I am lucky to live near most of my family in Ohio.  My husband’s family, however, lives in Minnesota.  While they come visit us often we try to make a point to head up towards the Twin Cities each summer so my daughter can visit her grandparents and aunt on their turf.

Minneapolis is a great place (in the summer!) and there are a lot of family friendly activities available.  Here is a run down of my top 7 things to do in the Twin Cities with kids.

If you are looking for some more adult friendly activities check out 5 Incredible Experiences In the Twin Cities.

The best things to do in the Twin Cities with kdis | Nickelodeon Univerise | Mall of America | Minneapolis, MN (USA)
Kids of all ages will have fun at Nickelodeon Universe – an amusement park right in the middle of the Mall of America!

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1.  Mini Golf at Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

While a simple stroll through the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is great on it’s own, check out the artist designed mini golf  to really keep your kids entertained. This was the most interesting, unique putt putt course I have ever seen.

The course is nestled right in the sculpture garden so you can play with the iconic “Spoonbridge and Cherry” in the background.  Each ticket also includes admission to the Walker Gallery.

The best things to do in the Twin Cities with kids | Minneapolis Sculpture Garden Mini Golf | Minneapolis, MN (USA)


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2.  Como Park

This St. Paul park features mini golf, Como Town and the Como Park Zoo & Conservatory.  Como Town features fair type rides and food. The Como Park Zoo is smaller than the Minnesota Zoo, but worth checking out if you are spending the day at Como Park.

The admission is “donation requested” so it’s a good option if you are trying to stick to a budget. There is also a mini golf course across the street, and while it’s not as unique as the Sculpture Garden course, it’s still fun!

  • Zoo Admission: Voluntary Donation $3 per adult, $2 per child
  • Como Town Rides: Varies
  • More Information: Como Park
The best things to do in the Twin Cities with kids | Como Park Zoo || Minneapolis, MN (USA)
Having fun with Grandma and Grandpa at the Como Park Zoo!

Quick Link: Money Saving Tips For Family Travel


3.  Minnesota Children’s Museum

This children’s museum, located in St. Paul,  has recently been completely re-done, and it is just fantastic.  The 3 floor “museum” has different themed rooms with activities and games all designed to get kids’ imaginations and curiosity going.

There is so much to do here for kids of all ages.  There are activities geared towards older children like the climbing tower and 40 ft high netted catwalk, and there is a separate area for infants, toddlers and preschoolers.  The cafe in the museum is great for lunch or a quick snack.

The best things to do in the Twin Cities with kids | Minnesota Children's Museum | St. Paul, MN (USA)
We loved the interactive car wash station at the Minnesota Children’s Museum!

4.  Nickelodeon Universe @ Mall of America

This 7 acre theme park is located in the center of the Mall of America. While there are some rides and attractions that are better suited to older kids, this was perfect for my 3 year old since there are a ton of little kid friendly rides!  The rides and attractions are all Nickelodeon character themed, and there is even a meet n greet area where characters appear throughout the day for photos. There is a professional photographer there, but they actually let you take your own photos too! Yay!

Admission varies based on how many rides you choose. An all day wristband is $35.99 (For children under 42″ an adult companion rides for free.) If you have little ones, there is a Toddler Tuesday Special which gets you a 5 hour toddler wristband for $12.95.


Tip: Let your kids keep track of all of the states they have visited with their own scratch off map!


5.  Sea Life Aquarium @ Mall of America

While this isn’t the biggest aquarium I have ever been to, the quality of the exhibits was top notch.  There are interactive areas with touch pools and an underwater tunnel where you can view sharks, turtles and other fish. We also really enjoyed the sea horse and jellyfish exhibits.

The best things to do in the Twin Cities with kids | Sea Life Aquarium | Mall of America | Minneapolis, MN (USA)

6.  Minnehaha Regional Park

Minneapolis has so many awesome outdoor activities! This park will make you forget you are in the middle of a big city. Be sure to check out the majestic 53 ft Minnehaha Falls.  A short walk down the river from the falls is a wading area perfect for the kids to splash and cool off on a hot summer day.

The best things to do in the Twin Cities with kids | Minnehaha Park | Minnehaha Falls | Minneapolis, MN (USA)

7.  Minnesota Zoo

What kid doesn’t love a day at the zoo?  We really enjoyed it too as it has a much different feel than the zoo we usually go to, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. While you are there, check out the World of Birds show and Family Farm areas.

  • Admission: $18 adults, $12 ages 3-12 and 65+, Free for 2 and under
  • More Information: Minnesota Zoo
The best things to do in the Twin Cities with kids | Minnesota Zoo | Apple Valley, MN (USA)
World of Birds show at the Minnesota Zoo

What are your favorite things to do in the Twin Cities with kids?

 

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This Post Has 19 Comments

  1. Kylie N

    Even as an adult I loved Nickelodeon Universe at the Mall of America! I’m a huge fan of mini golf too, I didn’t realise they had one at the sculpture garden!

    1. Katie @ ZenLifeandTravel

      I’m not sure if the mini golf is still there or if it was a temporary thing…but it was super fun!!

  2. Chrysa

    I live in Minneapolis and these are some of our favorite things to do too! I feel so lucky that we have so many beautiful lakes and parks right in the city.

    1. Katie @ ZenLifeandTravel

      It’s really a great city! We have family there so we try to visit at least once a year (always in the summer though — I don’t like the cold!)

  3. Carmen Edelson

    My kids loved the Mall of America and so did I. This post brought back many great memories. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. Ivana

    Seems like a great place for families. I would like to visit the Nickelodeon Universe myself 😀

  5. Kerri

    If I was a kid I would love this place. So many fun things to do. I am quite sure that this would be of enormous benefit to parents visiting here.

  6. A great round-up of activities – I know my nieces and nephews would love to go to some of these! Nickelodeon Universe looks like so much fun – even for adults with no kids!

  7. Edith

    These all look sound very fun. I’ve always heard about the Mall of America. Hopefully we get around to checking it out one day. Happy travels!

  8. Miranda

    Minnehaha Park sounds fantastic for any age! Love hikes and seeing waterfalls; your little one looked like she had an especially fun time there 😉

  9. Malini

    Fun list! I haven’t been yet, but looks like there’s a ton to do!

  10. i was born in MN and the twin cities have a special place in my heart. we’re heading back in September. Can’t wait to check some of these places out!

    1. Katie @ ZenLifeandTravel

      Have fun while you are there!

  11. Helen

    The children’s museum looks amazing!

  12. Lindsay

    Thanks for sharing. Maybe someday we will get to go!

  13. Amalia

    These activities look so much fun!! and it looks like the kids had a great day too, X

  14. Travelling Dany

    Even if we don’t have kids, we’d still love to do many of those things! Besides, these smiles are contagious!

  15. Danik

    Wow! That Nickelodeon Universe sure does look like a great place for kids to run around while the folks go shopping. 😀 Brilliant tips here 🙂

Comments are closed.