Twin Cities Fun for Car Crazy Kids

Girl "driving" the cut off front portion of a car at Carl Kroening Interpretive Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Text says Twin Cities Fun for Car Crazy Kids

Do you feel vibrations coming off your kid every time she sees a cool car? Your not alone. Summer is the time to indulge those car crazy kids. While some of our ideas are available year round, summer is NASCAR season, vintage car season and festival season – all great times to get up close with automobiles. Here are some of our favorite ways to indulge your car crazy kids’ obsession this year.

food trucks

Car-Themed Parks:

The easiest way to get your fill of cars, visit one of these parks with cars to play on, climb and drive:

  • I was told that North Mississippi Regional Park planned to remove the car shown in our featured image and below with their current remodel project. However, last I checked, much of the work had been done and the car was still a central part of the Carl Kroening Interpretive Center. Kids can  turn the steering wheel and “drive” down Highway 694 in this vintage cruiser.
    Kids playing in front half of an old car and learing about Hwy 94 at Carl Kroening Interpretive Center in Minneapolis, MN
    Learn about Hwy 94 at Carl Kroening Interpretive Center
  • Prairie Park in Otsego has a RC Racetrack. Bring your own electric remote control car and race it on the dirt track!
  • Wabun Picnic Area in Minnehaha Falls Regional Park has car-themed play equipment. According to the designers, the playground is a “step back in time with its thematic nod to its origins as an auto tourist camp”.

Wabun Play Area for Car Crazy Kids

Car Crazy “Driving” Opportunities

Buckle your seatbelt! When your kids wants to be the driver and you are not to keen on handing them the keys, we have a few other choices for their own personal joyride.:

  • Driving School! at Como Town • There are several car rides at Como Town, and if your car lover is under age 4, you’ll have to pick one of the other ways for them to get in the driver’s seat, but Driving School is the most exciting of the car rides. Kids get to drive their own cars navigating their way through the streets of the driving school. Just like with a real car, they steer, brake and accelerate their vehicles. •  Driving School costs 7 points, which translates to $3.50 per ride. Younger kids may enjoy Kiddie Grand Prix  (4 pts or $2) & Classic Cruisers ( 7pts)
  • Minnesota Children’s Museum • Kids can pretend to drive a Fire Truck or a City Bus in the Our World Exhibit. • Admission is $16/pp.
  • Minnesota History Center • The History Center actually has a few cars in the museum – some you can touch, some you can’t. But the Then Now Wow Exhibit has a Model T that your Car Crazy Kid can actually crank up. • Admission is $8-$12/pp.
Three kids posing in a cut out of a police car at Como Town Amusement Park in Saint Paul Minnesota
See You Around the Twin Cities!

Visit the Speedway

  • Elko Speedway has NASCAR racing all summer. Some years they offer family events. • Adults tickets are $15.00; Kids are $5; and Kids 3 & under are Free.
  • Deer Creek Speedway is kind of a road-trip 2 hours south of the Twin Cities, but the facility includes a campground, so it could be a fun weekend adventure.

Family-Friendly Car Crazy Events

GSTA Rod & Custom Spectacular

Lee & Rose Warner Coliseum – MN State Fairgrounds, 1784 Judson Ave, Falcon Heights MN 55108
When: April 6th-7th, 2024.
Time: 9am-1pm.
Admission: $18/Ages 17+; $7/Ages 6-16 (Free for kids under 6).
Description: Think grown-up sized hot wheels. Kids can sit inside a real race car, get a free Hot Wheels car from Sgt Hot Wheels, and take part in the ‘Model Car Spectacular’ where kids and adults can enter their uniquely built model car or truck. Plus they can vote for their favorite car in the Kid’s Choice Award.

