And before you put away the camera and call off your search, make your way to Jersey’s Bar and Grill on Sunday December 11th between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. for a fantastic brunch buffet with a side of Santa. Make sure to get there early as this event is first come, first serve.

The Ultimate Guide to Unique Holiday Shopping & Shows in Inver Grove Heights and the Twin Cities

Holiday Lights in Rice Park, Saint Paul


We’ve put together the ultimate guide to unique markets and stores in the Twin Cities to help you be a creative gift giver this year! And once you have checked off every name on your list, there is no better way to enjoy the season than to take in a spectacular show with your family or friends. For a holiday shopping and entertainment experience unlike any other, make your way to Inver Grove Heights and the Twin Cities for these fourteen can’t-miss shops and shows:


Unique Holiday Shopping Spots:


Renee & Jim Engebretson Glass
  1. Art at Ramsey

For unique, one-of-a-kind gifts, head to the 22nd annual Art at Ramsey, where you’ll find a wide selection of quality work by 80 juried local artists from the upper Midwest, including leather and fabric handbags, acrylic and oil paintings, silver and gold jewelry, baskets, woven scarves, art dolls, blown and stained glass, and much more.




  1. Minneapolis Craft Market

Minneapolis Craft Market is the Twin Cities’ only weekly market dedicated solely to crafts. This festive market features a range of handcrafted goods by designers and makers of the North, such as ceramics, clothing, fiber arts, jewelry, metalwork, photography, woodwork, and stationary.  They partner with Linden Hills Farmers Market on Sundays from November 20th to December 18th to bring you a one stop shop full of holiday gifts, gourmet treats and charming winter decorations!



  1. Holidazzle Village

Enjoy a little North Country in Downtown Minneapolis! As downtown Minneapolis’ premier holiday celebration, Holidazzle has delighted residents, visitors, and downtown employees for years. Now, in 2016, this tradition is bringing family-friendly programming to Loring Park and is free and open to the public. You and yours are invited to join in the festivities and enjoy the sensational foods, beverages, crafts, and merchandise!


Photo courtesy of Ben Bauch
Photo courtesy of Ben Bauch
  1. St. Paul European Christmas Market

The European Christmas Market in St. Paul is based on the traditional, charming, and festive open air Christkindlmarkts found in Germany, Austria, and other countries during the Advent season. Shop for unique, handmade holiday gifts and decorations from local vendors, drink Glühwein (spiced mulled wine), and taste European inspired food and delicacies during the first two weekends in December.



  1. Midtown Global Market

As one of the largest indoor public markets in the Twin Cities, Midtown Global Market offers delicious food, spectacular entertainment, and beautiful gifts. Every weekend, Midtown Global Market brings free live entertainment from all around the world to the market’s stage. It’s the place to be for fun, good food, and culture!



  1. Landmark Center Holiday Bazaar

For an abundance of holiday cheer and shopping, visit the 38th Annual Landmark Center Old-Fashioned Holiday Bazaar featuring 75 booths of beautiful and unique handcrafted gift items by the area’s finest artists. The Bazaar will feature quality handcrafted items including, jewelry, wreaths, paintings, woven and wearable art, handmade lotions, soaps, and more!



  1. Gertens

While gardening is the first thing that comes to mind when you say Gertens, they offer so much more!  Not only do they offer Christmas décor, Santa has been known to make special appearances in the store, they offer a variety of crafts and even host workshops such as wreath-decorating and creating holiday fairy gardens!


Holiday Shows:



  1. Orphan Train at the History Theater

A timeless story of family told with humor and love, Orphan Train brings to life the struggles and joys of the children who landed in Minnesota between 1858 and 1929 and the families who took them in. Don’t miss this new look at a History Theatre classic that will tug at your heartstrings and entertain audiences of all ages.

Image by Allen Weeks
Image by Allen Weeks
  1. Black Nativity at the Penumbra Theatre

Penumbra Theatre’s treasured holiday tradition returns with a focus on compassion, connection, and community. Civil Rights leader and theologian Dr. Howard Thurman suggested that “the work of Christmas” begins after we return to our everyday lives. This work is “to find the lost, to heal the broken, to feed the hungry, to release the prisoner, to rebuild the nations, to bring peace among brothers, to make music in the heart.” What makes your heart sing? This Christmas, the most radical expression of love is justice. Be the light.

