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TotallyNDFW: Your Guide to North Dakota Fun

You betcha, friend! If you’re looking for some good old fashioned North Dakota fun, you’ve come to the right place. We here at TotallyNDFW know this state like the back of our hands – from the Badlands to the Theodore Roosevelt National Park, we’ve got the inside scoop on the best things to do, see, eat, and experience. Sure, North Dakota might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think “vacation hotspot,” but trust us, there’s way more to this state than meets the eye. In this guide, we’ll give you the lowdown on the hidden gems and must-see attractions that make North Dakota an underrated destination. From outdoor adventures to cultural sites to quirky roadside oddities, we’ve got you covered. So get ready for the inside track on planning an epic North Dakota getaway!

An Introduction to TotallyNDFW

North Dakota is filled with exciting things to do, you just have to know where to look. That’s where TotallyNDFW comes in. We’re your guide to discovering the hidden gems and little-known attractions that make North Dakota so fun.

Outdoors and Adventure

If you love the great outdoors, North Dakota is paradise. Go hiking in the Badlands, kayaking on Lake Sakakawea, or bird watching in one of our many wildlife refuges. The Maah Daah Hey Trail offers 144 miles of biking and horseback riding through the vibrant Badlands. Want to feel like a real cowboy? Go horseback riding at a dude ranch and experience life in the Wild West.

Arts and Culture

North Dakota has a thriving arts scene. Catch a show at the historic Fargo Theater or check out the Bonanza Creek Geological Area to see dinosaur fossils up close. The North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame and Bonanza Creek Geological Area in Dickinson are great for learning about the state’s Western heritage. If you’re in Bismarck, visit the North Dakota Heritage Center and State Museum to discover artifacts from the area’s Native tribes, fur trappers, and pioneers.

Food and Drink

North Dakota grows some of the finest ingredients, so it’s no wonder our food scene is amazing. Try a knoephla soup, fleischkuechle, or kuchen for a taste of traditional German-Russian fare. Wash it all down with a cold glass of mead, craft beer or wine from one of our state’s wineries or breweries. If you have a sweet tooth, indulge in homemade fudge, toffee or caramels from shops like Carolina Candy Company or Sanders Candy. TotallyNDFW gives you the inside scoop on all the best eats in North Dakota. Dig in!

Top Things to Do in North Dakota for Fun

North Dakota may be sparsely populated, but there’s no shortage of entertainment. Here are some of the top things to do for fun in the Peace Garden State:

Experience nature

One of the biggest draws to North Dakota is the stunning natural scenery. Head to Theodore Roosevelt National Park to see the badlands, with colorful rock formations, canyons and wild horses. Or check out Lake Sakakawea, the state’s largest lake, for swimming, boating, fishing and more. The Turtle Mountains and Killdeer Mountains also offer scenic trails for hiking and biking.

Learn some history

North Dakota has a rich history. Visit Bonanza Creek Geographic Area to see where paleontologists unearthed Dakota, the mummified dinosaur. Or tour former President Theodore Roosevelt’s Maltese Cross Cabin, his first home in North Dakota. The North Dakota Heritage Center and State Museum in Bismarck showcases the area’s history, culture, geology and wildlife.

Catch an event

Take in the colorful spectacle of the Medora Musical, an outdoor musical revue in a stunning mountain setting. Or attend the North Dakota State Fair, which features livestock shows, a carnival, food, shopping and big-name concerts. And don’t miss the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame induction ceremony, where real-life cowboys and cowgirls are honored.

Sample the cuisine

If you love comfort food, you’ve come to the right place. Some North Dakota specialties to try include knoephla soup, a thick beef and dumpling soup; lefse, a soft potato flatbread; and kuchen, a sweet custard pastry. Wash it all down with a locally brewed craft beer from Laughing Sun Brewing Company or Fargo Brewing Company. Your taste buds will thank you!

With stunning vistas, history around every corner and down-home hospitality, North Dakota offers an authentic escape from the everyday. Come experience the magic of the plains—there’s nothing quite like the Peace Garden State.

The Best Local Events and Festivals in North Dakota

North Dakota has some fantastic festivals and events throughout the year that showcase the state’s heritage, culture, and natural beauty. Here are a few of the best ones worth checking out:

ND State Fair

For over 100 years, the North Dakota State Fair has been a summer highlight. Held annually in Minot, it features everything from livestock shows and rodeos to live music concerts and carnival rides. You’ll find all your classic fair fare like corn dogs and funnel cakes, along with local crafts, art, and produce. The State Fair is a perfect family-friendly event and glimpse into rural life in North Dakota.

