Top 5 Reasons to Visit Inver Grove Heights

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Inver Grove Heights

Discover why Inver Grove Heights should be your next destination! From our welcoming hotels to diverse attractions, dining experiences, and proximity to the Twin Cities, there’s so much to explore. Immerse yourself into outdoor adventures and uncover the vibrant charm of Inver Grove Heights! Below are our Top 5 reasons to Visit Inver Grove Heights.

 

1. Attractions

Inver Grove Heights is a haven for entertainment seekers, boasting an array of attractions to enjoy. Experience the thrill of axe throwing at PerpleBunny’s Axe House and bowling at local hotspots like Drkula’s 32 Bowl & Pub, providing exhilarating fun for friends and family alike. Another must-visit destination is Nowhere Entertainment, offering 13 holes of mini-golf, escape rooms, arcade games, and seasonal haunted houses. Just next door is Open Window Theatre; view their upcoming shows by visiting our event calendar. They often sell out for a reason – bringing stories to life in an immersive experience that promises an unforgettable show. Inver Grove Heights is also home to Gertens Garden Center! They are Minnesota’s Destination Garden center. If you’re in a shopping mood or want to take in the wide variety of plants, you will be in awe. Come and experience all the attractions that Inver Grove Heights has to offer!

2. Outdoor Recreation

Hit the trails and embark on scenic nature walks through forests and alongside serene waterscapes, offering glimpses of native wildlife and vibrant foliage. For a refreshing adventure, venture to the banks of the majestic Mississippi River, where riverfront parks offer opportunities for nature walks, biking, riverside relaxation, and dining. Cyclists will delight in the city’s extensive network of biking trails, including the renowned Mississippi River Trail, which offers picturesque routes along the river’s edge, with highlights such as the historic Rock Island Swing Bridge. Whether you’re seeking serenity in nature or thrilling outdoor adventure, Inver Grove Heights has parks and trails for a memorable experience in the beautiful outdoors.

3. Proximity to the Twin Cities

Inver Grove Heights boasts a prime location just minutes away from the vibrant urban hub of the Twin Cities. Situated strategically in the southern suburbs of Minneapolis and St. Paul, this charming city offers residents and visitors the best of both worlds. With convenient access to major highways and public transportation, commuting to downtown Minneapolis or St. Paul is a breeze. Whether it’s catching a game at Target Field, exploring the renowned Mall of America, or enjoying the cultural attractions along the Mississippi River, the Twin Cities’ endless opportunities for entertainment and adventure are within easy reach from Inver Grove Heights. Yet, despite its proximity to urban amenities, Inver Grove Heights retains its own distinct identity, with serene parks, bustling local businesses, and a tight-knit community atmosphere that sets it apart. It’s the perfect balance of suburban tranquility and urban convenience, making Inver Grove Heights an ideal place to visit.

4. Local Dining Scene

From cozy breakfast spots to enticing coffee shops, exotic international flavors, and indulgent Juicy Lucy, Inver Grove Heights offers a culinary journey that tantalizes taste buds and satisfies cravings. Dive into the dining experience with options for dining in, takeout, or enjoying a meal on the patio, and some restaurants offer stunning views of the majestic Mississippi River. And with the exceptional service from our local restaurants, every dining experience is elevated to a whole new level of satisfaction. 

5. Cozy & Affordable Lodging

When planning your visit to Inver Grove Heights, finding a cozy and affordable hotel is easier than you think. Fortunately, our city offers four wonderful hotels that provide comfortable accommodations and convenient amenities at budget-friendly rates. Here are some options to consider: AmericInn Hotel & Suites by WyndhamHoliday Inn ExpressMicrotel Inn & Suites by Wynham and Coratel Inn & Suites by Jasper.

Book Your Inver Grove Heights Vacation!

We hope you consider Inver Grove Heights for your next family, couples, or friends’ getaway! Book your stay with us. For more information on trip planning, fill out our contact form to get added to our monthly e-newsletter.

Top 10 Fall Activities in Inver Grove Heights

Pine Bend Bluffs Fall Season Inver Grove Heights

Fall is here, and there are so many things to do and experience in Inver Grove Heights. Our charming town offers a relaxing and cozy feel when staying in one of the four affordable hotels. Need a reason to book a fall trip? Check out the top 10 fall activities to do below!

