New Prague, a small town with a robust Czech Heritage, is transforming and proud to share its love of polka music, kolacky and even roundabouts. New Prague’s motto is “Tradition of Progress,” and that’s a motto it takes very seriously. Looking back on the New Prague of just five years ago, you can see that progress is visible all around. Today, it is seen in the massive Main Street reconstruction project fully underway. Despite the construction – that posted detours can help you easily avoid – New Prague is a destination worth exploring.
Those looking for safe, outdoor activities need not look any further. The city boasts a paved trail system that will eventually encircle the entire town. There are 11 parks in New Prague, each offering unique recreational activities, including playgrounds, baseball fields, a frisbee golf course, basketball hoops and even a zipline. There are three public golf courses in and around New Prague, and Cedar Lake Farms, part of the Three Rivers Park system, sits just outside town. Visitors can experience Friday Night Flowers at Blue Sky Flower Farm or Outdoor Yoga at Next Chapter Winery. On a rainy day, a visit to Strike Force Bowl or the New Prague Aquatic Center (the fourth largest in the state) will help get those endorphins flowing.
Locavores rejoice as there is no shortage of homemade Czech fare in New Prague. When it comes to New Prague’s favorite Czech foods, there are four to remember: vomacka (a creamy soup with green and yellow beans, potatoes, celery, carrots, and plenty of dill and locals add vinegar before eating), jiternice (a pork sausage served in patties or casings, that has a binder like bread or oats, plus garlic, onions and other seasonings), kolacky (a bun with fruit filling that comes in varying shapes and sizes and is traditionally filled with prune, poppyseed, apple, or apricot and a variety of other flavors) and dumplings (a boiled potato base served whole – think large potato size, cut into strips with brown gravy, or diced into small bites and pan-fried). You’ll find some or all of these treats at Ettlin’s Café, Lau’s Czech Bakery, Patty’s Place, Skluzacek’s Meat Market and Fishtale Grille.
For those who prefer upscale dining, consider a stop for dinner at the soon-to-open Local 105, followed up with a gourmet dessert from Sugar Rose Bake Shop. New Prague is even home to a local brewery and just outside of town, a vineyard and a hard cider orchard. If local beverages are your interest, pay a visit to Giesenbrau Bier Co., Next Chapter Winery and Sweetland Orchard. If you want to take some local foods home to enjoy later – or stay the night downtown in a quaint two-bedroom inn, check out Farmhouse Market & Inn.
New Prague’s downtown murals are the first glimpse you’ll see into this community’s love for the arts. Downtown New Prague features the vintage Prague Theater, home of DalekoArts, a local theater company featuring Twin Cities-quality performances. New Prague also boasts two community theater groups, an arts council, a community band, the Czech Area Concertina Club, the New Prague Czech Singers, the Czech Heritage Club and many more.
There are also great shopping opportunities in New Prague. From home goods to toys and clothing to gifts, visiting the local shops and boutiques is a great way to explore the downtown.
Each May, the New Prague Chamber of Commerce organizes the New Prague Half Marathon, 5K and Kids Fun Run. And every third weekend in September, they host The Dozinky® Festival and Classic Car Cruise, which takes place along Main Street in downtown.
If you’ve never paid a visit to New Prague – or have waited too long to come back – now’s a great time to plan your next trip!