18 ‘North of Normal’ things to check out in Fargo-Moorhead

Fargo’s tagline is “North of Normal.” The phrase is about an attitude and a way of doing things that’s different and unexpected, so we thought it would be fun to highlight a few places in the area that you might not find in any other destination – North of Normal places, if you will.

1. Colored pencil fence at the zoo

This colorful piece of functional art at the Red River Zoo has a way of brightening your mood. The fence, consisting of over 1,000 large colored pencils, is in the Nature Playground area of the zoo. If you visit the zoo, grab your next Instagram against this backdrop.

While we think the fence itself is almost worth a trip to the zoo, it’s also fun to meet all the cold-weather, adorable animals while you’re there!

4255 23rd Ave S, Fargo | (701) 277-9240

2. Painted Bison (herd about the prairie)

The Fargo area doesn’t have any herds of live buffalo roaming around (head to Jamestown’s National Buffalo Museum to see that), but we have something almost as cool – a herd of painted bison scattered throughout the metro.

These creatures are every bit as majestic and awe-inspiring as the real deal. Painted by local artists, each bison has a unique look. Finding these bison around town makes for a pretty fun scavenger hunt! If you want to try it out, check this map to find each of the beautiful statues.

3. Crazy Tree

Named for its wild branches and interesting shape, the “Crazy Tree” in Moorhead is definitely a bit eccentric, and that’s probably why people are so fond of it. The tree is located on the Concordia College campus.

Mention the legendary tree to a Fargo-Moorhead resident or anyone who went to Concordia and they’ll likely take a trip down memory lane telling you about the family photos they took by (or in) the tree, how they proposed to their significant other beside its branches, and more!

The corner of 11th St & 12th Ave S, Moorhead

4. Drunken Noodle rooftop views

Relax on the rooftop while enjoying some fantastic Asian dishes like ramen or Pad Thai right in the heart of Downtown Fargo. Enjoy the bustle of downtown from this giant patio on the second floor of the restaurant.

414 Broadway N, Fargo | (701) 232-3380

5. Fargo Mario Wall

This recent addition to Fargo’s street art is completely unique to the city.

Two local artists – Dark Elvis and Icky Hiccup – channeled their inner Mario and Luigi to create this interactive (and hugely popular) #FargoMarioWall in the alley behind The Toasted Frog. Head over to get your own jumping picture in front of this cool spot.

For a list of all of Fargo’s sweet murals, check out this post.

Alley behind The Toasted Frog, Downtown Fargo

6. Sticksgarden

You might be wondering what on earth a “sticks garden” is – and that’s exactly why it made the list. Located in Moorhead, the Sticksgarden is home to a variety of sticks designed by talented local artists. It’s unconventional art in an unexpected place.

Between M&H and Ace Hardware on Main Ave at 6th St, Moorhead

7. Pie Day at Son’s of Norway

Pie Day at our local Son’s of Norway is a truly authentic experience. It’s a bit like going to grandma’s house. All of the pie is homemade and don’t be surprised if you hear “oh honey here, take this piece… it’s the biggest.”

Every Thursday is Pie Day and pie is served during lunch (11 am-1:30 pm). Try to get there early because the pie goes fast!

722 2nd Ave N, Fargo | (701) 232-9222

8. Rattlesnake rabbit bratwurst at the Wurst

Rattlesnake and rabbit bratwurst may not sound like the most delicious thing you’ll eat this week, but it’s one of those things you almost have to try when you’re dining at Wurst Bier Hall.

Go ahead and order it, and add some Bavarian pretzels or sauerkraut on the side… and you might as well get some sweet potato fries with marshmallow fluff, too.

Downtown Fargo | 630 1st Ave N, Fargo | (701) 478-2437
West Fargo | 3179 Bluestem Dr, West Fargo | (701) 532-0484

9. Hammock Hangs & Rock Climbs

Spend your Monday evenings with Nature of the North and swing on your favorite hammock. Enjoy some me-time and take a nap, read a book, or just think about how great the Fargo weather is this time of year from the safety of your hammock. 

Nature of the North also just opened the area’s very own indoor rock climbing wall. Grab a punch pass and head over for some rock climbing fun!

W.H. Davy Park | 210 8th St N, Moorhead | (701) 936-5545
Nature of the North | 814 Center Ave, Moorhead | (218) 227-9795

10. Viking craft beer heaven – Brewhalla

The Viking-themed brewery, Drekker Brewing Company, expanded into a new location just outside of Downtown Fargo in 2018. This place is awesome and has been dubbed as one of the coolest buildings in Fargo after it took over an untouched, vacant Northern Pacific Railroad shop.

1666 1st Ave N, Fargo | (701) 532-0506

11. Comedy in the Cellar

In the basement of Front Street Taproom, you’ll find the cellar which brings in professional and amateur comedians as well as hosts many open-mic nights for everyone else that has a funny bone.

614 Main Ave, Fargo | (701) 566-7226

12. Fargo Woodchipper

Although the cult classic movie with Fargo’s namesake was not actually filmed in Fargo, the Visitors Center has one of the most iconic props as a photo-op. Stop by to take a free picture with The Fargo Woodchipper.

2001 44th St S, Fargo | (701) 282-3653

13. Red River Market

A trip to the Red River Market is a wonderful way to spend a couple of hours on a Saturday. At the market in Downtown Fargo, you’ll find local produce, jams, crafts from local makers, ready-to-eat food vendors, and much more!

The market happens Saturdays 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. during the months of July-October. If you need a little more convincing, read this blog post with five reasons to visit the Red River Market.

63 5th St N, Fargo | (701) 491-8892

14. Take a winery tour

Surprisingly enough, you can find 6 wineries within an hour and a half drive from Fargo. Within city limits, you’ll find Bear Creek Winery, head a bit more South and you’ll run into Dakota Vines Winery. Then, to the West there is 4e Winery, Maple River Winery, and Red Trail Vineyard with Rookery Rock nearby as well.

Each of these local owners would be happy to show you around and provide a selection of delicious wines to try and buy. Plus, you can grab a Red River Wine Trek passport – if you visit them all, you can get a free t-shirt!

15. Pay-what-you-want drip coffee at Twenty Below

Craving a good cup of coffee, but don’t think it’s in the budget at the moment? Twenty Below Coffee has you covered with their pay-what-you-want coffee. That means exactly what it says – whether you have a couple of bucks or a couple of pennies, the delicious local coffee is available for you.

14 Roberts St N, Fargo | (701) 566-0977
600 8th St S, Moorhead | (701) 566-0977

16. Christkindlmarkt

This event (happening at the beginning of the holiday season) is a German-themed Christmas market. Four days of festive cheer includes mulled wine, live music, art demonstrations, holiday treats, a Gift Market, and a Beer Hall.

17. Moorhead Dairy Queen

The Moorhead Dairy Queen is different. They pioneered the Dilly Bar which is reason enough for them to be an object of affection in the hearts of many. AND you can take your photo in front of the 16-foot-tall Dilly Bar statue out front!

24 8th St S, Moorhead | (218) 233-3221

18. Indoor Ferris wheel

Yes, there’s a store in Fargo with a Ferris wheel inside. Scheels, the area’s largest sporting goods store, is an attraction in itself.

Besides being home to North Dakota’s largest selection of sports, sportswear, and footwear under one roof, the store is also home to a 45-foot 1953 park-style Ferris wheel. For just $1, you can take a spin on the big wheel and see the store from a new perspective!

1551 45th St S, Fargo | (701) 298-2918

To see all things to do (including many more North of Normal stuff), look at the full list of things to do & our events calendar.