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Family Travel: Top 5 Fun Things to do in Minneapolis With Kids this Winter

By
on
December 11, 2019

Despite the frigidly cold Minnesota temperatures, there are so many fun things to do in Minneapolis with kids during the winter months.

A U.S. city known for its cold and snowy winters, Minneapolis is also known for its vibrant and diverse atmosphere, as well as a multitude of things to do.

The many options for year-round fun make Minneapolis an exciting option for a winter getaway with kids!

Don’t let the cold weather hold you back from visiting Minneapolis and its surrounding cities this winter! Our list of the Top 5 fun things to do in Minneapolis with kids will help inspire you and your family to visit this central Minnesota epicenter of fun!

Fun Things to do in Minneapolis with Kids

1. Spend A Day At Mall of America

Fun things to do in Minneapolis with kids; Mall of America | Family Travel: Top 5 Fun Things to do in Minneapolis With Kids this Winter by popular family travel blog, Travel with a Plan: image of Mall of America entrance.
Courtesy of the Mall of America and Meet Minneapolis

Similar to most big cities, the adjacent suburbs are included when considering the best area attractions and events.

When highlighting fun things to do in Minneapolis with kids, Bloomington Minnesota’s Mall of America is in need of immediate mention.

Not only is Mall of America the nation’s largest retail shopping center, but it is also a mecca of dining, entertainment, and family-friendly attractions. You can literally spend an entire day here, or more, taking it all in!

As an added bonus, the multiple Mall of America attractions appeals to families with children of all ages. This includes toddlers, school-age kids, tweens, and teens.

Top U.S. family travel blog, Travel With A Plan features Mall of America as one of the most fun things to do in Minneapolis with kids! | Family Travel: Top 5 Fun Things to do in Minneapolis With Kids this Winter by popular family travel blog, Travel with a Plan: image of Nickelodeon Universe theme park.
Photo Courtesy of Mall of America and Meet Minneapolis

Nickelodeon Universe theme park

The crown jewel of Mall of America attractions is Nickelodeon Universe theme park!

As the nation’s largest indoor theme park, Nickelodeon Universe is definitely another one of the most fun things to do in Minneapolis with kids.

With classic theme-park rides such as rollercoasters, the Log Chute, a Ferris Wheel, and bumper cars, there is something to do here for everyone!

Cap off your visit to the Mall of America with a magical skating experience at MOA’s free Skate the Star. This custom-built ice rink is located at the North entrance of MOA. Take note that though you can bring your own ice skates. The small rental fee of $5 goes directly to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Minneapolis/St. Paul!

Additional planning tip: If visiting Mall of America is on the top of your list of things to do in Minneapolis with kids, perhaps you’d like to stay there too?

Featuring both luxury and convenience, the Radisson Blu and JW Marriott Minneapolis are attached to Mall of America. With direct access to the mall, you never have to go outside to brave the cold weather.

Alternatively, consider staying at Great Wolf Lodge in Bloomington! This mega indoor water park hotel (located steps from Mall of America!) ticks all of the boxes for guaranteed family fun!

Read: Alos, be sure to check out our list of the top kid-friendly Mall of America restaurants!

Top U.S. family travel blog Travel With A Plan highlights the most fun things to do in Minneapolis with kids; Science Museum of Minnesota | Family Travel: Top 5 Fun Things to do in Minneapolis With Kids this Winter by popular family travel blog, Travel with a Plan: image of Science Museum of Minnesota.
Science Museum of Minnesota, Courtesy of Meet Minneapolis

2. Minneapolis with Kids: Explore a World-Class Museum

Both the Minnesota Children’s Museum and the Science Museum of Minnesota are two of the most epic and fun things to do in Minneapolis with kids this winter!

These museums both entirely indoors. They are also both large enough that you can stay busy for up to 4 hours here.

Minnesota Children’s Museum

For kids ages 1 – 10, I recommend visiting the Minnesota Children’s Museum.

The Minnesota Children’s Museum is a perfect stop if you are looking for something fun to do on a winter day.

Highlights here include children being able to play in a huge pretend town, a laser maze, maker space, and exhibits on engineering and force.

An added bonus in terms of family conveniences is the fact that strollers and bringing your own food is allowed! Though the museum does have a cafe, visitors are welcome to rest and have a snack in public areas!

Science Museum of Minnesota

Next, families with kids ages 3 – 16 will encounter additional amazement at the Science Museum of Minnesota!

One of our personal favorite museums to visit with kids, it is no surprise that the Science Museum of Minnesota is the most popular museum in the state.

The amazing Sportsology exhibit allows kids to digitally interact with professional athletes. On the other hand, the human body gallery gets you up close and personal with a life-like human heart model.

Perhaps the biggest showstoppers at the Science Museum of Minnesota, however, are the replica dinosaur skeletons that overtake the lower level.

All of these things, along with its state of the art Omnitheater, make the Science Museum of Minnesota one of the most fun things to do in Minneapolis with kids this winter!

Top U.S. family travel blog features the most fun things to do in Minneapolis with kids; Children's Theater Company | Family Travel: Top 5 Fun Things to do in Minneapolis With Kids this Winter by popular family travel blog, Travel with a Plan: image of Cinderella production.
Photo by Dan Norman Photography, Courtesy of Meet Minneapolis

3. Attend the Children’s Theater Company in Minneapolis

Another one of the most fun things to do in Minneapolis with kids is to attend the Children’s Theater Company!

The Children’s Theater Company is connected to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. It is a local favorite for families with children of all ages.

Known for its high-quality productions, affordable ticket prices, age-appropriate storylines, and comfy seating, the Children’s Theater makes for a special night out!

