Minneapolis, often in harmony with its twin, St. Paul, offers a delightful range of activities that can turn a family trip into an adventure full of cherished memories.
With its rich mix of culture, nature, and entertainment, this Twin Cities gem serves as a vibrant playground for kids and parents alike, and I always enjoy visiting with my family.
In this post, I will discuss 20 must-visit spots in Minneapolis that will make your family trip in 2024 unforgettable.
|Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America
|An amusement park with 27 rides and character meet-and-greets.
|SEA LIFE at Mall of America
|The largest aquarium in Minnesota featuring various marine life.
|Offers 20 hands-on activities for children.
|Indoor Playgrounds and Trampoline Parks
|Indoor fun zones for jumping, sliding, and playing.
|Both indoor and outdoor rinks for ice skating.
|Children’s Theatre Company
|Offers family-friendly stage productions.
|Professional Sports Games
|Includes basketball, football, hockey, baseball, and soccer games.
|The Science Museum of Minnesota
|Features interactive exhibits like dinosaur fossils and an experiment gallery.
|The Minneapolis Institute of Art
|One of the largest art museums in the US with a kid-friendly space.
|The Minnesota Children’s Museum in St. Paul
|Three floors of interactive exhibits.
|Mill City Museum
|A unique museum built within the ruins of the world’s largest flour mill.
|The Bakken Museum
|Explores the history of electricity through interactive exhibits.
|The Minnesota History Center
|Features educational exhibits and archives related to the state’s history.
|The Minnesota Transportation Museum
|Showcases historic train cars and equipment.
|The Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley
|One of the largest zoos in the country with various animal species.
|Chain of Lakes Regional Park
|Offers water activities, bike trails, playgrounds, and more.
|The Midtown Greenway
|A 5.7-mile trail for biking, rollerblading, and walking.
|Woodridge Park in Cottage Grove
|The largest inclusive playground in Minnesota.
|The Stone Arch Bridge
|Offers panoramic views of St. Anthony Falls.
|Minnehaha Regional Park
|Features a majestic 53-foot waterfall and lush greenery.
1. Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America
- Where Fun Meets Fantasy: Nestled in the heart of the Mall of America, Nickelodeon Universe is a wonderland for kids. Imagine an amusement park with 27 rides, each offering a different thrill level suitable for all ages. From character meet-and-greets to roller coasters that swoop and swirl like a dance in the sky, it’s a place where laughter and joy echo in every corner.
- A Day of Adventure: Plan to spend a full day here, as kids will be mesmerized by the colorful attractions and interactive experiences. Remember to capture those gleeful smiles and wide-eyed wonders as they meet their favorite Nickelodeon characters.
2. SEA LIFE at Mall of America
- Dive into the Deep Blue: SEA LIFE, the largest aquarium in Minnesota, offers a spectacular undersea journey. It’s like stepping into a different world, where vibrant marine life from all corners of the globe swims right before your eyes.
- Educational and Fun: The aquarium isn’t just a visual treat; it’s a learning experience. Interactive touch pools and informative talks provide insights into the mysterious lives of sea creatures, making it a perfect blend of education and entertainment for kids.
3. Crayola Experience
- Unleash Creativity: The Crayola Experience is a world of colors and fun. With 20 hands-on activities, it’s like diving into a rainbow where every color leads to a new adventure.
- More Than Just Coloring: This isn’t your typical coloring session. Children get to see how crayons are made, create digital works of art, and even turn their drawings into 4D experiences. It’s a place where imagination runs wild.
4. Indoor Playgrounds and Trampoline Parks
- Bounce and Play: Minneapolis’s indoor playgrounds and trampoline parks are perfect for those chilly or rainy days. These fun zones are safe havens where kids can jump, slide, and play in a controlled environment.
- Energy-Burning Fun: These parks are not just fun; they’re a covert workout, ensuring a good night’s sleep for both kids and parents!
5. Ice Skating
- Glide and Twirl: Ice skating in Minneapolis is a tradition, with both indoor and outdoor rinks offering a magical experience. It’s like dancing on ice, where every glide is a brushstroke on a frosty canvas.
- For All Skill Levels: Whether you’re a novice or an experienced skater, the rinks cater to all levels, making it a perfect family activity.
6. Children’s Theatre Company
- Stage Magic: The Children’s Theatre Company is where stories come to life. Their family-friendly productions are a blend of whimsy and profound lessons, often leaving both kids and adults deeply moved.
- A World of Imagination: Each show is a journey into the imagination, showcasing the incredible talent of young actors and bringing beloved tales to the stage.
7. Professional Sports Games
- Cheer for the Home Team: Minneapolis is home to a variety of professional sports teams. Attending a game, be it basketball, football, hockey, baseball, or soccer, is not just about the sport; it’s about experiencing the local spirit.
