Ely is a perfect family destination! Here, you'll find countless ways to enjoy the great outdoors (and indoors!) with your kids, from tots to teens. Teaching your children to appreciate the majesty of the wilderness is one of the greatest gifts you can give them. They'll learn the skills, sense of accomplishment, and fun involved in pitching a tent by the lake and dropping a line into the water after a day of canoeing. Tell them tall tales around the campfire as the sky fills with millions of stars, no social media required. Day hikes along the trails will teach them just how quiet and beautiful a day in the woods can be. Dashing through the snow on the back of a dog sled will be one of the best afternoons of your child's life, guaranteed.
The great indoors has plenty to offer here, too. The North American Bear Center and International Wolf Center offer expertly curated children’s exhibits to introduce them to Ely’s wildlife. They can get up close and personal (at a safe distance, of course) with the magnificent bears and wolves at these world-class centers. Passionate wildlife experts will teach your children why these animals are such magnificent residents of our forestland.
Afterwards, your kids can get their root beer on at the Dorothy Molter Museum. Famously known as the Root Beer Lady, Dorothy was a legendary resident of Minnesota’s famed Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. She lived alone on Knife Lake for 56 years, 15 miles from the nearest road. Dorothy’s Isle of Pines Root Beer quenched canoers' thirst for decades and is still served ice cold at her reassembled Isle of Pines log cabin on the edge of town.
Downtown Ely is bustling with shopping and restaurants. If you’re strolling downtown as a family, don’t miss Legacy Toys and Ely’s Old-Fashioned Candy. Ely's beautiful new library can offer you wireless internet access, reading material for both children and adults, preschool story time and much more. Rainy day? No problem. The Historic State Theater welcomes all ages to enjoy a movie in its new state-of-the-art theater downtown.
Whatever you choose to do with your family, your Ely trip will be an adventure that will stay with your kids for a lifetime.