Vikings U.S. Bank Stadium
Photo Credit: VisitIGH

Catch a Fall Vikings Game at U.S. Bank Stadium

Want to see the Vikings play at home? Choose from one of the four affordable hotels in Inver Grove Heights and book your stay.

Nowhere Escape Room
Photo Credit: Nowhere Escape Room

Experience the Nowhere Haunted House

Get your ticket for the Nowhere Haunted House. Choose your scare level. Options include Sunday lights on a kid-friendly tour, Saturday low-scary, the Nowhere Haunted House Main Halloween Experience, or the Nowhere 18+ nights. Nowhere Haunted House also has escape rooms, minigolf, and an arcade.

Oktoberfest at Mississippi Pub
Photo Credit: Mississippi Pub

Oktoberfest celebration at Mississippi Pub

Celebrate Oktoberfest on Saturday, October 7th, from 3:00–10:30 p.m. at Mississippi Pub. Enjoy authentic German foods, a variety of beers, games, live polka music, stein hoisting, and a best-dressed contest!

Swing Bridge, Inver Grove Heights Minnesota

Biking or Walk the Historic Rock Island Swing Bridge

Rock Island Swing Bridge was built in the 19th century and was used as a toll bridge until 2011. It was reopened for as a historic landmark. Take a bike ride or stroll along this beautiful trail with views of the Mississippi River.

AMC Movie Theater in Inver Grove Heights
Photo Credit: AMC Movie Theaters

Catch a Halloween Movie at AMC Inver Grove 16

It’s the season for spooky and scary movies. Currently playing at the AMC Inver Grove 16 are The Nun 2, Hunted Mansion, Meg 2, Talk to Me, and Christine’s 40th Anniversary. To see showtimes and other movies playing, visit their website.

Fall Golf in Inver Grove Heights

Golf at Inver Wood Golf Course

Grab a group of friends and head over to Inver Woods. This course offers 27 holes and sits on 275 acres of rolling, wooded terrain. The championship course offers 18 challenging holes with features that utilize the area’s natural geography, such as multi-level fairways, multiple tee stations, varied-shaped U.S.G.A. greens, and picturesque par three holes that challenge your golf game as well as your senses.

Bowling at Drkulas
Photo Credit: Drkulas

Bowling at Drakula’s 32 Bowl & Pub

Family fun can be found at Drakula’s 32 Bowl! This family-owned business is a local favorite for its bowling, arcade area, food, and drinks.

Celebrate Fall at Gertens
Photo Credit: Gertens

Gertens Garden Center

This fall, check out Minnesota’s destination garden center. Gertens offers everything you need for your outdoor space, including plants, soil, mulch, gardening supplies, hanging baskets, and more. Plan your trip and enjoy a stroll around their large store with so many options.

Heritage Village Dog Park
Photo Credit: VisitIGH

Heritage Village Dog Park

If you’re traveling with your pup, don’t forget to stop at Heritage Village Dog Park. This park is an off-leash park with areas for both big and small dogs. There is also a large bone to take a cute photo of your dog next to.

B52 Burgers + Brew
Photo Credit: Traveling with the Brunette

Grab a Bite to Eat!

Inver Grove Heights is home to unique dining spots for American, Asian, Italian, Mexican, fast food, or a sweet treat. There is something for everyone. See the full list of options on our Places to Eat page.

Book your fall getaway to Inver Grove Heights! We welcome you to explore our town and all it has to offer.

Fun Fall Weekends in Inver Grove Heights

Swing Bridge, Inver Grove Heights Minnesota

A Fun Fall Weekend is calling your name! Fall is the perfect season to embrace outdoor activities and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. In Inver Grove Heights, there are plenty of options for fun-filled weekends. Whether you’re a biking enthusiast, attending Inver Grove Heights Days, or simply looking to relax on a restaurant patio, this guide will help you make the most of your fall adventures in Inver Grove Heights.

