1/10 Target field
For a true American experience, get tickets for you and your family to a Minnesota Twins baseball game at Target Field. This state of the art open-air stadium is only four years old and offers breathtaking views of the Minneapolis City skyline. There isn’t a bad seat in the house, so it’s the perfect place to kick back, watch a ball game and share a jumbo dog with your little ones.
The Minnesota Twins play from April through October. Go to minnesota.twins.mlb.com for tickets, game schedule, team roster, and more information.
2/10 Mall of America
Ready for some serious shopping? Spend a day with your family at Mall of America, the largest shopping center in the United States and the most visited mall in the world.
With over 530 retail stores, Nickelodeon Universe amusement park (the largest indoor theme park in the U.S.), SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium, LEGO Land, the American Girl Doll store, mini-golf, movie theaters and more, you’re sure to find something for everyone in the Mall of America. Bonus: Minnesota does not have a clothing tax, so you never have to worry about surprises at the cash register!
For more information on stores, restaurants, and events at Mall of America, visit mallofamerica.com.
3/10 Chain of lakes
Minnesota is known as the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” (in fact, there are actually 11,842 in the entire state!), and the Twin Cities are no exception. Minneapolis and Saint Paul are the perfect place to connect with nature in an urban setting, as they are home to the Chain of Lakes region.
The Chain of Lakes is made up of Cedar Lake, Lake Calhoun, Lake of the Isles, and Lake Harriet. These lakes are easily accessible from one another and are connected by beautiful bike trails. Your kids will love going for a swim, learning to fish, paddling a canoe, or riding on a sailboat on any one of these picturesque lakes.
For more information and maps of the lakes and trails, go to minneapolis.org.
4/10 Hennepin Theatre Trust and the children’s theatre company
If you’re feeling artsy, look no further than the Twin Cities for prime entertainment. With more theater seats per capita than anywhere in the U.S. outside of New York City, Minneapolis and Saint Paul are alive with arts and culture.
The most popular shows will always play at the Hennepin Theatre Trust venues (the Orpheum, State, Pantages, and New Century theaters). Past shows include Jersey Boys, Annie, Oliver!, and many more.
If you’re looking for something that’s sure to be famliy friendly, take your kids to a performance at the Children’s Theatre Company. The current and upcoming seasons include popular shows such as The Cat in the Hat, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Huck Finn, and Peter Pan the Musical.
For more information, directions, and tickets, go to hennepintheatretrust.org or childrenstheatre.org.
5/10 Como Zoo Park and conservatory
For a truly memorable day out with your family in Saint Paul, check out Como Park Zoo and Conservatory, the number one family destination in Minnesota. Como Park Zoo and Conservatory is interactive, welcoming, and it has been around for over 100 years. Best of all, admission is always free!
Como Park Zoo and Conservatory is the country’s last completely free metro zoo and botanical garden, and it welcomes more than 2.2 million visitors every year. Your kids will love getting up close to all kinds of different animals–butterflies to giraffes to polar bears!
For more information and zoo hours, go to comozooconservatory.com.
6/10 Minnesota Children’s Museum
For a day of both fun and learning for your little ones, head over to the Minnesota Children’s Museum in downtown Saint Paul. At the Minnesota Children’s Museum, they strive to provide a fun environment for children with activities that are active, additive, ingenious, and intrinsic.
The Minnesota Children’s Museum offers a variety of unique exhibits and entertainment rooms; Earth World allows your little ones to imagine life as ants beneath the earth’s surface, and Our World gives children the chance to act like adults in places like doctors offices and grocery stores–and this is only a taste of everything the museum has to offer. No matter what your children take part in, they are sure to have fun (and stretch their imaginations in the process).
For directions, tickets, and more information, go to mcm.org.
7/10 Valleyfair Amusement Park
For a day filled with wild rides and carnival fun, head just south of Minneapolis/Saint Paul to Shakopee, MN where Valleyfair awaits.
Valleyfair is a 125-acre amusement park – the largest in the Upper Midwest. With over 75 attractions (including 48 rides), you and your family are sure to have a memorable time. There is something for everyone at Valleyfair – from tame carnival games to scream-worthy roller coasters like Steel Venom and the Wild Thing. There are also special features in the park for kids includingPlanet Snoopy, Dinoasaurs Alive!, and the Soak City Waterpark.
Valleyfair will be open for the season from 16 May to 1 September 2014. For tickets, directions, and hours, go to valleyfair.com.
8/10 Minnehaha Falls
If you’re looking for a tranquil oasis away from the busy city, spend an afternoon with your family at Minnehaha Falls. This 53-foot waterfall in the middle of Minneapolis is surrounded by the beautifully green, 193-acre Minnehaha Park. As one of the oldest and most popular parks and Minnesota, Minnehaha Park attracts over 850,000 visitors annually.
You and your family can bike or walk on the park’s beautiful trails, play games, or have a picnic in the grass. If you don’t want to pack your own food, you can indulge in delicious seafood and ice cream from Sea Salt Eatery, located conveniently near the Falls.
For more information on Minnehaha Falls/Park or Sea Salt Eatery go to minneapolisparks.org orseasalteatery.wordpress.com.
9/10 Walker Art Center
The Walker Art Center provides a great opporutnity for families to indulge in various forms of art together. While Mum and Dad will love the exhibitions inside the museum, the outdoor Minneapolis Sculpture Garden will delight the little ones. Home to the iconic Spoonbridge and Cherry fountain by world-renowned artist Claes Oldenburg, this 11-acre site is known as one of the crown jewels of the city. The garden also hosts various events throughout the summer such as “Free First Saturdays” on the first Saturday of every month and the Rock the Garden concert in June.
For more information about the Walker Art Center and the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, go to walkerart.org or walkerart.org/garden.
10/10 Minnesota State Fair
If you’re lucky enough to be travelling to Minneapolis/Saint Paul at the end of the summer, be sure to spend a day at the Minnesota State Fair, also known as “The Great Minnesota Get-Together.” The Minnesota State Fair is the second largest state fair in the United States, and it is sure to keep your family entertained. You and your children will be delighted by the livestock, arts, crafts, science, and daily parades. While wandering around the fairgrounds, you can also learn about history, try new products, or test your skills at countless carnival games. The Minnesota State Fair is home to a large amusement park filled with rides and roller coasters, and the Minnesota State Fair Grandstand provides live music and entertainment each night.
What the Minnesota State Fair is perhaps most famous for, however, is its food. You can try just about any food under the sun – served deep-fried and on a stick! Since Minnesota is known for its dairy farms, you can try the most delicious cheese curds, milkshakes, and ice cream around. Your kids’ tummies will surely be happy by the end of the day.