Family Fun Directory: Things To Do with Kids

Family Fun Directory of Things To Do with KidsIn 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:

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Valleyfair Amusement Park

(952) 445-7600
$25-$55/pp plus $17/parking
Concessions Available

Valleyfair is a seasonal outdoor amusement park located just south of Minneapolis and St Paul in Shakopee, Minnesota. Spread out over 75 attractions are options for thrill-seekers, lovers of the classic, and youngsters alike. Included with admission is Soak City waterpark (more information below) which  gives much more bang for your buck if you visit during the summer.

Numerous special events are held in the park throughout the season. New for 2019 is the Peanuts Celebration (June weekends), a fun tribute to Minnesota's own Charles Schulz and his loveable collection of comic characters. Meet Charlie Brown's gang and even learn to draw characters from pro artist. In the fall the park transforms into ValleySCARE in the evenings and The Great Pumpkin Fest during daytime hours.

Pre-K Pass at Valleyfair

Continued in 2019, the park will be offering free Pre-K Passes for children ages 3 to 5. Obviously, the child must be accompanied by an adult who is not free. Families who register and redeem their pass before the end of the 2018 season can use the pass for the remainder of 2018 (This would include The Great Pumpkin Fest).

Parking ($17) is not included with the Pre-K Pass. However, it is included with other season passes. 2019 Season passes currently start at $77.00 per person and will auto renew unless you remember to cancel.

Register online before June 9, 2019 and Redeem at the park by June 28, 2019 to take advantage of this pass. If your child is close to age 6, you will need to have the registration and redemption process finalized before their 6th birthday. Proof of age will be required upon redemption in the form of a birth certificate or a travel passport. 

Dinosaurs Alive! at Valley Fair

Dinosaurs Alive! is an immersive exhibit that combines animatronics, interactive consoles, and a Mesozoic setting with educational content that reflects the latest scientific theories. This exhibit is not part of the park's daily pass (admission costs $5 extra per person), but it is included in both the season pass and the Pre-K Pass.

Soak City Waterpark at Valley Fair

Soak City Waterpark is included in all Valleyfair admissions when it is open. Cool off in the wave pool, float down the lazy river and try out the gamut of tube slides. Like the rest of the park, some rides are not appropriate for smaller children. Please check the height requirements for details.

Tips for Visiting Valleyfair

  • There are many ways to score discounted tickets including purchasing online via Valleyfair's website, visiting the park after 4pm or even keeping an eye on Groupon or Living Social. OR consider springing for an Season Pass if you'll visit the park more than once during the year.
  • Map out your ride plan ahead of time online. Discuss whether or not you plan to include Soak City Waterpark during your visit and how much time to budget for it.
  • Don't shy away from bringing your very youngest kids. There's truly something for every age at Valleyfair, including an air-conditioned Family Center with rooms to feed and change babies and space simply to take a break from the action.
  • Bring a water bottle but leave the snacks in the car. It's relatively easy to visit the car during your day to refuel, just grab a hand stamp on the way out.
  • Phones are not allowed out while onboard the rides - no exceptions.

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