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Pond Dakota Directory Logo
401 East 104th Street, Bloomington, Minnesota 55420
Admission: $0.00
Free for everyone, unless otherwise noted.
Hours of Operation:
Sat. 01:00 AM – 04:00 AM
The park is open daily Sunrise to 10:00 p.m.; Pond House events are usually hosted Saturdays from 1:30-4pm.

Pond-Dakota Mission Park is 40 acre Bloomington park on the bluffs of the Minnesota River, and is open every day from dawn to 10 pm. It is built on the grounds of a former mission founded by brothers, Gideon and Samuel Pond. While Saturdays are the best day to visit if you are interested in the historical and cultural significance of the land, families can visit the park and explore the grounds any day. In the winter they park even offers a limited number of snowshoes for patrons to borrow while exploring the grounds.

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Trying on clothes from the 1900s at a Sunday Open House at Pond-Dakota Mission Park

The Agnes and Gideon Pond House

The historic 1856 Gideon and Agnes Pond House, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, sits in the park. Run by the Pond Dakota Heritage Society and the City of Bloomington, the park is an education site that works to preserve the rich history of and explore contrasting cultural and religious viewpoints of the early Minnesota settlers, the Christian missionaries and the Dakota people of the mid-nineteenth century.

Saturday Open House at the Pond House

The Pond House is open on Saturday (formerly Sunday) from 1:30 – 4 p.m. Tours are free. The weekly open houses often have special themes and are very family-friendly, which you can find on our Family Fun Calendar. The Pond Dakota Heritage Society often arranges guest speakers for these events.

The Gideon and Agnes Pond House at Pond-Dakota Mission Park
Image used with permission courtesy of Bloomington Parks and Recreation

Maple Syrup Programs

Like many parks in the Twin Cities area, Pond Dakota offers maple syrup programs each March. Learn about the process of making maple syrup with hands-on activities at the park. Each year we collect activities from around the Twin Cities in our article: Maple Syruping with Kids in the Twin Cities.

Variety of maple syrup products at the Pond House in Bloomington, Minnesota

Annual River Rendezvous at Pond-Dakota Mission Park

Each fall Bloomington celebrates the Pond history with River Rendezvous, a living history event that employers over 40 costumed reenactors to provide demonstrations and encourage hands-on participation of the visitors. Families can interactively learn about 19th century pioneer life and trades, Native American life including dance performances, frontier farming, the fur trade, wilderness skills, and fun & games. Admission to this event is $10/adult; $5/children 4-17, and children under 4 are free. For more information call Bloomington Parks and Recreation at 952-563-8693.

  • Saturday, September 23, 2023, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Dakota Language Summer Camps

Each summer Pond Dakota hosts a summer program teaching the Dakota language to anyone who wants to learn – kids and adults. It is one of the more affordable summer camp programs in our annual guide

Self-Guided Tours of Pond-Dakota Mission Park

Visitors who would like to learn more about this park’s history can follow the walking trails in the park and read interpretive signs describing the history of the Dakota in the Minnesota River Valley, and Gideon and Samuel Pond. For private tours contact Mark Morrison, City of Bloomington Parks and Recreation, 952-563-8693.

Membership to the Pond Dakota Heritage Society

Families who want to support the work of the Pond Dakota Heritage Society can join on an annual Household level for $30. More information can be found on the website.

Further Study for History-Loving Families

For families who would like to learn more about the Pond Family, there are several local options for studying the historic pond house, Native American history in Hennepin County and Pond Family:

  • You may want to start on the Pond Dakota website where they go into detail about the lives of Gideon Pond and his brother Samuel.
  • The Minnesota History Center’s library has boxes full of documents related to the Pond Family
  • Minneapolis Central Library has a copy of the book, Two Volunteer Missionaries Among the Dakotas, Or, The Story of the Labors of Samuel W. and Gideon H. Pond in its 4th Floor special collection for use in the library only. We also link below to the book through our Bookshop store.


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