Top Five North Shore Family Attractions
The best family attractions on the North Shore
A family vacation to Minnesota’s North Shore of Lake Superior is one of the most memorable experiences to cherish. There is nothing like being together as a family while exploring the woods and waters of the North Shore, MN. In addition to outdoor recreation like hiking, biking, skiing, snowmobiling, and exploring the Lake Superior beaches, there are some wonderful attractions to visit. Don’t miss these top 6 North Shore family attractions.
North Shore Adventure Park
North Shore Adventure Park, Silver Bay, MN
The North Shore Adventure Park is a new attraction in Silver Bay (one-hour north of Duluth). The exciting tree-top high ropes course and zipline experience promises challenges, laughs, and success stories for young and old alike. It is the only high ropes course in the midwest that is built in a forest!
Climb and zipline on six high ropes challenge courses, which include 10 ziplines. There are five levels of difficulty. Start on an easy course and “learn the ropes.” Advance at your own pace to the next course. See if you can conquer the Black Storm, which is the most difficult course. It’s open to adults and kids 7+.
Little kids have fun too! The Lil Rascals Playground has kid-size obstacles, close to the ground, for kids 3-6.
Best of all, it’s fun to play, and fun to watch!
Learn more about the North Shore Adventure Park.
Lutsen Mountains Alpine Slide
One of the most popular North Shore family attractions is the Alpine Slide! The thrilling summer luge run takes you twisting and turning down Eagle Mountain. Start by taking a chairlift ride to the top of the mountain. Walk your sled to the start of the concrete track (with a spectacular Lake Superior!). Then board your sled and take off down the half-mile twisting, banking, and turning track! There are two parallel tracks so you can ride next to your friend. It’s a thrilling adventure in a wonderfully scenic environment.
Lutsen Mountains Gondola
The most amazing views of Lake Superior and the Superior National Forest are seen from the Summit Express Gondola at Lutsen Mountains! It is a hands-down, must-do family activity on the North Shore, MN (especially during fall colors!).
Ride the gondola over the Poplar River, through the forest, and up to the top of Moose Mountain. At the top of Moose Mountain, you’ll see panoramic views of Lake Superior from one side, and of the Superior National Forest on the other. Seriously, the views are breathtaking!
You will also find the Summit Chalet (which has an eatery with indoor and outdoor seating), hiking trails, and scenic overlooks. It is generally open year-round, but hours are usually limited in October – December and March – May.
Putt-n-Pets Mini Golf
Putt-n-Pets in Grand Marais, MN is the best minigolf from here to Wisconsin Dells. This immaculately maintained course has lots of fun obstacles, surprises around every corner, and as promised – pets! Play your way around delightful features such as chainsaw-carved bears, a giant tortoise, a lighthouse, the Statue of Liberty, through a cave, and around a tower of goats. Yes, a tower of real goats!
Among the pets are goats, chickens, turkeys, peacocks, and a variety of other birds. The goats climb on a footbridge over the golf course to a look-out tower where they can watch you play. Visit and feed the animals as you play around the course. See if you can make the turkey gobble or the peacock show its feathers!
Putt n Pets has a prospecting tower where you can pan for gemstones and coin-operated rides for little kids. You can also play under the lights in the evening.
Putt-n-Pets is almost always open from May – October. If there is no attendant, use the pay box on-your-honor.
Towering Canopy Tour at Gunflint Lodge
A 43-mile scenic drive up the famed Gunflint Trail lies the legendary Gunflint Lodge on Gunflint Lake. Their Towering Pines Canopy Tour is a combination of exhilarating ziplines and an exciting naturalist adventure. Climb into the forest canopy on tree-top platforms to explore the heavily forested lands from a birds-eye view. See unbelievable views of Lonely Lake, Gunflint Lake, the Canadian Shore, and the high cliffs to the south. Glide from platform to platform on eight different ziplines. Along the way your guide will share historical and naturalist information, adding an educational aspect to this exhilarating experience. Open May – October.
More family fun ideas on the North Shore