Culture and Recreation

Share this Page


With its array of sports and recreation, museums, outdoor spaces and cultural outlets, the St. Cloud area is alive with activities for all ages and interests.

Sports & recreational opportunities

Residents and visitors can take advantage of many outdoor activities in the St. Cloud area, including:

  • Canoeing and kayaking, on your own or with rental and guided trips on the River Water Trail system.
  • Fishing on a part of the Mississippi River recognized as one of the top 10 spots in the country for small-mouth bass.
  • Camping on the Mississippi River, or in numerous county parks or private campgrounds.
  • Miles of recreational trails for walking, hiking, rollerblading, bicycling, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling, including the 46-mile Lake Wobegon Trail and the Beaver Islands Trail along the Mississippi River.
  • Roughly 1,500 acres of parkland in the St. Cloud area, filled with such amenities as baseball/softball and athletic fields; playground equipment; picnic facilities; and tennis, volleyball and basketball courts, plus an additional 100 parcels available for future parkland development.
  • Rock climbing, cross-country skiing and scuba diving at Stearns County’s Quarry Park in Waite Park.
  • More than 60 area golf courses.

If spectator sports are more your style, the St. Cloud area has plenty to satisfy your inner fan, including:

  • St. Cloud State University Huskies NCAA athletics, including Division I men’s and women’s hockey teams at the National Hockey Center.
  • St. Cloud Rox summer collegiate baseball team, playing in the Northwoods League at Joe Faber Field at the Municipal Athletic Complex.
  • The Granite City Lumberjacks, a tier III hockey team.
  • The St. Cloud Area Roller Dolls, a flat-track roller derby team.
  • The Saint John’s University Johnnies and College of St. Benedict Blazers.
  • St. Cloud Men’s and Women’s Rugby teams –  the Feeders and Sirens.
  • Granite City Renegades semi-professional football team.

Add to the list major recreational facilities such as the Municipal Athletic Complex, the new St. Cloud Area Family Y, which opened in 2017, and Whitney Senior Center and you have a wide range of programming for youth through seniors.

Attractions for all ages

Nature enthusiasts can delight in several unique offerings, including:

  • Munsinger and Clemens gardens, featuring extensive perennial and annual flower gardens overlooking the Mississippi River. Open to
    the public.
  • St. John’s Arboretum, 2,700 acres of lakes, prairie, oak savanna and woodland surrounding St. John’s University, featuring educational programs focused on the importance of this natural restoration project.
  • Hemker Park and Zoo in nearby Freeport. A 14-acre private zoo that includes 32 species of waterfowl, African safari animals, primates, aquatic animals, a seasonal butterfly house and even a giraffe!
  • History and arts fans have much to choose from in the St. Cloud area, including:
  • The Stearns History Museum, recognized as one of the finest history museums in Minnesota and the only nationally accredited museum  in greater Minnesota. It features two floors of exhibit space, a research library, a mini-theater, museum store and educational programming.
  • The Haehn Museum at the Art and Heritage Place in St. Benedict’s Monastery, with nearly 4,000 artifacts dating back to 1857. It contains an exhibit hall featuring the cultural, social and religious influence of the Benedictine sisters in local, state, national and international ministries, Artisan Studios and Whitby Gift Shop and Gallery.
  • The Paramount Center for the Arts is the artistic heart of St. Cloud. The restored 1921 theater provides a stage for numerous community groups and a venue for professional performances. The Visual Arts Center offers classes for beginning and experienced artists and professional development opportunities for artists, educators and businesses. The Paramount is also home to several resident arts organizations.
  • Pioneer Place on Fifth brings professional theater, original plays, and a concert series to Central Minnesota each year. Arrive early and enjoy a glass of wine at the Veranda Lounge before performances.
  • Great River Educational Arts Theatre is a community theater providing more than 1,400 youth and adults with the opportunity to perform through productions and theater classes each year. Their recently completed headquarters includes rehearsal halls, scene shop, costume shop, administrative office and a learning lab.
  • The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University offer the Benedicta Arts Center, a 173,000-square-foot performance space, the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library, the Literary Arts Institute, Saint John’s Pottery and a fine arts series.
  • Located on the campus of St. John’s University is the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library, home to the St. John’s Bible. This is the first completely handwritten and illuminated Bible commissioned by a Benedictine Abbey since the invention of the printing press. Visitors to the museum can see the pages in person, from the gold and platinum leaf on the vellum and the brightness of the inks, to the calligraphers’ marks in the margins as they test the ink and flexibility of the quill. There is no admission charge, and no reservations are needed for a self-guided tour.
  • St. Cloud State University offers the Kiehle Visual Arts Center, the Performing Arts Center and a wealth of arts-related offerings.
  • Performing musical organizations include the Minnesota Center Chorale, the Great River Chorale, the Chamber Music Society of St. Cloud, the St. Cloud Municipal Band, the Paramount Jazz Orchestra and the St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra.
  • The River’s Edge Convention Center features the Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame and is host to trade shows, conventions, social/entertainment events and more.

Thanks to the programs, services and all-around advocacy of such entities as the St. Cloud Arts Commission, Central Minnesota Arts Board, and Visual Arts Minnesota, the cultural and entertainment community in the region is vibrant and growing.

Find out more

  • Arts and Entertainment at Around the Cloud | aroundthecloud.org
  • St. Cloud State Outdoor Endeavors stcloudstate.edu/campusrec/outdoorendeavors
  • St. Cloud Rox Baseball | stcloudrox.com
  • St. Cloud State Athletics | scsuhuskies.com
  • Paramount Theatre and Visual Arts Center | paramountarts.org
  • GREAT Theatre | greattheatre.org
  • Stearns History Museum | stearns-museum.org
  • The St. John’s Bible | saintjohnsbible.org
  • Munsinger Clemens Botanical Society | munsingerclemens.com
  • Pioneer Place on Fifth | ppfive.com
  • St. Cloud Area Family YMCA | scymca.org
  • St. Cloud Area Convention & Visitors Bureau | VisitStCloudMN.com