15 Best Things to Do in Coon Rapids, MN

Coon Rapids, MN
Debra Anderson / shutterstock.com

My journey in Coon Rapids, Minnesota, began several years ago and since then, I've been fortunate enough to experience the charm of this quaint community nestled in the heart of the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

Every corner of this city, every brick, every tree whispers stories of warmth and camaraderie.

The city seems to have a life of its own - it draws you in, making you a part of its vibrant tapestry.

Whether you're a nature enthusiast, history buff, foodie, or sports fan, there's a unique experience waiting for you in Coon Rapids.

Allow me to guide you through the best things to do in Coon Rapids, Minnesota!

About this article: This article was written by a local contributor based on their own experiences and those around them. While this list showcases some remarkable places, it's important to note that this is an opinion piece, and there are many other exceptional places to visit that are not featured here.
Our aim is not just to guide you to popular places but to encourage you to venture out and experience the city for yourself.

Experience the Outdoors at Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park

The waters of Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park
Sam Wagner / Shutterstock.com

One of the best things about living here is the easy access to the splendor of nature, which is particularly true at Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park.

This gem of a park, nestled in the heart of our community, is my go-to place for everything outdoors.

Whenever I feel the urge to disconnect and immerse myself in nature, I wear my walking shoes and head to the park.

You wouldn't believe the peace from a leisurely stroll along its pathways, especially in the early morning when everything is quiet.

I've also taken to biking through its trails, which provide just the right amount of challenge for a satisfying workout.

And the park is absolutely perfect for picnics!

With plenty of tables, you'll find a spot to spread out a blanket and enjoy a meal amidst the beautiful surroundings.

I often pack a basket and take my family there on weekends.

We love eating under the open sky, with the gentle rustle of leaves in the background.

One of my favorite things to do at the park is stand on the dam and take in its spectacular view.

It's breathtaking, like a painting that changes with the seasons.

And let's not forget about the wildlife!

It's a regular nature scene, with various birds, beavers, geese, and ducks making their home in the park.

You'd be surprised at the variety of fish you can catch.

There's something incredibly soothing about the sounds of the spillway, and watching the water flow is oddly mesmerizing.

The park is impeccably maintained, with the grounds always clean and green.

And even though it's a bit of an adventure in the wild, there are Job Johnnies available for when nature calls in a different way!

If you're ever in town, or if you're already a local like me looking for a place to unwind, I highly recommend a visit to Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park.

Enjoy a Night Out at Alloy Brewing Company

When tiredness hits after a long day, there's one place I instinctively head to Alloy Brewing Company.

Nestled a stone's throw away from my home, it's my chosen sanctuary.

As part of the Hop Passport experience, it's a unique experience in the craft beer universe.

Stepping into the brewery, the first thing that grabs your attention is the array of card and board games.

An old-school arcade game sits in a corner, a charming reminder of simpler times.

Seating is plenty and comfortable, ensuring you can enjoy your beer in perfect leisure.

The brewery often hosts live bands, and I was lucky enough to catch one during my recent visit.

As the band played, the beer tenders moved around the place, their super nice and helpful attitude adding to the overall charm of the place.

The star of the show, undoubtedly, is the beer.

With countless options to choose from, the fun is in trying out as many as possible.

The flights are super cute, and the monster cookies are to die for.

I love their great patio when I need a breath of fresh air.

Winters can be noisy inside, but that doesn't deter me from enjoying my favorite beer.

Alloy Brewing Company is my go-to place, a gem in the local brewery scene, serving up a great variety of beer with a side of fun and relaxation.

Unwind at Lions Coon Creek Park

Every day feels like a vacation at Lions Coon Creek Park. Spanning 15 acres, this park is my daily retreat.

The vast expanse of green is under my feet and the open sky above me, and I have the perfect spot to stretch out and relax.

Visit the Lions Coon Creek Park and you'll know exactly what I mean.

I often find myself heading there with my kids. The park has an enormous play area that caters to kids of all ages.

The playground is always buzzing with laughter and joyous shouts. My son adores the lion seat, and frankly, so do I.

The play structures are not only exciting but also quite innovative.

But what I love about this park is its inclusivity, making it the perfect place to spend the day with family.

I'm an ardent nature lover, and the park is a paradise for people like me. It has a quaint little garden that always boasts vibrant blooms.

