Minneapolis might be best known for the Mall of America and other wintry indoor activities, but this half of the Twin Cities has even more to offer. Kids will love the slew of family-friendly museums, attractions, outdoor parks and other things to do with kids that go way beyond the typical tourist destinations.
Mary Tyler Moore may have made the City of Lakes seem like a singleton haven, but Minneapolis offers many kid-centric activities. Easy to navigate with kids, this bustling city boasts everything from cool street cars to an incredible zoo, animal conservancy, and SeaLife aquarium. You’ll also find onsite parking for most attractions.
To highlight everything that Minneapolis has to offer, we’ve scoured the streets to find the best activities for parents and children of all ages. Whether you’re a local or a first-time visitor, here are our ideas and suggestions for the best places in Minneapolis for families and kids.
Como Park Zoo and Conservatory
Como Park Zoo and Conservatory is technically free. The suggested donation of $1-$2 per person is still extremely inexpensive, making it one of the best deals in Minneapolis. Animal-obsessed kids will love the zebras, flamingo, giraffes, polar bears and gorillas. There’s also a carousel and beautiful exotic flowers to explore.
1225 Estabrook Drive
St. Paul, MN 55103
Como-Harriet Streetcar Line
Unique to Minneapolis, the Minnesota Streetcar Museum features eight historic streetcars, which are available for public rides in Minneapolis and Excelsior. This can’t-miss attraction features special events for various holidays and a kids’ camp where kids actually have an opportunity to run the car down the line.
4200 Queen Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55410-1614
This park is one of Minneapolis’ oldest and most popular, and for good reason. There’s an incredible 53-foot waterfall, limestone bluffs, and river overlooks. Kids will love running around in the beautiful surroundings and playing in the water. There’s also a playground area to explore.
4801 Minnehaha Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55417-2373
Chain of Lakes
Chain of Lakes Park offers an incredible list of things to do and explore, which is part of why it’s considered one of Minneapolis’ best parks for kids. Explore archery, fishing, an ice rink, beach volleyball, and cross-country skiing, to name a few.
400 S 4th St
Minneapolis, MN 55415-1411
The Bakken Museum
The Bakken Museum is the world’s only library and museum devoted to electricity and electromagnetism. The many exhibits will inspire your kids to become inventors, and they’ll love the opportunity to make robots, learn carpentry, and more.
3537 Zenith Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55416-4623
Mall of America
Known across the country as the largest shopping mall, the Mall of America has everything you could ever want – including an amusement park called Nickelodeon Universe with 25 rides. If you’re looking for stores the kids will love, don’t miss the Crayola Store, the LEGO store, American Girl Bistro, and Sky Deck Games. The Amazing Mirror Maze, a 2,500 square foot mirrored maze, is another can’t-miss attraction. If you’re looking to keep the kids entertained while you shop, you can download a free printable Mall of America scavenger hunt.
60 E Broadway
Bloomington, MN 55425
Nicknamed “Adventure Peak,” Edinborough Park is an indoor playground like nothing else you’ve seen. Your kids will love the slides and tree-themed climbing structure on days where it’s too rainy or cold to go outside. The entire thing is in a glass-walled building, making it feel really open. Parents will love the area for coffee.
7700 York Avenue
South Edina, MN 55435
SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium
Located in the Mall of America, one of SEA LIFE Aquarium’s most exciting exhibits is the ability to feed the stingrays. Jellyfish and seahorses are another favorite.
East Side, 120 E Broadway level 1
Bloomington, MN 55425
Children’s Theatre Company
If you’re looking to expose your kids to the theater, look no further than the Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis. Known for adapting classic children’s tales into productions that will please the whole family, there’s not a bad seat in the house.
2400 3rd Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55404-3597
The Best Upcoming Events for Kids in Minneapolis
If you’re looking for family events and activities, don’t miss our local Minneapolis events calendar. You’ll find events and activities including story times, and seasonal activities like apple picking, pumpkin patches, and Christmas tree farms.