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Things To Do

Need ideas for things to do on your next stay in Staples? You've come to the right place! Browse through the ideas listed below and plan out a fun-filled day for you and your family. Additional information on specific places of interest can be found on the Area Attractions page.

Don't miss out! Search our Events page for upcoming dates of your favorite activity or try something new.

Do you have questions or need more information? Please contact us - we're happy to help!

Inside Activities

  • Two men perform "Who's on First" at the Red Caboose Variety Show in 2017.

    Art and Theatre

    The arts are alive and well in Staples! High-quality performances and special programs scheduled throughout the year ranging from student to adult performances. Lamplighter Community Theatre produces a wide variety of offerings including a summer children's theatre camp. Past productions include "12 Angry Men," "Fond Farewell," and "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Prairie Fire Children's Theatre, sponsored by the Staples-Motley Arts Council, leads the staging of a large youth production each summer. The Little Red Caboose Variety Show is held each year as part of the Railroad Days celebration in August. 

    Staples is home to local artists working in a variety of mediums. Classes and open galleries are offered periodically. Five Wings Art Council (FWAC) actively supports local artists throughout the 5 county area. FWAC's office is located in downtown Staples. 

  • SMHS Chistmas Concert Dec 2016

    Concerts and Music

    Staples has been called "the city that sings!" And its vivid musical heritage continues to flourish and grow. Concerts and programs from local groups - Staples Area Men's Choir, Staples Area Women's Choir, Central MN Boys Choir, and Colla Voce - are regional favorites due to the quality and richness of their performances. The annual "Real Men Sing" and "Her Voice, Her Song" festivals bring youth and adult singers together for music education and enjoyment. The Staples-Motley Arts Council brings local, regional, and national performers to Staples for their regular Concert and Chamber Series and their summer Music in the Park series.

    Staples community bands and orchestra perform at various events and functions during the year. 

  • Volleyball League CC 400

    Gym and Pickleball

    If you are looking to get some indoor exercise, head to the Staples Community Center. Workout in the fitness center, swim in competition-length swimming pool, run laps, and shoot some hoops in the gym. 

    Pickleball is available Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 8am-12pm and again on Wednesday evenings from 6pm-8pm. Check in with the office prior to play. 

    Community Center hours vary by season. It's a good idea to review the schedule online or give them a call at (218) 894-2553 before heading over. 

  • The historic registry sign outside the Staples Depot.


    Staples is proud of its rich railroad history. Even today, trains continue to rumble through town on a frequent schedule. The present-day two-story brick Depot was constructed in 1909-1910 in the Classical Revival style. The recent renovations updated the building's plumbing and electrical but retained its rich and vivid past. The Depot is open to the public and you may visit anytime. 

    Learn more about the Depot online! The Great American Stations website has a wonderful article on the Depot's history. Local blogger, Myra Horner, shares her experience touring the Depot.

  • Small items displayed for sale at Longbellas Drug Store in Staples.


    Peruse Staples' stores to find a unique gift or helpful household item. Longbella Drug and Lakewood Health System's Shoppe sell an array of soaps, lotions, home decorations, kitchen tools, baby and children clothes and toys, and more. In addition to hardware, Staples True Value offers consignment items from local artists. Ace Hardware has fun children's games and toys to perk up those days inside or traveling. Buy a souvenir of your stay at LMH Embroidery. They offer embroidered and screen printed clothing (including Staples Cardinal gear!) along with fun made-in-Minnesota gift items. 

    The antique store, Sebasky & Hildreth, can be found at 121 6th Street NE. The store offers two floors of quality, hard to find antiques and decorative arts. Due to the owners' schedules at antique shows, please call ahead to schedule a viewing appointment at (612) 804-6055 or (612) 812-9969. You may also reach them by email at asebasky@arvig.net.

  • Two girls swimming at the Staples Community Center


    The Staples Community Center has a competition-length swimming pool. Programs include lap swimming, exercise classes, and open swim programs. Hours vary by season. The cost for open swim is $2 per person.

    Timberlake Hotel opens its indoor swimming pool for Open Swim each Thursday and Sunday from 12pm – 2pm and 4pm – 6pm. The cost is $5 per person. 

Outside Activities

  • The Spool Barn Quilt found in Staples, MN.


    The Central MN Barn Quilt Trail runs right through Staples. Walk through the downtown area and you will find amazing barn quilts at businesses and homes. Venture out in a car and follow the trail from Pine Grove Park all the way to Legacy Gardens in the north. The trail has almost 80 different barn quilts throughout the four-county area. Take a morning, a day, or a weekend and view all of these unique, colorful creations. 

  • Lumberbats playing baseball at Pine Grove Park in Staples, MN.

    Baseball and Softball

    Amateur baseball with big league love of the game! The Staples Lumberbats play at Pine Grove Field during the spring and summer season. Come cheer on the hometown hitters! No tickets needed but a free will donation is accepted during the game. Concessions are available. 

    Dower Lake's softball fields are ready for your next game. Join in local weekend tournaments. Other fields are available at the Staples-Motley School Fields just behind the elementary school. 

  • A woman runs on the Legacy Trail in Staples, MN.