Along with having two separate stages, there are many ticketing options that add to the family conveniences of Children’s Theater Company.

With all tickets starting at only $15, other ways to save including attending preview performances, getting last minute Rush Tickets, and utilizing a lap pass for little ones.

Performance options at Children’s Theater Company vary by the season. Our family has seen some incredible performances at Children’s Theater Company including The Wizard of Oz, the Grinch, Annie, and Cinderella.

In summary, it is safe to say that there will always be a fun, riveting classic, or an exciting new modern-day performance that is sure to impress!

Add on a fun family dinner before the show!

Our family-favorite dining option prior to attending productions at Children’s Theater Company is going to the Melting Pot!

An experience in itself, the Melting Pot is an interactive fondue restaurant. They have a tasty and affordable kids menu.

Located only 1.4 miles from Children’s Theater Company, combine a pre-show dinner at the Melting Pot. Together, they make for the perfect family night out!

Top U.S. family travel blog Travel With A Plan uncovers the Top 5 fun things to do in Minneapolis with kids! | Family Travel: Top 5 Fun Things to do in Minneapolis With Kids this Winter by popular family travel blog, Travel with a Plan: image of a hockey rink.
Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Image, Courtesy of Meet Minneapolis

4. Minneapolis with Kids: Go to A Minnesota Wild Hockey Game

Minneapolis happens to be home to four professional sports teams and associated sports complexes.

The Minnesota Twins (Target Field), Minnesota Vikings (U.S. Bank Stadium), Minnesota Timberwolves (Target Center), and Minnesota Wild (Xcel Energy Center) has an extremely large fan base and draw enormous crowds during their prospective seasons.

In the winter, however, hockey is king in Minnesota!

The Xcel Energy Center becomes a haven to over 18,000 Minnesota Wild spectators each and every time the puck is dropped on home ice.

Not a current fan? There is no doubt that the activities, enthusiasm, and exciting atmosphere at Xcel Energy will get you into the game. Likewise, there is literally not a bad seat in the house. You will always feel at the heart of the action when attending a game here!

To make attending a Minnesota Wild hockey game even more enticing for families, several amazing family-friendly services are available:

  • Child ticket prices
  • Family restrooms
  • Baby changing stations
  • Mother’s rooms
  • Ear protection
  • Booster seats
  • Strollers
Family Travel: Top 5 Fun Things to do in Minneapolis With Kids this Winter by popular family travel blog, Travel with a Plan: image of kids sledding down a hill.

5. Go Snow Tubing at Theodore Wirth Park

A list of fun things to do in Minneapolis with kids during the winter would not be complete without mention of the outdoors!

One of the most fun things to do in Minneapolis with kids is to go snow tubing at the popular Theodore Wirth Park. There is a kiddie hill for littles and move advanced hills for bigger children. Both have a tow rope will get you back to the top!

Other winter activities at Theodore Wirth Park include cross country skiing, sledding, snowshoeing, and winter hiking.

Designed especially with family fun in mind, Theodore Wirth Park offers ski and fat tire bike rentals. They also offer plenty of warming areas and a chalet with concessions.

Additional planning tip: The activities at Theodore Wirth Park are open subjective to weather conditions. Equipment rentals are also on a first-come-first-serve basis. Closure information can be found by calling 612-355-7757.

Fun things to do in Minneapolis with Kids: Seasonal Activities

Holidazzle

Downtown Minneapolis celebrates its Nordic heritage with a German-inspired Christmas market and festivities known as Holidazzle.

The Holidazzle festivities transform downtown Minneapolis’s Loring Park into an interactive light display along with featuring Kids Zone activities, Santa Claus, an ice-skating rink, and other special events.

Holidazzle is held on Thursdays through Sundays from November 29th – December 22nd, 2019 and is completely free to attend.

A Christmas Carol

A long-standing Minneapolis tradition, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol has been performed at the Guthrie Theater for the past 45 years. Playing November 12th – December 29th, 2019, A Christmas Carol appeals to audiences of all ages.

Online ticketing information and sales can be found here.

Winter Warm-Up

U.S. Bank Stadium’s Winter Warm-Up is a series of 12 recreational fitness nights that are held each year at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Supported activities include inline skating and indoor running and are open to the public for a small fee.

Participants must bring their own gear and sign a waiver in order to participate.

Winter Warm-up is one of the fun things to do in Minneapolis with kids to help keep them active during the winter months.


Before leaving, be sure to check our Travel Resources Page to find exclusive travel discounts and to book hotels, rental cars, and guided tours.*

If you like our post on The Top 5 Fun Things to do in Minneapolis with Kids this winter, click here to check out our Related Posts:

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6 Comments
  1. Reply

    Erin

    December 19, 2019

    Great ideas for visiting the Twin Cities area with kids this winter! Snow tubing is always a blast, and you gotta love no sales tax on clothes when shopping at Mall of America. 😉

    • Reply

      Jen

      December 20, 2019

      Yes! The ‘no tax’ on clothing in Minnesota/MOA is a huge bonus!!

  2. Reply

    Julie

    December 15, 2019

    Sounds like so many fun things to do during winter! Never been to Minneapolis but will certainly keep this is mind for a future visit!

    • Reply

      Jen

      December 15, 2019

      Minneapolis is a great city! It’s so cold in the winter here thought, wink, wink!

  3. Reply

    Amanda

    December 15, 2019

    Great post on things to do in Minneapolis with kids in winter! I’ve been dying to check out the Mall of America. My husband just had a chance to go for a work conference and the dates didn’t work for us to join him!

    • Reply

      Jen

      December 15, 2019

      Yes, MOA is a must! You and the kids would love it!

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