12 Attractions in Eagan, Minnesota

Last Updated on February 11, 2024 by Emily Johnson

Eagan, Minnesota is a vibrant suburban city just south of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. With a population of over 66,000, Eagan provides access to the culture and amenities of the Twin Cities as well as a charming small-town atmosphere all its own.

Eagan has top-rated schools, a robust economy anchored by major corporations like Blue Cross Blue Shield and Thomson Reuters, and an abundance of parks and trails that highlight the beauty of Minnesota’s nature.

Beyond the family-friendly neighborhoods and highly ranked public education system, Eagan also boasts some wonderful attractions that make it worth a visit whether you’re a local from the Minneapolis Saint-Paul metro or a visitor.

The city’s diverse array of museums, performance venues, sports facilities, famed retail stores, and ski slopes create wonderful experiences for all interests and ages. With creative indoor playgrounds, championship golf clubs, and cozy cafes, its clear why Eagan is consistently voted one of the best places to live in America.

From dinosaur fossils to spectacular mines, here are 12 of the top attractions and activities that make Eagan, Minnesota a wonderful travel destination as well as an incredible place to call home.

1.Cavernous Active Mines

One of Eagan’s most unique attractions is the T.H. Davies Mine which allows visitors to descend deep into the ground to explore Minnesota’s natural caverns year-round. The guided tours take you through stunning rock formations and spacious caverns while expert guides explain the century-old sand mine’s history.

Special hard hats with mounted lights are provided before you take one of three mine shaft elevators 145 feet down to begin wandering through the fascinating subterranean sandstone labyrinth which stays a consistent 52 degrees. Walk through the Cathedral Room and Phantom Falls Cave which tower 45 feet tall. Marvel at the sparkling quartz and glittery mica minerals embedded in the red rock walls of the mine.

The T.H. Davies mine tour highlights Minnesota’s interesting geological features in an unforgettable setting hidden beneath the city’s surface. After working up an appetite exploring the cool caverns, stop by the fun Mine Camp Dining Room in thewelcome center’s log cabin building to enjoy delicious sandwiches, soups, and freshly baked goods.

2.Action-Packed Indoor Adventure Park

When Minnesota’s infamous cold weather strikes, residents head indoors for active fun at Eagle Ridge Adventure Park.

Spanning over two acres, Eagle Ridge features a suspension bridge over a pit filled with foam blocks, thrilling tube and tunnel slides, a maze of climbing structures with obstacles, and net bridges suspended high in the air.Parents can climb, crawl, slide, and play alongside their kids on Eagle Ridge’s multi-level structures made of ropes, padded panels, cargo nets, bridges, ladders, and tunnels.

In addition to the massive indoor playground, there are areas for less adventurous kids with a toddler zone, arcade games, and birthday party rooms. For bigger kids and grownups seeking more of an adrenaline rush, try out the heart-pounding vertical Endeavor or a ride downone of the facility’s twisting, turning, looping tunnel slides. With its bright colors, variety of activities, and continuous action, Eagle Ridge Adventure Park is one of Eagan’s most exciting indoor attractions.

3.Championship Disc Golf Course

In the warmer months, outdoor enthusiasts flock to the famous Oakwood Park disc golf course regularly rated as one of the top disc golf destinations in the entire country. Sprawling across 95 acres of Oakwood Park’s prairie, wetland, and oak forest landscapes with the picturesque Marthaler Pond as a backdrop, the Oakwood course layout takes golfers through arrestingly beautiful natural scenery.

The Oakwood course features 3 professional-level loops totaling 54 holes as well as easier recreational configurations for casual disc golfers. The signature “Wedge” loop showcases Oakwood’s elevation changes and challenging natural terrain elements like guardian trees constricting fairways and accuracy-demanding water hazards. Players can spend an entire day immersed in their surroundings while hiking up and down hills, through open prairies, and along ponds and streams all dotted with strategically placed disc pole holes and tee pads.

