Free State Park nature programs for the family

Minnesota State Parks and Trails' nature programs include fishing, photography and birding.

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - Looking for free, fun things to do with your family this summer? Minnesota State Parks and Trails has several nature programs geared toward kids.

Jennifer Conrad, Visitor Services Supervisor for Minnesota State Parks and Trails, joined us on KARE Saturday to discuss the family programs and activities.

Jennifer explained that on any given weekend, you can have fun with your kids learning about bats, birds, flowers, photography, or fish. Most of these programs are free. You need to have a vehicle permit for your car or van, which is $5 per day or $25 for a year-round permit.

Free programs in Minnesota State Parks:

Fishing loaner kits. You can fish for free, no license required, in most Minnesota State Parks.

Birding kits

Kids Discovery kits

Programs that will show you and your family how to geocache

Two State Parks are parks are currently closed due to flooding, Blue Mounds and Fort Snelling, and one state trail, Minnesota Valley. There are 73 Minnesota State Parks open.

Minnesota State Parks and Trails is a division of the Department of Natural Resources. To find out more about all of these programs, visit


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