Swing Bridge, Inver Grove Heights Minnesota

Recreational Activities

Explore the scenic Mississippi River Trail by taking a bike ride. This paved riverside trail stretches approximately 13 miles, connecting Inver Grove Heights to neighboring communities. Along the way, admire the picturesque scenery and make a stop at Swing Bridge Park to enjoy the stunning view from the walking pier that extends 680 feet over the Mississippi River.

For those seeking a more challenging biking experience, the newly opened Mountain Bike Trail at Vista Pines Park offers an intermediate-level trail with rollable jumps and berms. It’s a great option for avid cyclists or anyone looking for an exciting biking adventure.

Fall Golf in Inver Grove Heights

If golf is your preferred recreational activity, Arbor Pointe Golf Club and Inver Wood Golf Course are excellent choices. Arbor Pointe Golf Club is a beautifully laid-out Executive 9-hole course located amidst the trees and rolling hills of the Arbor Pointe Residential Development. Inver Wood Golf Course, on the other hand, offers 27 holes spread across 275 acres of wooded terrain. You can choose between the challenging 18-hole championship course or the 9-hole executive course, or play them both! Additionally, Inver Wood Golf Course has a driving range designed to simulate on-course conditions, providing a realistic practice experience. Both courses are open to the public, and you can easily book tee times online.

For a different kind of outdoor activity, try your hand at disc golfing at North Valley Park. The park features an 18-hole disc golf course with beautiful views, hilly areas, and wooded sections. It’s suitable for players of all skill levels, and you can purchase daily or seasonal passes online.

Pine Bend Bluffs
Photo Credit: Visit IGH

Admire Fall Foliage

Immerse yourself in the vibrant colors of fall and head to North Valley Park, one of the 27 parks in Inver Grove Heights. This 58-acre park is filled with wooded areas, providing ample opportunities to witness the stunning autumn hues. You can also make use of the available picnic tables and grills for a delightful autumn picnic.

Another fantastic spot to appreciate fall foliage is Pine Bend Bluffs Scientific and Natural Area. With its 200-foot bluffs, this location offers one of the best views of the Mississippi River in its natural state within the Twin Cities metro area. The hiking trails provide a perfect opportunity to observe fall colors and local wildlife.

Fun Fall Weekend Events

Inver Grove Heights has an exciting lineup of fall events that you won’t want to miss!

Inver Grove Heights Days Car Show
Photo Credit: Inver Grove Heights Days

IGH Days: Celebrate everything Inver Grove Heights has to offer at IGH Days! This community celebration takes place from Wednesday, September 7 to Sunday, September 11, 2022. It’s a fantastic opportunity to enjoy a wide range of activities suitable for families, couples, sports enthusiasts, food lovers, and more. From entertaining events to delicious food options, IGH Days has something for everyone. While many activities are free of charge, some may require an IGH Days button for access.

Oktoberfest at Mississippi Pub
Photo Credit: Mississippi Pub

Don’t miss the 7th Annual Oktoberfest at Mississippi Pub in Inver Grove Heights! This lively event on October 1, 2022, from 3:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. brings the spirit of Oktoberfest to life. Enjoy delicious German foods, a variety of beers, and live German music all day. Join the fun with competitions like the stein hoisting contest for women, men, and co-ed teams. Dress up in your best dirndl or lederhosen for a chance to win. This family-friendly event is free to attend and celebrates the rich traditions of German culture.

B52 Burgers + Brew Rooftop Pation
Photo Credit: B52 Burgers + Brew

RESTAURANT PATIOS

Take advantage of the lingering warmth by grabbing a seat on one of the local patios and enjoying outdoor dining in the fall. Here’s our Top Seven Patios in Inver Grove Heights.It’s the perfect time to savor the crisp air while indulging in delicious food and drinks. Whether you’re looking for a rooftop patio with panoramic views or a cozy spot surrounded by nature, Inver Grove Heights has an array of options to suit every taste. Soak up the sunshine and relish the autumn ambiance while treating yourself to a memorable dining experience on one of the charming fall patios in the area. Grab a seat at a local patio while the weather is still warm.

Fun Family Winter Indoor Activities in Inver Grove Heights

The Grove Waterpark
By Stacy Brooks

Stay warm and have some fun with these family-friendly winter indoor activities in Inver Grove Heights!  Whether you want to burn off some energy, visit a museum, or enjoy a relaxing staycation, Inver Grove Heights has something for kids of all ages.  

