The Twin Cities: 50 Things to Do With Your Kids Before They Grow Up
By Tricia Cornell
I’m seven years into an all-out campaign to convince my coastal relatives and in-laws of the wonders of life in Minnesota. We’ve got lakes! And year-round recreation! And more theater than any city other than New York! Alas, I’ve had to give up on them, so I’m turning my attention to the rest of the nation. Here’s why this is one of the best places in the world to raise kids, and what you need to do when you move here:
2. Bike the Grand Rounds.
4. Watch the fireworks during the Aquatennial.
6. Watch the dragon boat races on Lake Phalen.
7. Become a regular at your local farmer’s market.
8. Become minigolf afficionados at the the Walker Arts Center Sculpture Garden
9. Eat yourselves silly at the Taste of Minnesota
on Harriet Island now in Waconia.
10. Go to a St. Paul Saints game. Volunteer for one of the goofy mid-inning activities.
13. Kayak or canoe on an urban lake.
14. Watch the shows at the Festival of Nations. Learn to dance and participate.
15. Dance around the maypole at the Swedish Midsommar celebration.
16. Go skiing in Wirth Park.
19. Skate on a pond, hockey stick in hand.
22. Get Hot Seats at the Holidazzle Parade.
23. Ski through thousands of ice luminaries in the moonlight in the noncompetitive Luminary Loppet.
24. Build a winning snow sculpture.
25. See a Kids Fringe show. Glut yourselves on theater: see a bunch.
26. Attend a concert in the ruins of a flour mill.
29. Take a backstage tour of the Guthrie Theater.
30. Make puppets with In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre. Then march with them in the May Day Parade.
31. Go back to the 1820s at Historic Fort Snelling.
32. Spend a night at the Minnesota Zoo.
33. Tour the Wabasha Street Caves.
34. Watch a bird release at the Raptor Center.
35. See a drive-in movie at Vali Hi.
38. Make a radio show at the Pavek Museum of Broadcasting.
39. Attend a pow-wow.
40. Make a bundt cake. (Minnesota is the home of the bundt pan. And Betty Crocker.)
41. Rollerblade in the Metrodome.
42. Make art together at Franconia Sculpture Park.
43. Fly on the trapeze at a Circus Juventas class.
44. Be film buffs: See all the films in the Childish Film Festival.
46. Hear children’s literature come alive at the Jungle Theater.
47. Get thiiis close to St. Anthony Falls at Water Power Park.
48. Slide and splash all day at the Water Park of America. Get all tuckered out. Stay the night.
This series was inspired by Mommy Poppins’ 100 Things to Do with Your Kids in NY Before They Grow Up.Published July 13, 2008. Last updated July 11, 2018.