10 Things to do in Owatonna MN – 2024 Ultimate Guide

Table of Contents

Welcome

Welcome to Owatonna, Minnesota, a hidden gem waiting to be explored by travelers seeking a unique and enriching experience. This charming city offers a plethora of exciting things to do in Owatonna MN, making it a must-visit destination for anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. From historic attractions to outdoor adventures, Owatonna has something for everyone. Join us as we uncover the top attractions and activities that make Owatonna a standout destination worth adding to your travel bucket list.

Popular Experiences and Attractions

Cabela’s:

Essential Information

– Address: 3900 Cabela Drive, Owatonna, MN 55060
– Opening Hours: Monday-Saturday 9am-9pm, Sunday 10am-7pm
– Fee: Free admission
– Visit Duration: 2-3 hours
– Ideal for: Outdoor enthusiasts, families

Overview

Cabela’s in Owatonna, MN is a must-see destination for outdoor enthusiasts and families alike. With its vast selection of outdoor gear, clothing, and equipment, Cabela’s offers a unique shopping experience that caters to those who love hunting, fishing, camping, and more. The store’s impressive displays of taxidermy animals and wildlife exhibits add an educational element to the visit, making it an ideal spot for nature lovers and those looking to learn more about the great outdoors. Whether you’re in need of new gear for your next adventure or simply want to explore a one-of-a-kind retail experience, Cabela’s in Owatonna is sure to impress with its wide range of products and knowledgeable staff ready to assist you.

RAD Zoo:

Essential Information

– Address: 3297 County Road 45, Owatonna, MN 55060
– Opening Hours: Monday-Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 12pm-6pm
– Fee: Adults $10, Children (3-12) $7, Children under 3 free
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Families, animal lovers

Overview

The RAD Zoo in Owatonna, MN is a must-see attraction for families and animal enthusiasts alike. This unique zoo offers a close-up experience with a variety of reptiles, amphibians, and birds. From colorful chameleons to slithering snakes, visitors can observe these fascinating creatures up close in their carefully recreated habitats. The knowledgeable staff are on hand to provide interesting facts and insights about the different species, making it an educational experience for all ages.

One of the highlights of a visit to the RAD Zoo is the chance to interact with some of the animals through special feeding and handling sessions. This hands-on approach allows visitors to learn more about the animals’ behaviors and characteristics in a fun and engaging way. With its diverse collection of exotic creatures and engaging activities, the RAD Zoo promises a memorable and informative experience for anyone with a curiosity about the animal kingdom.

Mineral Springs Park:

Essential Information

– Address: 400 Hoffman Dr, Owatonna, MN 55060
– Opening Hours: Daily from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm
– Fee: Free admission
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Nature lovers, families, outdoor enthusiasts

Overview

Mineral Springs Park in Owatonna, MN is a hidden gem waiting to be explored by visitors seeking a peaceful retreat in nature. This park offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, with its lush greenery and tranquil atmosphere. The main highlight of Mineral Springs Park is the natural mineral spring that flows through the area, known for its healing properties and refreshing taste. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll along the winding paths, breathe in the fresh air, and enjoy a picnic amidst the picturesque surroundings.

Whether you’re looking to unwind with a book under the shade of a tree or engage in outdoor activities like hiking or birdwatching, Mineral Springs Park has something for everyone. The park’s well-maintained facilities, including picnic areas and playgrounds, make it an ideal spot for families to spend quality time together. So, if you’re in the Owatonna area and craving a dose of nature therapy, make sure to add Mineral Springs Park to your itinerary for a rejuvenating experience.

Village of Yesteryear:

Essential Information

– Address: 4515 46th Ave SE, Owatonna, MN 55060
– Opening Hours: Monday-Saturday 10am-4pm, Sunday 12pm-4pm
– Fee: Adults $10, Children (5-12) $5, Under 5 Free
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: History enthusiasts, families, and school groups

Overview

Step back in time at the Village of Yesteryear in Owatonna, MN, a captivating historical attraction that offers a glimpse into the past. This meticulously recreated village showcases life in the 19th century Midwest, providing visitors with a hands-on experience of pioneer living. From the quaint one-room schoolhouse to the charming blacksmith shop, each building tells a story of a bygone era.

Stroll along the dusty paths and explore the authentic log cabins, barns, and gardens that make up this living history museum. Engage with costumed interpreters who bring the past to life through demonstrations and interactive activities. Whether you’re a history buff, a family looking for a fun and educational outing, or a school group seeking a unique field trip, the Village of Yesteryear offers a memorable experience for all ages.

Discover the simple joys and challenges of pioneer life as you wander through this well-preserved slice of history. Gain a deeper appreciation for the resilience and resourcefulness of those who came before us, and leave with a newfound understanding of the rich heritage that shaped the Midwest. Plan your visit today and embark on a journey through time at the Village of Yesteryear.