Indoor Activities in Inver Grove Heights

The Grove Waterpark- Winter Indoor Activities in Inver Grove Heights
Photo Credit: Inver Grove Heights Park & Recreation

Visit the VMCC Aquatic Center’s indoor water park, where kids can zoom down water slides, play in the splash features, and scramble across a floating log crossing.  The Aquatic Center also has a pool and diving area.

HyperBowling at Drkula’s 32 Bowl m
Photo Credit: HyperBowling

Check out Drkula’s 32 Bowl for a fun new twist on bowling: HyperBowling!  The game combines bowling with video game-style technology, and in addition to knocking down pins, you can take aim at colorful targets.  HyperBowling makes bowling exciting for everyone, regardless of ability level.  Drkula’s also offers automatic bumpers and bowling ramps for young bowlers.

Perple Bunny's Axe House Inver Grove Heights
Photo Credit: Perple Bunny’s Axe House

Try something new with your teens at Perple Bunny’s Axe House.  An axe master will teach you how to throw axes and play games—whatever your experience level or physical fitness, everyone will have a good time!  Note that you have to be at least 14 years old to throw.

AMC Movie Theater in Inver Grove Heights
Photo Credit: AMC Movie Theaters

Watch a movie in style at AMC Inver Grove 16, which offers recliner seating and tasty snacks like flatbread pizzas, nachos, and churros.  Enjoy discounted prices during matinees and all day Tuesday.

Commemorative Air Force Minnesota Wing
Photo Credit: Commemorative Air Force Minnesota Wing

Get up close to WWII aircraft kept in flying condition at the Commemorative Air Force Minnesota Wing.  In addition to aircraft, the museum is home to motor vehicles and WWII artifacts, and admission is free of charge.

Holiday Inn Express Indoor Pool
Photo Credit: Holiday Inn Express

Treat your family to a staycation at one of Inver Grove Heights’ hotels, and grab a pizza from a pizzeria.  The AmericInn Hotel and Suites has a pool and game room, the Holiday Inn Express offers a pool, and the Microtel Inn and Suites and Coratel Inn and Suites have great rates and complimentary breakfast.  

Indoor Activities in the Twin Cities

Children's Theater Company
Photo Credit: Children’s Theater Company

Attend a show at the Children’s Theatre Company, which stages entertaining, engaging productions that the whole family will enjoy.  Current and upcoming shows include holiday classic Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (running through January 8, 2023) and Locomotion (January 24-March 5, 2023) which explores how poetry can bring you closer to others and yourself.

Minnesota Children's Museum
Photo Credit: Minnesota Children’s Museum

Visit the Minnesota Children’s Museum, a kid-centered space that utilizes the power of play to spark learning.  The three floors of exhibits include a sensory space for babies and toddlers, a pretend town, and an “underwater” shipwreck.  Special exhibits include the storybook-themed The Amazing Castle (through January 8, 2023) and Framed: Step into Art, where you can explore three-dimensional versions of well-known paintings (January 21-May 7, 2023).

Dinosaurs at the Science Museum of Minnesota
Photo Credit: Science Museum of Minnesota

Make learning fun at the Science Museum of Minnesota.  From dinosaurs and fossils to a real Mississippi River towboat and sports-themed experiments, exhibits are an interactive way to learn about science, math, and technology.  Through January 22, 2023, check out the Nature All Around Us exhibit to discover the hidden natural worlds and ecosystems in cities and towns.

Como Park Zoo
Photo Credit: Como Park Zoo

Travel to the tropics without leaving Minnesota at Como Park Zoo and Conservatory, where the indoor Tropical Encounters trail immerses visitors in the sights and sounds of rainforest plants and animals.  Other indoor spaces include the Zoo’s large cats, African hoofed stock, primate, and aquatic buildings, plus the Convervatory’s Sunken Garden and Palm Dome.

Twin City Model Railroad Museum
Photo Credit: Twin City Model Railroad Museum

Discover a miniature world at the Twin City Model Railroad Museum, where kids will be entranced by the detailed layout complete with trains, towns, and more.  Check out the Night Trains exhibit Saturday evenings through February 25, 2023, which features low lighting, special lighted model trains, and winter decorations.

