The suburbs south of Minneapolis have a bounty of fun family attractions. Best known is Mall of America in Bloomington; it's the largest retail and entertainment center in the country, with an indoor amusement park and an aquarium. Apple Valley is home to the nationally acclaimed Minnesota Zoo, with hundreds of species from around the world, and an adjacent IMAX theater. Explore a cattail marsh in the middle of the city at Woodlake Nature Center in Richfield.
Kids enjoy the water parks in Eagan and Bloomington. Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, Bloomington Civic Theatre and Burnsville Performing Arts Centers stage a variety of performances, and the work of local artists is displayed at the Lakeville Area Arts Center. There are also a number of excellent golf courses in the area, and for winter fun, there's the Buck Hill Ski Area.
A cluster of attractions in Shakopee include Valleyfair Family Amusement Park; Canterbury Park with live horse racing; The Landing, an 1800s living history village; and every fall, the Renaissance Festival.
The south St. Paul area includes Inver Grove Heights, a beautiful community overlooking the bluffs of the Mississippi River.