If you’re new to the area, or just looking for recommendations on what to do and where to go, you usually ask around, right? If that person is like you – single, married, kids, no kids – or has similar interests, even better.
Here are some personal recommendations from people like you on what they like to see and do throughout the area.
Thirteen-year-old Jordan Jensen of Moorhead says there’s something for everyone in the FargoMoorhead area. “If there’s something you’re interested in, we most likely have it,” she says. “If you like sports, we have a lot of sports. If you’re hungry, there’s a lot of food places. If you want to see a movie, we have lots of theaters – and the Fargo Theatre is really cool.”
For everyday fun, Jensen is a fan of Sky Zone Trampoline Park. “It’s unique – there’s not really another place in town like it,” she says. “It’s basically a room with a bunch of trampolines on the walls and there’s also dodgeball.” Thunder Road Family Fun Park is also a draw. “They have mini golf, go-karts, bumper cars, laser tag, arcade games, pizza and prizes,” she says.
The Fargo-Moorhead area is also known for annual events that attract locals and out-of-towners alike. In the winter, Jensen looks forward to the Holiday Lights at Lindenwood Park in December. “You can turn on Christmas music, and you have all these lights and these really unique pictures,” she says.
For more kid-approved fun, visit:
- Skate City
- Moorhead Dairy Queen
- MSUM Planetarium
- Fargo Park District’s Waterama
- Buffalo River State Park
- Fargo Skate Park
- Davies Recreational Pool
- West Fargo Parks Scavenger Hunt
YOUNG FAMILY ON THE GO
Vanessa Hughes from Moorhead says she doesn’t think she and her husband, Mark, do much with their young kids, Svea (5) and Finn (2), but as she talks, this mom is on the go with regular outings throughout the Fargo-Moorhead area. “As I think about it, there are so many fun things to do – great for the age of kids we have,” she says.
While she enjoys cooking, Hughes says eating out is always fun because there are so many options. “We want the kids to try new things, so sushi at Wasabi is a family favorite,” Hughes says. “Of course, it’s great for date night too.” Her other date night recommendations include local breweries like Junkyard, Fargo Brewing and Drekker along with local trivia nights for fun any night of the week.
A standard summertime outing involves the Red River Market for fresh produce to use in her own dishes – with an added bonus. “Everyone needs a nap after that adventure,” she laughs. Other favorites include the Red River Zoo, Greater Moorhead Days, the Children’s Museum at Yunker Farm and concerts at the Bluestem Amphitheater.
Walks in the many area parks and on river trails are also top picks, as well as the local libraries. “Each library has different toys the kids love – plus the downtown library even has a cafe, so we can enjoy a whole afternoon there,” the busy mom says. Outdoor fun is also a must. “We have a crazy number of great outdoor pools – including a wading pool right by our house that’s awesome!” Hughes says.
While Target is “my happy place every Saturday,” Hughes says, grinning, she also loves finding treasures for DIY projects at the many local antique malls, craft fairs and the annual Fargo Junk Market by Eco Chic Boutique. Her husband, Mark, on the other hand, goes to comic book night every Wednesday at Paradox Comic-N-Cards in downtown Fargo.
While the kids enjoy all activities, they are excited to participate in the annual Slug Run based on the popular children’s book “Peter the Slug and the Great Forest Race” by local author and family friend Peter Schultz.
Even with a full list of beloved spots, Hughes knows her family can find new activities to add to their calendar. “There’s still so many undiscovered things I haven’t done yet. Every year we find more and more great things to do,” she says.
For more fun for the whole family, visit:
- Bonanzaville Pioneer Village
- Rheault Farm “Share a Story” event
- Madison Pool and Splash Pond
- Trout Fest • Streets Alive!
- Fargo Kiwanis Pancake Karnival
- Gate City Bank Theatre at the Fargodome
Caryn Olson, a hometown girl who moved back to the area in 2009, knows a lot of places to go and things to do in the F-M area. An event leader in public relations for Scheels, Olson not only enjoys attending local events, this 34-year-old also plans many of them.