Sea Life Aquarium at Mall of America®
Photo Credit: Sea Life Aquarium

Walk through an underwater ocean tunnel and watch thousands of tropical fish, sharks, and sting rays at SEA LIFE Aquarium, located in the Mall of America.  The aquarium also features a kid-friendly touchpool inspired by the Pacific Northwest, rainforest exhibit, and jellyfish.

Weekend of Shopping in Inver Grove Heights

Gertens
By Stacy Brooks

If you love shopping, plan a getaway to Inver Grove Heights!  With local retailers and easy access to the Mall of America, Twin Cities Premium Outlets, and other area shopping destinations, Inver Grove Heights is an ideal base for browsing for gifts for everyone on your list and something special for yourself.  Here’s your itinerary for the perfect weekend of shopping in and around Inver Grove Heights.

Kick off your weekend by perusing local retailers in Inver Grove Heights.  Gertens is best known as one of the region’s top garden centers, and it’s one of the best spots in the Twin Cities to find houseplants, gardening supplies, and lawn items.  But that’s only the beginning—Gertens also has an extensive selection of gifts such as candles, mugs, puzzles, bath products, home decor, and Minnesota and garden-themed apparel.  Throughout the holiday season, browse the indoor and outdoor Christmas decor, kids’ gift items, and holiday games.

Gertens- Weekend of Shopping in Inver Grove Heights
Photo Credit: Gertens

Another unique local shopping option is NerdinOut, which specializes in all things nerdy, including new and vintage comics, collectibles, toys, and video, card, and board games.  Whether you’re looking for superheroes, horror, Star Wars, or another fandom-themed item, you’re sure to find a memorable gift or something fun for yourself.

Nerdin Out Collectible Toys
Photo Credit: Nerdin Out

Pick up some sweet and savory treats at Hometown Sweets, a locally-owned ice cream, popcorn, and candy shop.  Choose from gourmet popcorn in classic flavors like cheese or caramel, or try something offbeat like fruity pebbles or dill pickle popcorn.  The shop also stocks locally made small-batch chocolates, nostalgic candies, gift items, and artisan dog treats.

Hometown Sweets, Inver Grove Heights
Photo credit: Visit IGH

Stop by Liz’s Tienda Vaquera for high-quality Western wear for the whole family.  The shop offers an impressive selection of shirts, jeans, and boots in men’s, women’s, and children’s sizes, as well as accessories like belts and hats.  

Liz’s Tienda Vaquera
Photo Credit: Visit IGH

After exploring Inver Grove Heights’ local retailers, head to the Mall of America, which is only 10 miles from Inver Grove Heights.  With over 520 stores and 50 restaurants, plan to spend the day taking it all in.  The mall is also home to attractions for all ages, including the Nickelodeon Universe indoor theme park, SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium, two mini golf courses, and FlyOver America, a flight simulation experience.  Some shops double as entertainment, like the immersive, two-level M&M’s store and the LEGO Store, which features play tables and larger-than-life LEGO models.

Candy Cane Institute at Mall of America
Photo Credit: Mall of America®

Wrap up your weekend of shopping at Twin Cities Premium Outlets, which offers over 85 stores with savings of up to 65% off.  Find men’s, women’s, and children’s apparel and accessories from upscale brands like Adidas, Calvin Klein, Coach, Kate Spade, Saks Off 5th, and Nike.  

Twin Cities Premium Outlets
Photo Credit: Twin Cities Premium Outlets

In the mood for more?  Inver Grove Heights is also a convenient base for exploring St. Paul’s Grand Avenue, which offers a small town vibe in an urban setting, as well as Woodbury Lakes in Woodbury, an outdoor shopping center, and Edina’s Southdale Center, the country’s first indoor regional shopping mall.

If you like deals, book a stay in Inver Grove Heights!  Inver Grove Heights hotels offer excellent value and are conveniently located to the Mall of America, Twin Cities Premium Outlets, St. Paul, Minneapolis, and the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.  Some hotels offer free shuttle service to the Mall of America, and other amenities include complimentary breakfast, free parking, and more.

