Mayo Civic Center – Things To Do With Your Team

Recently renovated and expanded, the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester, Minnesota will undoubtedly be one of the finest convention centers that you and your team have the pleasure of visiting. This beautifully-modernized facility offers more than 200,000 square feet of flexible meeting, exhibit, and event space, and is now able to accommodate two 1,000-attendee events simultaneously. The Mayo Civic Center also features Minnesota’s largest ballroom at 40,000 square feet, as well as a 7,200-seat arena; a 3,000-seat auditorium; 23 suites; stunning pre-function spaces with views of both downtown Rochester and the adjacent Zumbro River; and much more.

As accommodating and well-equipped as the Mayo Civic Center is, it would be a shame if you and your team spent your entire visit to Rochester meandering through the halls of the facility, waiting for the next event on your schedule to take place. Whenever your team has an hour or two of downtime, make the most of your trip by taking them to some of the unique, kid-friendly attractions that can be found in nearby downtown Rochester. In addition to fun things to do, downtown Rochester is also home to an eclectic variety of restaurants that serve food your entire team will love. No matter what you and your team are looking for, there’s a good chance you’ll find it just a short walk away from the Mayo Civic Center.


Things to Do

The Machine Shed

The Machine Shed, located inside of an unassuming garage in downtown Rochester, is a nostalgia trip of an attraction that will transport you and your team to the bygone arcades of the ‘80s and ‘90s. The main difference between The Machine Shed and the arcades of yesteryear is that at The Machine Shed you won’t need to shell out a pocketful of quarters or tokens to get your fill of gaming fun. Instead, you’ll only have to pay a one-time fee in order to play all of their amazing arcade games all day long.

The Machine Shed features both classic arcade games in addition to their unique “all-in-one” cabinets. Each all-in-one cabinet is custom-made by owners Branden and James Aakre and contains hundreds of classic games like Donkey Kong, Pac Man, Asteroids, Centipede, Joust, and much more. If you’re in need of some gamer fuel, The Machine Shed also features a snack shack where pizza, soda, and other treats are available for purchase. 11 2nd St NE, Rochester, MN 55906


Douglas State Trail

Minnesota is a state known for its abundance of natural beauty. One of the best places to get into the great outdoors near the Mayo Civic Center is the Douglas State Trail. Located just a half-mile from the convention center, the Douglas State Trail is a paved, 12 and a half mile-long trail that developed along an abandoned railroad grade. This trail crosses outstanding rural scenery and traverses some of the richest agricultural land in Minnesota. If you and your team are looking for a respite from the hustle and bustle of team travel, a stroll down the Douglas State Trail is the perfect way to help clear your minds and relax. Country Rd 3, Rochester, MN


Escape Challenge

Let’s face it, the weather in Minnesota can get pretty chilly depending on what time of year it is. If you and your team are visiting Rochester during the winter months, you’ll probably prefer to have your fun indoors. If that’s the case, you’re all in luck! Escape Challenge is an exciting indoor attraction located just under a 15-minute walk from the Mayo Civic Center.

During your visit to Escape Challenge, you and your team will take part in a real-life room escape game based on popular virtual escape games. Escape Challenge features a variety of different rooms for you to choose from, each with its own distinct theme and narrative. After entering the room of your choosing, the door is locked behind you and your 60-minute time limit begins. Within the time limit, your team will need to accomplish two goals: collect the hidden asset and of course, escape! This attraction is a great way to spend a couple hours of free time while helping your team to practice working together cooperatively. 20 6th St NW, Rochester, MN 55901


Mayo Field

Mayo Civic Center - Travel - Hotels4TeamsWhile at the Mayo Civic Center, you and your team won’t be far from a good, old-fashioned game of baseball. That’s because Mayo Field, home of the Rochester Honkers, is located only short walk away. This charming ballpark was built over half a century ago in 1951 and has been home to the Honkers since their inaugural season in 1994.

