Megan Havig, MSUM Multimedia Journalism
If downtown is the playground of Fargo, where are all the children? Having an enjoyable time downtown with kids in tow can be a rewarding experience. Here are the niche places in activities and food that offer fun times for families.
Places offer child-specific activities
The Fargo Library provides pleasurable programs
Located at: 102 3rd Street North Fargo, ND 58102
The Fargo Public Library is a great place to start when looking for something to do with a child. An afternoon or evening can be spent poring picture books, or playing games on the public computers. Yet beyond the book reading and computer playing, the library offers both weekday and weekend programs specifically for kids.The downtown library’s children’s services coordinator Amber Emery loves seeing the enjoyment kids have with literature. “I like spending time with the kids. I like to hear what books they liked or what books they are excited about…helping them find new (books) is a lot of fun.”
Saturday story times
- At 10 a.m. on every third Saturday of the month, the downtown library offers story time for toddlers and preschoolers.
- Children who attend 10 story times offered on weekdays can earn a free book.
- Fargo Force does a story time on the first Tuesday of every month and provides time for young hockey fans to have photos taken with the players, get an autograph or make a craft together.
- Children and teenagers can sign up for a plethora of programs. Programs offered include anything from making fleece pillows, learning how to do yo-yo tricks, to glass sketching. Programs typically run at 4 p.m. and provide for a great after-school time for kids.
- The Children’s Center at the library hosts events every month. Check the events calendar for more special programs.
Zandbroz offers quirky toys
Located at: 420 North Broadway Drive Fargo, ND 58102
Vintage robots, off-the-wall books, whimsical stuffed monsters; Zandbroz offers a good time for the imagination. Located in the southwest back corner of the store, the kids’ corner lets children find unique books, puppets, and kick-back toys that their parents remember. If anything, a reminiscent moment for Baby Boomers can mark the trip to this fun family gift store.
The Katherine Kilbourne Center for Creativity cultivates creative minds
Located at: 704 First Avenue North Fargo, North Dakota 58102
The Katherine Kilbourne Burgum Center for Creativity opened Sept. 30 and offers a space for creative development. The Center has a partnership with Fargo Public schools and will offer art education classes. They also offer after school programs and special events. This newest addition to The Plains Art Museum outreach will be a great place to spend time making crafts for the fridge and memories for the scrapbook. Check out community programs and this video created by Megan Havig and Meghan Feir on the Center’s opening.
Downtown Fargo offers outside activities
The Dike West Skatepark gives a colorful experience
The Dike West Skatepark offers a colorful atmosphere. It can be a rough place for children at times as profanity and garbage can be present, but so many neighborhood kids go there, it is worth taking a look at the pros and cons of all the Skatepark has to offer.
The Skatepark is built for all kinds of recreation toys on wheels. Kids on bikes, scooters, swivel sticks and rollerblades can enjoy 23,000 square feet of jumps and pipes to try out new tricks. Nestled between Island Park, the tallest buildings of Fargo, and the dike, the park with its natural and urban surroundings can be a pretty place in the summer and fall.
The atmosphere can be as unpredictable as the weather that affects it. At times, garbage lies on the ground and young adults fill the air with profanities. Yet the young children
on their respective rides seem to enjoy the jumps. Many kids seem to be neighborhood kids; a trip as a family may influence the atmosphere positively.
Bringing a child and watching him or her could be the best thing for personal development and growth in a hobby. All a child really needs is a place to practice his or her passion with the positive influence present.Regardless, the Skatepark can offer a great time for watching or taking part. Check out this time-lapse video, created by Nathan Bergeson.
Red River trail provides scenic getaway
Renting a bike and hitting the Fargo river trail just off of downtown can be a great way to enjoy nature. Bring a dog and enjoy the dog park or simply walk along take the path. Bridges connecting to Moorhead provide for a great photo opportunity and memory with children.
Food places offer fun environments for children
Rhombus Guys Pizza creates youthful atmosphere
Located at: 606 Main Avenue Fargo, ND 58103
Pizza and coloring – Rhombus Guys Pizza offers both at the same time. Bring the younglings and enjoy pizzas with names like T-Rex (their rendition of meat lovers), Happy Pig (lots of pork and bbq sauce) and even S’mores (you can imagine). The table is the coloring book; covered in a white sheet with crayons readily available allow for all kinds of doodles.
Rhombus Guys has a piano, arcade games, foosball and in the warm months, rooftop dining. Afternoons are the best time to bring kids to Rhombus; with a bar located in the middle of the restaurant, it can be the home for rowdy crowds in the evenings.
Tea Berry has yummy drinks and downtime games
Located at: 119 Broadway N, Fargo, ND 58102
Asian bubble tea has taken Fargo’s taste buds to another cultural level. Fruit smoothie teas with tapioca balls or fruit-flavored jellies can be a fun experience for children. The best place to sit at for a fun cultural experience are the Japanese-style low tables. Board games are available to borrow and a large screen TV plays pop music, making for a great place to have a refreshing and fun break from walking around downtown.
Charlie’s Ice Cream brings back vintage treats
Located at: 515 3rd Avenue North Fargo, ND 58102
Charlie’s Ice Cream Parlor has seen children grow to adults in its long life in downtown. It looks like a 1950s ice cream parlor and offers ice cream cones, shakes, and sundaes. Soda in glass bottles and vintage advertisements set the mood for a fun treat time with children.
Photos by Megan Havig and Katherine Kilbourne Burgum Center for Creativity video by Megan Havig and Meghan Feir