In Minnesota, family fun outdoors means embracing all four seasons. If you are on this page because you are looking for a new Twin Cities-area park, playground or nature center to explore, hundreds of entries can be found through our Parks & Playgrounds Search feature. Or, continue searching hundreds more ideas of things to do with kids in the Twin Cities through our Family Directory, including family outings, services, classes, camps, birthday parties and more.
Family Fun Directory of Things To Do with Kids:
The Mall of America is Minnesota's national claim to fame. As the number one tourist attraction in the state, it gets nearly 5 times more visitors the second most popular destination. While we locals are proud of our acclaimed arts community, our award-winning park systems and a host of cultural opportunities, anyone outside our metro area will point to the Mall of America. After all, it is the nation’s largest retail and entertainment complex and regularly hosts celebrities, performances, charity events as well as product launches, book signings and movie premieres.
Families can find one-of-a-kind stores and more entertainment than they can fit into a weekend. In particular, families with small children can enjoy Toddler Tuesdays and other tot-specific Tuesday fun. Several restaurants within the mall offer Kids Eat Free deals on Tuesdays.
Tips for Visiting the Mall of America with Small Children
When visiting the mall with tots, bring a stroller. There is a lot of walking. The air in the mall tends to be excessively dry. We always pack water bottles in our stroller. If you don't care for overpriced mall food, you may want to pack a lunch in your stroller as well. The LEGO Imagination Center is an obvious free place to sit while your little one plays. Other options are the Disney Store, various corners of Nickelodeon Universe - such as the arcade if its not too busy and, to a lesser extent, the American Girl Store.
Visiting the Mall of America with Older Kids
Visits to the mall seem to get more expensive as your children age, however, as with anything, the extent of the hit to your wallet will depends on your child's personality and your own parenting style. I'm certain my parents wouldn't have spent a cent on any extras, but I have friends who can't get out of the mall without spending $100 per teen. A wristband to Nickelodeon Universe may keep your children localized and minimize the spending.
Some Family Friendly Staples to Hit While Visiting the Mall of America:
Stores have a tendency to come and go and move around at the MOA. These family-friendly staples seem to have staying power.
- American Girl Store
- Flyover America
- Crayola Experience (memberships available)
- LEGO Imagination Center
- Build-A-Bear Workshop
- Sea Life (memberships available)
- Barnes & Noble - Story Hours on Saturday mornings. Find other events here.
- SMAAASH Gaming Facility (This may be more for the families with older children)