School's out for the summer (yay!) and while it means your life is probably blessedly less scheduled, it can also mean you might hear those two dreaded words before too long: "I'm bored." In the Bison Booties hometown of Mandan, ND, there are plenty of boredom busters right in our own backyard--and we bet your hometown has a few of these same activities ready and waiting, too.
Here are some of our favorite places and things to do in Mandan during the summer months:
1. Raging Rivers Waterpark
When temperatures climb, there's no better place to cool off than at Raging Rivers Waterpark. Our favorite watering hole is bursting with fun including tube slides, speed slides, a lazy river and kid's Aqua Play area that opened in 2015. Tips for your visit: on our blog.
2. Cloverdale Tangy Summer Sausage
Make the official Mandan 'Tangy' sandwich — my favorite way: sliced sourdough bread, Cloverdale Tangy Summer Sausage, sliced cheese, mayo/mustard, tomatoes, and jarred sliced jalapeños. Buy Cloverdale Tangy at area grocery stores, or visit the Cloverdale County Store (factory outlet) 3017 34th Street NW, Mandan.
3. Fort Lincoln Trolly Co.
Ding! Ding! The historic Fort Lincoln Trolley is an all-time summer favorite for my kids (especially my train-obsessed two-year-old son). Choose either a nine-mile roundtrip open-air trolley ride along the Heart River or stop and enjoy the activities at Fort Lincoln State Park and return on a later trolley. One of the trolley cars is a restored 1890s streetcar that operated in Bismarck in the 1920s.
A treat for the mamas! This on-trend women's boutique is redefining (and styling) Mandan's downtown. Be sure to check out the North Dakota corner with some of our favorite finds from local artisans like Pear'd, The Cuff Chic, Chell's Creations, and more—including North Dakota's largest selection of Bison Booties!
5. Mandan Sweet Corn
I look forward to Mandan's 'peaches-and-cream' sweet corn season every summer. The exact time varies every year but in early August you can buy this rare and delicious sweet corn by the dozen/bagged directly from the farmers at the Cenex gas station parking lot on Mandan's Main Street; or find local corn for sale at Butcher Block Meats and Royce's Twin City Produce.
6. Universal Playground
Our go-to place to play, this brand new (opened in late 2015) universally designed playground at Eagles Park is a place where people of all ages and abilities can play together. From the zip line to the sensory activities, this play spot keeps the kids busy for hours. The park has lots of shaded picnic tables too, so bring a picnic lunch.
7. Butcher Block Meats
Your new favorite summer meal will be home-grilled steaks from Butcher Block Meats. Try the world-famous bacon-wrapped fillets, South American marinated steaks, or homemade bratwurst 'brat' sausages. Not sure how to grill 'em? The friendly Butcher Block folks are very helpful with grilling tips – just ask.
8. Independence Day Parade
The region's largest parade, this parade is the place to celebrate Independence Day. Look like a local: wear lots of red, white, and blue, and bring a bag or bucket to collect treats. View our tips for viewing the parade and other Independence Day week events in Mandan.
9. Ft. Abraham Lincoln State Park
This is a major historical hub for both Native American and military history, and this park keeps our interest even after many visits. Wear comfortable shoes and enjoy the 6.75 miles of non-motorized trails to hike and explore and don't forget to tour the earthlodges and Custer's home.
10. Royce's Twin City Produce
Royce's sells the freshest tastiest fruit in town and we look forward to their spring opening all winter long. We buy oodles of fruit here all summer but our Royce's favorites are watermelon, Flathead cherries, and peaches. Looking for great deals? Check out their slightly damaged very discounted fruit specials.
This post is sponsored by a grant from North Dakota Tourism. All opinions are my own.