Minot is a city in North Dakota that was founded in 1886 after the Great Northern Railway was constructed through the area. Afterward, the city became an important trading center in northern North Dakota. Nowadays, Minot is the fourth largest city in the state and its economy depends on the Minot Air Force Base.
Located in the prairies of North Dakota and cut by the Mouse River, Minot has quite an interesting history and culture. Nearly 40% of the people of Minot descend from Scandinavians. And the city hosts North America’s largest Scandinavian-American festival, the Norsk Høstfest.
Interactive Map of 25 Things to Do in Minot (ND)
1. Roosevelt Park Zoo Office
Home to 159 animals of 68 species, Roosevelt Park Zoo houses several big cats, bears, bison, river otters, and a variety of reptiles and birds. While it may not be the largest zoo, it is well maintained, and the staff is super helpful and informative. All the animals seem well-fed and comfortable in their enclosures. The landscaping and upkeep of the zoo are just beautiful and really well cared for.
Besides, the zoo even has a kid’s side of the zoo where you can interact and pet some farm animals.
2. North Dakota State Fair Center
Located in the All Seasons Arena, North Dakota State Fair Center hosts many social and community events throughout the year. These include concerts, rodeos, wedding receptions, ice rink capabilities, and more. However, the most popular events are the County Fair and Flea Market.
And of course, there is no state fair without a proper amusement park and carnival games. Every year the people of Minot come together at the Fairgrounds to enjoy the rides and eat all the cotton candy available. Interestingly, the North Dakota State Fair is actually the largest annual event in North Dakota.
3. Roosevelt Park
Roosevelt Park is a city park with a swimming pool, picnic shelters, riverside walking trails, and a small zoo, the Roosevelt Park Zoo. The park is ideal for picnics, playing on the swings, chilling after lunch, or jumping into Roosevelt Pool. The large swimming pool features a water slide and a kiddie pool with a playset so the whole family can enjoy it.
The park also counts with a skatepark and an open grassy area. And do not forget to get your pictures taken by the old steam locomotive.
4. Oak Park
Featuring a splash pad and a large playground area, Oak Park hosts many public events and concerts. While during winter Oak Park is known for its light decorations amid all the snow, during summer it becomes a geese’s retreat.
This is also a great park to go for a walk as there are so many different paths to follow. The Girl Scout Path is both beautiful and a great exercise. However, walking through the mini forest along the nature trail in the Camp Owetti section will make you feel somewhere else. The best part about walking at Oak Park is the friendly hello you get and give to all the walkers.
5. Planet Pizza
Planet Pizza is much more than just a restaurant as it also features laser tag, an arcade game room, and a bouncy house station. The establishment pleases all ages with a sports bar and nightclub upstairs. There, you will find a grown-up area with TVs, drink specials, and live music events.
Besides, the pizza itself is great. They have a great Canadian Bacon Pizza, but you certainly cannot go wrong with the Taco Pizza. The dough is a soft, not too thick bread, with a buttered crust. Also, they have a great selection of fountain soda including Mountain Dew Code Red.
6. AMC Dakota Square 9
AMC Dakota Square 9 is a cineplex with 3D and jumbo digital screens showing first-run films, opera productions, and sports events. The complex was recently renovated and now has great quality seating throughout the entire space. Due to its popularity and the small number of seats, make sure you get your tickets online, or early in person.
AMC offers membership and promotions on its website. This allows the moviegoer to select the best experience in big-screen movie viewing which is best for you. Also, the create-your-own flavor coke machines are a plus that the kids love.
7. Oak Park Theatre
With affordable prices, the great little theatre of Oak Park Theatre has an interesting back story. The movie theatre used to be a band theater before a flood destroyed the building. Oak Park Theatre also features sensory films in which they turn down the sound and turn up the lights to create a more special experience. And besides refilling popcorn buckets from other theatres, the staff also allows you to take your popcorn home.
The hidden gem of this place is the two pinball machines and the sit-down arcade cabinet. But bring your quarters as they do not have a change machine.
8. Lewis and Clark State Park
Located in one of the upper bays of Lake Sakakawea, Lewis and Clark State Park offers many activities including boating, birding, fishing, hiking, and flora walks. The park features miles of shoreline and breath-taking views of towering buttes and rolling hills. The park’s landscape is so unique that there you will find the largest native mixed-grass prairie of all the North Dakota State Parks.
