Walk Around A Popular Waterfall
MinnehahaOne of the most picturesque spots to visit in the Twin Cities any time of the year is Minnehaha Falls. The 50-foot cascade is beautiful in the spring and summer when the water is flowing fast, but equally gorgeous in the winter when the falls freeze over. You can view the rapids from the top of the park or descend the stairs to the base to snap a winning selfie. Theres also a network of trails along Minnehaha Creek, including the popular two-mile trek to where it meets the mighty Mississippi.Cost: Free
Visit A Haunted Amusement Park
ShakopeeSure, popular theme park Valleyfair gets plenty of screams during the summer from its steep rollercoastersbut in the fall, the grounds transform into ValleySCARE. Imagine more than 300 creepy creatures and monsters roaming the park with choose-your-own-adventure scare zones, haunted houses, and disorienting mazes. If those arent frightful enough, you can board their usual thrill rides, too.Cost: Tickets range from $38 – $47
Top Things To Do In Minneapolis
Minneapolis is one of two infamous Twin Cities built on three historic rivers. Once known as Flour Milling Capital of the World, today The Cities boasts a thriving food scene and industrial successes. Despite its nickname, Minneapolis and Saint Paul function as separate governing bodies and offer wildly different attractions and activities.
Minneapolis, like Minnesota, is famous for having an excess of lakes and parks. The Mississippi River splits the citys center and provides residents and visitors with year-round outdoor fun. Browse city landmarks, kid-friendly activities, and other famous attractions in Minneapolis.
When the weather rolls in, visitors are lucky to have a plethora of indoor attractions to choose from. Escape the cold in Little Box Sauna, a portable sauna by Andrea Johnson set up outside the Warner Art Center a few months out of the year.
Things to do indoors near Minneapolis include:
- Dig through bookshelves at WIld Rumpus Bookstore
- Catch the latest flicks at ShowPlace ICON at The West End with ICON-X
- Spend an afternoon at the Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium
- Explore art collections at Walker Art Center
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Minneapolis Queen Boat Rides
Source: Mike Procario / Flickr
A river as storied as the Mississippi deserves to be navigated by boat, and from mid-April to the end of October you can do this aboard the old-time paddle-wheeler, Minneapolis Queen.
Twin Cities Cruises schedules daily 90-minute sightseeing tours for supreme views of the skyline and Minneapoliss historic riverfront area, via river bluffs, the Saint Anthony Lock System, the Stone Arch Bridge and the University of Minnesota Campus riverfront.
Even long-term Twin Cities residents will learn something new about the river, and theres a full service bar on board.
As well as daytime cruises during the week you can also book Sunday Brunch Cruises, Friday Night Dinner Cruises and Happy Hour Pizza Cruises.
At 701 First Avenue in downtown Minneapolis is a real piece of music history.
Open since 1970 and still going strong, First Avenue is a nightclub in an Art Deco former Greyhound bus station.
This venue and the smaller 7th St Entry has been a springboard to a host of acts to have emerged from the Twin Cities.
The most famous is of course Prince, and the nightclub made an appearance in his 1984 movie, Purple Rain.
Hüsker Dü, The Replacements and Soul Asylum are other major local acts that cut their teeth here, while a multitude of artists and bands graced the stage at First Avenue on tour before making it big.
Prince has pride of place with a golden star after he passed away in 2016.
Saint Paul Farmers’ Market
Surethe essence of a “market” is to spend money, but you can still enjoy the sights and sounds of the lively Saint Paul Farmers’ Market without reaching into your wallet. The outdoor market near CHS Field in Lowertown is open 9am-1pm Saturdays from Nov-April and both Saturdays and Sundays the rest of the season.
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Bentleyville Tour Of Lights
This dazzling outdoor light display draws thousands each holiday season to Bayfront Festival Park in Duluth. Originally conceived on private property outside the city, the event quickly outgrew its owners space with busloads of tourists coming by to enjoy visits with Santa, live entertainment, hot drinks, marshmallow roasts and an ever-growing collection of holiday lights.
All of that can still be found at Bentleyvilles digs in Duluth plus the nations tallest Christmas tree! if youre willing to bundle up the family on a cold winter night. Definitely one of the most feeling Minnesota moments of our year. The lights are on mid-Nov through Christmas admission and all activities are FREE or what you care to donate. Parking in the lot is $10 per vehicle. Unfortunately, it wont be possible to hitch a round-trip ride on the North Shore Scenic Railroad , departing from Fitgers downtown, in 2021. If you are staying at one of the Duluth area hotels, be sure to check if there is a shuttle that will transport your family to the park often this is a free service during the holiday season.