I often take strolls along the trails, sometimes to admire the beauty, other times to jog or bike.

The park is a beautiful haven amidst the hustle and bustle of city life.

It also offers plenty of seating arrangements conveniently placed in shaded areas.

So, I can always find an excellent spot when the summer sun gets too hot.

The park also has clean restrooms and fountains, making everything much more convenient.

The basketball courts are always bustling with energy, with both kids and adults alike.

I've spent countless afternoons cheering on pick-up games, a great way to engage with the community and meet new people.

The park also features picnic shelters with covered tables; it has become our family's favorite weekend spot.

We often pack a lunch and spend the day amidst nature. It's refreshing and rejuvenating.

Lions Coon Creek Park is more than just a park. It's a place where memories are made and cherished.

I'm there almost daily, and each visit is a new experience.

Enjoy an Icy Adventure at Coon Rapids Ice Center

There's nothing quite like the rush of lacing up my skates and stepping onto the pristine ice at the Coon Rapids Ice Center.

Taking my girls for an afternoon of skating, it's a surprisingly affordable way to spend quality time together.

Even though I wish they had more after-school hours for open skating, the times we go are always memorable.

You're greeted with warmth when you walk into this modern facility.

The inviting entryway opens up to the many areas of the center seamlessly.

On the days I'm not skating myself and just on parent duty, watching my girls play youth hockey, the stands are comfortable, and the heat is always a welcome addition to the chilly rink.

One thing that’s always struck me about this place is the size of the locker rooms.

They're among the largest I've seen and exceptionally maintained.

A game-changer is that the locker rooms have a bathroom and a shower facility – something I wish more arenas would adopt.

While I've experienced the ice quality being not so great at times, and the big window casting a glare on the ice sheet can be a bit of a distraction during a game, it doesn't deter me from returning.

The Coon Rapids Ice Center is an excellent place that provides an enriching experience for both players and spectators alike.

Enjoy Winter Fun at Wintercrest Park

If you're seeking a dash of adventure coupled with good old-fashioned family fun, Wintercrest Park is the place to be.

I remember the thrill of charging down the sledding hill for the first time with a bunch of my first-grade buddies.

Yes, it's that big hill on Woodcrest where the parking is better.

The hill is a bonafide crowd-pleaser, scary enough for the older kids and safe for the little ones.

Depending on the side you slide down; it caters to different thrill levels.

The icy thrill of the slide and the laughter and squeals echoing across the park are memories waiting to be created.

And when the temperature drops, the outdoor hockey rink also provides a great recreational space.

The fun doesn't stop at winter sports, though.

I've spent countless summer days exploring the fantastic disc golf course.

It's a decent 18-hole course, not too challenging, but with enough trees to act as obstacles for a fair challenge.

I've had a ton of fun navigating through it.

The area has changed over the years, with Knox Lumber replaced by Hom Furniture and a couple of car dealerships, but the charm of Wintercrest Park remains constant.

Whether it's a warm winter day or a lazy summer afternoon, I am always drawn to this local gem.

The park promises a good time, no matter the season.

Make Waves at Bunker Beach Water Park

What's the next best thing to going to the ocean? How about a visit to Bunker Beach Water Park?

I've been there a bunch of times, and it never fails to impress me.

This outdoor water spot generates three-foot, air-driven waves to give you that authentic ocean experience in our town.

The wave pool is truly the star of the show.

It's impressive how they've managed to create such realistic wave patterns.

It feels like you're by the seaside! And the best part? The prices are incredibly reasonable.

Where else can you get that oceanic feel without breaking the bank?

The park offers a nice variety of swimming areas.

So, whether you're a beginner, an experienced swimmer, or you have little ones in tow, there's a section just for you.

The thrill of the waves and the fun Bunker Beach Water Park offers is worth it.

Remember to get there early to beat the lines and enjoy a day of splashy fun!

Taste Authenticity at Rose Garden Restaurant & Banquet Hall

Not every day you come across a gem like the Rose Garden Restaurant & Banquet Hall.

There's something comforting about a place that offers traditional Chinese dishes in a straightforward sit-down or take-out option.

I can always count on the Rose Garden for a fantastic meal, whether lunch or dinner.

On my most recent visit, I decided to try the honey walnut shrimp, General Tso's chicken, and oyster wings - and true to form, each dish was cooked to perfection.

