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Willmar Lakes Area CVB LogoWhether you prefer to be lakeside for a fishing or swimming adventure, boutique-shopping, hiking, camping, or biking, the Willmar Lakes Area is a place where you can experience all of your vacation dreams. Visit the Willmar Lakes Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau website to view a complete list of all that the Willmar Lakes Area has to offer. See the Top 10 Instagram Spots in the Willmar Lakes area.

Destination PlaygroundDestination Playground – Willmar, MN

The Willmar Lakes Area is home to almost 100 playground facilities which makes it the perfect, family-friendly vacation destination.  The most recent addition is Willmar’s Destination Playground. Built in the spring of 2017, it’s one of the largest, fully-accessible playgrounds in the country! This amazing $1 million facility was completely funded by private donations, and was built from the ground-up in only nine days by a huge team of local volunteers. We are proud of our community members and their involvement, as this is a true labor of love. Special thanks to all the dedicated volunteers who worked together in the wind and rain to make this playground happen. It truly is a gem and is fun for all ages!

Located in Robbins Island Park, learn more about this NEW amenity and come play with us!

Goat Ridge Brewing CompanyGoat Ridge Brewing Company – New London, MN

Goat Ridge Brewing Company sits in the heart of beautiful New London, Minnesota.  Inside you will find nine unfiltered craft beers on tap, as well as cold-press coffee and house-made sodas. We have plenty of space for you at the bar where you can rub elbows with the friends and characters that define the spirit of GRB. Grab a board game and pull up a chair – our taproom seats 35 and offers beautiful views of the dam and the Crow River.

Little Crow Ski TeamLittle Crow Ski Team – New London, MN

Starting in 1979 with an original membership of 15 members, the Little Crow Water Ski Team has grown to over 70 skiers dedicated to the sport of competitive water skiing.  Now a nationally renowned competitor in the sport of Show Skiing, Little Crow still entertains crowds with performances every Friday evening throughout the summer held at Neer Park in New London, MN.

Learn more about the Little Crow Ski Team and come back this summer to see a show!

MinnWestMinnWest Technology Campus – Willmar, MN

Built on the site of the former State Hospital, MinnWest Technology Campus offers access to unsurpassed research and development, education, networking opportunities, a modern telecommunications infrastructure, central location, and low business start-up costs.  Our purpose is to create a place where innovation and collaboration meet to help businesses break new ground, set new standards and reach new heights of personal and professional success.

Mr. BsMr. B’s Chocolates – Willmar MN

Born and raised in rural Minnesota, the late Dwight Barnes was the original “Mr. B.”

Dwight was a photographer by trade and opened his first photography studio in 1953.  It was during his 55 years as a professional photographer that Dwight’s love for chocolate launched him into a second career as a Chocolatier.

The word quickly spread and soon Dwight was making chocolates for local and statewide special events and businesses. Once people tasted Dwight’s chocolates, they were hooked and asked for more.  This led Dwight into the chocolate business and he opened Mr. B’s in Willmar, Minnesota in 1987.

Visit Mr. B’s located on the MinnWest Technology campus for a chocolate experience you won’t soon forget!

SibleySibley State Park – New London, MN

There is something for everyone at this popular west-central Minnesota State Park. Hike to Mount Tom, one of several high points in a 50-mile radius, and see a patchwork of forest, farmland, prairie knolls, and lakes. Summer visitors enjoy swimming, boating, and fishing on Lake Andrew. A canoe route invites adventurers to portage and canoe on Henschien Lake and Swan Lake. The park offers campgrounds, a modern group center, horseback camps, picnic area, and interpretive programs year-around.
Visit Sibley State Park to learn more about the activities, trails, and facilities available in the Willmar Lakes Area!

Simply Shrimp – Blomkest, MN

Shrimp farming in Minnesota?  We can do it!  Welcome to Simply Shrimp, which is located 8 miles south of Willmar.

Pacific White Shrimp are grown indoors in above ground pools, where they live out their lives in an environment that attempts to mimic the ocean.  The shrimp are sold right from the pool – guaranteeing a truly rare and fresh product for our customers.

