Fargo with Kids: 21 Best Things to Do in Fargo, ND

You'll find some gorgeous street everywhere you turn in Fargo, ND.
You'll find some gorgeous street everywhere you turn in Fargo, ND.
4/8/23 - By Jackie Jones

Don't cha know: Fargo, ND is a vibrant city with lots of family-friendly attractions and great restaurants. This town—the most populous in North Dakota and located just over the border from Minnesota—is becoming a real travel destination. And while Fargo may be best known for its namesake 90s movie (an absolute classic, though not appropriate for kids), it's much more than just a place to hear funny accents. Fargo, ND has become a real foodie city with top-notch museums, a zoo, and even a Viking ship on display.

Here are our favorite things to do in Fargo, ND with kids, including some delicious Fargo restaurants and a few great hotels in Fargo, ND for families. Check out our Midwest Travel Guide for more great cities to visit with kids, like Chicago and Minneapolis.


A real-life Viking ship inside the Hjmekomst Center in Fargo, ND
Don't miss the real-life Viking ship inside the Hjmekomst Center!

Top Attractions in Fargo, ND for Families

1. Hjmekomst Center

See a real-life Viking ship that once sailed 6,000 miles across the Atlantic at this museum in Fargo's sister city of Moorhead, Minnesota. The story of the Hjemkomst is fascinating: In 1980, a local man dreamed of building a replica Viking ship and sailing it to Norway. He made it happen, too, but the journey was not without drama (which the museum effectively explains). Be sure to check out the other exhibits as well, including lots of local artwork.

2. Red River Zoo

It's easy to spend several hours visiting with the 89 animal species on display at this cute zoo, including red pandas and pallas cats, that are built for Fargo's cool climate. The Red River Zoo also has several playgrounds, a carousel, and an interactive children's farm where kids can feed goats and alpacas all while learning a bit about North Dakota's farming crops. The zoo is open year-round, and admission is very reasonable.

RELATED: The Best Children's Museums in the US

Plains Art Museum in Fargo, ND
The Plains Art Museum features lots of gorgeous artwork and is very kid-friendly.

3. Plains Art Museum

Housed inside of a beautiful and spacious downtown warehouse, the Plains Art Museum is the largest art museum in the state, with plenty of impressive paintings, sculptures, and photographs on display. It's also especially kid-friendly and has one of the best family art rooms that I've come across. My daughters and I spent over an hour in there just drawing, doing puzzles, and reading books for young art lovers. Talk about being inspired!

4. Fargo Air Museum

Explore two hangars full of aircraft including a Wright Brothers' Flyer replica and a P-51 Mustang from World War II. There are plenty of interactive exhibits for young aviation fans. Kids can get in the cockpit of a real Huey Helicopter or maneuver a mini drone through an obstacle course (for ages 6 and above). A play space for toddlers has blocks, airplane books, and coloring pages.

RELATED: 30 Things To Do in Milwaukee with Kids

Northern Plains Botanic Garden in Fargo, ND
Kids will love exploring the fairy village at Northern Plains Botanic Garden. 

5. Northern Plains Botanic Garden

I'm not sure there's anything lovelier than an autumn day in Fargo, ND. Take advantage of good weather at this picturesque botanic garden. We were charmed by the cute displays, including a fairy village, inside the children's garden. We saw lots of monarchs at the butterfly garden and raspberries growing on bushes in the edible forest. A Japanese garden is coming soon to the Northern Plains Botanic Garden and it promises to be just as magical. Bonus: The gardens are open year-round.

6. Bonanzaville, USA

Step back in time at this outdoor pioneer village that features structures from the 1800s and early 1900s. Wander through Fargo's first house, built in 1869. Picture yourself as a plaintiff inside an old courthouse, or as a student inside a one-room schoolhouse from 1895. There are 40 buildings to see and 400,000 artifacts on display. The pioneer village is typically open May through October, though an on-site museum is open on weekends in the winter. Definitely call ahead before visiting.

Indoor Ferris wheel in the SCHEELS store in Fargo, ND
This Ferris wheel inside the SCHEELS store is not to be missed!

Fun Indoor Things To Do in Fargo, ND with Kids


A 45-foot-tall Ferris wheel inside of a sporting goods store? Only in Fargo, ND! My daughters and I waxed nostalgic riding this fun attraction that came all the way to North Dakota from Disneyland in California. There are several other cool things to do in the store as well, like an arcade, a candy shop, and lots of settings for photo ops (the giant SCHEELS deck chair is a favorite).

8. KidCo Children's Museum

This brand new play center in Moorhead, Minnesota is already becoming a hit with local parents who dig its puppet theater, costume corner, and giant Lite-Brite. Kids can also play pretend in the museum's mini city, which has its own police and fire stations. FYI: Parents are encouraged to book a playtime slot online. The museum is designed for kids 8 and under; babies are free with an older sibling.

