Minnesota Wonders

50 Wacky Roadside Attractions in Minnesota to Visit with Kids

It all started five years ago in western Minnesota. While on vacation in Otter Tail County, my kids needed to get some energy out at a playground. Because we didn’t have one at our resort, we would often head to the parks in nearby towns to play. One of the parks we loved to visit is found in the tiny town of Vergas (population 331). Vergas is home to the World’s Largest Loon, and it is the loon that birthed my grand idea. It […]

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St. Urho and Family Fun in Menahga

As you head to the heart of north central Minnesota, you will find the community of Menahga.  Located about three hours north of the Twin Cities, the small town of Menahga (population 1,304) features some great family friendly amenities. From a beautiful beach and city park to an ancient legend that the locals celebrate every year, Menahga’s charm will entice you to visit and explore this lovely area of Minnesota. St. Urho Back in the 1950’s, the legend of St. Urho began […]

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Exploring International Falls – Smokey Bear and Cubs

Part two:  A few of weeks ago, I wrote about the Big Vic the Voyageur sculpture in the small town of Ranier.  You can read about it here.  This week we head a couple of miles away to International Falls to learn about America’s favorite forest ranger, Smokey Bear.   Built in 1953 by Gordon Shumaker, Smokey Bear measures 26 feet tall! The U.S. Forest Service created the character of Smokey Bear in 1944 to educate people about the dangers […]

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World’s Largest Turkey – Frazee, Minnesota

Otter Tail County, located in northwestern Minnesota, is a hot spot for giant roadside sculpture.  With over a 1000 lakes, it’s also a popular spot for fishing, boating, and family fun!  On our last visit to Otter Tail County, I shared with you the story of Otto the Otter in Fergus Falls.  You can learn about Otto and the many other attractions of Fergus Falls by clicking here. Located just off Highway 10, the small town of Frazee welcomes visitors […]

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One “Giant” Minnesota Protest: Big Vic, the Voyageur

Note:  If you head to the far northern tip of Minnesota, you will find a couple of super cool giants.  I am dividing this story into two separate blog posts.  First up is Big Vic, the Voyageur, which can be found in the small town of Ranier.  In a couple weeks I’ll share the story of Smokey Bear, which stands a couple miles away in International Falls.    Let’s face it.  It’s been a crazy couple of weeks.  Donald Trump has […]

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Alexandria’s “Big Ole”

  This week we head to Alexandria, home to the mysterious Runestone and the giant Viking, Big Ole. A great family vacation destination, Alexandria will keep you busy with its beautiful lakes, many museums, and outdoor fun. Standing 28 feet tall and weighing 8,000 pounds, the Viking “Big Ole” protects the city of Alexandria with his shield and sword. Built by artist Gordon Shumaker out of fiberglass, Big Ole represented Minnesota in 1965 as part of a display at the […]

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Bemidji’s Paul Bunyan and Babe

Perhaps the most famous sculptures in all of Minnesota, Paul Bunyan and Babe attract thousands of visitors every year to far northern Minnesota. Bemidji offers loads of family fun with opportunities to learn about science, history, culture, and more! In 1937, the city of Bemidji created the giant sculptures of Paul Bunyan and Babe for their winter carnival celebration. At 18 feet tall and weighing 2.5 tons, Paul stands on the shore of Lake Bemidji, which is said to be […]

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Big Moose in Moose Lake

This week I feature the city of Moose Lake in northeastern Minnesota. Known for its “Big Moose,” historic fire, and Lake Superior agates, this amazing small town will keep you busy with tons of fun and interesting attractions. Big Moose In 1989, three citizens of the town decided to honor their city by erecting a giant moose sculpture along the shores of Moose Lake. In 2002, the sculpture moved to its current location in front of the Moose Lake Area […]

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Blue Earth’s Green Giant

I love how small towns always surprise me. Just off Interstate 90 in far southern Minnesota, Blue Earth delivers affordable family fun for a day trip or weekend getaway. Blue Earth’s Green Giant Back in 1978, radio host Paul Hedberg interviewed people passing through Blue Earth on their summer vacations. At the end of the interview, he would give them a can of Green Giant vegetables as a thank-you gift. People would always ask him, “Where’s the Green Giant?” This […]

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Akeley’s Paul Bunyan

As I reflect upon my travels across Minnesota, I like to think about all the areas that I look forward to visiting again. Located a few miles apart from each other, the small towns of Akeley, Walker, and Hackensack combine to provide amazing opportunities to view several roadside sculptures and to enjoy the outdoors. I’ll start with the smallest town, the city of Akeley, which is home to one of the most photographed sculptures in the state of Minnesota. Akeley’s […]

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