Cars and Caves

Chanhassen AutoPlex, 1740 Motorplex Court, Chanhassen, MN 55317
When: Monthly on the last Saturday of the month, April through September.
Time: 9am-1pm.
Admission: FREE
Description: Family are welcome at this monthly car show featuring a different theme each month:

    • April 27th – Open show
    • May 25th- Classics – 25 years or older
    • June 29th- Italian – Ferrari, Maserati, Fiat, Lambo and etc.
    • July 27th – American – Ford, Mopar, GM, Pontiac and etc.
    • August 31st – British – MG, Mini, Aston, Jag, McLaren
    • September 28th – German – Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, VW


Historic Hastings Car Show 

2nd Street Downtown, Hastings, MN 55033
When: Third Sunday of Every Month, May-September, plus the second Sunday of October
Time: 11am-4pm
Admission: FREE
Description: Explore Hastings, enjoy music and food trucks and see classic cars.

    • May 19th 2024 – Public Service
    • June 16th 2024
    • July 21st 2024 -Rivertown Days
    • August 18th 2024 – History of Cars
    • September 15th 2024
    • October 13th 2024- 2nd Sunday of the month


North St. Paul History Cruze Car Show

7th Avenue Downtown, between 1st Street & Charles Street, North St. Paul, MN 55109
When: Every Friday, June 7 – September 20, 2024 (except June 21st)
Time: 6pm-10pm.
Admission: FREE
Description: Weekly display of vintage cars, food vendors and music.

Back to the 80s Car Show

Blacksmith Lounge, 17205 Forest Blvd N, Hugo, MN 55038

When: June 8, 2024
Time: 9am-3pm.
Admission: $15 preregistered, $20 at the gate.
Description: Family-friendly event with hundreds of classic 1980s vehicles on display – including domestic, imported, trucks, bikes, showroom stock and modifieds.

Back to the 50s Weekend

Blacksmith Lounge, 17205 Forest Blvd N, Hugo, MN 55038

When: June 21-23, 2024.
Admission: $15/adults & Teens; Kids FREE.
Description: Named the “Best Car Show” in the nation by USA Today. This event has a kids area and music

Richfield 4th of July

Veterans Park, 6335 Portland Ave, Richfield, MN 55423

When: July 3, 2024 9am-11:30pm; July 4, 2024 10am-10:30pm
Admission: FREE
Description: A car show will be part of the Independence Day celebration.

Albertville Lions Crusin at the Park

Central Park, 5801 Main Ave NE, Albertville, MN 55301

When: Thursday, July 18, 2024 4-8pm; Thursday, August 15, 2024 4-8pm; Saturday, September 7, 2024 2-10pm
Admission: FREE
Description: These car shows are open to anyone and free to attend. September’s event will by a Cruiz’n & Rock’n Car Show.

Day of the Dozers

ERX Motor Park, 21591 US-169, Elk River, MN 55330
When: September 21, 2024
Time: 9am
Admission: $10-$25/pp
Description: This fundraiser for Children’s Minnesota gives kids a chance to ride inside a variety of construction vehicles.



Vehicle Themed Birthday Parties

  • Party Crashers. Brings remote control racing toy cars to your party.
  • Beep Beeps. Rents battery-operated riding toy vehicles for kids 12 months to 10 years.

Museums With Cars (Just to Look At)

  • Walker Art Center • When my teen was a tot, we had a Walker membership and they still offered the much missed Arty Pants program, so we would visit often. She had her favorite pieces that we had to visit each time, culminating with “Unpainted Sculpture” (the real name for the crashed car).
  • Minneapolis Institute of Art • Now we tend to get to the MIA more often. Did you know that you can type any word into the MIA website’s search engine to design your own personal tour? This is what I found when I searched “Car”.  If you have a kid how loves cars, you can take an art break the next time you visit the MIA Block Room and see how many of these cars you can find!
  • Minnesota History Center • As I mentioned above, the Model-T is not the only car at the history center. You can also take a walk through the Greatest Generation Exhibit to See an M-8 armored vehicle and a 1955 Ford sedan, both produced at the St. Paul Ford plant.

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2 thoughts on “Twin Cities Fun for Car Crazy Kids”

  1. My boys and I love this list! Here is another one. Albertville Lions Club is hosting three Crusin at the Park events this summer during the weekly farmer’s market at Lions Park. There will also be live music during each event. 07/18/2024 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm. 08/15/2024 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm. 09/07/2024 2:00 pm – 10:00 pm. There is no charge to attend. Limited concessions will be available for sale. Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy the community.

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