This is also a popular park to set up your tent and rent canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards. And if you are not the adventurous type you can simply relax on one of the beaches and go swimming in the lake.
9. Maysa Arena
The ice skating rink of Maysa Arena is actually the 3rd largest ice arena in North Dakota. The arena features three ice sheets, including the Pepsi Rink. The arena is home to the junior hockey team Minot Minotauros and the Minot State University’s hockey teams. Whether you go ice skating with the family or watch a hockey game with some friends, you are in for a lot of fun at Maysa Arena.
The venue itself is beautiful with decent prices on concessions and beer. Also, there is a lot of parking all around the building which makes for a decently short walk no matter where you park.
10. North Hill Bowl
North Hill Bowl is Minot’s most popular bowling alley and it can be a blast even if you are not the best bowler. At the North Hill Bowl shop, the staff is willing to help anyone to get fitted with a ball and shoes. The bowling alley also has a restaurant, and they will take your food and drinks straight to your lane, so you do not miss your game. On Friday and Saturday evenings they have blacklight extreme bowling which is also a blast.
And make sure to check out the Lucky Strike Lounge. This is a casino where you can practice your golfing skills at the Minot’s Premier Golf Simulator.
11. Lake Metigoshe State Park
Located 1 hour and 40 minutes from Minot, Lake Metigoshe State Park encompasses the Turtle Mountains with hills and aspen forests. The park offers fishing, hiking, camping as well as snow activities. Since it is located at the US/Canada border, it is also one of the most popular parks among the Canadians.
The park features over 8 miles of trails to be used by hikers and mountain bikers and several small lakes. Besides the beach and playgrounds, the park also offers rental equipment such as canoes and kayaks, as well as cross-country skis and snowshoes. And if you are lucky you might be able to spot wild animals like moose.
12. Cross Ranch State Park
Cross Ranch State Park is a wild area along 7 miles of the Missouri River being popular for fishing, hiking, and cross-country skiing. Given the undeveloped parts of the park, visitors can catch a glimpse of how Native Americans felt exploring the region.
Covering 5,000 acres, Cross Ranch State Park is made of mixed prairies, rivers, and forests. The park has over 13 miles of trails which can be explored by foot or cross-country skis. The trails are not too long or strenuous and they offer great views of the Missouri River wherever you are.
13. Splash Down Dakota Water Park
With 3 water slides and a large activity pool, Splash Down Dakota Water Park is the largest indoor water park in the region. While the kids enjoy the wading pool with small slides, the adults can relax in the whirlpool and hot tub. The park also features a game room with arcade games and prizes.
Even though it can be crowded during winter, this is a great place to stay warm when it is cold outside. Besides, the amenities include a hotel and direct access to the Dakota Square Mall.
14. Fort Stevenson State Park
Fort Stevenson State Park is quite popular amongst campers, but it is also a great recreation area to spend the day outdoors with the entire family. The park is beautiful with many options for hikes and a peaceful lake. There, you can lay in the sun at the beach, go swimming, and rent canoes at the marina.
There is also a concession store that sells food and ice cream, and everything is delicious. Definitely try the ice cream. It is a great treat after a hot day in the water. Overall, it is a very ncie place to stay, camp, and hang out.
15. Woodland Trail
With 3 miles, the Woodland Trail runs along the Souris River and it is a great path to walk your pets, run, walk, or go on a bike ride. The trail is very well marked and at some spots, you will find floating docks that are perfect for a break. The Woodland Trail itself is very easy and kid-friendly. Besides, there are great fishing spots in the middle of the trails.
Even on the hottest days, it is recommended to wear long pants and be careful with ticks. And during the winter, do not be surprised if you see people snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
16. Dakota Territory Air Museum
Founded in 1986, Dakota Territory Air Museum exhibits historic military and civilian aircraft, plus aviation-related photos and memorabilia. The museum’s collection is spread over 4 hangars and 2 galleries. It has some really great stories with truly historic planes in the house. And you can learn detailed stories of the men and women who fought in wars with the help of airplanes.
This is also a working museum where they focus on restoration projects of a wide range of aircraft types. Curiously, many planes are donated and still able to fly.
17. Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge
On the shores of Lake Darling, Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge offers beautiful views and decent walking trails. The park features a quiet area with picnic tables in the shade, very easy fishing access, and lots of wildlife. So, you can expect to see deer and gigantic painted turtles. Make sure to bring some bug spray to deter ticks.
The lake itself was originally used as a water reservoir. Nowadays, with the increased number of migrating birds in the region, the area is a wildlife refuge. Not to mention a productive fishery business and an important nesting area for snow geese.
18. Scandinavian Heritage Association
The Scandinavian Heritage Association pays tribute to Norse heritage in a park displaying a Norwegian wooden stave church and a Danish windmill. The Scandinavian first settled in the region in the 19th-century and until today you can see traces of their culture everywhere in Minot. At this site, you can walk around the grounds visiting the buildings and admiring the many monuments.
The highlights of this attraction are the Norwegian Gol Stave Church with its amazing woodwork and the giant Swedish Dala Horse. These painted wooden horses are very traditional, and you can purchase your own in the Visitor Center.
19. Taube Museum of Art
The long-running community museum of the Taube Museum of Art features a charming collection of contemporary art and sculptures. The space is peaceful and relaxing, and its collections are all well-curated. This is a very small art museum with rotating exhibits upstairs and pieces from the permanent collection downstairs.
It is easy to get involved as a member of the community through their biennial photo exhibitions and other community-submitted events. Take a look at what local artists and artists from around the world bring to the Minot community. And if you have the chance, visit it more than once. They will always be different experiences with distinct art and stories to tell.
20. Railroad Museum
The Railroad Museum features historic engines, exhibits, and memorabilia about the railroading history of Minot and the US. Explore all the historic photos, documents, and antiques. Not to mention the RR switching panel, crossing signs and lights, benches, ticket counter, engine bells and whistles, hats, and uniforms. Besides, there are scale model trains and a play area for kids.
Also, the passionate and knowledgeable staff looks forward to answering questions and can tell you why Minot is the “Magic City“! And make sure to pay a visit to the museum’s gift shop.
21. Dakota Bark Park
As the name indicates, Dakota Bark Park is a huge social dog park in Minot. This great outdoor area is well-maintained and offers serene views. There is a long walking path with benches and supplies to pick up after your little buddy. The park also features a lot of open space for your dog to run and explore.
The highlights for the dogs are the big knobby trees with the roots above the ground. They are perfect for dogs that like to dig. There are also some sectioned off parts for those dogs which are not so social with other pups.
The Minot Riverwalk is a loop around a former piece of the Souris River. After many years of meandering, a section of the river was naturally cut, and a little island was formed. This is a nice walkable path during summer but during winter it is usually closed.
Be aware that the walk is not well signed, meaning there is no beginning and no end. It goes somewhere around Roosevelt Park and the Fairgrounds. So, just stroll along the river while you admire Minot’s beautiful scenery.
23. Dakota Square Mall
Opened in 1980, Dakota Square Mall features a wide range of stores including JCPenney, Target, Old Navy, and more. Besides, the food court has a decent selection. And the AMC Dakota Square 9 movie theatre stays up to date with the most recent and relevant movies.
The shopping center has direct access to the indoor water park and swimming pool at the Splash Down Dakota Water Park. And also, the mall is located only 50 miles from the Canadian border attracting many customers from Canada.
24. Broadway Bean and Bagel Co.
If you are looking for a great cup of coffee, amazing bagels, and a comfortable atmosphere Broadway Bean Bagel Co. is the place to go! Opened in 1995 and roasting their own coffee beans, this coffee shop is also a nice looking building. They have a nice lineup of bagels and sandwiches if you are looking for lunch.
The Smoked Salmon Bagel is one of the public’s favorite. And the free coffee refill is yet another great reason to stop by. And in case you are in a hurry, they also have a drive-thru window.
25. Ebeneezer’s Eatery & Irish Pub
Aiming for an “Irish working man’s Pub”, Ebeneezer’s Eatery & Irish Pub is Minot’s favorite gathering bar. It features open mic nights, a live music haunt turning out classic Irish/American plates, and beer on tap. The bar itself has a typical décor in an Irish vogue with roomy tables in a very cozy and welcoming atmosphere.
The pub’s specialties include Guinness on tap and breakfast being served all day long. Ebeneezer’s also has Minot’s most popular sandwich, the “Fat Frog“. Make sure to order the Irish Fries to accompany it.