Blake Walsh

18 Best Things to Do in Little Falls, MN

  • Published 2023/03/14

Little Falls is a quaint city in Morrison County in central Minnesota.

The city was founded in the 1840s when “little falls” attracted traders and entrepreneurs to the area.

A dam was subsequently built, powering the area’s industries such as logging and agriculture.

This small yet beautiful city is situated on the banks of the Mississippi River, offering a wide variety of nature and outdoor activities to enjoy throughout the year.

It is also home to many historic properties and structures, museums, and heritage spots that you can visit.

The city has a thriving creative scene, fun festivals, and great dining and entertainment options to make your visit enjoyable.

Check out some of the best things to do in Little Falls, Minnesota to help make planning your getaway a breeze!

Camp at Charles A. Lindbergh State Park

A bridge at Charles A. Lindbergh State Park

John Brueske /

Go on a camping trip with friends at Charles A. Lindbergh State Park.

This state park on the Mississippi River features a seasonal campground, miles of trails, and picnic areas.

Set up camp at the wooded campsites or visit on your RV.

Hike along the trails and enjoy the beautiful landscape of pine forests, oaks, and prairie.

A tower at Charles A. Lindbergh State Park

John Brueske /

Rent a canoe or kayak and go on an adventure on the waters.

The park is home to diverse wildlife such as waterfowl along the Mississippi River, foxes, and deer.

You can find Charles A. Lindbergh State Park along Lindbergh Drive South.

Reconnect with Nature at the Crane Meadows National Wildlife Refuge

Unplug and go on an outdoor adventure at the Crane Meadows National Wildlife Refuge.

Spanning over 2,000 acres, this refuge protects diverse habitats that serve as home to a wide variety of birds, mammals, and other wildlife.

Explore the trails and hike along the beautiful riverbank, meadows, and woodlands.

Along the way, you can see bald eagles soaring in the sky or spot a bobcat lingering around.

Marvel at the wonderful nature views at the overlooks.

You can also do cross-country skiing if you’re visiting in winter.

You can find the Crane Meadows National Wildlife Refuge along Iris Road.

Explore the Charles Lindbergh House and Museum

Learn about the famous aviator Charles Lindbergh’s life at the Charles Lindbergh House and Museum.

Lindbergh was a skilled aviator known for the first solo and nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927.

At the museum, you can see model planes, watch historic flight videos, and explore interactive exhibits.

You can even get inside the cockpit of the replica of Lindbergh’s aircraft, the Spirit of St. Louis!

You can also take a guided tour of Lindberg’s childhood home, which features many of the family’s original home furnishings.

Don’t forget to stop by the museum shop where you can browse a variety of books and buy some souvenirs to take home.

You can find the Charles Lindbergh House and Museum along Lindbergh Drive South.

Dive into Minnesota Fishing History at the Minnesota Fishing Museum and Hall of Fame

Learn about Minnesota’s fishing heritage when you visit the Minnesota Fishing Museum and Hall of Fame.

Since the 1990s, this museum has been preserving the history and heritage of the state’s freshwater fishing.

Explore the museum’s 10,000-square-foot display area, where you can see thousands of fishing artifacts.

There are motors, boats, and various fishing equipment from as far back as the early 20th century.

You can also check out the wall of state record catch, dioramas, and other fishing exhibits.

If you’re visiting with a group and would like to dive deep into fishing history in the state, you can book a guided tour.

The Minnesota Fishing Museum and Hall of Fame is located along West Broadway.

Experience the Little Falls Dam Festival

Experience the city’s festive atmosphere when you visit in time for the Little Falls Dam Festival.

Held in June, this annual festival features music, entertainment, and family-friendly activities.

Watch the parade of wonderful floats kick off the celebration!

Catch the live music performances and enjoy the city’s vibe.

Stay until the evening and watch the festival’s awesome fireworks show over the Mississippi River.

The Little Falls Dam Festival is usually held at Maple Island Park along 3rd Avenue.

Visit the Fascinating Residents of Pine Grove Zoo

Take your kids to a fun summer day at Pine Grove Zoo!

Opened in 1913, this zoo features a picnic site, a petting stable, and walking trails.

Wander around with your little ones to visit zebras, bears, otters, and big cats.

See some charming parakeets, red-tail hawks, and the great horned owl.

The zoo also hosts various events throughout the season such as creature features, summer activities, and festivals.

You can even have a yoga session with kangaroos!

Pine Grove Zoo is located along West Broadway.

Take a Tour of the City’s Historic Downtown

Buildings along Historic Downtown

McGhiever, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Head out for a day of exploring the city’s historic downtown.

Get to know more about Little Falls’ heritage as you visit buildings and structures instrumental to the city’s heritage and development.

Step back in time when you stop along historic and important structures on the tour including beautifully designed homes and hotels.

You can also see many of the city’s most important commercial buildings.

Enjoy the historic downtown tour by walking to the stops at your own pace.

You can also share the experience and make it a driving tour.

The city’s Heritage Preservation Commission developed the guide for the tour.

Shop Local Crafts at the Shoppes of Little Falls

Take a quick break from sightseeing and go shopping at the Shoppes of Little Falls.

This lovely shop downtown showcases the creativity of over 80 local craft makers and artisans.

Browse their shelves of handcrafted goods made from glass, wood, and fabric, and you might find an interesting item to get as a souvenir.

