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All-ages family fun in downtown Rochester

Finding ways to keep kids entertained and out of trouble can be tough. Luckily, downtown Rochester offers all kinds of adventures for every age range. Check off the following all-ages family fun activities that can be found in downtown Rochester!

  Get creative with Canvas & Chardonnay kits

Unicorns, dinosaurs, and planets: what do they have in common? They're all subject matters of Canvas & Chardonnay's art kits! Whether it's painting, plants, or macramé, these art kits are pure joy entertainment. Canvas & Chardonnay even offers step-by-step tutorials and tips and tricks so it can be like art class at home (parental supervision not required but encouraged for the memories)!

  Breathe in fresh air at Central Park

Towering oak trees in Central Park will leave kids feeling like tiny ants. But rest in their shade for an outdoor autumn picnic, and it will be a fun family outing. Take a fall photo next to the fountain with the gorgeous turning leaves in the background. Hello new profile photo!

  Step back in time at Chateau Theatre

Once was old is new again. Make sure to add this to the top of your family-friendly fun, as the exhibit is on display at the Historic Chateau Theatre through Wednesday. Kids might not know Downton Abbey (parents sure will, though!) but they'll get a kick out of the period costumes from the hit show and how people dressed in the early 20th century.

  Pass down nostalgic feelings from The Machine Shed

Remember the arcade and video games you used to play? The ones you thought were long gone? They still exist at a place called The Machine Shed in downtown Rochester. You'll get to say, "I remember this from when I was a kid," and your children will either be fascinated or will be rolling their eyes. Kids these days! Who knows, though: Your blast from the past memories may spark new ones for them.

  Explore Mayo Park

Art, wide open spaces, and walking trails with a river view is something that can't be beat. Let the little ones explore Mayo Park for a day and they'll be beat! Introduce them to Rochester's famous bird—the Canadian goose—that may be another visitor to the park, as well, this time of year.

  Make something artsy with Neon Green Studio

Let kids’ creativity flow with Neon Green Studio’s art! A friendship bracelet can be made for their bestie and sent with a handmade greeting card (Neon Green Studio offers both as kits!). Allow them to pick their project—from a mini canvas painting, treasure chest, or stitch kit—or have Neon Green Studio package up a mystery art kit. Either way, kids are sure to create something truly their own.

  Appreciate the work at the Rochester Art Center

Most times, it's not OK to stare. But let the kids look as long as they want at the art within the walls of the Rochester Art Center. With the variety of exhibits showing, they may find something that speaks to them and grows their appreciate for the artistry.

  It's OK to be a bookworm with the Rochester Public Library

Adventure, mystery, short stories, or the classics: you name it, the Rochester Public Library probably has it! Whether as part of bedtime story time or school time, thousands upon thousands of books will keep kiddos entertained with whole new literary worlds Bonus: If the kids are looking to practice their penmanship or simply connect with others—especially if they are distance learning—the Rochester Public Library staff will write back to anyone who composes a pen pal letter!

  Get the grand tour on the Rochester Trolley

With a new owner comes a new way of seeing the city of Rochester. Your Chamberlain recently purchased Rochester Trolley and Tour Company and is offering and expanding the fun ways to explore, especially ones that are family friendly. Take its famous haunted tour, for example. Every tour guide caters the experience to the audience (though parental discretion is advised) so it's age appropriate. A 90-minute, city-wide tours is a great lesson in history, architecture, and art; perfect for exposing kids to a variety of subjects. Rochester Trolley and Tour Company will work with you to make your tour an experience you and your children won't forget!

  Pay respects at Soldiers Memorial Field Park

Standing tall amid a sea of trees is the Wall of Remembrance at Soldiers Memorial Field Park. This tribute honors the service members of southeast Minnesota who died fighting beginning with the Civil War to present day. Take note of the ground on which they walk: encompassing the Wall of Remembrance are 6,300 pavers donated to honor veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. History comes alive before their very eyes.

  Dine out or get take-out with kid-friendly meals

Growing kids need delicious food. No matter the cuisine or dining style preference, good thing downtown Rochester has more than 75 restaurants to pick from! Check out the full list of downtown restaurants!

  Shop at kid-friendly stores

A reward for doing well on that spelling test or a new outfit for school pictures, kids will enjoy picking out their own purchase at dozens of downtown stores! Find out where to shop with and for kids in downtown Rochester.

  Snap a photo by the Downtown Rochester MN letters

These bright red letters will definitely catch kids' eyes in Peace Plaza. Show us your creativity and strike a pose with the kiddos! Make sure to use #DowntownRochesterMN and tag us on social media. (We may just share your shot!)