Catch The Fall Colors
Metro-wideTheres no better way to catch the changing leaves than by hopping in the car and cruising along scenic roads bursting with color. In the Cities proper, try circling the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway, which covers about 50 miles of parkway. If youre up for a brief drive, start in Taylors Falls and head down Highway 95 along the St. Croix River to Stillwater or Afton for a truly stunning view.Cost: Totally free
Lake Superior Marine Museum
Residing in Duluth, Minnesota, the Lake Superior Marine Museum is one of the states many notable points of interest.
Run by the United States Army Corps of Engineers, this museum overlooks the Duluth-Superior harbor.
With the laudable aim of preserving Lake Superiors maritime heritage, the museum preserves and exhibits maritime artifacts, documents, and more.
Additionally, the museum has a vast collection of photographs, publications, and educational materials.
If youre looking for cool stuff to do with a penchant for history, the Lake Superior Marine Museum is a great place to check out.
Opened Thursday through Sunday, admission to the museum is free.
During your visit, youll enjoy a journey through the history of the Great Lakes.
Some of the exciting exhibits showcase shipwrecks, Great Lakes vessels, Great Lakes industrial history, and beyond.
A perfect place for the whole family to enjoy and learn from, the Lake Superior Marine Museum is one of many cool things to do in The Gopher State.
Address: 600 Canal Park Dr, Duluth, MN 55802, United States
Ice Castles In Excelsior
About thirty minutes from the heart of the big city is Excelsior, MN. This year, Excelsior is one of six cities in North America to host this gorgeous frozen structure complete with vivid lights and fairytale-like splendor!
Each site must grow 10,000 icicles a day to make this happen and as you may have guessed, its a super seasonal, weather dependent spectacle! Check the main Ice Castles website to determine the hours and opening of each site.
Be aware, strollers and wheelchairs are not easy to navigate through the crushed ice pathways of the Ice Castles site.
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Gain Knowledge At One Of The Many Local Museums
- Photo Courtesy: Bell Museum
In addition to childrens museums, the Twin Cities also offers a variety of other interesting museums. Spend an exciting day of learning at the Mill City Museum, one of the best things to do in Minneapolis with kids. This museum offers a unique tour where families can learn about one of the areas first industries, flour milling, inside a moving elevator! At the top, enjoy gorgeous views of the Mississippi River and St. Anthony Falls. Be sure to check out the Baking Lab, they often have fresh cookies or bread to try. Then, the Bakken Museum is newly renovated and gives families a unique perspective on electricity and electromagnetism, from Frankensteins Laboratory to Ben Franklin. The Bakken Museum is also located on the edge of Lake Bde Maka Ska. After exploring the depths of the museum, head outdoors for a bit of fresh air along the lake.
Open Air Theater At Windego Park
Eight minutes from downtown Ramsey, you will find Windego Park, which sits alongside the Rum River. Inside this park is the Windego Park Auditorium and Open-Air Theater, offering a wide range of performances, activities, and shows for locals and visitors alike. This theater is a landmark built in 1914 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Stroll the grounds, take in a show, or simply bask in the historical significance of this Ramsey gem!
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Twin Cities Harvest Festival
The foliage and scenery are amazing in Fall, typically changing color in early October. If you plan to visit Ramsey in autumn, check out the Twin Cities Harvest Festival and Maze held annually for the past ten years at Brooklyn Park. This event touts the states largest corn maze- around 20 acres! There is a scavenger hunt for prizes, as well as photo opportunities in the pumpkin patch. The Twin Cities are about 20 minutes from Ramsey- enjoy the scenic fall foliage on the ride!
Enjoy Four Seasons Of Fun
Ice Fishing Hut | Photo by Lorie Shaull
Minnesota is not just at state for summer frolics! Visit Minnesota during the winter and try ice fishing, dog sledding, or winter camping. Just remember to pack your long underwear!
Since we have snow and colder weather for many months each year, there is always a winter-themed event to partake in. You will find that we have a lot of Christmas and holiday cheer as well. We have an entire guide dedicated to all the Christmas events in the Twin Cities.
The fall color around Minnesota is nothing to ignore- there are many auto tours to take in the changing of the seasons. There are several places to enjoy hauntingly fun events, pick apples, and enjoy harvest fun.
Spring means heading offshore for fishing. Every May, mothers across the state can either celebrate Mothers Day with their loved ones or send the family to the State Fishing Opener, which usually occurs on the same day, leaving mom at home with some peace and quiet.
During the summer, head to the lake, farmers markets, and a plethora of summer festivals and fairs to take advantage of every day of warm weather that our state sees. No matter when you come or where in Minnesota you find yourself, rest assured that your family will find festivities to incite fun!