Book your stay at these Inver Grove Heights hotels today!

Holiday Family Activities

By Stacy Brooks

Colorful lights displays, visits with Santa, and sledding down a snow-covered hill: enjoy family fun in Inver Grove Heights this holiday season with these local events and activities.  Inver Grove Heights is also a convenient, budget-friendly place to stay if you want to check out family-friendly holiday family activities around the Twin Cities.

Holiday Family Activities experience twin cities

Photo Credit: Experience the Twin Cities

Holiday Family Activities In Inver Grove Heights

All Is Bright Holiday Lights Tour

December 1-23, 2022

Embrace the season with a private tour of the most festive lights in Inver Grove Heights.  An open-air fun bus takes you on a 30-minute tour of brightly decorated residential streets, with tours beginning and ending at Drkula’s 32 Bowl.  Tours cost $175 for the entire bus (which can accommodate up to 13 guests) and include a holiday playlist and driver dressed as Santa.  Dress warmly and bring your own hot cocoa to sip along the way.

Photo Credit: Inver Grove Heights Parks and Recreation

Holidays in the Heights

December 2-10, 2022

Kick off the holidays with Inver Grove Heights’ annual Holidays in the Heights celebration.  A tree lighting ceremony open to all will be held on Friday, December 2, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the VMCC. Afterwards, skate with Santa and enjoy a hot beverage and snack (pre-registration required).  Other activities include several Holiday Cookies & Canvas painting classes on Saturday, December 3; a holiday-themed open swim on Friday, December 9 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.; and breakfast with Santa on Saturday, December 10 from 10:00 a.m. to noon.

Photo Credit: Visit IGH

Light Up The Heights Holiday Lights Contest

Mid-December 2022

Inver Grove Heights residents are known for their impressive holiday lights displays, and you can tour all of the entries in the annual Light Up The Heights holiday lights contest.  Maps will be available by mid-December to plan your route.

Outdoor activities

Photo Credit: IGH Parks and Recreation

Weather dependent

Inver Grove Heights offers outdoor skating rinks at Skyview, Oakwood, Groveland, South Valley, and Southern Lakes Park, some of which have warming houses.  Check online or call 651-450-2595 for rink updates.  In addition, South Valley Park has a large sledding hill that’s a perfect activity for snowy days.

Holiday Family Activities Around the Twin Cities 

Photo Credit: Twin Cities Model Railroad Museum

Night Trains at Twin Cities Model Railroad Museum

November 5, 2022-February 25, 2023

The lights are turned down and the festive spirit is turned up at St. Paul’s Twin Cities Model Railroad Museum’s special night trains exhibit.  The model trains are illuminated, the tiny town of Matlin is buried in a blizzard, and layouts throughout the museum are decorated with miniature Christmas lights and decorations.  

Photo Credit: GLOW Holiday Festival

GLOW Holiday Festival 

November 23, 2022-January 1, 2023

St. Paul’s CHS Field will be decorated with over a million lights and a 60-foot tree for the GLOW Holiday Festival.  Visitors can also watch lights displays synchronized to music, visit Santa, take a tube ride down a 150-foot slide, and make s’mores.

Photo Credit: Holidazzle

Holidazzle 

November 25-December 18, 2022

Held in Minneapolis’ Loring Park, Holidazzle features family entertainment, visits with Santa, holiday lights, a giant Yeti, and tasty food and drinks from local vendors.

This holiday season, book a stay in Inver Grove Heights!  Inver Grove Heights hotels offer excellent value and are conveniently located to downtown St. Paul, the Mall of America, Minneapolis, and the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.  Amenities include complimentary breakfast, free parking, and more.

Book your stay at these Inver Grove Heights hotels today!

Budget-friendly Itineraries in Inver Grove Heights

Hotels Near St. Paul, MN

With budget-friendly attractions, restaurants, and accommodations, Inver Grove Heights is a great destination for a cost-effective getaway.  Whether you’re planning a family vacation, couples weekend, outdoor adventure, or foodie experience, check out these itineraries for free and low-cost fun.