The Rose Garden never disappoints; every dish exudes freshness and authenticity.

I appreciate the entire bar and the pull tabs they offer, adding a bit of fun to the dining experience.

The crispy wontons and savory sesame chicken are some of my favorite dishes, and the generous portions never leave me feeling unsatiated.

My partner, who can sometimes be quite particular about their food, always leaves the Rose Garden happy and satisfied.

With a massive menu full of mouth-watering options, deciding what to try next can be tricky.

But one thing is for sure; I'll be coming back again and again to savor the delectable flavors of the Rose Garden Restaurant & Banquet Hall.

Spend a Day Out at Crooked Lake Park & Beach

I love kicking back under the shade of the trees at Crooked Lake Park & Beach after a long week at work.

You'd think living in Coon Rapids, Minnesota, wouldn't offer much beach relaxation, but this little gem of a park proved me wrong.

Not just another walk in the park but a clean, well-maintained beach with a roped-off section perfect for a family day out.

Let me tell you, the kids love it!

The sandy beach is pure joy for them, and the lake is perfect for a refreshing dip on a hot summer day.

And it doesn't end there. The two docks at the lake are a favorite spot for the older kids to show off their diving skills.

The park is also home to a fantastic playground.

I've spent countless hours watching my little ones climb, slide, and laugh while I sit back and soak in the peaceful surroundings.

If you're anything like me and love a good barbecue, you'll appreciate the public grills scattered around the park.

Nothing beats a juicy burger fresh off the grill while lounging in the park.

Outdoor sports enthusiasts aren't left out either.

The park boasts volleyball and tennis courts that are always bustling with activity.

You can join a friendly game if you're up for some competition.

Crooked Lake Park & Beach is a place of tranquility, fun, and community bonding.

Enjoy a Memorable Evening at Kendall's Tavern & Chophouse

There's something uniquely comforting about dining at Kendall's Tavern & Chophouse.

The charming, rustic-chic ambiance makes every visit a delightful experience.

One evening, my partner and I decided to celebrate our anniversary at Kendall's, and it was nothing short of amazing.

Every detail of the evening stood out, from the classy attire to the casual ones, making us feel at ease and ideally at home.

I was particularly impressed with the allergen-friendly alternatives on their menu.

For instance, I have a dairy intolerance, and they were more than accommodating with their dairy-free options - a testament to the chef's consideration.

Weekends at Kendall's are unique.

The place is lively, and yet the service is prompt.

Our waiting time was minimal on a busy Saturday night, and the service was impeccable.

The cinnamon-spiced cranberry jar dessert was a revelation, the perfect sweet ending to a lovely dinner.

The Kendall Bloody Mary served with surf, turf, and greens, had a unique twist with their mix and pepper vodka.

The tavern also boasts a fantastic outdoor space, offering beautiful views of the adjoining golf course.

I often enjoy a game of golf after a hearty lunch at Kendall's.

The ease of slipping from a friendly game on the greens to a warm, inviting meal is an experience you'd only find at Kendall's.

Spend the Day at Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park

Who says the sky is the limit when it comes to fun?

This certainly isn't the case at Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park.

I've spent countless weekends with my family here, bouncing away the hours and engaging in friendly dodgeball matches.

Let me tell you, there's nothing quite like the thrill of soaring through the air on a trampoline or the satisfaction of landing a perfect dodgeball hit on your opponent.

But it's not just the fun activities that make Urban Air stand out; they also prioritize safety.

They ensure that all the kids have fun in a secure environment.

Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park remain a favorite spot for our family.

It offers a unique way to stay active, have fun, and create unforgettable memories - even if there's a little chaos now and then.

Embrace the Fun at Lilli Putt

My family and I decided to spend our Sunday afternoon at Lilli Putt, a cherished gem in our town.

The place has a rich history and has stood the test of time, offering us locals an array of fun activities that keep us coming back.

Golfing is a favorite pastime of mine, and their mini-golf course didn't disappoint.

Each hole was a unique challenge, with beautiful landscaping and cascading waterfalls that touted aesthetics and difficulty.

Although some of the water features weren't operational, and a few water hazards were full of algae, it didn't deter from the overall experience.

But it wasn't just the golf.

The go-karts were a riot! Zipping around the track and feeling the wind in our hair was unadulterated fun.