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Play At A Local Park Or Playground
Photo Courtesy: Antonia Grant
Local playgrounds offer exciting Minneapolis activities with kids. And, the area has plenty to choose from! In Minneapolis, youre never more than about 4 blocks from a green space, making Minnesota one of the most family-friendly cities in the United States. Plus, playgrounds are a great place to get local tips and restaurant recommendations. Outdoor playgrounds like North Loop Playground, Lake Nokomis Triangle Park, and Bassetts Creek Playground offer great locations for playing. Then, if youre staying near the Mall of America, Running Park offers a lovely pond, play structures for toddlers and older kids, a zip-line, and ample green space to play. Finally, just south of Minneapolis, in Bloomington, Hyland Play Area is a thrilling chutes and ladders playground that kids will adore. If youre looking for low-key things to do in the Twin Cities with kids, visiting a local playground is sure to provide an afternoon of fun!
In addition, you can head to the local indoor playground on rainy days or to escape the heat. Edinborough Park, located in Edina, features a kids gym with many fun toys and scooters, and a multi-story climbing structure. On-site lockers and snacks are also available.
Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
JB Manning / Shutterstock
Travelers from the US and Canada flock to Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness each year.
Of note, the area is home to several educational resource centers such as a nature & science center, a history & culture center, and a kids program to name a few.
The areas landscape is home to diverse animals, ecosystems, water, and vegetation, all of which make exploring the area remarkable.
The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness also has plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation.
Of note, visitors to the park can enjoy camping, biking, hiking, climbing, fishing, hunting, and horseback riding.
Additionally, nature observance, rock collecting, picnicking, and scenic drives are draws to the park.
Finally, the area is the setting for many watersports such as canoeing, kayaking, and swimming.
Whether youre looking to get away from the hubbub of daily life, improve your appreciation for nature, or just learn about the diverse wilderness, youll surely enjoy your visit to Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
Address: Duluth, MN 55808, United States
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You Dont Have To Break The Bank To Have Fun With Your Kids In The Twin Cities
The kids just got home for summer, and if yours are anything like mine, it means that the first Im bored is right around the corner. We all know how quickly the cost of kids activities can add up, but you dont have to go broke to have fun with your family in this city.
To this point, we put together this list of the 10 best places in the Twin Cities where you and the kids and maybe even your babysitter or nanny can get out of the house and make unforgettable memories, and all without spending a dime!
Address: 4801 S. Minnehaha Park Dr., Minneapolis, MN 55417Hours: Open daily from dusk til dawn.Phone: 612-230-6400
Minnehaha Park lies within the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, a unit of the National Park Service, and boasts 193 acres of spectacular waterfalls and rivers to enjoy throughout summer. The no-fee Waubun wading pool is a perfect way to cool down on a hot summer day. The falls are a great spot to take the kiddies both human and pet! and take in an open-air concert, fire up an on-site grill, hit the playground, or explore a few walking trails. Pack a picnic or splurge at the nearby Sea Salt Eatery if you enjoy all things seafood.
Address: 1225 Estabrook Dr., Saint Paul, MN 55103Hours: Summer Hours : Open daily, 10 a.m. 6 p.m.Phone: 651-487-8200
Minneapolis Attractions For Kids
The Twin Cities is home to The Mall Of America. As one of the largest indoor malls in the country, the Mall Of America is now one of the top tourist destinations in the nation. With amazing shopping, fabulous food and non-stop entertainment, youll find something for everyone at the MOA . The MOA houses its own amusement park with thrills for all, as well as a huge aquarium, a giant interactive LEGO store, and dont forget to visit our American Girl Doll store and IKEA just across the street!
Two of the best childrens bookstores are in The Cities. The Red Balloon Bookshop in Saint Paul is a sweet store with a huge variety of books, fabulous story times, red balloons for everyone, and two of the best coffee shops, Cafe Latte and Bread and Chocolate, on the very same block.
The Wild Rumpusin Minneapolis is as unique as they come. Starting with a kid-size purple door at the entrance, going right on through the animal room downstairs and the animalsincluding chickens and catswandering through story times, its an adventure all around.
The Twin Cities is also home to one of the largest local art scenes in the country. Visit the Walker Art Centerand take a walk and picnic at the Sculpture Gardens that provides amazing views of Minneapolis. Our favorite art museum is the Minneapolis Institute of Arts which is free and has fabulous kid-friendly spaces. The MIA also holds a DAmico restaurant with some of best local kid-friendly food around.
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Visit A Little House On A Big Prairie
Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum | Photo by Lorie Shaull
Who doesnt have a soft spot for Laura, Mary, Pa and the rest of the Ingalls? I grew up reading the books and watching the adventures of Laura and Nellie when Little House on the Prairie became a TV series.