Owatonna Arts Center:

Essential Information

– Address: 435 Garden View Ln, Owatonna, MN 55060
– Opening Hours: Monday-Friday 1pm-5pm, Saturday 10am-3pm
– Fee: Free admission
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Art enthusiasts and culture lovers

Overview

The Owatonna Arts Center in Owatonna, MN is a cultural gem that offers a unique glimpse into the local art scene. With a diverse collection of paintings, sculptures, and other artistic creations, this center is a must-see for anyone interested in exploring the vibrant arts community of southern Minnesota. Whether you’re a seasoned art aficionado or simply looking to appreciate some local talent, a visit to the Owatonna Arts Center promises to be a rewarding experience.

The center’s rotating exhibits showcase the work of both established and up-and-coming artists, providing visitors with a dynamic and engaging artistic experience. From traditional landscapes to contemporary abstract pieces, there is something for everyone to enjoy at this welcoming cultural hub. Additionally, the center frequently hosts events, workshops, and educational programs, making it a hub of creativity and inspiration for the local community.

Whether you’re looking to spend a leisurely afternoon admiring beautiful artwork or hoping to gain a deeper understanding of the local art scene, the Owatonna Arts Center is a destination that should not be missed. Plan your visit today and immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of creativity that this charming center has to offer.

Steele County History Center:

Essential Information

– Address: 1700 Austin Rd, Owatonna, MN 55060
– Opening Hours: Monday-Saturday 10am-4pm
– Fee: $5 for adults, $3 for children
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: History enthusiasts and families

Overview

Step into the rich tapestry of Steele County’s past at the Steele County History Center in Owatonna, MN. This cultural gem offers a captivating journey through time, showcasing the heritage and stories that have shaped this region. From exhibits detailing the pioneer days to displays highlighting the industrial revolution’s impact, the center provides a comprehensive look at the area’s evolution.

Visitors can explore interactive displays, historical artifacts, and engaging multimedia presentations that bring history to life. Whether you’re a history buff eager to delve into the past or a family looking for an educational outing, the Steele County History Center offers something for everyone. Gain insights into the local community’s roots and discover the events that have influenced its development over the years. A visit here is not just a trip through history but a chance to connect with the essence of Steele County’s identity.

Kaplan’s Woods Parkway:

Essential Information

– Address: Kaplan’s Woods Parkway, Owatonna, MN
– Opening Hours: Daily from sunrise to sunset
– Fee: Free admission
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Nature lovers, hikers, bird watchers

Overview

Kaplan’s Woods Parkway in Owatonna, MN, is a hidden gem for nature enthusiasts seeking a peaceful retreat. The parkway offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, with its winding trails and lush greenery. Visitors can explore the diverse flora and fauna that call this park home, making it an ideal spot for bird watching and nature photography. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a more challenging hike, Kaplan’s Woods Parkway has something to offer for everyone. So, if you’re in the area and craving some time in nature, don’t miss out on this tranquil oasis in Owatonna.

Owatonna Public Library:

Essential Information

– Address: 105 N Elm Ave, Owatonna, MN 55060
– Opening Hours: Monday-Friday 9am-5pm, Saturday 9am-1pm, Closed on Sundays
– Fee: Free admission
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Book lovers, history enthusiasts, families

Overview

The Owatonna Public Library in Owatonna, MN is a hidden gem for those seeking a quiet retreat in the heart of the city. With its rich collection of books spanning various genres and topics, this library is a haven for book lovers and history enthusiasts alike. Whether you’re looking to dive into a classic novel, research local history, or simply unwind with a good read, the Owatonna Public Library offers a welcoming space for all.

One of the standout features of this library is its cozy reading areas, perfect for curling up with a book on a lazy afternoon. The knowledgeable staff are always on hand to assist visitors in finding the perfect read or navigating the library’s extensive collection. With its free admission and convenient opening hours, the Owatonna Public Library is an ideal destination for families looking to spend a few hours exploring the world of literature together. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit this community hub and immerse yourself in the joy of reading.

Morehouse Park:

Essential Information

– Address: Morehouse Park, Owatonna, MN
– Opening Hours: Daily from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm
– Fee: Free admission
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Families, nature lovers, outdoor enthusiasts

Overview

Morehouse Park in Owatonna, MN is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. With its lush greenery, tranquil atmosphere, and scenic walking trails, this park offers a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful place to unwind, a spot for a family picnic, or a picturesque setting for outdoor activities, Morehouse Park has something for everyone.