This sports fan loves fall in the F-M area when everyone is getting ready for football. “My Saturdays are reserved for the North Dakota State University (NDSU) Bison – the games are great, but the tailgating beforehand is awesome for networking as much as socializing,” she says.
Because Olson plans events for a living, she looks forward to many events both personally and professionally. “I have a soft spot for the Scheels Fargo Marathon. Even though it’s a long week for me, I love how our community supports all the different races, and the atmosphere inside the Fargodome on race day is electric!” she says. Olson also recommends volunteering through organizations like the FMWF Chamber of Commerce and the United Way of Cass Clay to connect, learn and have fun.
Hanging out with friends while shopping and relaxing on the weekend is a highlight for this active single. She particularly likes the Sip & Shop events at Blvd Pub in West Fargo. “You get to sample and buy items from local businesses while hanging out with friends and having a drink. It doesn’t get much better than that,” she says.
Cosmic Bingo in Harwood, N.D. – just north of Fargo – always makes for a great Friday night. “Exploring all the events, festivals and restaurants in the surrounding communities are a lot of fun – and affordable,” Olson says.
As a new homeowner, Olson says spends a lot of time doing DIY projects in her house. Her hobby of taking old furniture and woodwork and making it into something new and unique has come in handy. “Eco Chic Boutique’s Junk Market twice a year, along with their unique programming and events, are great for us DIY-ers,” Olson says
For more great F-M options, check out:
- Unglued Craft Fest at Plains Art Museum
- Eco Chic Design Conference
- Salsa Friday by Fargo Salsa and Dance Meetup
- Corks & Canvas “Art and Wine Walk”
- Scheels Women’s Handgun Demo
- Lot 2029, Kittsona and Proper boutiques
- WE Fest Country Music Festival
- Fargo Flea Market
MAN ON THE MOVE
If given a free Friday night, Ben Woodman chooses to explore the F-M area with friends. “We love to find a place we haven’t eaten before and just go,” says the 24-year-old business manager. “I think people forget sometimes how fast this place is developing.”
Downtown Fargo alone is home to more than 60 restaurants. “It’s really important at my age that they all have specials at particular times of the week, which makes going out easily affordable,” Woodman says. “A lot of them have live music and their own brews.”
When he isn’t indulging in a savory meal, Woodman stays active. “Every single night of the week (during summer), there is a different beach volleyball or softball league,” he says. “You don’t have to be coordinated or an athlete to go and have a lot of fun there.”
In fact, F-M residents have several options for sports-related entertainment. The junior hockey team, the Fargo Force, draws large crowds to Scheels Arena. “Even if you’re not a hockey fan and don’t know anything about it, the Fargo Force games are really fun,” Woodman says.
NDSU football games are arguably even more popular. “In the Fargo area – even if you’re not a Bison fan – you have to look forward to the Bison football season,” he says. “Around here, expectations, attitudes and overall friendliness grows by about 10 to 20 points during the season.”
For an out-of-town getaway, Woodman says Detroit Lakes is perfect. “A trip to DL is less than an hour away and you can spend the whole day there,” he says. “If you’re new to the area, I don’t think you’d have any problem finding something to do. Look online, ask a couple of co-workers, or ask your friends.”
For more F-M fun, visit:
- Great Rides Bike Share and biking trails
- Fargo Escape Room
- Red River Valley Sportsmen’s Show
- Proof Artisan Distillers
- Red River Valley Speedway
- Halberstadt’s & Broadway Shoe Co.
- Moorhead Billiards
- Disc golf courses at five area parks
Longtime residents Andrea and Dom Gemelli were married a year ago and recently bought a house in Moorhead. The 30-somethings enjoy going to movies and concerts, getting outside, gardening, cooking and spending time with family and friends. Andrea says one of her favorite parts about the F-M area is the increasing number of produce stands.