And for the little ones, the mini go-karts were just the right speed.

Bumper boats were another highlight.

Bumping and splashing each other was a hilarious and refreshing way to cool off.

And let's not forget the trampoline! A perfect way to leap some energy away.

If you plan to visit, I highly recommend the two-hour unlimited package.

Whether looking for a fun family outing or planning an unconventional date, Lilli Putt is a treasure trove of entertainment.

Savor the Coffee at Caribou Coffee

Whenever I need a break from the daily grind, I find solace at Caribou Coffee.

A certain charm about the place immediately puts me at ease.

To say that this location is a high-end coffeehouse would be an understatement.

It's the perfect blend of warmth, comfort, and impeccable service.

What I love the most is how swiftly the line moves here.

No matter how crowded the place, you won't find yourself waiting for excessive time.

Their signature drinks, mochas, lattes, coffee, and breakfast are worth every minute of your time.

I still find myself pulled towards Caribou Coffee now and then.

After all, nothing says 'home' more than your favorite local coffee shop.

Roll Back the Years at Cheap Skate Roller Center

There's no denying the nostalgia induced by stepping into the Cheap Skate Roller Center.

I remember how I would come here to skate and play as a kid.

Fast forward a few years, and the place still brims with energy, filled with kids and adults alike, all having the time of their lives.

I've lost count of the times I've visited, yet every experience feels like the first.

Everything from strapping on the skates to the rolling rhythm of wheels on the smooth surface is a joy that's hard to compare.

It's almost like I could close my eyes and let the music guide me.

The Friday night visits are always a blast. They set up bounce houses, and the arcade section transforms into a gamer's dream.

It's a place to relive your childhood and share it with the next generation.

The atmosphere seeps with good vibes, and you're in your happy bubble even when it's busy.

Over the years, visiting the Cheap Skate Roller Center has become a meaningful tradition for my family and me.

We've laughed, fallen, and bounced back up, but most importantly, we've created a treasure trove of memories that will last us a lifetime.

And did I mention that they sell roller skates?

You never know when you might want a pair of your own.

Work It Out at Life Time Coon Rapids

Sweat it out at the LifeTime Coon Rapids.

The gym's equipment is top-notch and always in good condition; they've also got plenty of space to accommodate everyone and never found it overcrowded.

I prefer this one to other branches in the area, like the Fridley one.

It's quieter, more compact, and seems a tad more kid-friendly.

They might not offer as many classes or amenities as a racket ball, a basketball court, or a salon, but the trade-off is worth it for me.

Plus, the gym equipment is nicer, and the locker rooms, barring the cleanliness issue, are better.

A unique feature at this location is the coed sauna in the pool area.

It's a refreshing experience to relax and unwind there after a vigorous workout.

Life Time Coon Rapids is a happy place for fitness enthusiasts like me.

Spend the Day at Al Flynn Park

Al Flynn Park has always been my sanctuary from the break of dawn till the twilight hours.

It's more than just a park; it's a place where one discovers the simple joys of life.

My mornings at the park often start with a jog along the paved path along the creek.

It's a path well-loved by my dog as he happily trots along.

The trestle bridge we pass under is a sight to behold as we catch glimpses of crayfish in the creek below.

These little creatures show themselves when the sunlight hits the water just right.

Year after year, the sight never fails to fascinate.

But the park isn't just for me and my dog. It's also a haven for my little girl.

The playground at Al Flynn Park is a paradise for toddlers, with slides and equipment designed perfectly for them.

I still remember the sparkle in my little girl's eyes and her excited screams as she rode down the slides, her laughter echoing in the quiet playground.

Then there's the local baseball park, a well-maintained field that attracts players and fans.

It's always fun to watch a game here. The excitement and thrill are contagious.

Yet, the park has also been the site of many an adventure for my quadcopters. The trees here have claimed many of my models, but crashing and rebuilding are part of the game.

To me, it's just another exciting challenge the park offers.

Yes, Al Flynn Park is more than just a park.

It's a place of adventure, relaxation, and joy, an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, where I can just be myself.

Final Thoughts

Coon Rapids, Minnesota, is a community full of vibrant activities, beautiful parks, and unique dining experiences

The town boasts a plethora of activities that fit all moods and seasons.

Simply put, life in Coon Rapids is an adventurous blend of quiet nature and thrilling fun.

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