One of the highlights of Morehouse Park is its beautiful pond, where visitors can relax by the water’s edge or try their hand at fishing. The park’s well-maintained pathways are ideal for leisurely strolls or invigorating hikes, allowing you to soak in the natural beauty that surrounds you. Birdwatchers will also appreciate the diverse avian species that call the park home, making it a great spot for wildlife enthusiasts.

Overall, Morehouse Park is a must-see destination for those seeking a peaceful retreat in nature. Whether you’re a local looking for a quick escape or a traveler passing through Owatonna, be sure to carve out some time to explore this serene oasis.

Owatonna Country Club:

Essential Information

– Address: Owatonna Country Club, 1991 Lemond Rd, Owatonna, MN 55060
– Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday, 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
– Fee: Membership required for access
– Visit Duration: Varies depending on activities
– Ideal for: Golf enthusiasts and social gatherings

Overview

Owatonna Country Club in Owatonna, MN, is a premier destination for golf enthusiasts seeking a top-notch experience. With its meticulously maintained course and picturesque surroundings, this club offers a perfect setting for a day of leisurely play or competitive rounds. The club’s facilities cater to both seasoned golfers and beginners, providing a welcoming atmosphere for all skill levels. Whether you’re looking to improve your swing, enjoy a relaxing day outdoors, or socialize with fellow golfers, Owatonna Country Club is the ideal place to indulge in your passion for the sport. Plan your visit to this esteemed club and elevate your golfing experience in Owatonna.

Food and Cuisine

Hot Beef Commercial

Why is it so special:

The Hot Beef Commercial is a classic comfort food dish that originated in the Midwest. It consists of tender roast beef slices served on top of white bread, covered in rich beef gravy. The dish is hearty, flavorful, and perfect for warming you up on a chilly day. The combination of savory beef and creamy gravy makes it a must-try for anyone visiting Owatonna.

Where to Try It:

For an authentic taste of Hot Beef Commercial, head to the local diners and cafes in Owatonna. Places like Torey’s Restaurant & Bar or Kernel Restaurant are known for serving up delicious and satisfying versions of this dish.

Lefse

Why is it so special:

Lefse is a traditional Norwegian flatbread that has become a beloved staple in Owatonna’s cuisine. Made from potatoes, flour, butter, and cream, lefse is thin, soft, and slightly sweet. It is often enjoyed with butter, sugar, and cinnamon, making it a popular treat during the holiday season. The delicate texture and comforting flavors of lefse make it a unique and delightful dish to try.

Where to Try It:

To sample some authentic lefse in Owatonna, visit local bakeries like Kowalski’s Market or The Bakery. These establishments are known for their freshly made lefse that will transport you to Norway with every bite.

Walleye Sandwich

Why is it so special:

Owatonna is located near several lakes, making walleye a popular and fresh ingredient in local cuisine. The Walleye Sandwich is a delicious dish that features crispy fried walleye fillets served on a toasted bun with lettuce, tomato, and tartar sauce. The delicate flavor of the walleye, combined with the crunchy texture of the breading, makes this sandwich a standout choice for seafood lovers.

Where to Try It:

For a tasty Walleye Sandwich experience, visit local eateries like The Plaza Morena Campestre Grill or The Kernel Restaurant. These establishments are known for their fresh walleye dishes and will serve up a mouthwatering sandwich that showcases the best of Owatonna’s local flavors.

Events and Festivals

Steele County Free Fair

The Steele County Free Fair is one of the largest county fairs in Minnesota, attracting visitors from all over the state. This annual event features a wide range of activities including livestock shows, carnival rides, live entertainment, food vendors, and exhibits showcasing local arts and crafts. It is a great opportunity to experience the vibrant community spirit of Owatonna and enjoy fun-filled days with family and friends.

Daikin Days Festival

Daikin Days Festival is a celebration of Owatonna’s Japanese heritage and the city’s sister city relationship with Owatonna, Japan. This event features traditional Japanese performances, cultural displays, food vendors serving authentic Japanese cuisine, and interactive activities for all ages. Visitors can immerse themselves in the rich cultural heritage of both Owatonna and Japan during this festive event.

Big Iron Classic

The Big Iron Classic is a premier truck show held annually in Owatonna, showcasing a stunning display of classic trucks, custom rigs, and vintage vehicles. Truck enthusiasts from across the country gather to admire the impressive collection of trucks, participate in truck competitions, and enjoy live music and entertainment. This event offers a unique opportunity to appreciate the beauty and craftsmanship of these powerful machines in a lively and engaging atmosphere.

Interesting Facts

– Owatonna, MN is home to the famous Cabela’s store, which is one of the largest outdoor retailers in the world.
– The city is known for its historic architecture, with many well-preserved buildings dating back to the late 1800s.
– Owatonna is also the birthplace of the iconic American architect, Louis Sullivan, known for his innovative skyscraper designs.

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