9. Skate City ND

Fun and fitness roll into one at this indoor roller rink. Visitors love the pop music, concession-stand offerings, rink games (limbo and Four Corners are crowd pleasers), and weekly specials. Parents get to skate for free with their kids on Friday nights.

RELATED: 25 Things To Do in Cincinnati with Kids

Fargo Climbing in Fargo, ND
Tackle the colorful boulder walls at Courts Plus.

10. Fargo Climbing

Though not enormous, this climbing center is clean and family-friendly. My daughters and I got a good workout in taking on the colorful boulder walls and the vertical climbing treadmill, which is as challenging as it sounds! Gear is available to rent; be sure to wear comfy clothes.

11. Indoor Playgrounds

When the temperature gets below freezing (not uncommon in North Dakota) head indoors to get wiggles out at one of Fargo's many indoor playgrounds. Kids 12 and under will love scaling the seven-level soft playground at Courts Plus, a community fitness center. Admission is under $5 and there are plenty of giant slides and climbing walls. Meanwhile, the Rustad Rec Center in West Fargo, ND has basically taken an outdoor playground and transported it indoors. Admission is also less than $5. And if you're looking to bounce, Skyzone Fargo has a dodgeball court, an obstacle course, and loads of trampolines.

12. Escape Rooms

If your kid is into escape rooms, there are several options to choose from in Fargo, ND. Locals love Clues and Keys, where families have to work together on storylines like finding a missing art piece or saving Christmas from a group of naughty elves. Teens may like the edgier themes at Puzzled Escape Rooms, which features everything from vampires to time travel.

Things To Do in Fargo, ND Outdoors with Kids

13. Outdoor Ice Rinks

Winter is looonnnngggg in Fargo, ND. Why not make the most of it by going ice skating at one of the city's outdoor rinks? Many parks have rinks that are fully staffed and offer warming houses so skaters can take refuge from the bitter cold. And while not a park per se, locals love skating at Broadway Square, an outdoor rink in the center of downtown Fargo.

14. Public Pools

When summer does (finally!) roll around, swimming is a must-do. Fargo has several public pools that offer day passes. Families especially love the big water slides and water playground at Davies Recreational Pool.  Got a toddler? The Southwest Recreation Pool has a zero-depth swimming area and an awesome splash pad.

15. Street Art

Take a tour of all of the colorful street art in Fargo, ND. Literally, there is a mural on nearly every block! Snag a selfie at the Super Mario Brothers wall or with the orange bison at the Fargo train car (my family's favorite from our trip). Here's a map of street-art highlights.

RELATED: Mall of America's Most Amazing Attractions for Kids of All Ages

Drunken Noodle in Fargo, ND
Slurp up some delicious noodles at the Drunken Noodle!

Kid-Friendly Fargo Restaurants

16. Drunken Noodle

This noodle shop offers excellent ramen and flavorful Thai dishes. The restaurant is very casual, too, with stickers and customer drawings covering the tables and benches (something to talk about as you wait for your food). Everything is made to order, so your family may need to be a bit patient. Don't worry, though—it'll be worth it.

17. BernBaum's

Just a few doors down from Drunken Noodle is BernBaum's, featuring delicious eats with a unique atmosphere. This Nordic-Jewish-Middle Eastern deli is located inside of a mid-century modern furniture shop (yes, you read that correctly). The decor is kitschy and cool, and the breakfast and lunch here are great. We love their latkes, soups, sandwiches, and knishes.

18. Rhombus Guys

Make it a pizza night at this local favorite that offers plenty of beers on tap and loads of options for toppings. (Taco pizza, anyone?) My kids and I shredded a plain cheese pie and salads, then ate the leftovers the next day.

Hotel Donaldson in downtown Fargo, ND
Hotel Donaldson's downtown location makes it a great place to stay if you're a walking family.

Great Hotels in Fargo, ND for Families

19. Hotel Donaldson

If your family prefers a boutique hotel with character, Hotel Donaldson is a nice option. It's within walking distance of many downtown restaurants and attractions, including the Plains Art Museum. The pet-friendly hotel features plenty of local artwork within its 17 rooms, and it also has a notable rooftop terrace.

20. Home2 Suites Fargo

The Home2 Suites Fargo has many of the amenities parents are looking for: free breakfast in the morning, a clean and spacious lobby, connecting rooms, and a laundry center. During my family's stay here, staff members also went out of their way to be helpful (including calling me when my youngest left a doll behind at the front desk).

21. Best Western Plus Kelly Inn & Suites

Let the kids burn off some steam at this hotel's Beaver Dam Water Play-Land, an indoor pool with a water slide and obstacle course. There's also complimentary coffee all day, breakfast in the morning, a hot tub, and a fitness center.

All photos courtesy of the author

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