Heidi Bohnenkamp
Heidi Bohnenkamp
  1. The Lion in Winter at the Guthrie Theater

Set during Christmas 1183, The Lion in Winter tells the amusing tale of King Henry II, his imprisoned queen (released only for the holiday), and their three entitled sons who vie for the throne in a double-dealing division of the kingdom. Head to the Guthrie Theater for an epic family takedown, just in time for the holidays!



  1. The Magic Dreidels at Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company

Jakob, a curious young boy who often misplaces things, loses his Hanukkah dreidel down a well. A goblin living in the well replaces his dreidel with magical ones, setting off a series of adventures for Jakob with his father and his lonely neighbor. A charming and festive tale for the whole family, The Magic Dreidels is an opportunity to learn about the cultural traditions of Hanukkah, and the universal themes of sharing, compassion, and friendship.


  1. All is Calm at Pantages Theatre

All is Calm takes place at the Western Front on Christmas, 1914. A German soldier steps into No Man’s Land singing “Stille Nacht.” Thus begins an extraordinary night of camaraderie, music, and peace. Make your way to Pantages Theatre in Minneapolis for this remarkable true story, told in the words and songs of the men who lived it.


Photo by Dani Werner
  1. What the Elf at Brave New Workshop

Leave the kids at home and spend an evening at The Brave New Workshop for their holiday show, a cherished annual event for those most likely to wind up on the ‘naughty’ list. This holiday tradition is sure to leave you laughing!


Photo courtesy of The Saint Paul Hotel
Photo courtesy of The Saint Paul Hotel
  1. It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play

Celebrating their 11th season, this spectacular performance is Joe Landry’s take on the classic 1946 Frank Capra file, It’s a Wonderful Life.  This heartwarming holiday classic is brought to life as a 1940s WCCO radio drama, complete with an onstage sound effects guru.  This is truly a magical experience for the whole family!


Ready to start planning your visit to Inver Grove Heights and the Twin Cities this holiday season? Take advantage of the Inver Grove Heights’ Mall of America® hotel package!


7 Ideas for a Girls’ Weekend Getaway in Inver Grove Heights & the Twin Cities

Image courtesy of Pexels.
Image courtesy of Pexels.

Sometimes it’s just better to leave the boys at home and head out for a girl’s weekend getaway!

Whether you and your gal pals prefer outdoor activities, a little culture, or relaxing with a glass of wine, here are seven tried-and-true favorites for a girls’ weekend getaway in Inver Grove Heights & the Twin Cities:


  1. Swirl and Sip
Cannon River Winery
Cannon River Winery

Sample the best wines the area has to offer by visiting a local winery! Nestled among the lush, rolling hills of Minnesota’s picturesque Sogn Valley, Cannon River Winery’s vineyard is home to more than 9,000 vines on 40 acres of land. The Alexis Bailly Vineyard & Winery is surrounded by 13 acres of vineyard and has a charming picnic area overlooking the vines, a grape trellised deck to sip a glass of wine under, and bocce ball courts to play on.


  1. Flashback to the 1930s
Wabasha Street Caves

Take a step back in time to the Prohibition Era and explore the nightclubs where many famous gangsters spent time. The Wabasha Street Caves are the perfect blend of history and intrigue for you and your friends. These man-made caves have been home to mobsters, speakeasies, and more recently have begun hosting a “Swing Night” on Thursday nights with live big-band music.


  1. Hit the Spa
Solimar Wellness Spa
Solimar Wellness Spa

What’s a girl’s weekend getaway without a trip to the spa? Treat yourselves to a relaxing and rejuvenating spa treatment or two at Solimar Wellness Spa, and bask in the beautiful and calming environment. Primo Salon & Spa is another terrific option, offering everything from hair care, skin care, nail services, and more!


  1. Check Out the Cultural Arts Scene
Ordway Center for the Performing Arts

Enjoy an evening of theatre, music, or dance with plenty of options for the performing arts! The Ordway, one of the country’s leading not-for-profit performing arts centers, is home to a wide variety musical theater, world music, dance, and vocal performances throughout the year. The Guthrie Theater, a center for theater performance, production, education, and professional training, presents both classical literature and new work from diverse cultures. As far as museums go, you can never go wrong with a trip to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, where you’ll find a variety artwork ranging from Monet to Matisse, Asian to African, and 40,000-year-old artifacts to world-famous masterpieces.


