Free things to do with kids in Minneapolis-St. Paul
By Linda Kramer
Linda Kramer, a mom of four from Minnesota, chronicles her family travels and adventures at TravelsWithChildren.com. Here are her five recommendations for free fun in Minneapolis-St. Paul.
Minneapolis Institute of Arts: Interesting any time, but especially kid-friendly on family days, when the museum offers projects, learning centers, and entertainment based on a theme. Offers a nice view of downtown Minneapolis as well.
Como Zoo: This free zoo (donations are requested, but not enforced) doesn’t require walking for miles and miles. Como Zoo has giraffes, monkeys, and other favorite animals. The attached Marjorie McNeely Conservatory features many beautiful plants.
Mall of America: Stop to play in the LEGO area, meander through the Nickelodeon theme park, attend a program or Toddler Tuesday event; your visit doesn’t have to cost a thing. Then head across the street to Ikea and let the kids play in Smaaland while you wander the aisles.
Mall of America
Skyway System: You can explore downtown Minneapolis or St. Paul without going outside thanks to this maze of skywalks. In Minneapolis, make your way to the free Wells Fargo Museum and bump up and down on the Wells Fargo Wagon. In St. Paul, find the cozy children’s area at the Central Library.
Hike or bike around a lake. If you’re up for a longer trip, go from Lake Calhoun to Lake Harriet and down the Minnehaha Creek to the falls, or pick another area and enjoy one of the state’s 10,000 lakes.