view of minneapolis skyline over lake calhoun
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Day-Tripping Downtown Minneapolis, MN

view of minneapolis skyline over lake calhounEarly in my childhood, I lived very near downtown St. Paul. After moving to a small Iowa town, I realized how much I missed going to the museums, seeing a play or live stage show, and just being a part of a diverse and eclectic culture. Small towns have their advantages, to be sure. But spending the day downtown in any city can be a cultural boost to the ego, even for kids. Here are some of my favorite things to do with kids downtown Minneapolis.

If you can, plan your timing around a live stage show like Sesame Street Live, or Playhouse Disney Live, etc. We saw the Backyardigans Live on Stage at the ornate State Theatre and my 3 year old even commented on the ‘fancy building’.

There are plenty ways to take in a ball game. Vikings Football, Twins Baseball, Timberwolves Basketball, all have stadiums downtown. What kid doesn’t like a ball game, or at least the hot dogs?

If you’re coming in from out of town, stay at the Depot, a Marriott Residence Inn, and admission to the attached water park is included. In the winter, the adjacent building houses an indoor skating rink. The Depot is on the light rail line for an additional day at the Mall of America or Minnehaha Falls.

The new Minneapolis Central Library has a wonderful children’s area on the ground floor and a very cool area just for teens upstairs.

Minneapolis is a river town, so visit the Mill City Museum for a bit of fun and history. On Thursday nights in the summer they have outdoor live music for all ages. Take a walk on the Stone Arch Bridge to cross the mighty Mississippi river. A few blocks north is an area called St. Anthony Main, which happens to be Minneapolis’ oldest street. Here, you’ll find the oldest restaurant in the city called Pracna on Main. They serve kid-friendly food with a breathtaking view of the downtown skyline.

Walk through the skyways or down the pedestrian-only Nicollet Mall to Macy’s candy counter for a fancy treat. Kids always seem to remember the candy counter at Macy’s.

This list is far from comprehensive! What are your favorite things about downtown Minneapolis?

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