Today's summer bucket list post is from Anne of Shoreview. She's adding some Stillwater sites to the Summer Bucket List.
For our family, summer seems incomplete without at least one visit to Stillwater. Getting there is half the fun if you take the lushly-green back route into town via Highway 96 east off Highway 61. There is so much to do, and the main attraction for families with young kids is Teddy Bear Park, located just up the hill from downtown at the corner of South 2nd Street and Nelson Street.
This charming playground is free and open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Strollers beware – it’s a steep climb from the main drag of Stillwater, but worth the trek. There is a free public parking lot adjacent to the park where you might find a spot. Clean bathrooms are located within the park, along with a drinking fountain, plenty of benches, and a small gazebo for picnics.
It can get very hot at midday, so plan your time accordingly to enjoy all the features. Our favorites are the multi-level climbing tree and slide, the multi-compartment train with smaller slides for little ones, and the rock wall with large sandbox for freeplay. There is also a rope web for those Spiderman-wannabees. The park is dotted with its namesake “teddy bears” – darling stone sculptures perfect for family posing and pictures.
After the park, your kids will scream for the monstrous cones at Nelson’s Ice Cream, located at 920 Olive Street West, also “uphill” from downtown Stillwater. Nelson’s offers more than 30 flavors which you can mix and match if you can’t decide. A kid’s size cone was more than our kids could manage on their own, so consider sharing.
Venture back downtown for a leisurely stroll by the St. Croix, where you can watch the boats cruise along. Lay out your blanket in the large grassy field and enjoy throwing a ball around or just relaxing. If you venture into any of the charming shops along Main Street, be sure to visit Valley Bookseller, where the kids’ section is large and full of unique books and toys.
Plan ahead: Stillwater hosts its annual town fair, Stillwater Log Jam (formerly Lumberjack Days) July 18-20, 2014. Expect a ton of activities (and traffic!) that weekend.
Guest post by Anne of Shoreview, mom to 7-year-old boy/girl twins. She and her husband Jeff enjoy finding new, fun outdoor things to do as a family.