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. Hodo rooftop views

You can find some of the best views in Fargo-Moorhead from the rooftop of the Hotel Donaldsonthe Sky Prairie Lounge. In the heart of Downtown Fargo, you’ll feel like you’re in the middle of it all, yet it’s peaceful and relaxing.

Grab a drink, enjoy the views, and listen to the rustle of the prairie grass. It’s also a pretty great place to watch the sunset.

101 Broadway N, Fargo | (701) 478-1000

 

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 just behind the Pickled Parrot. Head over to get your own jumping picture in front of this cool spot.

Alley behind Pickled Parrot, 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 location | 630 1st Ave N, Fargo | (701) 478-2437
West Fargo location | 3179 Bluestem Dr, West Fargo | (701) 532-0484

 

9. Stargazing at Junkyard

Stargazing at Junkyard Brewing is the real deal, with large telescopes brought in by a local astronomy lover. It’s kind of like the space camp you went to as a kid… except there’s beer. The telescopes are set up on the patio at Junkyard and usually focused on something fascinating happening overhead on a clear night.

There’s no set schedule for when they have them set up, but they usually post an update on Facebook or Instagram when there will be an opportunity for stargazing at the brewery!

1416 1st Ave N, Moorhead | (701) 936-5545

 

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. Streets Alive

Playing in the streets is generally discouraged, but Streets Alive provides an opportunity to safely play in the streets. During the event celebrating outdoor physical activity, several streets in Downtown Fargo & Moorhead are closed to motorized vehicles so you can bike, skateboard, walk, run, etc. in the street.

In addition, there are many other games and activities to participate in as well as food vendors to fuel your body!

Downtown Fargo | (701) 280-1202

 

12. Fargo Pinball

At Fargo Pinball, you can play pinball for hours on end and no one will judge you, and they have an awesome selection of machines. Fargo Pinball is membership-based, but visitors passes are available at the Fargo-Moorhead Visitors Center for $10 which allows access for a 24-hour period.

Fargo Pinball | 1133 Harwood Dr S, Fargo | (701) 566-0026
Day Passes at FM Visitors Center | 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 10am-2pm 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.

 

14. Suppers at Red Trail Vineyard

Homemade dinners made by local winos, who could turn that down?! Red Trail Vineyard located in nearby Buffalo, North Dakota (half an hour west of Fargo) has NDSU-grown steak nights, lobster boils, and grill outs at the winery throughout the summer.

Reservations are required, so call ahead! For a full list of the suppers, check out our events calendar.

3510 142nd Ave SE, Buffalo, ND | (701) 238-3337

 

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

 

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.