If you should find yourself traveling to Minnesota in the middle of winter with children (I’m sorry) but have no fear because our family went to Minnesota for 12 days over Christmas and we had so much fun and plenty to do! Since I am originally from Minnesota we had lots of friends and family to see but we decided to break up the trip a little by staying at The Depot Renaissance Hotel in downtown Minneapolis for 2 nights, which I highly recommend! They have an indoor water park and ice skating rink, check out my full review of The Depot Hotel in Minneapolis.
So what is there to do with kids in Minnesota? Well, actually there is plenty to do!
1. Snow Tubing at Three Rivers Recreation in Maple Grove. We arrived in Minnesota and there was no snow on the ground, totally unusual for this time of year. In fact it was oddly warm. Everyone in Minnesota thought it was a heat wave at 35/ 40 degrees, but we were a bit chilly. My kids wanted snow, so we found it at this man made snow tubing hill.
2. Spongebob Fans? We are a Nickelodeon family for sure. My kids loved Nickelodeon Universe which is located in the center of the Mall of America. It’s an indoor theme park with rides named after all your favorite Nickelodeon characters. They have smaller junior rides, thrill rides and even a high flying ropes course for older kids. Little tots can even jump inside Spongebob’s pineapple house. The roller coaster “rock bottom plunge” looked and sounded fun yet terrifying at the same time!
3. Stop by the The biggest LEGO Store it is the biggest one we’ve ever seen! Hudson’s eyes lit up and I think he thought he had died and gone to LEGO heaven! They have building stations with plenty of LEGO’s for kids to build all day long. They provide benches for parents to sit, because you’ll be there awhile;) There is also a 23,000 square foot American Girl Store at the Mall of America, it even has a restaurant inside (fancy)!
4. You can ice skate indoors at the Depot Complex or if the sun is shining you can head outside and ice skate at Centennial Lakes. My daughter loved that she was actually skating on a frozen pond/river and thought it was sooo cool. She wanted to just keep going and going and going. There is a nice cozy resting place with fireplaces to warm up inside too. Skate rental and trainers are available. Hudson skipped ice skating for the Chuck E. Cheese’s that is right next door, which is perfect for families to grab some pizza and play some games after ice skating.
5. The Science Museum of Minnesota – My kids did not want to leave, we literally had to drag them out of this place. They have all kinds of interactive exhibits, live shows and really fun hands on learning stations. They also have an Imax theatre, which I went in and saw the show, but would have been a bit too much moving and motion for my kids. The food available in the Elements Cafe is very reasonable and they have great kids meals as well as healthy food and snack options too!
6. Visit the Galleria and check out Creative Kidsstuff – which is probably one of the best toy stores I’ve ever been in. The Galleria also has some great restaurants, coffee shops, Barnes & Noble and some high end shopping. Fun Fact: I actually use to work at the store Oh Baby!, and I used to bring McKenna to work with me and put her in the cribs! If you are looking for some adorable “made in Minnesota” baby/toddler clothes be sure to stop in this whimsical store.
More Savvy Sassy Spots: The Children’s Museum which was just named one of the 12 Best by Children’s Museums in the US and Como Park Zoo. We weren’t able to get to those this visit but I have been to both when the kids were just babies and they are great for kids!
(thanks for the friendly reminder @mammameehan)
Disclosure: As a traveling Mom, writer, reviewer and Editor of SavvySassyMoms I was given media passes to some of these attractions. All of my savvy thoughts as sassy thoughts are my own. I share this travel experience with you for the purpose of helping, should you find yourself in Minnesota looking for something to do.
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