12 Things to Do in Woodbury, Minnesota

Last Updated on February 13, 2024 by Emily Johnson

Woodbury, a bustling suburb of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, offers many exciting activities and attractions for visitors and residents alike. With stunning nature parks, fascinating museums, unique shopping places, and a vibrant arts and entertainment scene, there is no shortage of things to see and experience in Woodbury.

This article will highlight 12 of the top attractions and activities that should be on every Woodbury traveler’s must-do list. From scenic hiking trails to craft breweries to the largest indoor waterpark in Minnesota, Woodbury has something to enjoy for all types of travelers. Keep reading to discover why this family-friendly town is a popular weekend getaway destination in the Twin Cities region.

1. Explore the Outdoors at Woodbury Lakes Trail

Covering over 100 acres right in the heart of Woodbury, the Woodbury Lakes Trail features 7 peaceful lakes connected by paved and natural trails perfect for walking, running, and biking. Visitors can spot a variety of birds and wildlife as they explore the diferentes habitats around the lakes.

Some of the most popular lakes include Powers Lake, where you can go fishing or relax by the gazebo, Lake Oksness with its observation deck overlooking the water, and Bailey Lake home to a floating boardwalk bridge and peaceful natural trails. With so much natural beauty, it’s no wonder this is one of the most popular outdoor attractions in Woodbury for both locals and tourists.

2. Learn About Pioneer Life at the 1860 Schell House

Step back in time to the 1860s at this beautifully preserved historic house museum originally built by pioneer farmer Martin Schell and his wife Elizabeth. Costumed guides will take you on an informative tour of the farmhouse, barn, and grounds while explaining what frontier life was like.

Some highlights include seeing an impressive collection of antique furnishings and domestic tools, exploring the one-room schoolhouse, and learning fun facts about chores and childhood games from the Schell family’s era. Special events like quilt shows, open hearth cooking demos, and seasonal activities offer additional ways to experience a taste of the past. History lovers of all ages will enjoy a trip to this unique museum.

3. Play Mini Golf at OzArcade Family Fun Center

Combining mini golf, laser tag, arcade games, and pizza all under one roof, OzArcade Family Fun Center is one of the top spots for family entertainment in Woodbury. Kids and kids-at-heart will love exploring the two uniquely themed 18-hole mini golf courses set amidst colorful lights, fun music, and special effects.

After mini golf, continue the fun with a game of laser tag in the two-level sci-fi themed arena or get competitive over one of over 100 arcade games. Parents can also relax with a drink from the sports bar while the little ones play. No matter your age or interests, OzArcade offers hours of amusement for all. The great value packages make this an affordable option for date nights, family outings, and group events.

4. Browse One-of-a-Kind Vendors at Woodbury Flea Market

Just off I-94 at the intersection of Radio Drive and Valley Creek Road sits Woodbury Flea Market, one of the largest open-air flea markets in the Midwest. With over 650 indoor and outdoor vendor stalls open year-round, you never know what unique antique or handmade treasures you might uncover during a visit.

Selling everything from fresh produce to clothing to collectibles, the flea market showcases wares from both professional vendors and casual garage sellers every weekend. Even if you don’t buy anything, browsing the many aisles under the iconic red-and-white-striped tents makes for an interesting morning or afternoon excursion when in Woodbury. Make sure to come hungry too – the delicious aromas wafting from the food vendors are tough to resist!

5. See Exotic Species at the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory

Though technically located right outside Woodbury in the Como Park neighborhood of Saint Paul, no trip to Woodbury is complete without a visit to the beloved Como Park Zoo and Marjorie McNeely Conservatory. This free public zoo established in 1897 features remarkable biodiversity displays with over 400 animal species, from playful primates to majestic big cats to peculiar sloths.

Don’t miss the new Polar Bear Odyssey exhibit showcasing their massive arctic residents or the wildly popular sea lion training sessions. The adjoining sun-drenched conservatory also impresses with lush tropical plants, sweet-smelling flowers, and miniature waterfalls spread throughout its indoor gardens. Given the free unlimited access, this Woodbury favorite is ideal for family-friendly adventures that won’t break the bank.

6. Watch a Show at Woodbury Lakes Theater

When it comes to state-of-the-art cinemas, Woodbury Lakes Theater is the place to see the latest movie blockbusters in town. Each of the 18 auditoriums features plush reserved seating, wall-to-wall curved screens, and Dolby Atmos immersive surround sound for the ultimate viewing experience.

Beyond Hollywood’s newest films, the theater also screens independent movies, hosts specialty programming like Marvel Movie Marathons, and offers sensory-friendly showings for guests with special needs. Guests can pre-order tasty food and drinks online for delivery right to their recliners. With luxury amenities rivaling that of downtown Minneapolis theaters but without the hassle or expense of parking and traffic, Woodbury Lakes Theater is a top choice for local cinephiles.

7. Learn Hands-On Science at the Works Museum

The Works Museum offers the unique chance to let curiosity run wild through dozens of fascinating hands-on science exhibits. Permanent exhibit halls like Fab Lab, CurioCity, and EnergyLab invite children and inner children to build, test, and create while learning core STEM principles.

Special traveling exhibits like Animal Secrets and Mental Mysteries also excite the community with new interactive experiments every year. When not busy pushing buttons, kids can also attend one of the museum’s live science demonstrations put on by enthusiastic educators and volunteers. Affordable membership options make repeat play visits worthwhile for local families too. For sparking wonder about how the world works in young minds, the Works Museum hits all the right buttons.

