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Category Archives: Sports & Recreation

Plan for a Simply Grand time

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Conveniently located at the junction of Interstate 29/Exit 141 and Highway 2 (4251 Gateway Drive), the Visitor Center is a friendly stopping point for information on Greater Grand Forks events, attractions, shopping, dining and accommodations.  We also have brochures on North Dakota, Minnesota and Winnipeg, along with maps for most states.   Professional travel consultants will be available to answer your questions from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday thru Friday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday.  Even when we’re closed, there is an after-hours information box right outside the front door which is always stocked with Grand Forks Visitors Guides, Simply Grand $avings Coupon Books and North Dakota state maps.   The Visitor Center also houses our Simply Grand Gift Shop, featuring a wide variety of local and regional products.  You’ll find items ranging from RBJ’s Strawberry Rhubarb Jam, North Prairie Signature Bison Sticks and Dot’s Homestyle Pretzels to Grand Forks wine glasses, mugs and t-shirts.  We’re excited to announce that our visitor center manager and in-house designers are currently working feverishly on some cool new souvenir additions soon to be hitting the shelves!   Our updated Visitor Center offers free Wi-Fi for guests; plus, use of …

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Parking it at Turtle River

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Greek philosopher Aristotle once said: “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”  We at the Greater Grand Forks Convention & Visitors Bureau (aka Visit Grand Forks) couldn’t agree more!  While our two towns offer up lots of simply grand outdoor spots for both adults and kids to enjoy…less than a half hour drive away, you’ll find one more great place to play!   Situated on in a scenic wooded valley, Turtle River State Park (TRSP) is located just 22 miles west of Grand Forks on Highway 2. TRSP was constructed in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps and offers year-round recreational activities such as camping, picnicking, fishing, hiking and biking. Rustic group cabins can also be rented.   If fishing is your thing, the Turtle River is stocked with rainbow trout.  No pole?  No worries!  You can borrow all the needed gear at the park office.   To truly experience TRSP, I suggest lacing up the hiking boots.  Another way to capture all the beauty is to pedal your way through. The park also offers up cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails for some cool winter recreational opportunities.   Pack your own lunch or swing by a …

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Summertime fun under SimplyGrand skies

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Greenway

Warm temps plus sunny skies can only equal one thing: summer has officially arrived in our two Forks! While there are certainly many more, below are my top five SimplyGrand seasonal to-dos.   LISTENING SESSIONS. If you’re a fellow music lover, definitely add the Happy Harry’s Blues on the Red three-part summer music series to your calendar.  The final two concerts take place July 28 and August 15 in Town Square.  From 5 to 10 PM, listen to some of our region’s top blues musicians while enjoying tasty eats and drinks served up by local establishments.  Admission is just $5 but the food and brews are extra.   EXPLORING GREENS ON THE RED. Strolling or rolling on our beautifully groomed Greenway Trail System is a perfect way to enjoy a sunny day. Hop on a bike, strap on the inline skates or simply use your tennis shoes to propel yourself around.  Like to try navigating our north-flowing Red River?  Stop by Boathouse on the Red (weekends only from 10 AM to 8 PM) and rent a canoe, kayak or stand-up paddleboard. My favorite Greenway spot is near downtown because it’s easy to refuel with a yummy homemade cupcake or muffin …

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Kid Stuff 101

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NorthernAir

Yay, school’s out for the summer!  Uh-oh, now what am I gonna do?  If you’re looking for things to entertain kids, Greater Grand Forks has lots of options!   For outdoor fun, try Sherlock Forest Playground, Sherlock Park Pool or LaGrave Outdoor Skate Park, all located in East Grand Forks.  The Grand Forks Park District runs three outdoor spray parks (University Park, Elks Pool and Choice) plus the newly remodeled Riverside Pool and several playgrounds located throughout the city.  If you feel adventurous, rent a canoe from Boathouse on the Red and spend the day navigating our Red River of the North.  Just a short 22 miles west of Grand Forks on Highway 2, Turtle River State Park sponsors a summer series called “Dakota Explorers,” which is a hands-on environmental program for youngsters.  Summerthing Kids Family Fun Festival, Family Community Block Party and Sertoma’s 4th of July Festival all feature many different games and activities.   On rainy day or when the temp dips a little too low, just head inside.  The Canad Inns Destination Center features a tropical themed water park and mega arcade for both guests and non-guests.  Likewise, the new Choice Health & Fitness facility offers an …

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Start your engines

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Have you ever wondered why racing is one of the world’s most popular spectator sports?  You won’t find the answer by watching premier racing on television…to truly experience all the action and excitement, you must see it live, up close and in person!   May through mid-September, River Cities Speedway revs up with the sights and sounds of NOSA Outlaw Sprints, WISSOTA Late Models, Midwest Modifieds and Street Stocks.  Every Friday, beginning with Hot Laps at 6 PM and a 7 PM Start Time, skilled regional drivers will battle for the checkered flag on one of the best 1/3-mile Bullring dirt and clay tracks in the nation.   While there, be sure to pick up a drink and some tasty eats (taco-in-a-bag and hot dogs are two favorites) from the concessions area or stop by the beer garden for an adult beverage.  A free treat also awaits the kids at the nightly candy toss.  Afterward, head over to the pits for an autographed picture of your favorite driver or stop by their souvenir shop and pick up a t-shirt.  If y’all are ready for an evening of nonstop thrills, it’s time to make tracks to the track!   Upcoming Special …

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Six SimplyGrand Gifts for Mom

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Vector illustration, Happy Mother's day card design with realistic flower and hand written lettering.