Fargo Film Festival

Movie buffs will love the Fargo Film Festival, one of the premier film festivals of the Midwest. It showcases independent feature films, documentaries and short films from around the world. You’ll have the chance to view innovative films that push creative boundaries before their mainstream release. The festival also hosts filmmaker Q&As, panel discussions and workshops. Whether you’re an aspiring filmmaker or just enjoy watching indie flicks, the Fargo Film Festival is a cinematic treat.

Pride of Dakota Harvest Showcase

At the Pride of Dakota Harvest Showcase, you can shop from over 200 local vendors selling homemade and homegrown goods. From fresh produce and artisanal foods to handcrafted gifts and clothing, you’ll find the best of North Dakota under one roof. It’s a great opportunity to support small businesses across the state while stocking up on unique, high-quality products. The Harvest Showcase is held annually in Minot, Bismarck, Grand Forks and Fargo.

With its abundance of outdoor recreation and strong agricultural roots, North Dakota has some of the most authentic festivals and events in the Midwest. From rodeos and state fairs to film and harvest festivals, there’s always something exciting happening, no matter the season.

Family-Friendly Attractions Across North Dakota

North Dakota offers plenty of kid-friendly destinations for families to enjoy. Whether you prefer educational experiences, outdoor adventures or just good old-fashioned fun, there’s something for every age group.

Bonanza Creek Geological Area

Let your little explorers discover dinosaurs at Bonanza Creek Geological Area. This dig site, located near Dickinson, allows families to hunt for real fossils and learn about paleontology. Kids can dig for fossils to take home, including leaves, fish scales, and shells. The on-site museum teaches visitors about the prehistoric world. Entry to the park and museum are free.

North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame

The North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame in Medora celebrates the state’s ranching heritage. Kids will love the interactive exhibits, rodeo gear, and learning about real cowboys. Medora also hosts an outdoor musical production, the Medora Musical, and has nature trails, golfing, and more.

North Dakota State Fair

For good old-fashioned fun, head to the North Dakota State Fair in Minot. Ride carnival rides, see farm animals, catch a concert or monster truck rally, and eat classic fair food like corn dogs, funnel cakes and lemonade. The fair, held annually in late July, offers free admission and parking, making it an affordable family getaway.

Bonanza Creek Geological Area

Theodore Roosevelt National Park is a perfect place for outdoor family adventures. Go hiking, biking, camping, kayaking or horseback riding while spotting bison, prairie dogs, and over 200 species of birds. The park’s two units, north and south, showcase the state’s badlands scenery, with colorful cliffs, canyons and grasslands. Kids will learn about conservation and the 26th U.S. president the park is named for.

With natural beauty, Old West charm, and plenty of kid-approved activities around every bend, North Dakota has something to spark the imagination of every child. Have an adventure your family will never forget.

Frequently Asked Questions About Fun Things to Do in North Dakota

If you’ve never been to North Dakota, you probably have some questions about what there is to do for fun in the state. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about enjoying yourself in North Dakota.

What are the top attractions to visit?

Some of the most popular places to visit are Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Bonanza Creek Geological Area, North Dakota State Capitol, Fargo Air Museum, and North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame. Whether you’re interested in history, nature, culture or adventure, North Dakota has something for you.

Are there any major events or festivals to experience?

Absolutely! North Dakota hosts many festivals and events year-round. Some of the biggest are the North Dakota State Fair, Fargo Film Festival, Fargo Blues Festival, Fargo Marathon, and Ralph Engelstad Arena’s annual U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game.

What outdoor recreational activities are available?

Outdoor lovers will find plenty to do in North Dakota. It’s a great place for camping, hiking, biking, bird watching, stargazing, and more. You can go boating, swimming or fishing at one of the many lakes. And of course, North Dakota’s Badlands offer scenic beauty. In the winter, popular activities include snowshoeing, cross country skiing, snowmobiling, and ice fishing.

What kind of food can I find in North Dakota?

North Dakota has a variety of traditional Midwestern fare like kuchen, knoephla soup, fleischkuechle, and lefse. You’ll also find juicy burgers, fresh farm-to-table cuisine, craft beer, and locally-roasted coffee. Some foods reflect North Dakota’s Scandinavian and German heritage. And of course, you can’t go wrong with a hearty breakfast at any local diner.

North Dakota has a lot more to offer than you might expect. Whether you want to experience nature, culture, food or adventure, the Peace Garden State delivers. Come find out what makes North Dakota a fun and memorable place to visit!


So there you have it, folks – a quick tour through some of the most fun things to do in North Dakota. From the rugged Badlands to the laidback Fargo vibes, this state has plenty to offer for every type of traveler. The outdoor adventures will thrill nature lovers, the tasty eats satisfy foodies, and the unique attractions give road trippers something to write home about. Whether you’re road tripping through or settling in for good, get ready for good times ahead in North Dakota. Trust us, you’ll never run out of ways to have a blast in the Peace Garden State. Just don’t forget your camera – there are too many Instagram-worthy moments to miss!

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