Bring your own discs or rent them onsite as you travel from hole to hole surrounded by gorgeous vistas filled with tall grass prairies, colorful wildflowers, singing birds, and scampering wildlife. It’s no wonder Oakwood attracts over 60,000 disc golf players every year as well as hosting prominent Minnesota tournaments.

4.Unique Hands-On History Museum

Eagan is home to the state’s only Smithsonian Institution affiliate focused entirely on aviation and flight. The Wings of the North Air Museumcollects, preserves, and exhibits a world-class collection of historic aircraft, spacecraft, and artifacts that demonstrate Minnesota’s important contributions to aeronautics. Visitors can check out over 20 classic planes and gliders plus 10 full-sized aircraft hanging from the museum’s soaring ceilings.

There are even opportunities to get inside certain planes like the “Flying Classroom,” a customized DC-3 aircraft. Learn about Minnesota’s role in pioneering global flight transportation and technology while seeing one-of-a-kind items like Apollo 13 heatshield fragments, aircraft navigation units, flight simulation machines, engines, and flight suits.

Kids can earn their Wings by completing scavenger hunts and other activities. Whether you’re an aviation buff or just looking for a memorable museum visit, Wings of the North’s rare artifacts and hands-on exhibits make for an uplifting Eagan attraction.

5.Top-Notch Performing Arts

Residents and visitors alike can enjoy a variety of performing arts and cultural events held at one of Eagan’s premier venues, the Eagan Art House. The multi-use Art House acts as a live theater hosting concerts, plays, and musicals put on by local arts companies like Dance Life Studio, Eagan Theater Company, and Playful Theatre. Audiences are immersed in drama, comedy, original productions, classics, and musical acts spanning all genres in the Art House’s intimate sub-100 seat black box theater.

In addition to live entertainment on the Art House stage, guests can participate in visual arts classes through Arts on Arc and the Eagan Art Festival exhibits. Aspiring performers can enroll at the Art House’s performing arts academy to hone their skills across acting, music, writing, choreography, and technical production arts. With year-round plays, musical ensembles, art lessons, and events there is always an opportunity to experience the Eagan Art House whether treading the boards or grabbing tickets for a show.

6.Top Shopping Destination

Minnesota’s largest outlet and retail center sits right in Eagan’s backyard. The Twin Cities Premium Outlets draws visitors from all over the upper Midwest with its impressive collections of 170+ brand name and designer stores. The massive open-air outlet mall features an incredible list of shops spanning fashion, shoes, outdoor apparel, sporting goods, homewares, toys, specialty foods, and more.

Spend the day finding amazing deals at premium retailers like Nike, Coach, Under Armour, Kate Spade, Brooks Brothers, Carter’s OshKosh, and adidas. Updated twice a year with fresh inventory, the Twin Cities Premium Outlets always offers a world-class selection of changing merchandise, clearance products, overstock items, and retail samples for prices discounted 30-70% from traditional retail costs. Sign up for the VIP Coupon Booklet at Guest Services to access even deeper discounts from participating stores during your visit.

When entering the polished corridors branching out from the Grand Piazza inspired by Italian architecture, it’s easy to forget you’re only minutes from downtown St. Paul and Minneapolis. The Twin Cities Premium Outlets’ combination of renowned stores and unbeatable prices makes it one of the top shopping attractions drawing visitors to Eagan from across the region.

7.Inviting Green Spaces

Minnesota’s State Flower blooms abundantly across Eagan’s beautiful parks system. Over 40 parks with nearly 1000 acres of open green space plus an additional 700 acres of protected national wildlife area showcase the city’s natural splendor dotted with lush prairies and wildflower meadows.

Visitors flock to Cascade Bay and Lebanon Hills parks on the shores of the Minnesota River where intimate trails wind through tallgrass remnants, scenic floodplains, and wooded areas filled with the state wildflower, the showy pink and white lady slipper orchid.

