Family Fun in Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN

The Twin Cities offer two times the fun

By on
Minneappolis

The Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul provide families with a range of things to do from professional sporting events and live music to small community festivals and more intimate activities. Though these cities are close by, each has interesting attractions and a strong quality of life. We've included experiences that take place in the suburbs of the great Minneapolis-St. Paul Metro area because residents of the Twin Cities often venture across the region to find fun. Here are our picks for the best things do to in the Twin Cities area. 

Dive In

[[{"fid":"16163","view_mode":"default","fields":{"format":"default","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium - a staff member shows school children sea creatures. ","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"Sea Life ","field_description[und][0][value]":"","field_place_ref[und][0][target_id]":"Minneapolis (50547)"},"type":"media","attributes":{"alt":"Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium - a staff member shows school children sea creatures. ","title":"Sea Life ","class":"media-element file-default"}}]]

With 40 million visitors a year, Mall of America has more pedestrian traffic than any other mall in the world. It is located in suburban Bloomington, just across I-494 from Minneapolis–St. Paul International Airport. Highlights include 520 stores, a Nickelodeon Universe indoor theme park and a Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium that offers scuba diving.

Schedule Child's Play

Aimed at kids ages 6 months to 10 years is Minnesota Children's Museum, billed as a place that sparks children's learning through play. Seven galleries are filled with interactive exhibits such as Earth World, Rooftop ArtPark, Habitot and Story Time Big Fun. Also available are daily programs with live animals.

Jump in the Lake

Five bodies of water known as the Chain of Lakes are open to visitors on a daily basis from 6 a.m.-10 p.m., and are a great place for family fun.  Access to the lakes is free, although parking and rentals fees vary. The waterways are Brownie Lake, Cedar Lake, Lake Calhoun, Lake Harriet and Lake of the Isles.

Get Energized

[[{"fid":"16164","view_mode":"default","fields":{"format":"default","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Fans watch high school hockey championships at Xcel Energy Center in Minnesota. ","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_description[und][0][value]":"","field_place_ref[und][0][target_id]":"St. Paul (50642)"},"type":"media","attributes":{"alt":"Fans watch high school hockey championships at Xcel Energy Center in Minnesota. ","class":"media-element file-default"}}]]

Introduce your kids to the greatest game on ice! Most hockey fans enjoy attending a game in person, and one of the most exciting arenas in the NHL is Xcel Energy Center, home of the Minnesota Wild. The stadium seats 17,953 and is also used for concerts and Minnesota Swarm pro lacrosse matches. The concourse walls display hockey jerseys from every high school in Minnesota.

Embrace Science

Staffed by 500 employees and 1,600 volunteers, Science Museum of Minnesota opened in St. Paul in 1907 to focus on education exhibits linked to technology, natural history, physical science and math. Several displays are open to the public, with names like Dinosaurs & Fossils, Human Body (with a mummy), Mississippi River, Experiment Gallery and Science Buzz.

Head to the Valley

[[{"fid":"16165","view_mode":"default","fields":{"format":"default","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"A panoramic image showing the rides at Valleyfair in Shakopee, MN","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_description[und][0][value]":"","field_place_ref[und][0][target_id]":"Shakopee (50652)"},"type":"media","attributes":{"alt":"A panoramic image showing the rides at Valleyfair in Shakopee, MN","class":"media-element file-default"}}]]

In suburban Shakopee and currently the largest amusement park in the Upper Midwest is the 125-acre Valleyfair, open each year from Memorial Day through late October. The attraction features 48 rides that include eight roller coasters, with names like Corkscrew, Excalibur and Mad Mouse. Also on site are three water rides.

Take to the Stage

With seating for 2,600, Orpheum Theatre opened in 1921 and continues to stage Broadway-style shows. The theater is known for its architecture that includes a domed ceiling with 30,000 squares of aluminum leaf. The Orpheum is in downtown Minneapolis on Hennepin Avenue, which also houses Pantages Theatre and State Theatre.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kevin Litwin is the author of Crazy Lucky Dead and a freelance feature writer with a career spanning more than 20 years. He was previously an editor for a small-town newspaper for ... more
Fri, 10/27/2017 - 19:55