Discover Cottage Grove’s Top 11 of 2022

Discover Cottage Grove's Top 11 of 2022

We’re taking a look back at 2022 and recapping our favorite and most memorable things from the year. We couldn’t choose just ten, so here are 11 of our top highlights from 2022.

 1. The Opening of Dodge Nature Center’s Shepard Farm

While Dodge Nature Center has owned this property for some time, the official opening to the public happened this past April.

This one makes our number one spot this year for a few reasons. Shepard Farm has trails to hike 365 days a year sunrise to sunset, garden plots, animals to visit, events, such as their Halloween Extravaganza (see #8 on our list), and exciting plans for the future! They make our number one because they are invested in the community, have a variety of fun and unique offerings and are here for the long haul.  


2. ‘Berry Nice to See You Again!’ The Strawberry Fest Returns! 

By far the largest and longest event in Cottage Grove, the Strawberry Fest was back in full force in 2022 with impeccable weather, tasty food vendors, unique hand-crafted finds and round after round of games and contests and so. much. more.

With literally something for every age, this was by far our highlight of the summer. 
Save the date!
The Strawberry Fest is back June 15-18, 2023!

3. The Return of the Holiday Train

Each December crowds gather to watch the festive Canadian Pacific (CP) Holiday Train roll through Cottage Grove. This year, the train returned to Cottage Grove for the 20th Anniversary of the Cottage Grove stop, on the evening of Monday, Dec. 12, 2022.
Although a bit late… (what’s that they say about trains keeping time?) the brightly lit train arrived with a trainload of fun and entertainment with performances by Alan Doyle and Kelly Prescott from the train stage. 
The cheery glow, the warmth of the comfort food provided by the food trucks in our bellies, and the overall goodwill by all in attendance were enough for us to make this an annual tradition in our own family holiday calendars! 

4. Cottage Grove Community Night at the Saint Paul Saints Game

Come one, come all to the all-American pastime — baseball!
Discover Cottage Grove, along with the St. Paul Saints, proudly hosted Cottage Grove Community Night on Saturday, June 11 at CHS Field.
A night filled with community pride and an opportunity to entice baseball fans to come Discover Cottage Grove!

Save the date! Cottage Grove Community Night is coming back June 10, 2023!

5. ParkRun now in Cottage Grove! 

Every Saturday Hamlet Park parkrun offers a free, weekly, timed 5k run/jog/walk. This opportunity is open to all ages and all abilities and each week they have a “tail walker”, so no one will ever be last! 100% organized by volunteers, we couldn’t be happier to have this come to Cottage Grove this year!

Learn more:

6. Discover Cottage Grove Medallion Hunt

Discover Cottage Grove was proud to host it’s first Medallion Hunt through the Cottage Grove Strawberry Fest! 

Cottage Grove native Brad TeGantvoort and fiancé Jana Armstead found the Strawberry Fest medallion at Hamlet Park.

Not only did staff have a fun time with this one, but the stories we heard of residents and visitors spending time in our parks looking for the medallion–and have a blast–gave us all the feels. We certainly hope we have the opportunity again in 2023 to host such a fun search!

7. Food Truck Thursday’s at City Hall

Knowing everyone loves a good food truck, the City of Cottage Grove had several throughout the course of the summer in their first offering of Food Truck Thursday’s held June to September located at City Hall. 

Save the date!
The city has confirmed Food Truck Thursday’s will be back beginning June 8, 2023!

8. Shepard Farm’s Halloween Extravaganza

While Dodge Nature Center has hosted this event in the past, this year for the first time, they brought it to their Cottage Grove location; Shepard Farm. 

With live music and dancing, axe throwing, apple slinging, trick-or-treating through the woods, games, hayrides, food and more, this is one family friendly event we’ve deemed as an official can’t-miss during the Halloween season! 

9. Movies in the Park

Thanks to community organizer Monique Garza, pictured left, this summer Cottage Grove welcomed Movies in the Park to Highland Park. Available one night in June, July and August these nights quickly became a community favorite. Think you don’t need to make the trip for these? Think again! Movies in the Park hosted food trucks, vendors, games and more for families to enjoy before the screening even began. 

Save the date! Monique confirmed with us Movies in the Park is back for 2023! 

10. Hometown Holiday Celebration

Cottage Grove is known for its cozy, small-town feel while being only minutes from downtown St. Paul. While the city typically hosts a holiday tree lighting, this year, they hosted their first Hometown Holiday Celebration. The Hometown Holiday Celebration was a night of festive cheer with Santa, Mrs. Claus, their (live!) reindeer helpers, food trucks, kid’s activities, bonfires, hayrides, holiday music and more!

11. Snowshoe Rentals

Thanks to the City of Cottage Grove’s parks and recreation department, residents and visitors can now check-out snowshoes through the self-service equipment rental available at Oakwood Park. Snowshoe rentals are $15 for two hours which includes two sets of snowshoes in adult sizes. What are your plans to get out and discover?

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