In the retaining ponds along rolling trails around Central Park and Thomas Lake Park, keep your eyes peeled to spy vibrant blue damselflies dancing by the water. Have a picnic surrounded by gorgeous blooming lupine, black-eyed Susans, and purple coneflowers in the wide open spaces of Caponi Art Park’s 60 acres of prairie grasslands and oak savanna.

Experience the seasonal beauty of Minnesota through Eagan’s abundance of natural parks and spaces where lady slipper orchids, powdery orange milkweed blooms, and other delicate wildflowers nod in the gentle breeze.

8.World Class Golfing

With two top golf clubs each with multiple championship rated courses, Eagan earns its reputation as one of America’s premier golf destinations especially for lovers of classic Scottish links-style courses. The beautiful landscape designs integrate the region’s wetlands, meadows, woods, and rock outcrops into challenging playable layouts that also highlight Minnesota’s natural splendor.

The exclusive Royal Golf Club features 54 holes carved into the gorgeous terrain of rolling hills, prairie marshlands, and hardwood forests along the Vermillion River. Two18-hole courses, The Lakes and The Links, combine challenging play with memorably lovely scenery around every corner from the masterful Pete Dye and Tom Lehman designs.

For the ultimate world-class experience, try The Royal Jewel course with its undulating greens, pot bunkers, stone bridges crossing the Vermillion River, and panoramic views showcasing southern Minnesota’s distinctive beauty.

The prestigiously ranked Legends Club also offers guests two distinct 18 hole courses threaded through 200 acres of diverse topography studded with wetlands, mature trees, and wildflower meadows. Legends’ Meadows course brings traditional links style play across wide gently rolling fairways while its rugged Woods loop showcases accuracy driving through forested landscapes with striking rock ridges and native grasses coming into play.

With four championship-level regulation courses drawing pros and amateurs from across the globe, Eagan’s private golf clubs crown the city as one of America’s most revered golf destinations.

9.Fun Learning for Little Ones

Eagan’s wonderful indoor playgrounds double as children’s museums making them ideal destinations for families even on cold or storm Minnesota days. The Playful Learning Center lives up to its name with hands-on educational exhibits allowing kids aged 0-10 to engage their brains through play.

Small children strengthen motor skills climbing ladders to towering platforms with slides, steering toy cars down ramps in the Raceway Room, and pouring ‘rain showers’ in the Water Works fountains. Interactive displays let kids run a bakery, construct skyscrapers with oversized blueprints, or scan grocery store items as a cashier. Parents appreciate the separate infant, toddler, and older child play zones overall sensory-friendly environment catering to different ages and needs.

At Playworks, families have a blast racing through the elaborate multi-level structure featuring tube slides, cargo nets, ball towers, a larger-than-life tree fort with rope swings, and a zip line. Kids can expend energy in physical activities or have quieter fun driving electric cars, playing with LEGOs in the Bricks Room, or sliding down Mount Discovery’s private enclosed slides. Playworks also hosts youth birthday parties perfect for Minnesota’s cold months.
With indoor playgrounds that sneak STEM concepts, physical skills, and social development into energetic playtime, Eagan’s kids museums get families through long winters while making learning enjoyable.

10.Winter Fun on Ski Slopes

Just ten minutes north of Eagan sits one of the Midwest’s best downhill skiing and snowboarding destinations, Buck Hill. This convenient city slope with over 75 years of winter recreation history offers families a fantastic option right in Eagan’s backyard for classic Minnesota cold weather fun on frozen powder.

Eight ski runs ranging from gentle lanes to Olympic-style black diamond courses traverse the bluff creating 240 feet of vertical drop adrenaline rush packed with moguls, jumps, dips, and banked turns. Experienced staff offers private and group lessons to hone your alpine racing skills or simply learn proper techniques for tackling the slopes safely.

Inside find additional winter attractions like the thrilling Soaring Eagle zipline ride across the entire hill plus fun theme tubing slides and chutes you race down on inner tubes or saucers.

