10 Things to Do with Kids in the Twin Cities

things to do with kids in Minneapolis
Walker Art Center Sculpture Garden. ©️ bjmyers from pixabay via canva.com

Looking to plan your next family road trip? There’s so many things to do with kids in the Twin Cities!

A reasonable 3.5-hour drive from Fargo makes this destination perfect for a weekend getaway with the family.

Comprised of neighboring cities Minneapolis and St. Paul, the Twin Cities and surrounding suburbs offer fun attractions the whole family will enjoy. Including interactive museums, exotic wildlife, thrilling amusement parks, and beautiful outdoor landscapes, and more!

Here are some favorite destinations.

10 Things to Do With Kids in the Twin Cities!

1. Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is an 11-acre park located outside the Walker Art Center. The garden is home to more than 40 stunning works, including the iconic Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture.

Free to the public and open year-round, the Sculpture Garden is a great place for kids to enjoy the outdoors and explore!

While in the area, take advantage of free admission to the Walker Art Center galleries the first Saturday of each month from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Kids can enjoy crafting and learning opportunities throughout the exhibits, as well as mini golf on the museum’s rooftop. And it’s a great way to catch breathtaking views of the Minneapolis skyline!

2. Mill City Museum (Minneapolis)

Mill City Museum is housed in the ruins of what was once the world’s largest flour mill.

Overlooking the Mississippi riverfront, guests of the museum learn how the river and the flour industry helped shape Minneapolis into the metropolis we see today.

Mill City Museum offers plenty of hands-on fun for guests of all ages. In the “Baking Lab,” kids learn how different grains produce different types of flour. They can also enjoy fresh-baked samples. Kids can also get their hands wet while observing how the Mississippi powered the mills of Minneapolis at the “Water Lab.”

No visit to Mill City Museum is complete without stopping by the Koch Rooftop Observation Deck where guests can take in unique views of the Mississippi River, St. Anthony Falls, and Mill Ruins Park.

3. Minnesota Zoo (Apple Valley)thing to do with kids in the twin cities

The Minnesota Zoo high on the list of things to do with kids in the Twin Cities, and is a quick 30-minute drive south to the suburb of Apple Valley. Exhibits showcase animals from different regions of the world including the tropics, oceans, tundra, farmsteads, and Minnesota’s own native wildlife.

The zoo is open to visitors year-round and regularly hosts seasonal shows and activities for families. When kids want a break from exploring, they can let off some steam at the indoor “Bee Hive” play area as well as a splash pad and carousel during the summer months.

Note that online tickets are currently required. See their website for more information.

4. Children’s Theatre Company (Minneapolis)

Children’s Theatre Company is a Tony Award-winning regional theater that specializes in productions for families and young audiences. Some of their most notable productions include Cinderella, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and Alice in Wonderland.

Performances are very interactive with audience members, keeping younger children entertained. Children’s Theatre Company also offers sensory friendly performances for guests with sensory, learning, or social disabilities.

A visit to the Children’s Theatre Company is a great way to expose younger children to the performing arts in an environment that suits their needs!

5. Minnesota Children’s Museum (St. Paul)

Minnesota Children’s Museum encourages children to learn through exploration, discovery, and play.

The hands-on exhibits offer something of interest to children of all ages. Older kids can enjoy the laser maze, green screen climbing wall, and carpet skating. Toddlers have their own special play areas with slides, bridges, a light table, and one-of-a-kind water table.

The experiences at Minnesota Children’s Museum are open-ended, allowing children to follow their own interests on their discovery journey.

6. Valleyfair (Shakopee)

Located in the Shakopee suburb of Minneapolis, Valleyfair is a can’t-miss destination when vacationing in the summertime. Boasting 75 rides and attractions catering to all ages, Valleyfair is the perfect place for families to play.

Located within Valleyfair is Soak City, an entire waterpark experience included with your admission. Featuring a wave pool, water slides, splash pads and a lazy river – there is something for everyone to enjoy.

As an added perk, Valleyfair’s Pre-K Pass will grant unlimited visits to children 3-5 years of age for the 2022 season!

7. Minnehaha Regional Park (Minneapolis)

Located within the city, Minnehaha Park is home to scenic trails, limestone bluffs, river overlooks, and a stunning 53-foot waterfall. And downstream from the falls is a wading pool perfect for families to splash around in.

In addition to the natural beauty of the park, visitors can also enjoy playgrounds, picnic locations, bike rentals, frisbee golf, and a bandstand offering free concerts in the summertime.

Minnehaha Park also houses several historical structures such as the Minnehaha Princess Station, John H. Stevens House, and the Longfellow House.

things to do with kids in the twin cities

8. Como Zoo & Conservatory (St. Paul)

Looking for free things to do with kids in the twin cities? Como Zoo is FREE to the public and welcomes visitors throughout the year. The zoo is home to more than 60 animal species including lions, seals, polar bears, gorillas, and tigers.

A stroll through the conservatory treats guests to gardens and exotic plant life in spectacular displays.

Please note: reservations are required for the Como Zoo & Conservatory.

Adjacent to the zoo is Como Town Amusement Park and the historic Cafesjian’s Carousel, offering plenty of rides and attractions to suit all ages!

9. Science Museum of Minnesota (St. Paul)

The Science Museum of Minnesota makes education fun for all ages with their hands-on approach to learning. The museum houses attention-grabbing galleries featuring dinosaurs and fossils, the human body, people and culture of the Mississippi River, and the interactive Experiment Gallery.

It’s also home to the Collectors’ Corner where children can bring in artifacts they have found outdoors and trade for another. The more a child knows about their artifact, the better trade they will get in return!

10. Mall of America (Bloomington)

Of all the things to do with kids in the Twin Cities, this is a must! A visit to the Mall of America offers an entire day of family-friendly fun. Kids will love visiting a variety of stores such as the LEGO Store, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Air Traffic Toys, and Northwoods Candy Emporium.

Besides shopping, the mall offers tons of great experiences including Nickelodeon Universe amusement park, SEA Life aquariums, The Crayola Experience, The Escape Game escape rooms, and even a movie theater!

In addition, for mealtimes the Mall of America has several great dining spots including Benihana hibachi grill and the tropical Rainforest Café.

Overall, it’s clear there are so many things to do with kids in the Twin Cities, making it a great destination for your next family adventure!

Looking for fun a bit closer to home? Check out 10 Summer Day Trips from Fargo with Kids!
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Anthea Varriano
Anthea is a Fargo native who graduated from NDSU in 2012 with degrees in Anthropology and Psychology. She loves the Fargo community and the opportunities available for her family here (but not so much the snow). Anthea is a self-described “Disney Nerd.” The movies, music, and theme parks – she loves it all! Anthea channels her love for Disney into her blog, Inspiring Magical Memories, where she shares Disney-themed recipes and crafts, Disney dinner parties, and trip planning articles for the Disney Parks. She and her husband have two daughters and a son: Aiden (2008), Gemma (2016), and Ezra (2021). With ages ranging from infant to teenager, Anthea keeps herself busy just trying to keep up with her kiddos! In the past 14 years, Anthea has seen the rules of parenting change and evolve, which just goes to show we are always learning and adapting. No parent is perfect! Which is why Anthea feels it is important for moms to have a network where they can support each other and learn from one another. Besides writing, Anthea enjoys cooking, crafting, working out, and attending community events with her family.


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