12 Must See Summer Attractions

The Willmar Lakes Area is a land full of diverse culture, outdoor adventures, family fun, history, boutique shopping, unique restaurants and so much more. With so many amazing opportunities, how do you know what to see while you’re here? Well, that’s what we’re here for! At the Willmar Lakes Area Convention & Visitors Bureau we’re happy to answer any of your questions regarding Kandiyohi County and we’d love to help make your visit a memorable one. So for starters, let’s go over the 12 must-see summer attractions in our area!

1) Sibley State Park
One of Minnesota’s top 20 attractions, Sibley State Park is the perfect place for experiencing “Nature at its Best.” Pack a lunch and take a hike through the many beautiful trails and make your way to the top of Mount Tom. You can also enjoy swimming, canoeing, kayaking, and fishing in Lake Andrew.

2)  Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center
Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center (PWELC) is a regional center for environmental education, outdoor recreation and team building for people of all ages. Everyone can enjoy 500 acres full of self-guided trails through prairie, woods and wetlands. Rentals are available to enjoy kayaking, canoeing, fat tire biking, cross country skiing, snowshoeing and kick sledding.

3)  Glacial Lakes State Trail
Experience the beauty of rolling hills, prairies, wetlands and farmland along this 22-mile trail. Built on the old Burlington Northern Railroad bed, it is paved for biking, rollerblading and hiking. An adjacent path is available for horseback riding and the entire trail is available for snowmobiling and cross-country skiing.

4)  Willmar Destination Playground
The Willmar Destination Playground is one of the nation’s largest fully accessible playgrounds, measuring over 19,000 square feet. Nestled into the grassy oak hills of Robbins Island Regional Park, the Willmar Destination Playground has a variety of play structures all on a soft rubbery flooring. The fully enclosed and accessible playground offers a safe and fun place for children of all ages and abilities to play and interact.

5)  Mr. B’s Chocolates
No one can visit the Willmar Lakes Area without stopping at the most delicious chocolate store in West Central Minnesota! In addition to all your nostalgic favorites – truffles, caramels, fruit creams, and the like – Mr. B’s chocolatiers hand paint few-of-a-kind masterpieces that go from small farm animals, dinosaurs, and roses all the way to the intercut champagne bottles, Thanksgiving turkeys and three-dimensional Christmas trees!

6)  Little Crow Ski Show
Make sure to include a Friday night during your next summer visit so that you can enjoy the Little Crow Water Ski Team as they show off their water-skiing talent that you can’t easily find anywhere else in the world. While attending the Little Crow Ski show, you will see top quality skiers perform pyramids, jumping, barefooting, ballet lines, and more.

7)  Dorothy Olson Aquatic Center
Need to cool off? Then head over to the Dorothy Olson Aquatic Center (DOAC) for an afternoon of splish-splashing fun! The DOAC offers guests of all ages a number of entertainment options including two raging waterslides, a six-lane recreation pool, two poolside climbing walls, and a mini slide surrounded by a zero-depth entry play pool.

8)  Big Kahuna Fun Park
Nestled near Green Lake in the heart of Spicer, Big Kahuna Fun Park offers two go-kart tracks, Wet & Wild bumper boats with squirt guns (bring your swimsuit and towel), a large 18-hole premier mini-golf course and Dune Racers for the younger kids. Inside you’ll find the Big K Mini-Arcade with redemption prizes, delicious ice cream, and Godfather’s Pizza Express.

9)  Kandiyohi County Historical Society & Museum
History lovers will enjoy the unique history of Kandiyohi County! The museum complex consists of six buildings: the main museum and research library, District #18 Schoolhouse, Engine #2523, Sperry House, Grandpa’s Shed and an agriculture building all with their own piece of history to tell.

10)  The Village Children’s Museum
Travelling with kids while in the area? Then make sure to stop at The Village Children’s Museum! This indoor play space is dedicated to bringing play and learning to the cultural diversity of West Central Minnesota. Children will enjoy the wide variety of exhibits that’ll keep them engaged for hours all while learning and growing.

11)  Willmar Stingers
The Willmar Stingers are part of the Northwoods Baseball League and play their home games at Bill Taunton Stadium in Willmar. Enjoy great stadium food and drinks while watching some exciting baseball action during the summer. Fans also look forward to being greeted by a seven-foot bear named Barry as they enter Bill Taunton Stadium each and every summer.

12)  Shopping District of New London
The Shopping District of New London is a unique attraction on its own with the variety of boutiques and shops, there’s definitely something for everyone when exploring the shops. Whether you’re looking for quilting material, unique and fashionable clothing options, toys and games, gourmet popcorn and sweet treats, home decor and kitchen items, you’ll find it all in the Shopping District of New London.

Now we know there’s probably no way you can enjoy these amazing attractions in one visit, let alone a weekend. So plan a week long stay or multiple visits to make sure you’re able to explore all of these must-see attractions. Click here to see the many beautiful places to stay while you’re here. By the way, we’ve only listed the most popular attractions in the area. Make sure to check out all of the Things to Do in Kandiyohi County by exploring our website further.

Fish our lakes

The possibilities are endless on our 30 recreational lakes…boating, swimming, fishing, water skiing, tubing, canoeing, kayaking, paddle boating, hydro biking, paddle boarding and so much more!

Fishing Report

Explore our Trails

Surrounded by beautiful lakes and scenery…who wouldn’t take a hike or a leisurely bike ride to enjoy the view? With miles of trials to choose from, you can always find new places to explore.

Trail Report