Fun Things to Do in Minnesota

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Minnesota and the Mall of America go hand in hand, but the state offers many fun things to do when you want to spend a day together.

Free Fun

To get the kids in touch with nature and give them plenty of room to walk off their energy, plan a visit to the Northland Arboretum (www.arb.brainerd.com) in the Brainerd/Baxter area. The arboretum is open year-round and has flowers, a pond, and a wildlife landscaping area. The Como Park Zoo and Marjorie McNeely Conservatory (www.comozooconservatory.org) also offers free admission. It has animals large and small, and is currently building a polar bear exhibit.

Educational Fun

The Minnesota Children’s Museum (www.mcm.org) in St. Paul has a wide range of exhibits and attractions that encourage hands-on exploration and creativity. It has exhibits appropriate for most age groups. Other children’s museums include the Children’s Museum of Southern Michigan (www.cmsouthernmn.org) and the Children’s Museum of Rochester Minnesota (www.childrensmuseumrochester.org). For a traditional science museum, visit the Science Museum of Minnesota (www.smm.org). Older kids may appreciate St. Paul’s Minnesota Science and Technology Hall of Fame (www.msthalloffame.org). For a historical educational experience, visit Rochester’s Heritage House, which houses artifacts from Minnesota’s past. Children will appreciate a look at toys from the mid-1800s.

Environmental Fun

Minnesota has many outdoor spaces that your kids will love to explore, whether they choose to hike, bike, fish, or simply relax in the shade of a tree. Mount Kato (http://www.mountkato.com/) in Mankato is one of these, and in the winter it turns into an excellent destination for skiing. The 700-acre Superior National Forest (http://www.forestcamping.com/dow/) in Duluth is another opportunity to get your kids to connect with nature. To see exotic creatures, head to the Minnesota Zoo (www.mnzoo.com). The Underwater Adventures Aquarium (www.underwaterworld.com) in the Mall of America is another way to connect your kids to the natural world, even when it is too cold or snowy to go outside.

Seasonal Fun

Minnesota enjoys four very distinct seasons. In the summer, take your kids to the beach or go fishing in one of the state’s numerous lakes. During the winter, skiing and snowboarding are popular activities in the hills of the state. Spring and fall are marked by tremendous showings of color throughout the forests and mountains. In the Twin Cities area, be sure to check out the Minneapolis Holidazzle parade, one of the most popular Christmas events in the state.

Just for Mom Fun

Moms enjoy shopping, and where better than Minnesota which houses the Mall of America (http://www.mallofamerica.com/home/), the country’s largest mall. Of course, you may want to get away from the kids that tend to flock to this destination. Instead, consider a trip to a day spa, such as the reVamp! SalonSpa (http://www.revampsalonspa.com/) in Minneapolis.

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