Cool Things to do in Minnesota with your kids | Minnesota Travel Guide

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Best Things to do in Minnesota 

The state known specifically for being “Minnesota nice,” is not only filled with nice people, but also tons of “nice” family-friendly activities that everyone is sure to enjoy.

Minnesota is consistently ranked among the best states to live in and raise a family, and for good reason. It is a wonderful place to raise a family or simply to visit.

You can find activities to do all year round if you aren’t afraid to bundle up. If the thought of chilly weather scares you though, you would probably prefer to visit this amazing state in the summer.

Known as the land of 10,000 lakes, Minnesota is an especially wonderful place to visit in the summer.

As a Minnesota native who has since moved away, not a day goes by that I don’t miss this lovely state. Here are some of my absolute favorite things to do that the whole family will love!

1. Go to “the lake”

Minnesotans love to talk about spending the weekend at “the lake”. With over 10,000 to choose from, you never know exactly which one they are talking about, but any of them will do!

I remember once in about 8th grade I was on a class trip and we had to PAY to go to a lake in another state. This was such a foreign concept to me as lakes abound in Minnesota.

minnesota beautiful lakes

Grab some beach towels, a blanket, and lots of sunscreen and take your pick regardless of where you are in the state.

There are tons of family-friendly beaches in Minnesota with areas cleared of seaweed for those kids who hate the feeling of walking on seaweed. There’s also a good chance you can find a “play area” that might have different water games for the smaller kids.

There are also lots of options to rent a speed boat and some tubes, a canoe, or even stand up paddle boards for even more added fun.

Canoe in camp on Long Island Lake in the Boundary Waters

2. The Mall of America

After first being known for its number of lakes, Minnesota is next known for the Mall of America (sometimes called MOA by the locals). The Mall of America is the largest mall in the United States.

Don’t love shopping? The Mall of America is known for SO much more than just shopping. It is a place that the kids are sure to love.


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Why? Because MOA boasts an INDOOR AMUSEMENT PARK! How cool is that? Your kids will love cruising the roller coasters, the log chute, and more. The lines are also generally shorter than you may find at a traditional amusement park making this a hit for the whole family.

3. Visit Lake Superior

Another must-see destination is Duluth, Minnesota. Situated right on the shore of Lake Superior, Duluth is a beautiful place to visit all year round.


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You can take a stroll along the Lakeshore Walk looking for and skipping rocks and listening to the waves crash in the summer or brave the winter snow to walk out onto the icy shores in the winter.

Kids will also LOVE watching the huge boats coming into port at Canal Park.

For the more adventurous members of your family and slightly older kids, there are even more amazing outdoor opportunities just a short drive up the North Shore from Duluth. They are definitely worth checking out!

4. The Science Museum of Minnesota

The Science Museum of Minnesota is a great place to instill wonder and awe into your children. Kids will love wandering through the exhibits where they can learn about ancient civilizations, dinosaurs, and more.

You will be greeted by a giant astronaut when you enter the Science Museum of Minnesota

One of the best parts of the Science Museum of Minnesota though is the Collector’s Corner. The Collector’s Corner is an amazing place where your children will come to love science even more. Kids of all ages can find a unique item from nature (think seashells, feathers, pinecones, really anything) and write a report about it stating what they learned.

They can then bring their item and report to the Collector’s Corner where they can earn points that can be redeemed for some pretty interesting “natural prizes”. They could come away with a rare rock from Madagascar, a shark tooth from a great white, or even a grizzly bear skull.

It is definitely a hit with the kids and was one of my all-time favorite things to do as a child!

5. Wild Rumpus

The Wild Rumpus is a hidden gem that you probably won’t find on many other top lists. But, that’s only because it is a bit of a local secret.

The Wild Rumpus is a must visit if you have little kids in tow. It is a bookstore, but it is a bookstore unlike any other you have ever seen or imagined.


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Wandering the aisles you might find cats, ferrets, birds, and even chinchillas. If your kids didn’t love reading before, they are sure to love it after a magical visit to this unique bookstore. Unless they end up terrified of a chicken, like I did as a child that is.

Why Is Minnesota So Great?

As you can see, Minnesota is home to some pretty unique places. From outdoor adventure to museums, to shopping, Minnesota has it all. In case you’re looking for even more things to do, be sure to check out some of these other family-friendly activities in Minnesota!

  1.  Gibbs Farm
  2.  Como Zoo
  3.  The Minnesota State Fair
  4.   Aquatennial Parade
  5.   Chutes and Ladders
  6.   Minnehaha Falls

Winter Activities

For those are you that are brave enough to visit Minnesota in the winter, you won’t want to miss these!

  1.   Winter Carnival
  2.   Holidazzle Parade
  3.   Bentleyville Tour of Lights
  4.   Skiing at Lutsen

Happy traveling. I’m sure you will enjoy visiting the nicest place on Earth!

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Things To Do In Minnesota With Kids

Minnesota Indoor and outdoor activities for families

This article feature is written by Kathryn from

Kathryn is a Minnesota native turned traveler. Although she has lived in New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, Michigan, and will soon be traveling around the country as a traveling speech-language pathologist living in an RV, a piece of her heart will always belong to Minnesota. In addition to her day job, Kathryn blogs about her travels and all things personal finance on her blog Money and Mountains. She believes that personal finance and adventure can go hand in hand if you think smart and plan ahead. You can follow Kathryn on Facebook or Pinterest.


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