The Pro Shop carries all your rental gear from skis to snow pants so even visitors unprepared for Minnesota’s famous winters can take advantage of outstanding slope conditions and professional instruction amidst the snowy pine trees. With excellent skiing opportunities paired with family-friendly tubing courses divided by skill, Buck Hill creates wonderful frosty Eagan memories November through March.

11.Classic Theater Palace

Eagan made national news when it saved a gorgeous 80 year old art deco movie theater from demolition by moving the entire building three miles down the road to preserve this nostalgic cinema gem. The Eagan Theater (formerly the Longfellow Theater) today hosts classic cinema screenings in a spectacular historic theater setting. From old Hollywood movies to family features and special events, the Eagan Theater’s single-screen auditorium transports audiences back in time to the golden age of cinemas built as fantasy escapes.

Intricate exterior neon signage and twinkling marquee bulbs set the mood before entering the majestic lobby dressed in velvet curtains, crystal chandeliers, gilded wall sconces, and plush carpeting. Find the perfect seat in the sloping main theater blinking with fiber optic “star” lights embedded in the rippling blue ceiling and red velour seats.

The vintage candy counter sells popcorn and old-tyme treats to enjoy while watching classic favorites, indie films, special Q&As, or local talent on the Eagan Theater’s magical big screen under the original vaulted ceiling and proscenium archway. Saved from the wrecking ball by staunch community support, the Eagan Theater continues wowing new generations with its dazzling historic palace charm.

12.Spectacular Holiday Light Display

Paul and Sheila’s Holiday Lights Show transforms a residential Eagan yard into a magical glowing winter spectacle synchronized with music from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve. This computer-controlled theatrical light display crafted by volunteers comprises over 40 immersive vignettes ranging from Santa’s workshop to a angelic choir to the iconic Peanuts gang ice skating on a pond.

Visitors tune their radios to a special station and watch over 200,000 LED bulbs dance to Christmas classics and beloved songs. Favorite sections include the 12 Days of Christmas animation, a patriotic Armed Forces tribute, giant cascading waterfall, and tunnel bursting with swirling colors you can drive through. At the finale, a stunning 30-foot tall tree shoots colorful beams high into the sky during a dynamic light show finale. Bring non-perishables for local food shelves to donate in exchange for magical memories benefiting a wonderful cause at this signature Eagan seasonal attraction.

With 12 wonderful attractions ranging from cavernous active mines to a breathtaking holiday light show set to music, visitors will find plenty of sites that make Eagan, Minnesota a fantastic place to explore history, art, culture, sports, and nature just south of the Twin Cities metro area.

From touring an aviation museum to hiking through prairie wildflower parks to racing down ski slopes to cheering at a musical in an intimate black box theater, Eagan offers dynamic experiences for travelers of all types and interests no matter the season. With acclaimed golf courses, sensational shopping outlets, hands-on children’s museums, and stunning parks offering glimpses of delicate lady slipper orchids, those who take time to visit Eagan can appreciate why residents passionately embrace their hometown’s natural beauty and Midwestern charm.

Conclusion

With its unique attractions, scenic landscapes, and wealth of both indoor and outdoor recreation, Eagan showcases some of Minnesota’s finest features beyond the hustle of the Twin Cities. From active sand mines offering cool cave tours to championship disc golf winding through prairie vistas to indoor adventure parks with epic slides and obstacle courses, Eagan keeps visitors entertained regardless of the weather.

The city’s top-ranked golf clubs, premium shopping outlets, performing arts venues, historic downtown theater, and ski slopes create well-rounded experiences for travelers seeking culture, adventure, or relaxation. And Eagan’s parks and wildlife centers display the delicate beauty of Minnesota’s wildflowers and terrain.

Whether you fly high at the aviation museum, catch an indie film in a restored art deco cinema, or listen to holiday songs synchronized with 200,000 dazzling lightbulbs, Eagan appeals to all interests with its unique blend of nature, history, arts, and family-friendly attractions. Home to both major corporations and small-town charm yet centered only minutes from Minneapolis and Saint Paul, visitors get the best of everything Eagan offers as the perfect Minnesota getaway destination.

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