Like most kids during the lazy summer months, I would have been quick to tell you, “There’s nothing to do in this town!” I could not have been farther from the truth. Now that I am an adult raising my four kids, I appreciate Albert Lea more than I ever thought I would.
Throughout the years Albert Lea has done a fantastic job of keeping kids busy during the summer. Here are a few of our favorite Albert Lea activities.
Various parks in town have park houses. These park houses are staffed with people who are ready to play board games, soccer, box hockey (one of my personal favorite park games) and more. The staff at the park houses also help kids create art projects and occasionally bring out a slip and slide, water balloons or other fun ways to cool off from the hot Minnesota summer. This year, Hawthorne and Academy Park, will be open Monday – Friday, for kids to enjoy. Lunch will also be served, free of charge, for kids 18 and younger.
The Albert Lea Aquatic Center
A favorite place to cool off for generations. Who remembers jumping off of the high dive? Were you one of the talented ones who could flip or cannonball? During the mandatory ten minute rest; Chik-O-Sticks, licorice, and popcorn were some of our favorite snacks from the concession stand. You may also remember holding onto the ledge by the ramp in the shallow end of the pool while kicking your feet and the day when you had to jump off of the diving board into the deep end of the pool. This year the pool is open Monday-Friday 1-5 pm and 6-8:30 pm, and Saturday and Sunday 1-7pm.
This park has always been a local hangout spot. You can fish from the banks of the park and pull out fish from Fountain Lake. Meet up with friends and enjoy one of the many fire pits. Did you have your graduation, wedding, or other event at the Edgewater Cottage, the large pavilion, or at the old or new Edgewater Park Pavilion? A group in Albert Lea worked hard to restore and preserve the cottage from being demolished and it’s now available for future generations to enjoy.
The Albert Lea Public Library
When we were not spending time at the park houses, Aquatic Center, or the beach, we were often found at the Albert Lea Public Library. It has and continues to provide kid friendly activities throughout the summer. Magicians, puppet shows and traveling zoos to name a few. Over the last few years Ms. Patty, the children’s librarian, has worked hard to create lego day, movie day, and even a science day in the children’s library. Find out more about summer programs at alplonline.org.
Frank Hall Park
The starting point to the Blazing Star Trail is located at Frank Hall Park. A six mile bike trail running along the shores of Albert Lea Lake. Whether you are biking, walking, or running you will take in wildlife all along the path.
Frank Hall Park is also home to The Golden Point Launch. This area offers a Pelican Breeze II cruise boat, as well as a soft launch for kayaks and canoes. There is a kayak/canoe rental kiosk that locals and visitors can enjoy throughout the summer. To rent one of these boats visit www.ipaddleport.com. Click rent and you will be able to choose the Golden Point Launch as a rental station. Click the boat you want to rent and follow the instructions to complete your transaction. You will be sent a code which you use to unlock your boat, paddles, and life jackets.
I love our lakes and all of the family friendly opportunities we have to create memories. Our kids ride their bikes around our neighborhood and they come running in the house asking for money as soon as they hear the ice cream truck, just like I did as a kid.
What are your favorite summer memories as a kid in Albert Lea?