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Minneapolis is a part of the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul) and it stretches to a thousand mile coastline. There are plenty of water activities to take on like swimming and boating especially during the warmer months when in Minneapolis with kids. Whether your family prefers to spend the day indoors or outdoors, we have compiled a list of options of child-friendly places and things to do in Minneapolis with kids.
When To Go To Minneapolis With Kids
Every year since Aiden was three years old, we made it a tradition to go on a Mother’s Day trip. I really enjoy traveling with and spending time with my son. Although Mother’s Day is every day to me and I don’t need a special day to determine that, I still enjoy spending those days with him. My husband joined us on our trip to Oahu and The Big Island as well as Minneapolis. We don’t always invite him, but every other trip, why not! After all, he is the reason why I am celebrating mother’s day 😂. Here are our previous Mother’s Day trips below.
Minneapolis can get very cold and snowy in the winter so keep that in mind if you want to visit. We visit Mother’s Day weekend which is in May and the weather was beautiful the whole time we were there. If you don’t want to deal with snow, then spring and summer are the best times to visit. We spent a total of 3 days/nights in Minneapolis and it was just perfect!
Traveling with kids and looking for tips, then make sure to click the links below and read more:
- Best Travel Gear For Kids
- How To Travel With Kids Internationally Alone
- Top Must Have Items When Traveling With Kids
- How To Keep Your Kids Entertained & Happy On Flights
- Everything You Need To Know About Traveling With A Car Seat
How To Get To Minneapolis With Kids
We flew from LAX to MSP on Spirit Airlines and our tickets cost $320 for three of us. The tickets online were $440, and so my husband went to the airport and purchased the tickets at the Spirit Airlines counter. PS: Did you know that you can purchase tickets at the Spirit Airlines counter and it cost cheaper than if you purchased it in person. When tickets are purchased at the counter $20 is taken off each way, making for a total of $40 for a round trip ticket. So we saved $120 for all three of our round trip tickets. If you want to learn more, then read my post on How To Avoid Extra Fees When Flying Spirit Airlines. I was also super lucky to be sitting in the Spirit Airlines lucky seat and I won the 5,000 free miles. Yay!
We met a couple in Minneapolis who asked us “Of all places, why Minneapolis?” and my simple response “It was cheap”. I checked Skyscanner like I always do for tickets before I travel and it was the cheapest place to travel to from California so that’s where we went. Make sure to download the free Skyscanner App also which helps track flights and prices.
Planning a trip and wondering how to get affordable flights? Then click the links below to read exactly how I am able to get flight deals, save on flights and more.
How To Get Around Minneapolis With Kids
When we arrived MSP airport, we picked up our car rental from National. We stayed in Downtown Minneapolis and parking fees where pretty high. I forgot to take that into account. However, the freedom of having a car and driving around was important to us so I’m glad we rented a car. You can also get around Minneapolis with kids by using Lyft/Uber and public transportation. Make sure to have appropriate car seat/child restraint system when traveling with kids.
Where To Stay In Minneapolis With Kids
We stayed at the Hilton Minneapolis which is in downtown Minneapolis, walking distance to restaurants and public transportation as well.
Other great family friendly hotels in Minneapolis are:
- Embassy Suites By Hilton Minneapolis
- Hilton Garden Inn Minneapolis
- Hampton Inn and Suites Minneapolis
- Best Western Plus Minneapolis
- Crowne Plaza Northstar
Things To Do In Minneapolis With Kids
See The Largest Mall In America
Mall of America – Location: 60 E Broadway, Bloomington, MN 55425, USA
With over 5 million square feet of land, the Mall of America boasts of its own zip code and it provides hundreds of choices for some cool and thrilling activities indoors. It has a massive parking space and over 500 stores and restaurants. It even has its own indoor Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park where you and your family can buy all-access passes to the theme park rides! Your family will surely be delighted in the Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium, the LEGO Imagination Center, their golf course, and their 3-D theater.
Visit The Zoo
Como Park Zoo – Location: 1225 Estabrook Drive, Saint Paul, Minnesota
If you are looking for something educational and budget-friendly things to do in Minneapolis with kids, Como Park Zoo is the way to go. While access to this zoo is free, visitors are encouraged to donate for the zoo’s upkeep. But hey, this is still a great deal as you can see exotic animals and thriving tropical plants. They have different exhibits such as Polar Bear Exhibit, Wolf Exhibit, Aquatic Animal Exhibit, Land and Water Bird Exhibit, Seal Island, and Primate Facility.
Eat Dinner And Play Bowling With The Family
Elsie’s Restaurant and Bowling Center – Location: 729 Marshall St NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413, USA
There is nothing like Elsie’s Restaurant and Bowling Center to give you the hometown feels as their local bowling alley slash restaurant is filled with the 90’s touch. This is the place to practice throwing that perfect shot with your kids.