Mom loved and raised you…time to raise the bar and show her just how much you appreciate and love her back!  Sunday, May 13, is Mother’s Day and the perfect chance to express your feelings.  In case you forgot or haven’t figured out yet what to get her, here are just a half dozen suggestions:   One can never go wrong with dinner and a movie. First, take her to a special Mother’s Day Brunch at Crooked Pint, Eagle’s Crest Grill, Ely’s Ivy, Ground Round, Hilton Garden Café or Sky’s.  Follow that with a matinee of the soon to be released mother-daughter flick, “Life of the Party”, starring Melissa McCarthy, at River Cinema 15 or AMC Classic 10 Theater.   Is mom an 80s rocker chick, by chance? A certificate to The Darkside Tattoo plus tickets to Metallica on September 8, at Alerus Center, would equal one forkin’ grand gift!   A bouquet is ok but how about putting a new spin on it? Escort mom to All Season’s Garden Center, tour her through the amazing greenhouse and then let her pick out a planter or two for her garden or patio.   She put Pampers on you as a …

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SimplyGrand values for our valued visitors

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During times when the economy/exchange rate may not be so great, we realize how you spend your money is more important than ever.  When you visit Greater Grand Forks, you’ll find a variety of top-notch accommodations, dining, shopping and entertainment options at unbelievably low prices.   Should our community have the privilege of hosting you, either for a weeklong vacation or weekend getaway, the Greater Grand Forks Convention & Visitors Bureau will assist in any way possible to help find the best deals out there.  Our website Discounts page will have lots of awesome new offers going live April 1!  You’ll also wanna make sure to stop in the Visitor Center (4251 Gateway Drive, I-29 Exit 141) to pick up a hot-off-the-press 2018-19 SimplyGrand $avings Coupon Book.  It includes great discounts at over 60 local businesses including: Holiday Inn Express; Staybridge Suites; Caribou Coffee; Mexican Village; Paola’s Pastries; Up North Pizza Pub; Cost Cutters; Kittsona; Maurices; King’s Walk Golf Course and Northern Air Family Fun Center.  We also have copies of Best of the Forks that will provide lots more coupons to use.   Even though we offer a grand getaway, it definitely won’t cost you a grand.  Moreover, as our …

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Great things are springing up at Alerus Center

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ThomasRhett

No need for April showers…the Alerus Center is already blooming with simply grand events before, during and after that time!  With new General Manager Anna Rosburg at the helm, Grand Forks’ premiere entertainment and convention facility will be hopping, more than ever before, with a variety of different events.   March 2-3: 2018 First Robotics Competition March 20-22: 25th Annual ArtWise Elementary Art Show March 23-25: Home Design & Garden Show 2018 March 31: 16th Annual Kids Easter Egg Scramble April 13-15: Jurassic Quest April 14: GF Horticultural Society presents Gardening Saturday 2018 April 21: Toughest Monster Truck Tour Championship Weekend April 21-22: Red River Valley Motorcyclists 2018 Motorcycle Show May 3: Thomas Rhett w/special guests Brett Young & Russell Dickerson May 20: Five Finger Death Punch & Shinedown w/special guests Starset & Bad Wolves   For more information, including ticket/admission prices, go to www.aleruscenter.com.   If you’d like to grab a bite or enjoy some cocktails before or after your event, there are several awesome spots nearby to indulge and imbibe.  Just some of them include: Aalto’s, Tavern United and l’Bistro in Canad Inns Destination Center; Crooked Pint Ale House; Grand Junction Subs; Ramada Aroma Café & Dreamers Lounge; …

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Rockin’ the Ralph & Betty too

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Everyone knows about all the exciting happenings that take place at the awesome Ralph Engelstad Arena (REA).  However, the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center (BESC) right next door has got it goin’ on, as well!   Since its completion, the Betty has welcomed many great events and is best known as the host facility for the NCAA Division I Big Sky Conference University of North Dakota Women’s Basketball, Volleyball and Men’s Basketball teams.  Prior to their Division I transition, it was even voted the best Division II women’s basketball facility in the nation.   Of course, the Ralph is home to eight-time Division I National Champion University of North Dakota Men’s Hockey.  Some of the other things held there include concerts by a variety of award-winning musicians and nationally popular stand-up comedians, Disney productions and an array of professional sporting events.   Both facilities feature beautiful granite floor lobbies, large concessions and lounge areas and hall of fame sections for their respective sports.  For a nominal fee, you may join one of the guided tours taking place every Monday through Friday, at 1:30 PM, beginning and ending in the Ralph’s Sioux Shop.  This 90-minute trek tours guests through the entire $100+ …

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Wooing your Valentine in #SimplyGrand style

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GFCBwidman

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching.  Don’t have any plans yet with your significant other?  Well then, you best read on!  Luckily, Greater Grand Forks has lots of great date options and here are my Top 5:   LOVE ON THE EAST SIDE. Drive your date to downtown East Grand Forks for a romantic movie and some ‘heart’y food.  Start out the evening with an earlier showing at River Cinema 15, perhaps in one of the theaters with new heated recliner seating.  Afterward, journey down the Riverwalk Centre hallway and canoodle over noodles at Mamma Maria’s.  Just some of the divine dishes to try are the classic homemade lasagna, chicken milano, lobster ravioli and cranberry tortellini.  And of course, a nice bottle of vino is a must.   UPSCALE AFFAIR. The Toasted Frog is the best place around to get pickled.  By that, I mean their martinis and deep-fried cheesy pickles are so amazing, they’ll make your head spin!  Upon exiting the Frog, grab your date’s hand, then stroll down 3rd Street, over and up to Sky’s on the 2nd floor of 322 DeMers.  Treat your 5-star sweetie to a 5-star dinner that includes classic cocktails, crab cakes, a king or …

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