At the Ingalls Dugout site, visitors can walk along Plum Creek and imagine themselves living in the frontier days.
The Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum includes Ingalls family artifacts, items from the television series, and getting into character with hands-on opportunities.
In July, the town of Walnut Grove has a Family Festival with pioneer demonstrations, hand crafts, and a outdoor drama based on Laura Ingalls Wilder. If you want to see some sod houses, similar to what families like the Ingalls would have lived in, head to Sod House on the Prairie in Sanborn, MN.
Things To Do In Ramsey
Ramsey is an exceptional vacation destination with plenty to do, lots to see, and some of the warmest people you will ever meet. Come see all that Ramsey has to offer and check out these family-friendly things to do when visiting this diverse and beautiful area of the country. Got questions about Ramsey, Minnesota? Check out the area Chamber of Commerce online to get answers, plan activities, or to make reservations they also offer a calendar of events on their website that may be helpful when arranging and planning your trip. Have a great time!
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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
Best Things To Pack For A Trip To Minneapolis
Its always Moms job to pack so youll want to make sure you come prepared. As mentioned, Minneapolis is a walking city which makes a pair of comfyyet supportiveshoes a must. I liked these sporty-chic sneakers from New Balance for trekking from point A to point B. And because we were always on the movefrom roaming museums to cheering at a minor league gameI used this leather backpack to tote around everything we needed for the day. Like most families, we also visited the Minneapolis Zoo, where we took advantage of the many picnic spots using this insulated cooler, which is lightweight yet spacious . Dont forget to wear a windbreaker, toosince there are so many lakes in the Twin Cities, I quickly learned it can get pretty breezy. Of course, you can always head inside for a little shopping. Whether you head to the Mall of America or one of the local bookstores, I found this oversized tote to come in handy for all of our purchases, along with this reusable coffee cup to keep me going all day.
Although we only recommend picks we really love, we may earn a commission on purchases made through links from our site.
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James J Hill House Holidays
Experience the servants of the James J. Hill House ushering in a Gilded Age Christmas as they prepare for the holidays, fully costumed at the Summit Ave. mansion. History, arts, fun! Get in the holiday spirit with a guided tour and learn about Christmas traditions for the Hill family and their servants.
Guides bring visitors through the basement, first and second floors while sharing family stories and memories, including Mrs. Hills lavish seven-course holiday meal in 1910, how the servants kept their own holiday traditions, and family stories and memories that still resonate today.
Reservations are recommended. Often called Minnesotas Downton Abbey, this site also offers Christmas Traditions Guided House Tours on more flexible tour dates if a Saturday does not work for you.
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.
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Embrace Your Inner Bad
Mid-City/IndustrialIf youre looking for a place to take out some frustration, check out Bad Axes 8,000 square foot building in the industrial area not far from Northeast. You can quickly learn how to throw an axe just like an old-school Northwoods lumberjackstaff will supply you with coaching and safety tips. By the time you leave, youre sure to feel a bit more zen.Cost: $27 / hour for walk-ins
The Aerial Lift Bridge
UbjsP / Shutterstock
The Aerial Lift Bridge is a landmark attraction in Duluth, Minnesota.
Opening in 1905, the bridge was one of the USs first transporter bridges.
In fact, only one other of its kind exists in the world.
With a 138-foot clearance, a total length of 501 feet, and a remarkable height of 226 feet, the bridge is a marvel to see.
Essentially, the bridge lies low to the water and is lifted to its maximum height when ships require passage.
An unusual operation for a transporter bridge, the Aerial Lift Bridge is a sight to be seen.
Remarkably, the bridge can be lifted to its full height in only one minute its lifted nearly 5,000 times per year.
Although most visitors to the bridge marvel at its uniqueness and the passing ships from its base, what most dont know is that you can actually walk across the bridge.
In fact, a walk across the bridge will deliver you to or from Canal Park, another lovely Minnesota attraction.
Address: 601 S Lake Ave, Duluth, MN 55802, United States
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Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Winter Lights
Enjoy the gardens and collections in the winter, too. Special events are happening at the Arboretum. The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum makes spirits bright for the holiday season.
Visitors will enjoy 16 outdoor light displays, lots of nature, and a stroller-friendly trail designed to get you into the holiday spirit. There will be a bonfire where families can roast marshmallows and make Smores.There will also be beautiful ice sculptures to enjoy.
Located in Chanhassen, the arboretum is about 30-minute drive from the heart of the Twin Cities. This special event takes place in the evenings on select dates throughout the holiday season.
Be sure to visit the website for specific dates and times. They will host special family nights as well as a New Years Eve party.
Check for amazing deals on family-friendly hotels in Minneapolis and St. Paul.