In the northwestern corner of the Minneapolis metro area, is the great town for fun things to do in Anoka, MN. With a fantastic mix of suburban-urban amenities, along with plenty of access to natural recreation areas, excellent dining and entertainment, there’s no shortage of things to do in this active city. Plus, since it’s home to Anoka County-Blaine Airport (Janes Field), you may find yourself in town on a stop on your first solo flight, $100 burger or other flying excursion. Regardless, there are a ton of things to explore in this bustling city.
The growth of the city of Anoka is closely linked to the two rivers that run through the area — the Rum and Mississippi. Two Native American populations, the Ojibwa and the Dakota occupied the area when local figurehead Lewis Hennepin made his first expedition to the area all the way back in the late 1600s. However, it wouldn’t be until the late 1840s that the first European settlers established a sawmill along the Rum River, and put the town on the map. Soon enough, other industrial ventures came to the river shores, including woodworking plants, trading posts, copper shops and barrel makers. Milling was the dominant industry in Anoka for several decades until a Board of Trade, organized in 1885, brought agriculture, retail, medical and transportation interests to the town. Through the turn of the 20th century, Anoka was a model suburb by all standards. However, the city received its claim to fame in early 1920, when Anoka residents and business merchants created the idea of Halloween as we know it today, proclaiming the title of “Halloween Capital of the World”. In order to stop mischievous kids from pulling their yearly October pranks and causing mayhem, the town hosted a large party with free candy and entertainment, which has developed into a modern-day form of trick-or-treat. As World War II ended, and a boom came to the Minneapolis suburbs, the town continued to grow in population, thanks mostly to the implementation of major highways 10, 169 and 47. All three are main routes, in addition to a station on the Northstar Commuter Rail line, to and from Minneapolis. And even though the population has grown to almost 18,000 residents today, Anoka retains its small town feel, while still supplying many big-city amenities.
Fun things to do in Anoka
If you’re looking for a day of adventure, a trip to Anoka is well worth your time — check out a few of the highlights of this great suburb below:
Anoka Restaurants & Bars
- MaGillyCuddys: Enjoy décor-clad walls at this sports bar also offering regular pub-style bites.
- Jellybean and Julia’s: Get your morning pick me up with a variety of coffee options, as well as other hot drinks, breakfast and sandwiches.
- Cork: Reserve your table for your next date at this intimate modern American restaurant.
- Casa Rio Tex Mex Restaurant: Get your fill at this casual, south-of-the-border hangout offering Tex Mex lunch specials, as well as a bar and regular happy hours.
Anoka Parks & Recreation Areas
- Akin Riverside Park: Peaceful area to get away from the city, offering great views of the river, playground and sitting areas with picnic tables.
- Green Haven Golf Course: Hit the links at Anoka’s premier golf course, offering beginner-friendly holes, plus on-site food service.
- Mississippi River Community Park: Picturesque spot offering basic amenities, plus sand volleyball, horseshoes and a barbecue pit.
- George Enloe Park: A newer addition to the Anoka park system with many options for children and sports enthusiasts across 23 acres of space.
Other Fun things to do in Anoka
- Lyric Arts Main Street Stage: Enjoy a live theater production, concert series and education workshop at this active creative venue.
- Discovery Flight: Team up with the top flight school in Anoka and fly an airplane under direction of a professional pilot. Inflight Pilot Training offers a chance to see what it’s like to become a pilot, where you’ll get to take to the skies and see what the Twin Cities’ suburbs look like from above.
Get in touch with Inflight Pilot Training to find out more.
Our team of certified flight instructors can put you on the correct path toward obtaining a pilot license. Whether you’re interested in taking a Discovery Flight or are ready to get started with formal training, we’re here to help. Gain the freedom flying affords you – all it takes is a quick call or note to our team to get started. For additional information on Inflight training programs, contact us today or call (952) 698-3000.