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.
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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.
- Admission: $19 adults; $16 students; $15 Walker members and children ages 6–12. Free for ages 5 and under with paid adult.
- More Information: Mini Golf at Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
Quick Link: Great Deals on Minneapolis Hotels
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
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.
- Admission: $12.95 ages 1-101, Free for museum members and children under 1
- More Information: 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.
- More Information: Nickelodeon Universe @ Mall of America
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.
- Admission: $25.25 ages 13+, $17.25 ages 3-12, Under 3 is Free. Discounted tickets available online.
- More Information: Sea Life Aquarium @ Mall of America
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.
- Admission: FREE
- More Information: Minnehaha Regional Park
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
What are your favorite things to do in the Twin Cities with kids?
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