A Mom's Perspective

The Kuhn Family

The "Magic City" is a wonderful place to build and grow a family. Regardless of if you grew up here or relocated, Minot is a seriously fabulous place. Seven years ago, my husband and I moved from Upstate New York to Minot, and I will be honest, when he told me he had applied for a job in North Dakota, I had to look it up on a map. I had never been to the Upper Midwest after all, and it had been a while since geography class. When he accepted his position with the ND Air National Guard, we started the process of relocation and were pleasantly surprised on how much we loved it here.

When we arrived, it was the very tail end of winter, but the spring weather quickly approached and warmed the air. It was the first chance as a young couple to explore our new home. To our surprise, we went to Oak Park, a beautiful park near the center of the city with trails, several play areas for kids and a lot of well-kept green spaces. We walked, and as we did, we were shocked on the number of people that greeted us (and many Canadian Geese). It was then I knew we would love it here, that this would be our home. The people of Minot were so kind and truly "North Dakota Nice"!

Since then, our lives have changed quite a bit; marriage and kids certainly make a person think about their surroundings a bit differently. But after seven years, with confidence, I can still say we still do love Minot!

Minot has so many fantastic offerings for families. During the summer months, I find my days packed with everything outdoors even if its spend in our own backyard. Our favorite weekends in the summer are packed with two consistent activities, taking my kids to the splash pad and visiting the Roosevelt Park Zoo.

Cecilia and Rowan absolutely love going to play in the water with their friends. Radio City Park Splash Pad, which can be found on the south end of town near Walmart. I find this location is perfect for younger kids with its smaller water attractions and lighter water pressure. Oak Park has a great splash pad, too, but my kids (ages 3 and 1) are timider there. Both locations have play grounds and swings which round out a good afternoon of playing. Be sure to bring a towel, and don’t forget the sunscreen. There is very little shade available at the south splash pad.

When we aren’t at the splash pads, you can find us laughing at the gibbons at the Roosevelt Park Zoo. Seriously, when they start to do their signature hoo's and calls, it is hard to not get a good chuckle out of it. With the new exhibits at the zoo, we will spend a few hours exploring, learning and enjoying the zoo. My best tips are to get to the zoo when it opens in the morning. The animals are the most active at 10 a.m., and bring quarters for the Discovery Barn where you can feed the sheep and goats. Over the years I also learned the giraffes are only outside if it's 50 degrees F, so take that into consideration during the cooler months. The lions and tiger both have warm day rooms so you can see them in the cooler months when they aren’t in their new fancy exhibits. Our annual membership to the zoo is worth every penny.  

We walk in the parks, and check out the several miles of bike trails. If you love to walk, hike or ride a bike, we thoroughly enjoy the Bison Plant Trail. We went for the first time last year and had no idea what we were missing out on. The Souris River makes for a great backdrop for a picnic lunch, but fair warning to be careful in the longer grass; the ticks come out full force in the spring.
No matter the season, we can stay active, even if that means walking at one of the numerous craft shows, or attending area events at the State Far Event Center. Fun for mom and entertaining for the kids. During the winter months, watch the Minot Parks Facebook page and website for their Fun Zone or open ice skating. We spend an hour at HighAir Ground, and that seems to be just enough time to tire out the kids or enjoy an afternoon at Splashdown Dakota Super Slides located inside Dakota Square, Minot’s indoor water park.

I also find as a mom, there are several hundred events a year that we can attend or participate in within the community. Some are designed especially for kiddos, and some are completely FREE, a bonus! From story hours downtown, the Full STEAM ahead program, and children’s theater to name a few, there are a lot of offerings for children in this city. My recommendation is to get out, get involved, and see what this beautiful community can offer you!

As a mom, I know how it can be … tough ... to balance the budget, find time to maintain some sanity, entertain the kiddos, survive the days that feel long and still have dinner on the table by 6 p.m. But if I have learned anything in our time here in Minot, it would be that there are ways to keep all things stable, you just need to find the balance.  
FUN FACT: The Roosevelt Park Zoo is one of five zoos in the country to feature a catwalk. They can be found at the Amur Tiger Exhibit.