  1. Shop ‘Til You Drop
Mall of America®
Mall of America®

Ready to do some serious shopping? A girls’ weekend in Inver Grove Heights and the Twin Cities wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Mall of America! Mall of America is the nation’s largest retail and entertainment complex that boasts over 520 stores, 50 restaurants, three major department stores, and so much more. Head to Gertens, one of the only garden centers in the area that grows the majority of the goods they sell, and browse their wide selection of annuals, perennials, and nursery stock. Wander down the charming street of Grand Avenue and experience what many know as the best in Twin Cities shopping — you’ll find a wide range of styles that are all individually unique!


  1. Eat, Drink, and Be Merry
Cooks of Crocus Hill

A girl’s gotta eat, right? So, why not get the full foodie experience while exploring the Twin Cities? Taste Twin Cities Food & Drink Tours highlight the most delicious food and drink the region has to offer, while providing insights into the culture, history, and architecture of Minneapolis, St. Paul, and a few nearby areas. For a more hands-on experience, head to Cooks of Crocus Hill for a cooking class. These classes include instruction, plenty of food, and lots of fun!


  1. Get Your Creative Juices Flowing
Foci Glass Blowing

Get in touch with your inner artist! Attend a glass blowing demonstration at Foci or take a tour of their stunning glass art gallery. Looking for a quick clay thrill? Head to Northern Clay Center for a one-day ceramic arts workshop, where you’ll learn the secrets of throwing pottery on the wheel. Spend an evening at Wine & Canvas and experience art entertainment at its finest as you and your girls sip on your favorite wine while creating a masterpiece. The best part? No talent or experience is necessary.


Whether it’s celebrating a milestone birthday or simply catching up with a group of old friends for a long weekend, Inver Grove Heights is the place to do it. So, grab your girls and get ready for a weekend you’ll always remember!



MythBusters: The Explosive Exhibition



When the weather starts to cool down, it’s a great time to check out some indoor activities.  If your kiddo needs a break from sports practice, screen time, and homework it’s time to check out the MythBusters: The Explosive Exhibition at Mall of America®.




We made a visit on a rainy afternoon and it was a huge hit!  The exhibit features original props from episodes of Discovery Channel’s scientifically minded myth-testing series.  In addition to memorabilia from the show, you can let your inner-MythBuster shine with hands-on experiments and an interactive demonstration.  Our favorite experiments were Tablecloth Chaos, Cliff Hanger and Killer Card Toss.




The MythBusters: The Explosive Exhibition is a great family activity whether or not you are familiar with the television show and an especially exciting experience for MythBusters aficionados.  Get there soon – this behind the scenes exhibit is only at Mall of America® until January 15, 2017!



8 Top Things to Do This Fall in Inver Grove Heights and the Twin Cities


Ahhh, fall– the season of festivals, beautiful foliage, hay rides, and fresh pumpkin pie. The warm days of summer may be officially behind us, but the fall fun is just beginning here in Inver Grove Heights! Whether you’re looking to pick your own apples, admire the vibrant leaves, or visit a spooky haunted house, here are eight can’t-miss activities for fall in Inver Grove Heights & the Twin Cities:


1. Inver Grove Heights Days

Head to Inver Grove Heights’ very own annual community-wide celebration for a variety of family-fun activities, including the Grand Parade, a fishing contest, disc golf tournament, fireworks show, classic car show, Inver Grove Heights Royalty Coronation, and more!


2. Gertens Pumpkin Fest

Pumpkins are a symbol of fall harvest and Halloween, so what better place to get into the fall spirit than at a pumpkin festival? Head to Gertens annual Pumpkin Fest for a perfect fall family outing with activities for all ages, including hayrides, a spooky maze, face painting, a petting zoo, fall treats, pumpkin painting, and scarecrow making.


3. Mississippi Pub’s Oktoberfest

While there’s no denying that Germany hosts the ultimate Oktoberfest celebrations, Mississippi Pub’s Oktoberfest is proof that you don’t have to leave the country to experience the sights, sounds, and flavors of this celebration of Bavarian culture. Guests will enjoy live music, great beer, authentic German food, a stein hoisting competition, and a costume contest!


4. Canon River Winery Fall Harvest

Join Cannon River Winery for their fall grape harvest, where you’ll get the unique opportunity to pick grapes by hand amongst the lush rolling hills of the picture perfect Sogn Valley. You’ll also learn about the history of the vineyard and the art of growing grapes, followed by a delicious catered meal with the gorgeous vineyard as a backdrop.

