Family Fun Directory: Things To Do with Kids


Family Fun Directory of Things To Do with KidsIn Minnesota, family fun outdoors means embracing all four seasons. If you are on this page because you are looking for a new Twin Cities-area park, playground or nature center to explore, hundreds of entries can be found through our Parks & Playgrounds Search feature. Or, continue searching hundreds more ideas of things to do with kids in the Twin Cities through our Family Directory, including family outings, services, classes, camps, birthday parties and more.

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Pond-Dakota Mission Park, Bloomington

401 East 104th Street, Bloomington, Minnesota 55420
952-563-8878
Admission: $0.00
Free for everyone, unless otherwise noted.
Hours of Operation:
Mon. Closed
Wed. Closed
Thu. Closed
Fri. Closed
Sat. Closed
Sun. 01:30 PM - 04:00 PM
The Pond House is open Sundays from 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p,m; The park is open daily Sunrise to 10:00 p.m.
Details:

Pond-Dakota Mission Park in Bloomington is built on the grounds of a former mission founded by brothers, Gideon and Samuel Pond. 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 vewpoints of the early Minnesota settlers, the Christian missionaries and the Dakota people of the mid-nineteenth century.

Pond-Dakota Mission Park

Image used with permission courtesy of Bloomington Parks and Recreation

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,

Sunday Open House at the Pond House

The Pond House is open on Sundays from 1:30 – 4 p.m. There is a suggested donation of $2 for adults. 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.

Annual River Rendezvous Each September

Each fall Bloomington celebrates the Pond history with River Rendezvous, a living history event that employers over 40 costumed re-enactors 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 $6, children under 4 are free. For more information call Bloomington Parks and Recreation at 952-563-8693.

River Rendezvous at the Pond House

Image courtesy of the City of Bloomington

Further Study for History-Loving Families

For families who would like to learn more about the Pond Family, you may want to start on the Pond Dakota website. The Minnesota History Center's library has boxes full of documents related to the Pond Family, and 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. You can also purchase the book through Amazon. The picture below is an affiliate link and Family Fun Twin Cities receives a small commission on sales through this link.

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.

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