Chaska, Minnesota is a town on the southwestern side of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolis. Route 212 runs through the middle of town and the Minnesota River along Chaska’s southern boundary.
The town has a very long history that’s heavily impacted by the presence of indigenous people. Even its name, “Chaska,” is derived from a Sioux word meaning “firstborn son.” European history records began in the 1850s, and Chaska MN has since been successful as an industrial area.
Once named “The Best Small Town in Minnesota,” I think you’ll find Chaska MN to be a welcoming town. I’ve put together a list of top attractions and fun things to do in Chaska, Minnesota that won’t disappoint. By the end of it, I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s worth a trip!
Table of Contents
- List of the Best Things to Do in Chaska MN
- 1. Visit One of Chaska’s Many Parks
- 2. Go Mountain Biking at Hawk’s Ridge
- 3. Check out Chaska’s Landscape Arboretum
- 4. Catch a Curling Game at the Chaska Curling Center
- 5. Join Other Seniors at the Chaska Community Center
- 6. Hit the Green at the Golf Course
- 7. Visit a Haunted House in Chaska
- 8. Take a Picture with the World’s Largest Mustache
- 9. Go Shopping in Downtown Chaska
- 10. Enjoy Good Food
- 11. Visit the Mindfulness Center in Chaska
- 12. Visit a Gallery
- 13. Attend a Chaska Town Event
- 14. Learn about the History of Chaska
List of the Best Things to Do in Chaska MN
1. Visit One of Chaska’s Many Parks
Check out one of Chaska’s 10 community parks and 23 neighborhood parks. Each one has a variety of amenities, including dog parks, concession stands, ball fields, walking trails, and more.
City Square Park is a great place to enjoy community events or have a picnic. Enjoy a softball game at Athletic Park. Get active at Community Park or Lions Park with a variety of energy outlets, like trails, basketball courts, sand volleyball courts, and more.
When you’re looking for family things to do in Chaska, Minnesota, visit Fireman’s Park. Check out the monument honoring Chaska’s firemen and history as a brick-making community. Go fishing on Firemans Lake, enjoy the swimming beach, or take the kids to the splash pad. There are concession stands and walking bridges across the water.
2. Go Mountain Biking at Hawk’s Ridge
Find Hawk’s Ridge next to Pioneer Ridge Middle School along Pioneer Trail and Audubon Road.
The site was an old park in Chaska that has been revitalized by the community. Now it’s a series of mountain biking trails called Carver Trails.
There’s a clear trail system that’s kept manicured by local volunteers. They keep updates on Twitter as to when the trails are open. You’ll find trails to be hilly with tight curves, but still accessible for all ages.
You can hike the trails on foot, or bike them but keep in mind that all cyclists must wear helmets. Dogs aren’t allowed on the trails.
3. Check out Chaska’s Landscape Arboretum
One of the best things to do in Chaska, Minnesota is to visit the Landscape Arboretum. This 1200 acre preserve includes nature trails, orchards, gardens, and plant research facilities. Check their website for classes and events for all ages that they host throughout the year.
Find all kinds of things to do at the Arboretum, like walking specialty gardens with rare plants. The Sensory Garden is interactive with things to touch, move, smell, and more. Enjoy walking trails and leashed dog-friendly trails. The Learning Center has interactive exhibits for kids and a play yard.
There’s an art gallery, a cafe, a gift shop, and more! Visit the farm and take a tour of the barn or learn about the agriculture work at the Arboretum. Working with the University of Minnesota, they helped to develop and bring new varieties of apple to market, including the famous Honeycrisp apple.
Check out the Tashjian Bee and Pollinator Discovery Center. There, you can take classes to learn how to handle and extract honey. Walk through special exhibits and a pollinator garden. Visit the Apiary, have a picnic, and even observe beekeepers tending bees!
4. Catch a Curling Game at the Chaska Curling Center
Fireman’s Park is home to the Chaska Curling Center. Watch a game, get a membership, take curling classes, or join a league. The Curling Center also hosts the National Training Center for USA Curling!
On our list of best things to do in Chaska MN, the Curling Center is a big hit. Grab a drink at the Crooked Pint Ale House, which overlooks the arena. Stay toasty warm there while you enjoy your beer and watch curlers play! The Center has bonspiels throughout the winter, including a big event in February with different winter sports games.
5. Join Other Seniors at the Chaska Community Center
Stop by the Chaska Community Center for some of the best things to do in Chaska, MN.
There are all kinds of things to do at the Community Center:
- Swim laps in the pool
- Play with the kids in the pool
- Take water aerobics classes
- Go ice skating
- Play hockey
- Take ice skating lessons
- Do weights or cardio in the gym
- Relax in the Lodge (for ages 55 and up)
Check out the aquatic center with lap pools and heated spas. There are free swim hours for adults and children, hours for swimming laps, and classes you can take. There are two ice rinks at the Community Center.
Check the city website for specific free skate times, including days for adults 18 and older, and times for young children only.
For those 55 years and older, check out The Lodge, where you can play a game of cards and meet new people. There’s a pool table, a library, and more.
Come to the Lodge’s monthly events that cover a variety of topics geared towards older adults.
6. Hit the Green at the Golf Course
Chaska is home to 3 top-notch golf courses across town:
Find Chaska Par 30 off Lakeshore Drive and Hazeltine Boulevard near Hazeltine Lake. Try this course if you’re a beginner.
It’s on the smaller side with some sand bunkers and water hazards for decent challenges.
This public course is nestled between Bavaria Road and Pioneer Trail, next to Lake Bavaria. This is a full 18-hole course that has hosted the US Amateur Championship. Come here for lessons at any level.