For families…

Photo Credit: Inver Grove Heights Parks and Recreation

The indoor water park at Veterans Memorial Community Center provides thrills for a small price—daily passes are only $6 for kids and $9 for adults.  Smaller children can check out the waterpark’s play area and dumping bucket, and older kids can zoom down the waterslides.

 

Photo Credit: Visit IGH

Drkula’s 32 Bowl is a budget-friendly indoor activity, with all-you-can-bowl 1.5 and 2 hour blocks that include shoe rental.  The new Hyperbowling system adds a fun video game element the whole family will enjoy.

park- Budget-friendly Itineraries in Inver Grove Heights

Photo Credit: Dakota County Parks

Take the kids to an Inver Grove Heights park for a no-cost way to spend the afternoon.  Family-friendly amenities include playgrounds, a sledding hill, and outdoor skating rinks.

Eat at restaurants with kids menus to save money when dining out—check out this list of diverse local options that will satisfy the pickiest eater.

For couples…

Inver Grove Heights’ most iconic attraction is completely free of charge—the Rock Island Swing Bridge is a historic swing bridge that has been converted into a walking pier jutting over the Mississippi River.  It offers a unique panoramic view of the river and is the perfect backdrop for a romantic photo.

Enjoy an easy-on-wallet date night at Iwa Sushi, which offers sushi specials for two that include two bowls of miso soup, two house salads, two sushi rolls, and a chef-selected assortment of sushi.

Photo Credit: Mallards

Brunch is typically a more budget-friendly meal than dinner, and Mallards serves a delicious Sunday brunch, with specials like brandy French toast, chicken and biscuits, and lobster quiche.  

For outdoors lovers…

Disc golf enthusiasts rejoice—the 18-hole disc golf course at North Valley Park is completely free October through April (during the rest of year, a daily pass is only $5).  The course has four different layouts based on varying skill levels, making it fun for both experts and novices.

Photo Credit: Samantha Dettinger 

Spend the day cycling, hiking, or running on one of Inver Grove Heights trails for a cost-free way to explore the community and get some exercise.  The paved Mississippi River Greenway stretches 26 miles along the river, with scenic overlooks and connections to other local trails.  Check out the free bike repair station at the Swing Bridge Trailhead if you have any issues.

Hiking, bird watching, wildlife viewing, snowshoeing, and more: local nature areas are a free way to appreciate all of Minnesota’s seasons.  Pine Bend Bluffs Scientific and Natural Area is one of the largest undisturbed natural areas in the Twin Cities metro and has great views of the Mississippi River.

For foodies…

Photo Credit: Taqueria El Girasol

Find bold flavors on a budget with lunch at iPho2, a Vietnamese restaurant that serves banh mi, pho, vermicelli salads, and rice platters with your choice of meat, seafood, or tofu.  Other Inver Grove Heights lunch options that are delicious and light on the wallet include Taqueria El Girasol, which serves Mexican fare, and Oyevida Lifestyle Cafe, where the menu features wholesome bowls and sandwiches with plenty of vegetarian and gluten-free options.

Photo Credit: B-52 Burgers & Brew

Jersey’s Bar & Grill is a local favorite for its lineup of award-winning burgers, sandwiches, and dinner entrees, and they offer nightly food specials—check the website for details.   Another beloved spot for local eats is B-52 Burgers and Brew, which specializes in gourmet burgers and also offers nightly specials like Wednesday wing night and a Friday fish fry.

Treat yourself to dessert at Hometown Sweets, which has an impressive array of bulk and nostalgic candies—purchase as much or as little as you want.

For everyone…

Inver Grove Heights hotels have some of the most affordable rates in the Twin Cities metro and also offer complimentary breakfast and free parking.  When you stay in Inver Grove Heights, you’ll enjoy easy highway access, and you’re within ten miles of downtown St. Paul, the Mall of America, and the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.  

Book your stay at these Inver Grove Heights hotels today!

12 Things to Do in Inver Grove Heights During MEA Weekend

Wondering how to keep your kids occupied over MEA break?  Inver Grove Heights offers plenty of outdoor activities and indoor attractions for a fun and memorable long weekend. If you’re extending your stay, Inver Grove Heights hotels offer excellent value and are conveniently located to downtown St. Paul, the Mall of America, Minneapolis, and the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.  Amenities include complimentary breakfast, free parking, and more! Now, onto the list! Below are 12 Things to Do in Inver Grove Heights During MEA Weekend. 

