Daily Experience

Here’s what you can see, do, and experience during regular hours at the historic fort.

Bdote, the junction of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers.

Orientation film

All day

Watch the short film “Where the Waters Meet: Historic Fort Snelling at Bdote” for an introduction to the history of this area as Dakota homeland and as the site of the historic fort built above the confluence of the rivers.

An exhibit space featuring historical objects and photos at Fort Snelling.


All day

See free exhibits in the visitor center that will enhance your perspective about this site’s history, and why it is still relevant today.

A gravel path at Fort Snelling, surrounded by tall grass and blue sky.

Self-guided tours

All day

Explore the many buildings of the historic fort, inside and out, at your own pace.

A group of visitors gathers around a tour guide on the grounds of Fort Snelling.

Theme tours

  • Bdote/Landscape (40–50 minutes) — Learn about the importance of the site’s location in the Dakota worldview, culture, and communities.
  • US–Dakota War of 1862 (40–50 minutes) — Explore the role played by Fort Snelling in the US-Dakota War and its aftermath, and see locations that connect to the conflict.
A family listens as a Fort Snelling staff person talks about historic objects displayed on a table.

Activity stations

All day

Explore themes and topics in-depth at interpretive stations located throughout the historic site. Interpreters will engage you in activities and conversations about Dakota homeland, immigration, soldiers, race, healing, and more — helping you draw connections between past and present.

A young child approaches a costumed guide portraying a soldier stationed at Fort Snelling.


Watch scheduled and ongoing demonstrations by costumed and non-costumed interpreters. Some of the demos invite you to try out activities for yourself!

  • All day:
    Hearth cooking and rotating demos on historic trades: blacksmithing, woodworking, wood-turning, bread-baking, and leather-working.
  • At specific times (see schedule posted in the visitor center):
    Military tactics (musket/cannon), women’s history, the Dakota game of Lacrosse, baseball/Rounders, civil rights and the Scotts, the Military Intelligence Service Language School, children’s games, medical history, and laundry technology.