Family Weekend is a fun weekend for WSU students to get together with their parents and siblings and hang out around Winona. There are so many hidden gems that make Winona such a special and beautiful place to visit.

Here are 10 places to check out with your family and friends during Family Weekend at WSU.


1. Hike to Garvin Heights or Sugar Loaf

A little fresh air and exercise is always great, and the views from the top of these bluffs are breathtaking. This time of year, when the leaves are starting to change, it is especially gorgeous. Both Garvin Heights and Sugar Loaf provide great opportunities for you to snag that family Instagram photo!

Sugar Loaf is definitely a sight to see!


2. Roam around the Winona Farmers Market

On Saturday morning, head downtown to the Winona Farmers Market for fresh produce and activities. The market opens at 7:30 a.m. for early risers and is all packed up by noon.

The Winona Farmers Market is a great place to purchase locally grown veggies and flowers!
Photo by Kelsa Katsfey ’21


3. Satisfy your sweet tooth at Bloedow’s

Sprinkles and chocolate and maple bacon, oh my! Explore all your tasty options, from donuts to cookies to fresh baked bread, at Winona’s famous Bloedow’s Bakery.

Photo by Kelsa Katzfey ’21


4. Drink hot apple cider at Ecker’s Apple Farm

Just outside Winona is an adorable apple orchard, Ecker’s, and it’s one of my favorite places to visit in the fall! If you’re like me, you love to spend a nice fall day looking at the pretty changing colors of the trees, drinking hot apple cider and taking fun fall photos. I highly recommend you check this one out!

Photo by Kelsa Katzfey ’21


5. Visit Ferguson’s Orchard

This is another one of my favorite orchards to visit in the fall and it’s just as great as Ecker’s Apple Farm. Ferguson’s is also just outside of Winona but it’s worth the short road trip. If you get the chance, I recommend taking a trip to both orchards in one day!

Photo by Kelsa Katzfey ’21


6. Dine at one of Winona’s many local grub hubs

Whether you’re craving something light, something fancy or something sweet, the town of Winona has a multitude of cute spots for you and your family. Check out our all-inclusive chow breakdown to see all your options on campus and in the Winona area.

Don’t forget about the coffee shops on campus! This weekend could be an opportunity for you to use up some of your Kryzsko Kash!


7. Check out the Minnesota Marine Art Museum

I personally have not had the chance to visit the Minnesota Marine Art Museum yet, but from what my friends say, it’s definitely worth looking into. There’s always something interesting going on at the museum and their website has all the info for admission and what’s happening during Family Weekend.

Photo by Amy Nelson ’20


8. Take a river ride on the Cal Fremling

This river ride is a must in Winona. I have been on the Cal Fremling with my friends, and it is the perfect scenic activity for a nice weathered day. The boat is docked at Levee park on the Mississippi River. In honor of Family Weekend, hop on for a one-hour boat tour this Saturday and Sunday. Make sure to reserve your seat beforehand–all aboard!

Families aboard the Cal Fremling for a scenic boat ride on the Mississippi River.


9. Paddle away at the Lake Park Lodge

Lake Park Lodge has canoes, kayaks, paddle boards and many more activities to enjoy while the weather is still bearable! I am a huge fan of paddle boarding. This is an excellent place to relax if you are looking for a fun day on the water.


10. Find quality entertainment at on WSU Campus

If you enjoy live entertainment, WSU sponsors an entertainment act especially for Family Weekend. In the past there’s been magic and hypnotism shows, comedies and even a talent show. UPAC will be hosting a campus concert with The Voice finalist Chris Kroeze on September 20 at 7 p.m. in Harriet Johnson Auditorium of Somsen Hall. Get your tickets ASAP!


These are just a few ideas of places for you and your family to check out during Family Weekend. Winona may be small, but it offers many different places and activities that make for a great weekend visit no matter your preference!

Find the full schedule of events and more information about WSU Family Weekend. I hope your weekend in Winona is filled with quality family time, good laughs and a hint of Warrior adventure!


Updated by Hailey Seipel (09/16/2019)