“All the markets and produce stands that have been popping up around town have been such a great addition,” she says. “Having the opportunity to purchase directly from a local farmer is a refreshing change of pace.”
One of the highlights of the year for the couple is the Downtown Fargo Street Fair, which takes place in mid-July. The annual fair brings hundreds of vendors selling arts, crafts and food for one of the area’s biggest events. “It’s always fun walking around, checking out the goods and bumping into people you haven’t seen in a while. The food never disappoints either,” Gemelli says.
There are several fun spots for dates in the area, including Thunder Road Family Fun Park, the Classic Movie Series at the Fargo Theatre and hitting pins at local bowling alleys. “Hitting up the batting cages and go-karts at Thunder Road, then heading inside to team up and take out some zombie mutants in the arcade – it brings out that healthy, competitive spirit in us,” Gemelli says.
Downtown’s iconic movie venue, the Fargo Theatre, shows classic movies throughout the year for $5. Recent screenings have included “Roman Holiday,” “Arsenic and Old Lace” and “Vertigo.” Before the movie starts, an organist will play tunes on the theater’s Mighty Wurlitzer organ that dates back to the building’s opening in 1926. The organ sits on a lift that raises and lowers the instrument on and off stage.
Before or after a fun activity, the Gemellis will eat out at one of F-M’s restaurants, including Luna, Rustica Eatery and Tavern and Usher’s House, which are among local favorites. The three eateries are known for their unique dishes, great service and decadent decor. “There are so many options for exceptional food around here, so it really comes down to atmosphere and service,” she says.
For more adventures for two, visit:
- Holiday Lights Parade at Lindenwood Park
- Bluestem Amphitheater entertainment
- Happy Harry’s Ribfest
- Art in the Rendezvous Park
- Fargo-Moorhead Community Theatre
- Maple River Winery
- Fargo Film Festival
- Cross country ski trails
Lee Schwartz of Fargo admits he has a lot of experience with things to do throughout the area. Having lived here his whole life, this late-40s native works for Jade Companies and is known as someone who likes to experience all the area has to offer. “I’ve experienced a lot of events from three views – as an event goer, from operating the venue and from organizing the event itself,” Schwartz says.
“My current favorite event is ‘Beer and Hymns’ on Sunday nights at Junkyard Brewing,” he says. “It’s unique and a nice way to relax before the week starts.” But Schwartz admits his favorite annual event has to be the Bernie’s Wine and Liquors Bacon & Beer Festival. “I love this event – everyone leaves feeling joyous!” he laughs.
For other weekend fun, Schwartz likes lakes country. He recommends renting a kayak on Detroit Lake or heading south to Spanky’s Stone Hearth restaurant in Frazee, Minnesota, for fine dining with a lake view. The “Trust Us” option on its menu gets you a unique dish from the chef – outside of allergies. “It’s a nice to change it up a little. Plus, I think they reward you for your risk,” says Schwartz.
Schwartz also talks about the Fargo Air Museum, which relates to his love of military air history. His eclectic entertainment preferences combine unusual offerings like horse racing at the North Dakota Horse Park with typical summertime activities like baseball and sand volleyball at Fargo Billiards & Gastropub. “We also get these really great car shows with ‘Cars and Coffee’ and West Fargo Cruise Nights,” he says.
“One of the best places around is Bluestem Amphitheater. The concerts and Trollwood Performing Arts School plays in such a beautiful setting and atmosphere is an amazing asset,” Schwartz says. The area music scene is another draw. “Our local bands aren’t the typical cover bands,” he says. “We get great original music from D Mills & The Thrills, Poitin and lots of others.”
For more unique experiences, take a look at:
- Sons of Norway
- Plains Art Museum classes
- F-M Curling Club
- Fargo Pinball club
- Fargo Blues Festival
- Golfing at five area courses
- Fargo Food Truck Festival
- Oktoberfest Running of the Wiener (Dogs)