Adults and children alike can join leagues. Enjoy a craft beer or artisan sandwich at Oak19.
The Hazeltine has hosted many prestigious golfing championships over its 80-year history. Play all 18 holes and use the practice facilities.
Become a member and you’ll have access to a list of amenities, including a variety of social events throughout the year.
See Related: Best Golf Bachelor Party Destinations
7. Visit a Haunted House in Chaska
Let’s switch things up on our list of the best things to do in Chaska MN. For some classic Halloween fun, check out Chaska’s ScreamTown!
This highly-rated attraction is located about 10 minutes south of downtown Chaska on Route 212.
Throughout the month of October, you can head out to the woods for a haunted hayride.
It’ll take you to acres of scary fun. Book ScreamTown tickets in advance or pay with cash at the door. With the price of admission, get access to 7 different full-sized haunted house attractions.
CNN named ScreamTown one of the top haunted house attractions across the country. Surrounded by a 200-year-old forest, ScreamTown is a pleasantly scary event.
Every year they hire over 90 professional actors from the Twin Cities area. This attraction is recommended only for kids 10 and older.
See Related: Most Haunted Hotels in Minnesota
8. Take a Picture with the World’s Largest Mustache
For some silly fun, visit the World’s Largest Mustache, across from the Chaska Curling Center on Chaska Boulevard. One of the best things to do in Chaska MN, the mustache was created on a 3D printer in 2015.
Creator Matthew Udermann built it for fun and has brought it to many locations around town. The mustache has been used to raise money for charity over the years. Today, it’s just a quirky stop in Chaska that’s fun to check out.
9. Go Shopping in Downtown Chaska
Head to downtown Chaska to do some shopping! Find a variety of small locally-owned shops here. Shop 501 on North Chestnut St is a great little shop selling home goods and children’s clothing. They also have a selection of antiques, salvaged goods, and artwork.
For gently used goods, check out Body Expressions Consignment on the corner of W 5th Street and North Chestnut. The store has been a mainstay in Chaska for more than 20 years. Stop by for upscale consignment and dancewear for gymnastics, dance, and figure skating.
Step into Carver Junk Company. The Carver Junk Company sells vintage-inspired and contemporary home goods and trendy gifts and accessories! Located on North Chestnut Street near East 2nd Street, they’re open Friday through Sunday.
10. Enjoy Good Food
Next on our list of cool things to do in Chaska MN: go out to eat! For a Chaska favorite, check out Chaska My Love on W 4th Street, next to the City Square. They sell authentic Mexican food for a very reasonable price. Order some $2 tacos or the Menudo!
Located on W 1st Street and South Chestnut Street, you’ll find Tommy’s Malt Shop. Enjoy the atmosphere of this old fashion malt shop that serves American classics. We recommend the 50/50 Burger and chocolate malt.
If you’re looking for a good brew, Chaska has you covered.
They often have live music or fun community bingo nights. Check the city calendar for when they’ll have a food truck out front.
Looking for a different tipple?
Check out Dolce Vita Wine Shop on Chaska Blvd. As well as a fine selection of beer, wine, and spirits, they also hold tasting events and seminars!
11. Visit the Mindfulness Center in Chaska
Visit the Mindfulness Center on North Chestnut Street between E 3rd Street and E 2nd Street.
The Mindfulness Center is run by Triple Gem of the North. They follow the teachings of Buddha and offer meditation classes, yoga, and workshops for anyone interested.
View their class schedule on their website (triplegem.org) at this stop on our list of the best things to do in Chaska, MN. Check their events calendar for seasonal retreats around themes like “Anxiety and Coming Back to Yourself.”
12. Visit a Gallery
Chaska is home to a number of photographers and artists. Two artists in town have galleries where you can view their work.
Find the David Lloyd Gallery on E 2nd Street near North Walnut Street. He paints scenes from life in a contemporary style using acrylics.
Thorpe runs his studio and gallery out of his home. Schedule a viewing of his work through his website. He paints contemporary landscapes and offers a variety of classes for children and adults.
See Related: Best Museums in Minnesota
13. Attend a Chaska Town Event
One of the best things to do in Chaska MN is to join in on the fun around town! Check the events calendar on the city website and you’ll see that there’s always something going on, whether it’s live music at Schram Haus Brewery or the weekly 5k Park Runs.
Plan to be in Chaska for River City Days at the end of July. This is a big end-of-summer festival that’s been held for almost 50 years. There are all kinds of things, like food vendors, games for the kids, and an arts and crafts show. There’s a parade, live music, and more. Find everything going on in City Square Park.
Or help out with Christmas in May, an annual humanitarian event where those in need apply to have their homes cared for.
Groups come in to clean up yards, paint houses, and do other repair work. Residents of Chaska can apply to volunteer on the organization’s website.
14. Learn about the History of Chaska
Finally, on our list of the best things to do in Chaska, Minnesota is to visit the Historical Society. Stop by their building on W 4th St, next to City Hall.
There, you check out exhibits around the European and indigenous history of the area. Visit the gift shop and purchase a brick, reminiscent of the city’s days as a brick manufacturing center.
The Historical Society has an awesome program on their website called “Cemetery Stories.” Take it to Mt. Pleasant Cemetery above Firemans Lake. For a powerful experience, find the gravestones of the people on the list and watch the accompanying videos.
While you’re there, pick up a brochure for a walking tour of downtown, or use this link. Walk to dozens of locations and learn all about the past and present of each site.
There are even pictures to compare how the sites used to look compared to how they look now.
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