Families will find plenty of fun to fill their days in Minnesota. Amusement parks like Valleyfair, Paul Bunyan Land and Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America will please the thrill-seekers; the Minnesota Zoo, Great Lakes Aquarium and wildlife centers in Ely and Wabasha are ideal for animal lovers; and nature enthusiasts can camp, fish, hike and canoe in Minnesota’s many parks and lakes. Find more ideas below, add them to your favorites, and plan your Minnesota family vacation today.
Minnesota zoos are home to numerous types of animals. During the spring, visit a zoo to see adorable baby animals.
The equivalent of a modern-day treasure hunt, geocaching takes people to places they otherwise may never have gone.
Minnesota is raising the bar on its well-earned reputation for family- and kid-friendly activities. Several new, best-in-class attractions are joining an already impressive roster of facilities that cater to kids, making history, science, nature and culture fun.
While big-box movie theaters are best saved for a rainy day, there are plentiful outdoor and less expected venues across Minnesota, where watching a movie is also a chance to enjoy the fresh air, comradery, scenery and local charm. Countless movies in city parks, a few remaining classic drive-ins, and all kinds of other venues host movie nights all summer long—including golf courses, beaches and even an airport.
Spring break is just around the corner. The kids will be home from school. Do you have plans to keep them busy? There are plenty of things to do and see in Minnesota, both indoors and out, for all ages.
Once you have kids, nap times, snack times, and bedtimes before the sun goes down mean vacation isn’t quite what it used to be. But with a little planning, flexibility and a good sense of humor, you can have just as much fun (if not more) as you did before the kids were born.
The Pokémon Go craze has taken the world by storm. Explore Minnesota and catch 'em all with this guide to a handful of Pokémon hot spots, Pokéstops and Gyms across the state.
Toasting marshmallows around the campfire, staying up late to catch fireflies, playing tag with the kids from the next cabin. If you grew up in Minnesota, these images may remind you of summers spent at a lakeside resort. Even if you haven’t been to one, it’s never too late to start a new tradition and make some memories of your own.
There's no question that Minnesota is one of the world's top destinations for winter fun. But if snow days leave you longing for sunnier ones, you’ll find plenty of ways to partake in summer’s many splendors from the comfort of the great indoors. From golfing and swimming to farmers markets and food trucks, you may be surprised to find many of summer’s favorite pastimes happening year-round—yes, even in Minnesota.
Kids have plenty of places to play in Minnesota, from zoos to indoor waterparks to parks and playgrounds. Also high on this list are Minnesota’s children’s museums, which can be found in Duluth, Grand Rapids, St. Paul, Bloomington, Rochester and Mankato.
The bright yellow roof and believable claim as “Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store!” pulls a steady stream of shoppers—650,000 a year, in fact—to Jordan’s expansive and seasonal Jim’s Apple Barn off U.S. Highway 169. This, and many other one-of-a-kind Minnesota roadside stops, offer free fun and photo ops worth pulling over for this summer.
Wildlife sanctuaries dedicated to wolves, bears, eagles and owls offer fun and education for animal lovers of all ages. Plan a trip to the International Wolf Center and North American Bear Center in Ely, the Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary near Orr, the National Eagle Center in Wabasha and the International Owl Center in Houston.
While you aren’t likely to plan your next family vacation around a playground, there’s no doubt that once you arrive at your destination, you’ll end up at one when the kids need to burn off some energy. Sometimes any playground will do, but if you’re looking for something more than a slide and a swing set, these awesome Minnesota playgrounds will inspire even the parents to get in on the fun.
There's always something new to see and do at Mall of America in Bloomington.
Opportunities for educational travel abound in Minnesota, with museums of all types, historic sites and monuments among the many options.
From zoos to aquariums to the great outdoors, wildlife can be found virtually everywhere in Minnesota. Native species including loons, bald eagles, moose and bears are prevalent in the state's parks, forests, and designated wildlife management areas and refuges. For more exotic species, zoos and aquariums throughout Minnesota are home to everything from lions to monkeys to sharks.
Finding activities that everyone in your family deems fun is a challenge. Enter geocaching.
Kids (and kids at heart) can splish and splash no matter the weather at Minnesota's indoor water parks.