8. Play Laser Tag at Zero Hour Laser Tag

Lasers, fog, glowing props, and pumping music fill the multi-level arena for heart-racing battles at Zero Hour Laser Tag. During each 20-minute game session, you’ll gear up with high-tech vests and infrared laser blasters for an immersive game experience against other players, no matter your age or skill level.

Beyond the adrenaline-filled traditional Battle Game, there’s also the exciting Indiana Jones-style Exodus Mission for escaping an ancient temple and the strategic Conquest Game focused on territorial control. Private party rooms give larger groups like birthday parties and corporate team building events plenty of space. Reasonable game package pricing combined with next-generation tech make Zero Hour Laser Tag one of the top indoor recreation hubs for all.

9. Sample Local Brews at Lift Bridge Brewery

Beer lovers visiting Woodbury will want to pencil in a stop at Lift Bridge Brewery, the beloved local craft brewery putting Minnesota’s small city on the map with beer enthusiasts everywhere. Tours and tastings in Lift Bridge’s Tap Room offer the chance to learn all about their award-winning selection of flagship and seasonal craft beers.

Standouts like the Farm Girl Saison, Silhouette Imperial Stout, and Hop Dish IPA offer distinctive flavor profiles reflecting the skills of Lift Bridge’s passionate brewers. Beyond the beer itself, the taproom’s welcoming vibe, frequent live music performances, and rotating lineup of Minnesota food trucks create a down-to-earth space for enjoying good company, good drinks, and good times in the community. Its no wonder Lift Bridge has become a quintessential neighborhood hangout spot.

10. Hit the Slopes Snowboarding and Skiing at Afton Alps

Just 25 minutes drive from Woodbury sits Afton Alps, Minnesota’s premier skiing and snowboarding resort that feels worlds apart thanks to its towering snow-capped peaks that offer stunning views across St. Croix Valley. With nearly 300 skiable acres, 48 runs, and an impressive vertical drop, these slopes cater to all ability levels, making it one of the best family-friendly winter attractions near the Twin Cities.

Thrill-seekers will love blazing down black diamond runs like Gangster’s Paradise while newbies stick to the wide expanses of Summit and Meadows. Multi-week lessons, designated terrain parks, and high-speed lifts round out the exceptional amenities. Come sundown, unwind by the towering stone fireplace inside Chalet Village while the kids toast s’mores and you toast a well-deserved drink after another epic day hitting the heights together.

11. Play and Stay at Great Wolf Lodge Minnesota

In Minnesota’s long frigid winters, perhaps no attraction brings more year-round warmth than massive 85,000 square foot indoor water park nestled inside Great Wolf Lodge. Parents and kids alike will fill their days with endless fun splashing down six thrilling water slides like Coyote Cannon Bowl and Alberta Falls.

For little ones, activity pools like Cub Paw Pool and early-rising or late-night water play sessions ensure everyone gets a chance to play at their pace. That’s not even mentioning the hotel’s other family entertainment offerings like Magic Quest interactive scavenger hunts, arts and crafts, story time with animal ambassadors, and a Mat-O-Mania pillow playground.

With 405 North woods themed suites on site and additional dining and spa amenities for parents, Minnesota’s Great Wolf Lodge in Woodbury really does offer the ultimate all-under-one-roof option for exciting weekend getaways or staycations close to home.

12. Shop Till You Drop at Woodbury Lakes Shopping District

Boasting over 120 stores and restaurants all connected by scenic brick walkways, the Woodbury Lakes shopping district sets the scene for major retail therapy sessions. National chains like REI, Williams-Sonoma, Vineyard Vines, and Restoration Hardware draw serious shoppers from across the metro while an ever-growing number of boutiques, galleries, salons, and other small businesses give the open-air lifestyle center local flavor.

Treating yourself to a relaxing brunch, grabbing groceries for the week, catching a yoga class, and hunting for shoes can all be accomplished in the same trip thanks to Woodbury Lakes’ exceptional mix of establishments. Carefully designed green spaces throughout also make wandering the lake-inspired center as much about soaking up sunshine as it is about snagging sales. By appealing to all interests at all price points, these shops almost guarantee visitors walk away with at least one perfect find while passing the day surrounded by natural beauty.

Conclusion

With 12 unique attractions covered ranging from historic museums to craft breweries to theater chains to ski slopes, it’s clear Woodbury offers an incredibly diverse collection of things to do for tourists and locals alike. Families will love kid-approved destinations like Great Wolf Lodge’s epic indoor water park while couples and friends can enjoy date-worthy options like Lift Bridge Brewery’s taproom and the luxury cinemas at Woodbury Lakes.

Outdoor enthusiasts also have their pick thanks to top green spaces like Woodbury Lakes Trail and Afton Alps. And even serial shoppers who love hunting for bargains get their fix at venues like Woodbury’s famous Flea Market and upscale Lakes Shopping District. Getting bored is nearly impossible with this stellar lineup of attractions pleasing all interests across Woodbury and its surrounding communities.

So whether you call Woodbury home already or you’re visiting the Twin Cities region as a tourist, make sure to pencil in a few of these top things to do on your Minnesota itinerary. With its enviable central location between Minneapolis and Saint Paul and abundance of can’t-miss activities, Woodbury makes for an ideal home base for taking advantage of everything this vibrant metro area has to offer both residents and visitors.

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