The Twin Cities is a fantastic place to live. There is much to see and explore all around the metro area. It feels like a lot of attention gets paid to the West ‘burbs- and that’s totally fine- but the East metro has a lot to offer too. I may be biased but I think Woodbury is pretty great. I grew up in this town and have been calling it home for the last 20 years. My husband also grew up here. We know the city very well and love raising our kids near our families and friends. So, let’s give this city a little love.
I tend to hibernate in the winter and live for the summer. It’s probably my Texan-born blood, but for me, the hotter the better. Like most of Minnesota, Woodbury really shines in the summer months with plenty of trails, parks and playgrounds.
If you live or find yourself in Woodbury this summer, here are my top picks on a summer day.
If you are in the mood for a classic breakfast, start your day at New Woodbury Café. Their pancakes and French toast are delicious, but they also have a variety of egg benedicts, build your own omelets and classic combos. If you are feeling decadent, try one of their pancake creations. My pick goes to the pumpkin pancakes drizzled with vanilla crème and cinnamon butter.
Spend the morning playing at the brand new, 16,000 square foot Madison’s Place Playground. The playground is all-inclusive and accessible to kids of all abilities. My son goes crazy for this place. There is so much to do, see, climb and play. Make sure to pack your kids’ swim suits (there are bathrooms available). As the sun heats up, the splash pad will entice the kids. It is located next to the playground. The splash pad has two areas, one is smaller and ideal for toddlers. Pack a picnic lunch to eat at one of the picnic tables or lay a blanket on the grass. One drawback is that there isn’t much shade- plan accordingly and load up on the sunscreen!
Parent tip: prepare to get a good workout! The park and splash pad are massive, so it can be hard to keep the kids contained. My almost three-year old is at an age where I don’t have to be right next to him. But I still keep a very close eye on him and spend a good amount of time running back and forth.
After all the playing and splashing, the kids (and mom) will be ready for a nap. Head home for a few hours of rest. If your kids are past the napping age, indulge in a little retail therapy at Woodbury Lakes. Check out my personal favorite, Primp Boutique, for affordable women’s fashion. I also adore Patina off Radio Drive. It’s my go-to store when I need to find a gift or if I just want to daydream about buying everything I see. Not in the mood to shop? Head to nearby Afton for a few scoops of ice cream at Selma’s.
Woodbury has an extensive trail system and several lakes to walk or bike around. My top pick goes to Colby Lake. I grew up with this lake across my street so it is my favorite. The 2.25 miles around the lake are the perfect distance for the family to enjoy. The mature trees offer a lot of shade and your kids will love seeing the wildlife around the lake. There is no swimming at this lake, but there is still plenty to do. The entrance at Edgewater Park has a small (newly updated) playground, tennis courts, basketball courts, a fishing pier, canoe launch and open air shelter. My son loves seeing the small fish and ducks off the fishing pier.
There’s no shortage of dining options in Woodbury. If you are dining with kids, we like Craft Beer & Kitchen. It’s family-friendly, but also the type of place you would go without kids. There are two different patio areas, good food and drinks. For something more casual and quick, you can’t beat Punch Pizza. It’s a family favorite.
If you’re lucky to have a date night or girls night, head to Sovereign Kitchen. Although we have brought our kids here, it’s a small space. It’s more ideal for adult-only time. Start with their lavender margarita. It’s so good you might not be able to stop at one. Consider yourself warned. The restaurant has a variety of small plates to choose from or larger entrees. You really can’t go wrong. I’m not one to order chicken at a restaurant. That said, their airline chicken is worth trying.
Kids or no kids, dessert has to happen. There’s nothing sweeter than Nadia Cakes in Woodbury. The cupcakes are just too good. The decor inside is perfect. If cupcakes aren’t your thing- try another one of their amazing desserts like the cheesecake that won “Cupcake Wars.” They also carry Sebastian Joe’s ice cream and coffee. It’s an ideal spot to the end the night.