Growing up in Minnesota, it wasn't uncommon to spend some summer time in Brainerd and Nisswa and one of my favorite parts was always the Nisswa Turtle Races.

Several years back, a friend and I reminisced about how fun that was as children and that while neither of had plans to be in Nisswa, we'd love for our kids to enjoy that too.

So, we did what some call crazy, some call adventure. Loaded up our kids {at the time, six between us} and drove to Nisswa for the day. Really.


If your kids are decent road trippers you can totally make a day trip out of it. We grab coffees and load up our electronic devices for our kids and drive.

Some years we'll pack lunches and stop at the rest area just outside of Brainerd, other days we'll grab lunch in town and picnic at the park.


Race registration begins right in the middle of Nisswa at 1 p.m. and races start at 2 p.m. We'll race our turtles, something that takes just minutes when all is said and done. 


And then we'll take a walk through the town and stop in The Chocolate Ox for ice cream before we begin the trek home.

One could stay later and do more exploring in Nisswa if so desired. There's the train and the park trails and even a little old school house to explore.

You can make it as much of a day as you'd like once you're there. 

If you go:

Nisswa Turtle Races take place every Wednesday at 2 p.m in downtown Nisswa. Registration begins at 1 p.m. The earlier you register the sooner your turtle races.

Turtle races are $4/person and you get a commemorative button to bring home.

The Chocolate Ox is located just down the way and sells ice cream and all sorts of good treats. It's a must stop.

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