Visit The Children’s Museum
Minnesota Children’s Museum – Location: 7th St. W, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55102
This is one of the best children’s museums in Minneapolis, a place where children can learn, plat and make memories. There are over eleven hands on exhibits spanning over 3 floors. Plan to spend a few hours at this children’s museum as it is one of the best things to do in Minneapolis with kids.
Embark On A River Paddle-Boat Cruise
Paradise Charter Cruises and Minneapolis Queen – Location: 2150 W River Pkwy, Minneapolis, MN 55454, USA
For those families who would prefer a quiet, relaxing and fun way to explore, the Minnesota Queen offers family-friendly cruises for the visitors while on board replicas of old boats that used to sail in the Mississippi River. Your family will certainly love eating delicious food while seeing the idyllic landscapes as it offers an entirely different view of the place.
Go On An Outdoor Adventure
Minnehaha Park – Location: 4801 S Minnehaha Drive, Minneapolis, MN 55417
If your family loves to go on outdoor adventures, a visit to Minnehaha Park while in Minneapolis with kids would totally fit the bill. Parents and children alike will take pleasure in going on a hiking trip with a scenic view of the falls or just hop on a bike and just immerse in the peace and beauty of nature. You can also tell your kids about Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem “The Song of Hiawatha”, where a native hero falls in love with Minnehaha (means ‘waterfall’) who later died amidst the severe winter while gazing up at Hiawatha’s Statue. The family can also walk along the Minnehaha Garden surrounded by flowers. You can also relax on the garden’s benches if you just prefer to admire the view while sitting down.
Visit A Museum
Mill City Museum – Location: 704 S 2nd St, Minneapolis, MN 55401, USA
The Mill City Museum offers a walkthrough inside the partially ruined parts of what used to be the world’s largest flour mill. The Flour Tower offers visitors a glimpse of how the workers of the mill work long shifts and can teach the children great insight on the value of hard work.
Discover More About Science
Science Museum of Minnesota – Location: 120 W Kellogg Blvd, St Paul, MN 55102, USA
This is a great way to spend time with your children while they are learning. The Science Museum of Minnesota offers a fun way for your family to discover science through their exhibits about dinosaur fossils, the human body, Native American history, and even Math.
Check Out The Minneapolis Theater And Entertainment Scene
Children’s Theater Company – Location: 2400 3rd Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55404, USA
We encourage you to get a dose of family entertainment, watching musical theater productions of popular children’s literature like Snow White, Cinderella, and Matilda. Visit their website to check on the show schedules.
Find The Perfect Backdrop For Your Photos
Minneapolis Sculpture Garden – Location:
When I looked up things to do in Minneapolis with kids prior to my trip, this park popped up on google and I knew it’d be a great photo op. There not much to do here, however it is a beautiful park for a picnic and great place for photos as well.
Go On A Rock Climbing Adventure With Your Kids
Vertical Endeavors – Location: 2540 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404, USA
If your family is into sports, Vertical Endeavors is a rock climbing facility where you can test your physical strength and endurance. If you are also keen on developing your skills, their place offers lessons from the basic to the more advanced climbing techniques. So, there you go! That concludes our list of things to do with kids in Minneapolis. As you may have read from the list above, Minneapolis would never run short of cool, interesting places for the whole family to spend a day of fun activities in!
Treat Your Family To An Ice Cream Date
Izzy’s Scoop – Location: 2034 Marshall Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55104
I mean, who does not love ice cream, right? Izzy’s Scoop is a popular family friendly ice cream parlor in Minneapolis. Treat your family to a wide selection of ice cream flavors from Blueberry Sorbet, Blueberry Yogurt, Brown Butter, Brown Sugar Bourbon, and Bubble Gum to Burnt Caramel.
Where To Eat In Minneapolis With Kids
We are foodies, and Minneapolis did not disappoint at all. Every restaurant we ate at had really good food! Other than finding things to do in Minnesota with kids, finding places to eat in Minnesota with kids was just as fun.
- Revival – one of the best fried chicken we have ever had, hands down!!
- Hi-Lo Diner
- Eggy’s Diner
- Pizzeria Lola – This Korean BBQ Beef short ribs, mozzarella, scallions, arugula, sesame, soy-chili vinaigrette was SO GOOD.
- Andale Taqueria & Mercado
- Milk Jam Creamery
Overall, our trip to Minneapolis was amazing and I am so glad that I found affordable tickets to Minneapolis. Aiden is on a quest to visit every US state so we are slowly visiting them one by one as the deals permit.
- Find the best deals on Cruise Direct
- Purchase must have travel insurance through Allianz