5 Top Places To Take Kids In and Around The Twin Cities of Minnesota (2023)
The city of Minneapolis is one-half of the famous Twin Cities of Minnesota, with St. Paul accounting for the other half. Minneapolis is home to many iconic cultural and historical landmarks and attractions for the entire family. From the award-winning Children’s Theater Company to the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and Nickelodeon Universe, there are many attractions that are perfect for the entire family, especially for kids. At the same time, there are many exciting things to do in St. Paul, including a visit to the renowned Como Park Zoo and Conservatory, the Science Museum of Minnesota, and the beautiful Minnehaha Falls. Children can have hours of fun at the many attractions in the Twin Cities.
5 Top Places To Take Kids In and Around The Twin Cities of Minnesota
Here are the top places to take kids in and around the Twin Cities.
1. Nickelodeon Universe
One of the top-most things to do in and around the Twin Cities with children is to visit the Nickelodeon Universe. The Nickelodeon Universe is the biggest indoor amusement park in the world that offers a huge range of attractions and activities for children of all ages. The Nickelodeon Universe is situated in the heart of the biggest mall in the US, the Mall of America.
Spread out over seven acres, this indoor amusement park is built on themes that revolve around characters from the Nickelodeon Channel. The park features enormous skylights, 400 35-foot foot trees, and over 30,000 plants to give a feeling of the outdoors and nature. There are a wealth of exciting rides, slides, and many other exhilarating attractions like spinning rides, roller coasters, junior rides for preschoolers and toddlers, arcades and games, etc. There is also a huge variety of dance parties, light shows, magic shows, and character meets that go on throughout the day. Other attractions here include the FlyOver America, which is a 4D virtual experience that takes riders over the landscapes of America, and the Dutchman’s Deck Adventure Course, which consists of a 60-feet high multiple-level Sky Trail ropes course.
2. Children’s Theater Company
Known as The Moppet Players in the 1960s, the Children’s Theater Company is an award-winning regional theater that specializes in putting on shows, plays, and concerts for families and children in Minneapolis. John Clark Donahue founded the Children’s Theater Company in 1965, and since then, it has become a leader in the world of theater for educating young people through art. In fact, in 2003, the company even won the Tony Award. Productions of the company have included Peter Pan, Sleeping beauty, Cinderella, and The Wizard of Oz, and many others. The company holds performances throughout the year.
3. Visit to the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory
The Como Park Zoo & Conservatory is a popular family attraction in St. Paul. The Como Park Conservatory was built in 1915, and it is one of the biggest attractions in the city today. This is the perfect place to spend an entire day of fun for all ages. It is also budget-friendly as the entry is free, but donations are encouraged to help with the upkeep and functioning of the zoo.
The zoo is home to a variety of animals from all over the world, including monkeys and polar bears. One of the most popular animal interactions here is feeding the giraffes, and visitors of all ages can feed these gentle giants some Romaine lettuce right from their hands.
The zoo recently underwent an expansion of $20 million, during which a new Como Harbor exhibit was added. This is going to be a new home for otters, penguins, and two giant octopuses.
Apart from the zoo, there is a lot more to see in the park. While here, make sure you make a stop at the conservatory to check out a variety of heat-loving plants. A visit to this beautiful glass building will make you feel like you have stepped right into the tropics. The Sunken Garden is also another exhibit you must check out. This is a colorful area full of many beautiful and fragrant plants that continuously change throughout the seasons and is an excellent place for clicking pictures.
4. Minnesota History Center
Located on West Kellogg Boulevard, the Minnesota History Center is the perfect place to visit with your entire family, including children. This is the place to visit to help your children learn about the history and features of the great Midwestern state of Minnesota. The museum is home to many permanent and changing exhibits that cover topics like how climate change is affecting the state to the Civil War. Additionally, the center also organizes many workshops, lectures, family activities, and other events that you can participate in. Some of the highlights of the center include the full-sized replica of the Jenny airplane that remains suspended from the ceiling of the central rotunda.
The Jenny display is hugely popular with kids, who are awed to see the replica of the airplane hanging from the ceiling. You also get to take in some breathtaking views of the Minnesota State Capitol building, which is visible from the Great Hall.
5. Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is a famous park that is home to the state’s renowned giant spoon sculpture called Claes Oldenburg’s Spoonbridge and Cherry. This 11-acre park was established in 1988, and it is located near the Walker Art Center. The park is home to over 40 beautiful works of sculpture from the nearby walker Art Center’s collections. The crown jewel of the garden is the giant spoon, which is said to be one of the most photographed sites in Minneapolis. Throughout the year, the garden plays host to various outdoor educational activities and concerts for visitors of all ages.
The garden attracts millions of visitors every year who come from near and far to view the iconic works on display here, including Spoonbridge and Cherry. Other notable installations include Wind Chime by Pierre Huyghe and Hahn/Cock by Katharina Fritsch.
The centerpiece of the garden is the famous Spoondbridge and Cherry fountain that has been designed by husband and wife Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen. The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden was designed by Edward Larrabee Barnes and landscape architects Quinnel and Rothschild.