With a seating capacity of roughly 2,500, Mayo Field is an intimate ballpark that’s the perfect venue to watch a team like the Honkers. The Honkers are an amateur baseball team that plays in the Northwoods League, a collegiate summer baseball league. That means that if you and your team are visiting Rochester in the summertime, there’s a good chance you can catch a Honkers game if you’ve got some time to spare. 403 E Ctr St, Rochester, MN 55904


Cooke Park

After being cooped up in the Mayo Civic Center for hour after hour, your team will probably start to get a bit restless. You might even to get a bit restless yourself. A great way to ward off this restlessness is with a visit to a local park where you can all stretch your legs and relax. Cooke Park is one of the nicest parks that Rochester has to offer, boasting a variety of features and amenities. These include a baseball diamond, a sand volleyball court, tennis courts, a picnic shelter, a playground, a paved trail, and more. Cooke Park also features picnic tables and plenty of open space, making it a great place to enjoy a quick meal with your team in a quiet, scenic setting. 722 7th Ave NW, Rochester, MN 55901


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Places to Eat


Newt’s is a burger joint that’s been a Rochester tradition for over 30 years. If you’re in Rochester and you want a tasty, no-frills, no-nonsense burger, you go to Newt’s. All of their burgers are made using all pure beef, ground fresh to their demanding specifications. Each patty is shaped by hand to ensure the meat will retain its juiciness during the cooking process.

At Newt’s they even go above and beyond with their buns too. Before adorning their freshly-baked Kaiser buns with a big, juicy burger, they take each bun, butter it, and then grill them lightly. Not only does this help the buns to hold up to the burger patty, it also imparts them with a sweet, nutty flavor from the toasted butter. Also on the menu at Newt’s are tempting appetizers, salads, sandwiches, and entrée dishes like fish tacos and a chicken strip platter. 216 1/2 1st Ave SW, Rochester, MN 55902


Pasquale’s Neighborhood Pizzeria

When it comes to team-friendly, crowd-pleasing food, nothing can top pizza. Opened recently in 2016, Pasquale’s Neighborhood Pizzeria is one of Rochester’s newest and most popular places to enjoy a slice. Whether you’re a traditionalist and swear by New York-style, thin-crust pizza or are someone who’s willing to venture out of their comfort zone to try more unconventional pizzas like a stuffed Sicilian pie, Pasquale’s has something for everyone. In true New York fashion, Pasquale’s sells their pizzas both whole and by the slice. If you’re feeling creative, top your pizza or single slice with one or more of their gourmet toppings for just a few dollars extra. For those with dietary restrictions, Pasquale’s also offers a gluten-free crust as well. 130 5th St SW, Rochester, MN 55902


Dooley’s Pub

Mayo Civic Center - Travel - Hotels4TeamsYou can expect two things from a visit to Dooley’s Pub: good food on the menu and big games on their big screens. The menu at Dooley’s Pub features bar food favorites like nachos, burgers, fish and chips, chicken wings, and more.

Many of these dishes on their menu offer a new twist on old classics, such as a grilled cheese with three different kinds of cheeses served on toasted sourdough multigrain and caraway rye bread; sliders that have had their patties substituted for sliced smoked ham and pulled pork, topped with Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard; and freshly-made potato chips tossed in a Sriracha seasoning blend. While you and your team enjoy your meal, you can also enjoy watching your favorite teams’ games on any of their 20-foot projection screens, eight 63-inch TVs, and 10 55-inch TVs. There’s always a game on at Dooley’s! 255 1st Ave SW, Rochester, MN 55902


Canadian Honker Restaurant

For more than a quarter of a century the Canadian Honker Restaurant has taken pride in serving delicious meals to Rochester locals and visitors alike. Since 1984, this family-run establishment has been preparing dishes made from scratch using fresh ingredients. The Canadian Honker Restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, which makes it a great place to grab a bite to eat with your team no matter what time of day it is. Popular dishes include the Breakfast Feast, with two eggs, a choice of hash browns or American fries, bacon or sausage, and toast; their award-winning, world-famous Bunnie’s Coconut Cake; homemade soups and stews; to pan-seared walleye, hand-cut steaks, prime rib, and fresh jumbo shrimp. 1203 2nd St SW, Rochester, MN 55902


Although Minnesota might not be the first state that comes to mind when you think about exciting team travel destinations, plenty of fun can be had while you and your team are visiting the Mayo Civic Center. While there, you and your team will be just a short walk away from many of the city’s most popular eateries and attractions, both indoors and out. Being able to choose between both indoor and outdoor fun is especially great when your group visits a state like Minnesota, where the weather varies greatly from season to season.