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“Very Cool Place” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Franconia Sculpture Park

Franconia Sculpture Park
29815 Unity Ave., Shafer, MN 55074
651-465-3701
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Ranked #1 of 2 Attractions in Shafer
Type: Parks, Outdoors
Attraction details
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Top Contributor
683 reviews 683 reviews
52 attraction reviews
Reviews in 172 cities Reviews in 172 cities
833 helpful votes 833 helpful votes
“Very Cool Place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2013

Beautiful weekend to take a drive from the Twin Cities to the St. Croix River valley. We've driven past here a few times and always wondered what it was all about. It's a very large number of huge sculptures that are on a large piece of farmland that you can walk thru and view them. It's fun for all ages. Took us about 90 minutes to view everything at a fairly quick pace. Some of it was weird, some interesting, some ugly, but all really cool. It's free, they'd like a donation, but it's really a worthwhile outing. Art in the outdoors is wonderful.

Visited September 2013
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34 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Entertaining and free way to spend time”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2013

This is a huge piece of property with a LOT of very large, very unusual sculptures made from bits and scraps presumably found in local junkyards and trash heaps. I liked that the sculptures were interactive and they had well placed benches if you wanted to rest or just sit and contemplate for awhile. It's quite abstract, so I'll admit I didn't understand or relate to many of the pieces, but I loved it nevertheless.

Visited September 2013
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Navarre, Florida
Top Contributor
226 reviews 226 reviews
93 attraction reviews
Reviews in 83 cities Reviews in 83 cities
118 helpful votes 118 helpful votes
“Unusual and fascinating”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2013

Really unusual bit of Americana on Highway 8 just east of Shafer, MN. Lots of interesting sculptures. Kids love it.

Visited August 2013
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St. Cloud, MN
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
27 attraction reviews
Reviews in 62 cities Reviews in 62 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
“Can't believe I haven't been here sooner!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2013

We lived in Forest Lake for 7 years and I never knew about this place until I checked out a book from the library! What a treat to find this place so close to home. So easy to find right off Hwy. 8 & 95. So many unique sculptures in all shapes, forms and sizes. There's even 2 playground type areas for the kids. Comfy swings, climbers, you name it!
Best of all it's free!
We walked around for about an hour and that was a nice amount of time. They have treats available at their info booth with the honor system in place and they have donation boxes if you'd like to support them.
There was a new sculpture that had just gone up, and it actually blew over in the wind that day. Workers were very quick to respond. I feel bad for the artist and all the work that was put into it.
There's bathrooms on site, which are very clean, and of course, they're decorated with art!
Such a cool place to go, they say it's constantly changing so we can't wait to go back next year and check out the differences. :)
Definitely a must see and worth the trip!

Visited June 2013
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St. Paul
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Great place, fun for everybody, interesting art, amazing experience for free”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2013

There is something wrong with you if you don't find something that interests you here. All ages will be intrigued and will enjoy the experience. You can explore the sculptures at your own pace and they are interactive so the children can climb on them and explore. There are real artists that live there and create these sculptures so you can really feel the vibe of the creative environment. Every time I visit there seems to be at least a few new or different sculptures so it always feels new when you return. No admission charge, it is a tax exempt organization so you can donate and deduct it. In the summertime, they have concerts and bonfires on Saturday nights. They also have a children's weekend during the summer. This is one of the best kept secrets in Minnesota. Highly recommended that you spend an afternoon there and check it out. My family makes it a point to at least visit every summer. Nice state parks nearby, also.

Visited August 2012
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