Simply Fresh – Simply Delicious – Simply Shrimp

Spicer CastleSpicer Castle Bed and Breakfast Inn – Spicer, MN

Located on the picturesque shores of Green Lake, the Spicer Castle is a place you can enjoy a Murder Mystery Dinner interrupted by fits of laughter or a quiet escape away from it all at this historic, stately inn operated by the family who built it a century ago. Food to delight the palate, great beds, whirlpools, fireplaces and other amenities to soothe the soul. Murder Mystery Dinner Packages offer a fun and memorable experience, and a great way to meet the other guests.

Experience this 5-acre lakefront country escape where nature, history and relaxation come together.

StingersWillmar Stingers Baseball – Willmar, MN

Grab your cap and take me out to the ball game! The Willmar Stingers baseball team is a member of the ever-growing Northwoods League. The Stingers play their home games on Baker Field at Bill Taunton Stadium in Willmar, MN. Enjoy great stadium food and drinks while watching some exciting Northwoods League Baseball.

Fishing with Barry!

Six lucky kids from the Willmar elementary schools have been chosen to go “Fishing with Barry” during the Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener. Barry is the official mascot of the Willmar Stingers baseball team. He and the kids will participate in the Fishing Send Off Ceremony on Saturday morning,  then they’ll board one of the Let’s Go Fishing pontoons and try their luck during the Governor’s Fishing Challenge. These kids were chosen by their teachers and resource guides because of their hard work and great attitudes. They look forward to sharing their experiences and meeting members of the media!

WORKUP – Willmar, MN

A place where individuals, teams and companies go to think differently and get work done in a whole new way. Here you’ll find a community of problem solvers, professionals, entrepreneurs and creatives who share more than just a cool, unique space. They also share resources, ideas, support, feedback and a vision to accomplish great things, one workday at a time.

Learn more about our coworking community at workup.cc or stop by anytime for a cup of coffee and a tour!

Humans of Willmar

At the end of the day, it’s us…  the people of Willmar… who make it great. We are diverse, resilient, resourceful, and proud. Learn more about us and what makes us tick.

More story ideas

Here’s one thing you’ll quickly learn about the Willmar Lakes Area… we love it here! Our residents take pride in recognizing opportunities and working together to make things happen. Here are just a few more examples of what makes visitors stop and take notice:

Dickerson’s Lake Florida Resort – A 4-generation, family-owned resort… one of the last in the area.

Frieda’s Cafe – The oldest breakfast/lunch cafe in Willmar, known for its home-cooked meals, noon specials, easy atmosphere, and great conversation.

Green Lake Bible Camp – Generations of children and families have attended this historic church camp, located on the shores of Green Lake in Spicer.

Greenwater Garage + Gallery – The transformation of a 1930s-era, chalet-style gas station into an art studio, exhibit space, meeting area, and artists’ collaborative. Located on the Mill Pond, Main Street, New London.

Freedom Ridge in Atwater – The making of a popular Jeep climbing park in a tiny, rural community.

Meadow Star Dairy — Imagine 8,800 cows being milked twice a day on a giant, 106-stall merry-go-round. That’s Meadow Star Dairy. From the small town of Pennock, Minnesota, this successful dairy operation fills a tanker of milk every three hours, for a total of half a million pounds of milk a day.

Schwanke’s Tractor Museum — If you love antique tractors, cars, and trucks, you can’t miss a side trip to this one-of-a-kind museum. A 60+ year collection of tractors, cars, trucks, gas engines, gas pumps, signs and more! There are over 400 units on display! This seasonal museum will re-open May 9, 2018.

Community Murals in New London — Remember the “grid method” of learning to draw? In New London, the whole community comes together and uses this method to draw murals on the side of a building!

Big Perch at Big Kandiyohi Lake — A project is now underway on Big Kandiyohi Lake that aims to take advantage of the lake’s natural ability to grow big perch. The goal is to help improve the fishing for everyone on the lake.

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