5. Enjoying the Fall Colors at Rock Island Swing Bridge

While brilliant fall foliage displays can be witnessed throughout much of Minnesota, one of the most spectacular can be found right here in Inver Grove Heights at the historic Rock Island Swing Bridge. Built in 1894, the Rock Island Swing Bridge was designed for the South St. Paul Beltline Railroad but has since been converted into a public recreational pier. Take a leisurely stroll down the bridge and through the adjoining park and treat your eyes to a panorama of colorful autumn leaves.


6. ZooBoo at Como Zoo & Creatures of the Night at Minnesota Zoo

Don’t miss ZooBoo at Como Zoo this October for a unique fall fundraising festival that’s perfect for families and young children! For this fright-free Halloween event, the grounds of Como Zoo transform into a world of fairytales and fun as 200 live costumed characters interact and entertain children. This magical festival offers families a safe trick-or-treating alternative plus many Halloween surprises.

Creatures of the Night, a kid-centric Halloween celebration is sure to delight! Explore the Minnesota Zoo after dark and you’ll learn more about some of the fun and friendly creatures who roam the woods at night and how to find your way using starlight! Join us to howl with the wolves and hoot with the owls.  The activities, excursions, crafts and games make learning fun for young and old alike!


7. Haunted Houses

Halloween is all about thrills and chills, and the Twin Cities lay claim to a variety of haunted houses that will leave you with goosebumps for days! Halloween Haunt at ValleySCARE is a veritable playground of terror featuring nine haunted attractions, creepy live entertainment, and signature thrill rides that bring terror to a whole new level. Head to The Soap Factory’s Haunted Basement where you’ll be given a poorly functioning flashlight and sent downstairs into the darkness where frights and horrors await. In the heart of the Twin Cities, Fright Farm is one of Minnesota’s most popular haunted attractions brought to you by a talented group of professional theater artists, craftsmen, and law enforcement professionals.


8. Apple Picking at Local Orchards

A visit to an apple orchard is an autumn ritual for many — there’s nothing quite like picking fresh apples on a brisk fall day. Orchards around Inver Grove Heights & the Twin Cities have increasingly become fall destinations for the whole family, offering seasonal fun from hayrides and corn mazes to homemade pies and spirit sampling. Some of the best orchards for apple picking in the region include Whistling Well Farm, Afton Apple Orchard, Fischer’s Croix Farm Orchard, and McDougall’s Apple Junction.

Now that you have the lowdown on the best fall activities in Inver Grove Heights & the Twin Cities, it’s time to start planning your autumn getaway! For great accommodations while visiting the Twin Cities, click here.



The Great Minnesota Get Together is coming…

State Fair Fairbourne

It’s that time of year.  Perhaps the signature event of summer in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, the Minnesota State Fair starts in less than a week.  Typically considered the swan song of summer, it means we will soon be donning sweaters, dining on a diet composed solely of pumpkin spice flavored delicacies (maybe not) and shipping the kiddos back to school to fill their brains with knowledge.  But before we wax nostalgic for Summer 2016, it’s time  hammer out your Minnesota State Fair game plan, and we’re here to help!


Deep-fried and on a stick is a perennial must-have for many fairgoers, but the choices don’t stop there!  Some favorites around the IGH CVB office are cheese-on-a-stick, Sweet Martha’s cookies (that goes without saying, right?), deep-fried cookie dough on a stick (please stop judging us), and deep-fried pickles.  Soon-to-be-favorites that we can’t wait to get our hands on: Candied Bacon Donut Sliders (oh you betcha!), Macaroni and Cheese Curds, and Paneer On A Spear (what can we say, we like cheese).  Check out all the new foods and make your own must have list.  And to make life just a little more organized while you’re at the Great Minnesota Get Together, the folks over at the State Fair designed this handy online food finder.


There’s so much to see and do, you could spend all 12 days at the fair and still not see it all!  Going to a show at the Grandstand may be a requirement to be considered a true Minnesotan.  With 12 nights of performances (including The Minnesota Show with Garrison Keillor) and a range of styles there is something for everyone.  Tickets are still available for many of the performances.  The Grandstand isn’t the only place to catch some shows, there is a plethora of pocketbook-pleasing free entertainment to take in while you’re at the fair.

A must visit for kids and kids at heart is the Mighty Midway.  Can you even say you’ve been to the fair if you leave without a stuffed animal won at a carnival game?  We think not.

Another favorite in our office are the horse shows and of course getting up close and personal with the animals in all the barns.

If you’re looking to change it up a bit this year, check out the new attractions and events.

Don’t forget to check out our Minnesota State Fair hotel packages.  They make your visit even better!

We hope this made your experience just a little easier to plan. See you at the Fair!