- A Thrilling Atmosphere: The energy in the stadium is contagious. It’s a lesson in teamwork and perseverance wrapped up in a thrilling spectacle.
8. The Science Museum of Minnesota
- Explore and Discover: The Science Museum of Minnesota is a treasure trove of knowledge. With interactive exhibits, including dinosaur fossils and an experiment gallery, it’s a playground for curious minds.
- A Journey Through Science: The museum makes science accessible and fun, turning complex concepts into engaging, hands-on experiences.
9. The Minneapolis Institute of Art
- A World of Art: One of the largest art museums in the US, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, is an artistic journey through time and culture. With a special kid-friendly space, it makes art enjoyable for the younger audience.
- Inspiring Young Minds: The museum inspires creativity and appreciation for various art forms, making it an enriching experience for the whole family.
10. The Minnesota Children’s Museum in St. Paul
- Interactive Learning: This museum, with three floors of interactive exhibits, is a world where learning and play merge seamlessly. It’s a place where kids can touch, play, and explore without boundaries.
- Endless Fun: Every corner of the Minnesota Children’s Museum is designed with children in mind, offering endless opportunities for discovery and fun.
11. Mill City Museum
- A Unique Historical Experience: Built within the ruins of the world’s largest flour mill, the Mill City Museum offers a unique glimpse into Minneapolis’s industrial past. It’s like stepping into a time machine, where history comes alive through interactive exhibits.
- Learning History Hands-On: This isn’t your typical museum experience. It’s a hands-on journey through the city’s milling history, making it both educational and entertaining for kids.
12. The Bakken Museum
- The Wonders of Electricity: Exploring the history of electricity, The Bakken Museum is a spark of inspiration. Its interactive exhibits make the abstract concept of electricity tangible and understandable.
- Invent and Experiment: Children are encouraged to experiment and invent, igniting a passion for science and innovation.
13. The Minnesota History Center
- Travel Back in Time: The Minnesota History Center is a museum and a storytelling hub. With exhibits and archives relating to the state’s history, it offers a comprehensive view of Minnesota’s past.
- Interactive and Engaging: The center makes history engaging with interactive exhibits that appeal to children’s curiosity and sense of adventure.
14. The Minnesota Transportation Museum
- All Aboard the History Express: This museum features historic train cars and equipment, offering a tangible connection to the past. It’s like a journey through time, where each exhibit tells a story of how transportation evolved.
- Hands-On History: Kids can climb aboard vintage trains, getting a first-hand feel of history, making it a memorable and educational experience.
15. The Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley
- A Wild Adventure: One of the largest zoos in the country, the Minnesota Zoo, is a celebration of wildlife. With various animal species, it’s like a window into the natural world.
- Educational and Fun: The zoo is not just about viewing animals; it’s about understanding them. Educational talks and interactive exhibits make it a place of learning and discovery.
16. Chain of Lakes Regional Park
- Nature’s Playground: Offering water activities, bike trails, and playgrounds, this park is an oasis in the city. It’s like a canvas painted with greenery and water, where every stroke is an activity.
- Outdoor Fun for Everyone: Whether it’s biking, kayaking, or just enjoying a picnic, the park provides a perfect setting for family bonding in nature.
17. The Midtown Greenway
- A Path of Exploration: This 5.7-mile trail is perfect for biking, rollerblading, or walking. It’s like a green artery through the city, offering a peaceful escape from urban life.
- Scenic and Accessible: The trail is not just a path; it’s a scenic journey through Minneapolis, accessible and enjoyable for all ages.
18. Woodridge Park
- Inclusive Play for All: As the largest inclusive playground in Minnesota, Woodridge Park is a testament to fun without barriers. It’s a place where children of all abilities can play together, making it a unique and heartwarming experience.
- A Community Gem: The park’s design considers all children, ensuring a safe and enjoyable environment for everyone.
19. The Stone Arch Bridge
- A View to Remember: Offering panoramic views of St. Anthony Falls, the Stone Arch Bridge is a picturesque spot. It’s like a frame capturing the essence of Minneapolis, with the city’s history and beauty in one view.
- A Walk Through History: Walking across this historic bridge is not just a stroll; it’s a walk through the chapters of Minneapolis’s past.
20. Minnehaha Regional Park
- A Natural Wonderland: Home to the majestic 53-foot Minnehaha Falls, this park is a blend of lush greenery and natural beauty. It’s like a green sanctuary in the city, offering a tranquil escape.
- Activities for All: With playgrounds and trails, the park is a versatile spot for families. Whether it’s exploring the trails or enjoying a picnic, there’s something for everyone.
Minneapolis, with its mix of cultural, historical, and natural attractions, offers a plethora of activities that cater to families with kids.
From educational museums to outdoor adventures, each of these 20 spots provides a unique experience that will enrich your family trip.
So pack your bags, gather your little ones, and get ready to explore the wonders of Minneapolis in 2024!