Tips: If theres snow, bring a sled to pull the little ones. Plan to set aside at least 45 minutes to walk the half-mile loop with kids youll want to stop often for treats, photo ops and to warm up little fingers at bonfires along the route. We rate this attraction the best thing to do in Duluth over the holiday season with your family!
More Holiday Events This Weekend In The Twin Cities
Union Depot | 214 4th Street East, St Paul, MNBased on the European open air Christkindlmarkts like those in Germany and Austria, this is a free event to attend with the opportunity to shop for unique, handmade gifts and decorations as well as nosh on holiday treats. The event is back in person for 2021! Open weekends starting November 26, 2021, Fri 4-9pm, Sat 10am-8pm & Sun 11am-6pm.
668 Transfer Rd Ste. 8, St Paul, MN 55114A special holiday tradition at the Twin City Model Railroad Museum, the Night Trains season magically transforms the museum layouts. Buildings and street lights glow, and throughout the museum the layouts are adorned with Christmas lights. Saturdays, November 6-Feb 2022. $15/pp.
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Bunker Beach Water Park
Bunker Beach is Minnesota’s largest outdoor water park. Located just minutes from Minneapolis and St. Paul, we are your destination for summer fun in the sun!
Bunker Beach now features six towering waterslides, a 900 lazy river, leisure pool with climbing wall, a zero-entry pool with water play structure, a creative sand play area, and as always, Minnesotas largest wave pool.
Family Fun Calendar Mission
We collect Family Fun in the Twin Cities so you dont have to spend the time! Our calendar is chock-full schedule of kid-friendly events and family fun throughout the Twin Cities. Whether you want fun in one of Minnesotas three largest cities Minneapolis, Saint Paul or Bloomington or any part of the Twin Cities metro area, we have ideas for you.
We offer the best in affordable family fun. More than half of the events we list have free admission and almost everything is less than $10/pp. In some rare cases, well share something we think is worth the splurge. However, usually splurge events are found in other pages like our Performing Arts Calendar.
New to the Twin Cities, life-time residents or just visiting? This calendar is perfect for families who live in the area, but if you are visiting Minnesota, use our calendar to find events with local flavor that the average tourist might miss. Find the top things to do with families in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota. We feature live local music by home-grown kids bands, shopping events the whole family can enjoy, not to mention museums, parks and kid-approved theater. In the summer, we overflow with waterparks and in the winter, we feature ice skating, sledding and skiing events. We burst at the seams with Holiday events for the family. Whatever a family can dream up, weve dug it up and shared it here.
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Check Out A Block Party
MinnehahaOpen Streets is part of a movement to make neighborhoods more accessible and sociable, closing roads to traffic like an old-fashioned block party. Youre encouraged to bike, walk, rollerblade, or scooter over to these free, family-friendly festivals that take place over about a dozen different city blocks every year. The last Open Streets event of this years season is October 24 in the Minnehaha neighborhood featuring live music, kids activities, and food trucks.Cost: Free
Shop ’til You Drop At The Country’s Largest Mall
BloomingtonMake fun of it all you want but where else can you find five roller coasters, four Caribous, a million-gallon aquarium, and a place to get married all under one roof? The people-watching alone is reason enough to make the trip, plus the opportunity to visit stores which have just this one location in Minnesota.Cost: Free, plus purchases
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Chain Of Lakes Minneapolis Minnesota
The Chain of Lakes consists of several scenic lakes in the Minneapolis metropolitan area, each with their own attractions and things to do. With over 13 miles of paved paths that run along the shoreline, walking, hiking and biking is easy and fun to do.
During the summer months, have fun on the water with canoes or kayaks and savor the tranquility of the lakes, or rent a boat and explore more distant shores.
The winter snowfall brings another round of adventure watch ice surfers skim the frozen surface of the lake, join a game of ice hockey, or head out on snow skis for cross-country skiing.
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The Basilica Of St Mary
Joe Ferrer / Shutterstock
Americas oldest basilica is also one of the most gorgeous churches in the country.
The Basilica of St. Mary is one of the most stunning things to see in Minneapolis.
Worshipping at this Hennepin Avenue church is such a powerful experience.
Today, The Basilica of St. Mary is a proud part of the Minneapolis religious community.
It features some of the best construction of any church in the United States.
If you come for a Sunday liturgy, prepared to be moved by a truly wonderful faith experience.
There are also many moving statues and other artworks here, depicting religious figures such as Mary, as well as various saints.
You can show your children the power of devotion through teaching them about these religious icons, via these works.
The Basilica of St. Mary is a great church with a great history.
When you visit, embrace the power of the gospel and of Marys protection.
