101 Family Day Trips and Staycations Around the Twin Cities | Kids Out and About Minneapolis/St. Paul <

101 Family Day Trips and Staycations Around the Twin Cities

**Follow each link to get details about your visit directly from your destination, since some places operate seasonally or by reservation, as well as to check each venue's COVID requirements (masks, limits, social distancing).



Free activities and splurges that are worth it. The coolest stuff for a staycation in town and road trips for less than a tank of gas from Minneapolis-St. Paul. Kids Out And About has tons of ideas for family travel, with places to explore, learn, and have fun around the Twin Cities!


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Take A Deep Breath In the Garden

Rowley Creek Lavender Farm (Baraboo, WI)
Lyndale Park Rose Garden
Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden
Ordway Japanese Garden
Arneson Acres
Noerenberg Gardens


Get Wild on a Hike

  Minnehaha Regional Park
Wood Lake Nature Center
Mississippi Gorge Regional Park
Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary
Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge
Lebanon Hills Regional Park
Hyland Lake Park Reserve
Springbrook Nature Center
St. Croix Falls


Time Travel Today

  Dakota City Heritage Village
Village of Yesteryear
Freeborn County Historical Museum, Library and Village
The Landing - Minnesota River Heritage Park 
Historic Forestville
St. Croix Vintage Base Ball Club
Steamboat Minnehaha
Fort Ridgely State Park


Make Life a Beach

  Lake Nokomis Main Beach
Lake Harriet Park Beach
Cedar Lake Point Beach
Nelson Lakeside Park
Green Lake Saulsbury Beach
Lakeside Park - Bayport


Splash into Some Water Fun

  Venetian Indoor Waterpark at the Holiday Inn & Suites -Maple Grove
Big Splash Waterpark at Arrowwood Resort
Great Wolf Lodge Indoor Waterpark -Bloomington
Red Wing Waterpark
River Springs Waterpark
Battle Creek Waterworks Waterpark
Edina Aquatic Center
Waseca Waterpark
Redwood Falls Aquatic Center
Wild Woods Waterpark


Spend the Day at a Museum

  The Works Museum
Twin City Model Railroad Museum
Science Museum of Minnesota
Bell Museum of Natural History 
Minnesota Children's Museum
Minneapolis Institute of Art
Crayola Experience at Mall of America


Explore These Cities

Taylers Falls
St Cloud


All Aboard Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (and Boats!)

  Minnesota Transportation Museum
Commemorative Air Force MN Wing
MN Air National Guard Museum
Minneapolis Queen Cruise 
Paddleford Rivercruises
Veit Automotive Foundation
Stillwater Balloons
Osceola & St. Croix Railway


Grow Some Fun at the Farm

Anoka County Farms
Applewood Orchard 
Eveland Family Farm
Waldoch Farm
Tom's Pumpkin Farm
Pleasant Valley Orchard


Play Ball!

  Minnesota Wild Game
Minnesota Vikings Game
Minnesota Lynx Game
Minnesota Timberwolves Game
Minnesota Twins Game


Treat Yo' Self

  Conny's Creamery Cone
Grand Ole Creamery
Cold Front
Pumphouse Creamery
  Milkjam Creamery
Sebastian Joe's Ice Cream Cafe
  La La Homemade Ice Cream
  Adele's Frozen Custard
  Edina Creamery
  Sonny's Ice Cream Cafe
Grandpa's Ice Cream


Connect with Nature

  Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
Tanglewood Gardens
JD Rivers Children's Garden
Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary
MN Landscape Arboretum
Superior National Forest
Chippewa National Forest
Gooseberry Falls State Park
Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park


Amuse Yourself at These Amusement Parks

Como Town
Nickelodeon Universe


Talk to the Animals

  Como Park Zoo and Conservatory
Minnesota Zoo
SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium
Reptile and Amphibian Discovery Zoo
Lake Superior Zoo
Hemker Park and Zoo
International Owl  Center
Pine Grove Park and Zoo
Great Lakes Aquarium
Safari North Wildlife Park


Explore the Globe Close to Home

  Minneapolis International Festival
Festival of Nations
Sankta Lucia Festival
American Swedish Institute Museum
Somali Museum of Minnesota
Dragon Festival
Museum of Russian Art
Carnaval Brasileiro
Irish Fair of MN
MN Scottish Fair and Highland Games
Twin Cities Polish Festival


Let's Go Chasing Waterfalls

  St. Anthony Falls
Minnihaha Falls
Vermillion Falls
Hidden Falls
Willow Falls
Wolf Creek Falls
Minnemishinona Falls
Minneopa Falls


Get Active Indoors

  Lookout Ridge Indoor Playground
Edinborough Park
Good Times Park
Vertical Endeavors 
Grand Slam
Can Can Wonderland
Blainbrook Entertainment Center
West St. Paul Ice Arena


Challenge Yourself

  Minnesota Museum of American Art
Minnesota Orchestra
Granite Peak
Kerfoot Canopy Tours
Sandy Creek Adventures
Stand Up MN
Silver Creek Paddle


Shop Your Heart Out

Lark Toys
Hub Hobby
Wild Rumpus
Choo Choo Bobs
Red Balloon Bookshop

Limiting our list to 101 ideas meant some great destinations may have been left off the list - if there is something you’d like to see added, email our publisher Debra Ross!

Most of these destinations are within an hour from the Twin Cities area. For those that are a bit farther away:

             = Less than 1 hour away

          = 1 to 2 hours away

       = 2 to 3 hours away

   = Just over 3 hours away