Check out the art pieces and jewelry too.

The shop also carries clothing items, re-purposed goods, and home decoration.

You can find Shoppes of Little Falls along 1st St. Southeast.

Visit Mill Park

Spend a lovely day by the riverside at Mill Park.

Enjoy the park’s tranquil walking paths and great views of the Mississippi River.

This park used to be home to the historic Hennepin Paper Company.

It is the company that produced the paper wrapping of Crayola crayons back in the day!

The ruins of the paper mill have been preserved and can be viewed at the park.

Mill Park is located along 5th Avenue Southwest.

Check Out the Rich Arts Scene at the Great River Arts

Visit the Great River Arts and discover the city’s thriving arts scene and creative community.

This art center serves as the community’s art hub, showcasing local creativity through various events and activities.

Check out the exhibits at its galleries and get a glimpse of the local visual arts.

Catch a musical show or a theater production and see local talents.

You can also check out its retail space, where you can see more of the local artists’ works.

Don’t forget to get a souvenir or two!

The Great River Arts is located along 1st St. Southeast.

Explore Maple Island Park

Spend a day outdoors exploring Maple Island Park.

Located next to the dam, the park features picnic spots, gardens, relaxing open spaces, and access to the waters.

Wander around and admire the surrounding natural beauty and serene atmosphere.

There are also a variety of activities you can try depending on the season.

You can go bird watching and kayak on the river on warmer days.

If you’re visiting in winter, you can enjoy downhill sledding.

You can find Maple Island Park along 3rd Avenue Southeast.

Go on a Winter Adventure at Green Prairie Fish Lake

If you’re visiting the city during the winter season, don’t miss out on Green Prairie Fish Lake.

This lake offers great outdoor activities in the winter.

Head up and go snowmobiling and skiing with friends.

Anglers also frequent the lake because it is known for ice fishing.

You can go jig or pop up fishing and catch panfish and pike.

Come February, the lake plays host to an ice carousel festival, where you can enjoy fun family-friendly activities.

You can find Green Prairie Fish Lake along Forest Road.

Visit the Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Memorial Museum

Exterior of the Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Memorial Museum

McGhiever, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Dive into the rich history of Morrison County at the Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Memorial Museum.

Opened in 1975, this county museum was named after Charles A. Weyerhaeuser, a lumberman who operated a pine tree company and lived in the area from the late 1890s to the early 1900s.

Explore the museum’s exhibit rooms, where you can view logging displays and see cultural artifacts such as clothing, accessories, and toys from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Entrance door of the Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Memorial Museum

Myotus, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Outside, admire the museum’s architecture designed in the Greek Revival style that was common to structures during the early settlements in the county.

You can also enjoy the museum’s beautiful grounds and landscaping.

You can find the Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Memorial Museum along South Lindbergh Drive.

Facade of the Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Memorial Museum

Myotus, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Go Golfing at Little Falls Country Club

Enjoy some tee time at Little Falls Country Club.

Located in the woods of Little Falls, the club’s golf course offers a challenging course, a driving range, a practice area, and fantastic nature views.

Play a round at the 18-hole championship course.

After a game, head to their restaurant and enjoy the outdoor seating for a tasty meal and a relaxing view of the Mississippi River.

You can find the Little Falls Country Club along Edgewater Drive.

Enjoy a Picnic Day at Belle Prairie County Park

Pack a picnic basket and take the family to Belle Prairie County Park.

This lovely park features picnic shelters, play areas, trails, and access to the waters.

Pick a spot and enjoy a picnic while admiring the beautiful natural scenery.

You can also play at the disc golf course or explore the trails for some quiet time.

Belle Prairie County Park is located along Haven Road.

Indulge in Local Beer at Starry Eyed Brewing Co.

After a day of exploring the city, head to Starry Eyed Brewing Co. and unwind.

This local brewery’s taproom features over 40 brews, including craft beer, ciders, and seltzers.

Try their main brews and don’t forget to check out the seasonal offerings for some unique flavors.

Pair your pint or flight with some pizza and enjoy the evening.

You can find Starry Eyed Brewing Co. along 11th St. Northeast.

Enjoy Stunning Views at James Green Park

Drive up to James Green Park for some wonderful views of the city’s dam.

This small riverfront park features picnic spots, gardens, and views of the Little Falls Dam.

You can also learn more about the dams and hydropower at the park’s markers.

The park was named after James Green, a pioneer of the city’s earliest permanent settlements.

You can find James Green Park along 1st Avenue Southeast.

Marvel at the City’s Public Art

Wander around and spend a day spotting the city’s public art pieces.

Get insights about the area’s storied past when you view the colorful murals that local artist Frank Gosiak painted around downtown.

Explore and view Charles Kapsner’s frescoes along the way.

Stop by the window stores around downtown and admire the see-thru art displays that showcase Little Fall’s icons and industries.

On your way around, you might also spot the city’s interesting bike racks with artistic designs.

Even the city’s garbage cans are part of the city’s public art program, adding to the vibrant creative vibe around.

Final Thoughts

Little Falls is a charming city full of attractions that showcase its natural beauty, rich history and heritage, and creative community.

From fascinating museums, stunning nature spots, and lovely parks, to fun festivals, it has plenty of leisure, relaxing activities and outdoor recreation to make your getaway worthwhile.

On your visit, don’t forget to check out some of the best things to do in Little Falls, Minnesota.

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