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August 7, 2009 7:28 AM   Subscribe

Me and the fam are in minneapolis. What should we see and do besides mall of america?

We're here for a few days. Recommendations for toddler friendly stuff is most appreciated
posted by tylerfulltilt to Travel & Transportation around Minneapolis, MN (16 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Minnehaha Falls.

Depending on where you're from, lots of little kids I know like riding the light rail train.

Bonus, you can take the train from the Mall to the 50th Street Station, and walk across the street and you're in Minnehaha Park with the Falls just a short walk away. Bring a stroller.
posted by marsha56 at 7:37 AM on August 7, 2009

The sculpture garden at the Walker Art Center is really cool. And if you're into architecture (or just like houses) walking or driving around the adjacent Kenwood neighborhood can be lots of fun.
posted by ocherdraco at 7:41 AM on August 7, 2009

Spoon Bridge and Cherry at the Walker sculpture garden.
posted by princelyfox at 7:47 AM on August 7, 2009

Seconding the Walker sculpture garden. Minnehaha falls is nice, but was completely dry as of three weeks ago.
posted by TrialByMedia at 8:01 AM on August 7, 2009

Many things here. I don't have kids myself but these may work out for you. The weather can be a factor, since it's raining right now I've listed mostly indoor locations.

Minneapolis Indoor:

-Guthrie Theatre, very cool building, don't need to see a show, unless you're dying too see one
-Walker Art Center
-Mill City Museum
-W Foshay and Prohibition bar at night (not toddler friendly, but worth it if you can get a sitter)
-Famous Dave's BBQ Calhoun (if your toddlers like the blues)
-Linden Hills (great little shops and cafes plus Wild Rumpus bookstore for kids)
Pizza Luce

If the rain stops:

-Minnehaha Falls and Sea Salt Restaurant
-Lake Calhoun (stop and get a boat)
-St. Anthony Main

Saint Paul:

-Science Museum
-Children's Museum
-Mickey's Dining Car
-Ft. Snelling
posted by mymanb at 8:03 AM on August 7, 2009 [1 favorite]

The Childrens Museum in St. Paul.

Pick up a copy of City Pages, The Onion, or vita.mn for events listings. Bluegrass festival this weekend, Bat For Lashes tonight. A couple friends I are playing music at a neighborhood pizza joint on the North side of town @ 6pm tonight.
posted by omnidrew at 8:05 AM on August 7, 2009

Como Zoo and Conservatory (free/accepts donations).
posted by starman at 8:20 AM on August 7, 2009

Uptown Art Fair (this weekend)

Como Zoo is really fun for kids

Minneapolis Institute of Arts. On Family Day (Sunday) they have actors roving the halls dressed like people in the portraits!
posted by miyabo at 8:22 AM on August 7, 2009

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts has free general admission, and I think admission to the special exhibits is free on Sundays.

The Minnesota Zoo is nice if you have a car.
posted by soelo at 8:35 AM on August 7, 2009

If you're in the Minnehaha Falls area, the nearby lock and dam on the Mississippi can be visited for free. You can walk way out on catwalks overlooking the structure and see lots of stuff, and if you hang around a bit, you can usually watch a boat going through the locks with the water levels changing and the big gates and everything.

As with any of these, you'll have to decide if it's interesting to your audience.
posted by gimonca at 8:57 AM on August 7, 2009

It's supposed to be 90+ degrees and humid this weekend so I wouldn't go outside unless it's in the morning before things heat up. Carting around a sweaty cranky toddler is no fun. If you do go outside, go swimming. The Jim Lupient Water Park is one idea, admission is pretty cheap ($4-$6) but since it'll be hot out, it may get crowded. Or, search here for a local park with a swimming beach or pool.

Nth-ing the Children's Museum, and also the Science Museum (although it's geared more towards preschoolers and up).

Like others have said, Como Zoo is a good cheap outing, but it's mostly outdoors so the sticky heat may cut your trip short. Minnesota Zoo is nicer, larger, and mostly indoors, but it is further away and charges admission.
posted by castlebravo at 10:55 AM on August 7, 2009

Nthing the Walker Art Center--one of my favorite things in MPLS.
posted by box at 11:01 AM on August 7, 2009

Minneapolis is the "city of lakes," so have some low-key fun around either Lake Calhoun or Lake Harriet. Lake Harriet has short trolley ride between the two lakes, and you can get a snack at the band shell. Lake Calhoun offers nice views of the downtown skyline, has a nice park on the east side of the lake right at water's edge, and you can walk to Tin Fish in the NE corner for a snack or meal. Both lakes have beaches on the north and south sides. The St. Paul Saints baseball team is in town. Tickets are inexpensive (under 2 is free), the games are full of wacky fun, and there is a kids' play area near family seating along the first base line.
posted by mcstayinskool at 11:03 AM on August 7, 2009

Every Saturday at 11:15 at the magnificent St. Paul Central Library on Rice Park, there is a presentation in the children's section - this week it is a magician - these are always well done. Afterward, various lunch options within walking distance, or there's even a little cafe in the library. The Science Museum is also within walking distance, maybe not that interesting for the toddler, but there are shiny moving things to look at, and an IMAX theater.

You could take a paddleboat ride. I think they leave from Nicollet Island in Mpls and...somewhere in St. Paul. Never been on it myself but I see them all the time.

Just a morning walk around Lake of the Isles would be nice if you have a stroller along or your toddler has vigor. Several nice bakeries are around there.

The Mill City Museum is way more fun than you might think a museum about milling could be; interesting for the grownups, and there's a water play room that is catnip for kids, even though the toddler won't get that he's supposed to be learning about river hydrodynamics.
posted by lakeroon at 3:46 PM on August 7, 2009

What with the rain Minnehaha Falls ought to be flowing pretty well today. It was OK a few days back, not great but there was at least water, but should be fine today. While you're there, get lunch (or a snack) at Sea Salt right next to the falls, and enjoy a taste of local beer and/or ice cream.
posted by caution live frogs at 7:41 AM on August 8, 2009

Response by poster: I want to thank everyone for their suggestions. We ended up spending a wonderful evening in the lyndale area for dinner and ice cream and then we walked around lake harriet. It was fantastic.

Thanks so much for the recommendations.
posted by tylerfulltilt at 7:12 AM on August 11, 2009

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