Its open from Mondays to Fridays from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and Sundays from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Address: 88 17th St N, Minneapolis, MN 55403, United States
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Have A Laugh At Stand
North Loop, Downtown MinneapolisIts practically guaranteed youll have a good time when youre listening to stand-up worthy of a laugh trackand there are several spots around the Cities to check out. Acme in the North Loop has free open mic nights where you can heckle stand-up hopefuls, and theyre also known for hosting big national names. Sisyphus Brewing near downtown Minneapolis also has comedy nights, including amateur hours, that are a riot along with great beer.Cost: Free for open mic/amateur hours, $10 – $20/person for weekend shows
Minneapolis Attractions: Paradise Charter Cruises
Experience the largest river system in North America from the deck of a beautiful old water cruiser on an exclusive Mississippi River or Lake Minnetonka cruise.
Paradise Charter Cruises offer a variety of river cruises, ranging from private charters and special events cruises to public cruises on either the river or the lake.
One of the more popular cruises, the narrated Mississippi River Tour, departs from Bohemian Flats in Minnesota and makes its way along the waterfront, following the southern trails of the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway and Heritage Trail, highlighting interesting attractions such as the striking 35W Bridge, St. Anthony Falls, and the historic Stone Arch Bridge. Finally, take in the magnificent downtown Minneapolis skyline as you head back up the river.
Cruises have a full-service bar along with a range of snacks and light meals available for purchase on each tour.
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Trot Off Those Turkey Calories
St. PaulDont be a turkey if you want to eat a ton of food on Thanksgivingjust burn some calories first at the Cities annual Turkey Trot. Choose from a 6K or 10K run and feel free to dress up in Thanksgiving-themed clothing. You can also give back to your community on the holiday by running for a cause and raising money for local nonprofit The Open Door Pantry, which works to end hunger.Cost: $38 – $45
St Anthony Falls And Stone Arch Bridge
A beautiful place to take a walk out over the water to see the waterfall which is a large part of Minneapoliss history. Plus you can see the Mill City Museum from here.
Length of time: it would only take 30 minutes or so to walk the whole bridge, but could be longer if you choose to linger and take in the buildings and the waterfall.
Kids: Great for kids since there are no cars on the bridge just people walking and bikes.
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Pick Produce At A Farmer’s Market
Downtown MinneapolisThought farmers markets were just for summer? Think again. Mill City Farmers Market is open year-round! You can find around 40 local vendors selling everything from coffee and juice to mini-doughnuts and breakfast sandwiches to hats, jewelry, and clothing. The outdoor market is open every Saturday through the end of October and the shopping continues indoors on select Saturdays from November to April.Cost: Free, plus purchases
How To Get To The Mall Of America
It is very easy to get to the mall and there are many methods of travel you can take. They offer ample parking, valet, multiple Uber-pickup locations, buses, taxis, tour buses, and the light rail has a stop at the mall as well. Its only around ten minutes from the airport which makes it a convenient location to access for people coming into town.
The Mall of America is located at 60 E Broadway, Bloomington, MN 55425. It is open from 10 9:30 daily except for on Sunday when it is open from 11 7.
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Minneapolis Institute Of Arts
The Minneapolis Institute of Art is one of the leading comprehensive fine-art museums in the country located in a beautiful landmark building near downtown Minneapolis. With over 90,000 artworks, Mias collection includes art from six continents, spanning about 5,000 years. Plus, enjoy free general admission and a drop-in Family Center with kid-friendly books and toys! Current museum hours are ThursdaySunday, 10am5pm.
Get Creeped Out By Ghosts
Minneapolis, St. Paul, StillwaterIf youre intrigued by the paranormal, a seasonal ghost tour may be just the trickor treat. Choose from three locations, each promising true stories of spectres that youve never heard before. The tours are all on foot and take place outdoors in most weather conditions, so dress appropriately and wear comfortable shoes.Cost: $20 – $25
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Guthrie Theater Minneapolis Minnesota
Founded in 1963, the Guthrie Theater is a center for theater performance, production, education and professional training with the aim of exposing and connecting audiences to classic literature and new works from diverse cultures around the globe.
Located on the west bank of the Mississippi River, next to Gold Medal Park and the Mill City Museum in downtown Minneapolis, the Guthrie Theater has won numerous awards for its design by Jean Nouvel and attracts visitors from all over the world to admire its architecture. The theater houses three theaters with a signature thrust stage, and a 78-foot cantilevered bridge called the Endless Bridge.
Aside from nationally acclaimed productions and concerts, the theater has two excellent restaurants, namely Sea Change and the Level Five Café, an elegant lounge and a boutique store.
818 South 2nd Street, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55415, Phone: 612-225-6000
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