Outdoor activities

Photo Credit: IGH Parks and Recreation

  1. Enjoy crisp fall weather at a local park.

With over two dozen parks, Inver Grove Heights offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors.  Amenities include playgrounds, trails, and basketball, volleyball, tennis, and pickleball courts.

Photo Credit: Visit IGH

  1. Spot wildlife and fall foliage.

Look for native wildlife and colorful fall leaves at local nature preserves.  The Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge features 45 miles of trails, a nature play area, and the prairie, forest, and wetland habitats are home to bald eagles, river otters, and white-tailed deer.  Pine Bend Bluffs Scientific and Natural Area has awe-inspiring views of the Mississippi River from bluffs overlooking the river valley and is a great spot for bird watching.

Photo Credit: Visit IGH

  1. Play a game of disc golf at North Valley Park.

Enjoy the outdoors with a friendly game of disc golf at North Valley Park.  The 18-hole course features scenic views and is free of charge October through April.

Photo Credit: Samantha Dettinger (@travellingwiththebrunette) 

  1. Take a bike ride along the Mississippi River Greenway.

The Mississippi River Greenway is paved and relatively flat, ideal for a leisurely ride.  Stop at the Swing Bridge trailhead to stand over the Mississippi River on a 680-foot walking pier that juts out over the river.

Photo Credit: Visit IGH

  1. Go mountain biking.

Inver Grove Heights has mountain biking opportunities for all ages and abilities.  Start with the mountain bike skills course at Vista Pines Park, and then try the adjacent mountain bike trails.  Harmon Park Reserve also offers over four miles of mountain bike trails.

Indoor activities

Photo Credit: Visit IGH

  1. Learn about history at the Commemorative Air Force Minnesota Wing.

The Commemorative Air Force Museum is a unique collection of combat military aircraft preserved in flying condition, military motor vehicles, and museum displays with WWII artifacts.  Located in a hangar at an operating airport, the museum is open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.  Admission free of charge, and donations are appreciated.

  1. Take the Kid Friendly Lights-on Tour at Nowhere Haunted House.

Celebrate Halloween a little early with a kid-friendly, lights-on tour at Nowhere Haunted House.  Held on Sundays from noon to 4:00 p.m., the kid-friendly tours do not include actors and are designed to be less scary and more informative.

  1. Splash around at the VMCC Aquatic Center.

The VMCC Aquatic Center has open swim hours scheduled Friday, October 21 through Sunday, October 23, 2022.  The indoor water park offers interactive water features, a dumping bucket, and slides, as well as a pool with space reserved for recreational swimming.

Photo Credit: Nerdin’Out

  1. Go shopping at NerdinOut.

Action figures, comics, collectibles, board games, video games—nerds of all ages will appreciate the new and nostalgic selection at NerdinOut.  The locally-owned store is open daily.

Photo Credit: Visit IGH

  1. Take the family bowling at Drkula’s 32 Bowl.

Drkula’s 32 Bowl makes bowling accessible to even the youngest bowlers with automatic bumpers and bowling ramps available by request.  Open bowling is available daily, and you can call ahead for a lane reservation.

  1. Catch a movie at the AMC Inver Grove 16.

Watch the latest releases in style with comfortable recliner seats, reserved seating, and elevated food options like flatbread pizzas.  Matinee tickets (a 30% discount from the evening price) are available every day for showtimes before 4:00 p.m.

  1. Savor a meal at a local restaurant.

Pizza, chicken tenders, gyros, hibachi meals, and more—many of Inver Grove Heights’ local restaurants are great places to eat with kids, offering kid’s menus and tasty options that will satisfy picky eaters.

Spend MEA weekend in Inver Grove Heights!  Inver Grove Heights hotels offer excellent value and are conveniently located to downtown St. Paul, the Mall of America, Minneapolis, and the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.  Amenities include complimentary breakfast, free parking, and more.

Book your stay at these Inver Grove Heights hotels today!