    Bike, Hike, and Run

    The paved Legacy Trail is great for biking and walking. The trail runs from Legacy Gardens in the north all the way down past the overpass for Highway 10. If you are seeking a shorter walk or would like to see a map of the Legacy Trail, make sure to see our Staples Trail Map

    Get outside and hike around. Pine Grove Park and Dower Lake Recreation Area both have nature trails in and around scenic wooded areas. Old Wadena Park has hiking trails and a unique Bogwalk. 

    There are 2 bike repair stations that were installed this summer.  One at the Community Center and one on the bike trail by Summit Ave. The all-steel FixIt features a Phillips and Flat Head screwdriver, headset and pedal wrench and various sized Allen and Box wrenches, which are secured to the unit by 5/32" braided stainless steel aircraft cables.

  • An array of vegetables for sale at the Staples Area Farmer's Market

    Farmer's Market

    A variety of mouth-watering options - vegetables, preserves, baked goods, fruit, and more - are available at the Farmer's Market from May to October. On Thursdays, peruse all the delicious options from 2pm to 5:30pm at Lakewood Main Campus Parking Lot. 

  • Man in a boat catches a fish at Dower Lake in Staples, MN.


    Drop a line and catch some fish! Boat, kayak, or ice - take your pick or enjoy fishing them all. The Crow Wing River allows for canoe and kayak fishing. Dower Lake is open for all fishing. You don't even need a boat. Fish off Minnesota's longest pier. It's family-friendly and there's plenty of room for all. 

    With Staples' central location, you can fish more than one lake and still be close to your comfortable hotel room. The Lincoln Lakes area is just minutes away: Lake Shamineau, Lake Alexander, and Fish Trap Lake. Add those to Dower Lake and that's a pretty great weekend!

  • A foursome golfing at The Vintage in Staples, MN.

    Golf and Tennis

    The Vintage at Staples is a Joel Goldstrand designed 18-hole public golf course. It is located along the Crow Wing River on County Rd 30. Golf with friends, a league, or your family! There is something for all skill levels at The Vintage. 

    Six tennis courts are located at the Staples-Motley School District Fields located behind Staples-Motley Elementary at 1025 4th St NE.

  • A path winding through the trees at Pine Grove Park in Staples, MN.

    Historic Locations

    See where Staples started. Native American artifacts from Old Wadena Park date back 3,000 years. In 1783, the fur traders built the Crow Wing’s first trading post. This environmental park offers rustic camping, trails, and a Bogwalk. 

    Walk among the pines at Pine Grove Park. In 1919, the women of the Staples Civic Association fought to save a beautiful stand of red and white pine from being harvested. Against the odds and the naysayers, they contracted to purchase the 40 acres of land for $23,000. 

    Salute our country's heroes. Staples Veterans Park is dedicated to those in our community who have served and defended our country. 

  • A boy swings high in the air.


    Slide, swing, and play! Staples has many parks available with a variety of amenities. Playgrounds, picnic shelters, nature trails, disc golf, and so much more. Gather a group for sand volleyball at Wilson Park. Park the RV at Dower Lake. Relax and enjoy the music this summer at Northern Pacific Park. Find locations and descriptions of amenities by viewing our park map

  • A boat pulls two children on a tube at Dower Lake in Staples, MN.

    Swim and Boat

    Dower Lake Recreation Area has everything your family needs for a great day on the lake. Take the boat out for tubing with the kids. Fish the day away. Sit on the beach while the kids swim and build sand castles.  

  • A group of people tube down the Crow Wing River in Staples, MN.

    Tube and Paddle

    Soak up some sun and marvel at nature's beauty. Whether you would rather paddle or float, the water is calling! Bring your own canoe or kayak and head to either the Crow Wing River or Dower Lake. For the DIY, rent tubes from Staples True Value.

    For those looking for more convenience, Wahoo Valley offers tubing services for a small per person charge. They will drive you to your starting point, supply twine for hooking tubes together, and remove your garbage when you get back to the restaurant. Reservations are recommended especially on the weekends. Read a fun article describing Staples river tubing on the Stern Rubber Company's website. 

    Learn more about the Crow Wing's landing points. Download and print the Crow Wing River Water Trail Map from the DNR. A popular family-friendly tubing route is from McGivern Park to Orville's Landing. 


  • A blacksmith works at the Old Wadena Rendezvous.

    Old Wadena Rendezvous and Chautauqua Celebration

    Step back in time at the Old Wadena Rendezvous. Time travel happens the 2nd weekend of August each year. The experience includes a fur traders encampment, musical performances, kids activities, tools of the 1840s, educational speakers and demonstrations, an artisan tent (blacksmith, spinning wool, making pots, making crafts, etc.), and, of course, food!

  • Railroad Days Parade 2018

    Railroad Days

    Celebrate Staples at Railroad Days the 4th weekend of August! Join us for a full weekend of family-friendly activities and events, a parade, musical performances, a street dance, fireworks, CLC's Field Day, and so much more. 

  • A Christmas Tree on display it the Timberlake Hotel lobby.

    A Staples Christmas

    This holiday treat will begin this December 1, 2018. This annual event will occur the 1st Saturday in December each year going forward. Plans are still being finalized and will be released soon! 

Do you have a great "to do" to add to this page? We'd like to hear it. Contact us!