Fun Family Activities in Minneapolis

by Maggie Kirkwood

School may be just around the corner, but there’s still plenty of time to soak up summer fun on the weekends. Looking for kid-friendly things to do around Minneapolis? Make the most of family time and add these must-do activities to the top of your list.

Go on a Pedal-Powered Adventure

Gear up and create your own pedal-powered adventure. Whether you’re with tiny riders or big kids, the paved rails-to-trails pathways are perfect for family outings. In fact, there are so many miles of bike trails in and around the Twin Cities, you can practically throw a dart at a map and find a bikeway in close proximity. Pack a picnic and spend a day experiencing the area’s rich geological and cultural history.

Set Sail on an Urban Lake

Let your kids captain the canoe or steer the pedal boat as you traverse the open water together. There are plenty of rental places along the shorelines of Lake Calhoun, Lake Harriet and Lake Nokomis. Stop by Wheel Fun Rentals, choose your watercraft, and embark on an afternoon navigating miles of shoreline from the calm waters of the lakes.

Take a Walk on the Wild Side

Head to the Minnesota Zoo for a unique experience the whole family will love. Enter this amazing world of animals and discover creatures you won’t find anywhere else in the city, like Amur Leopards, Red Pandas, African Penguins and Seahorses. Go for a spin (or two) on the Conversation Carousel, featuring 56 animals from around the globe. Attend a scheduled feeding and watch up close as penguins, sharks and other marine life chow down at mealtime. Sign up for one of the Zoo’s Family Education Programs and go backstage with bears, birds, penguins and sea otters.

Get Lost in a Good Story

Take your kids to these local spots for some learning and fun. The Wild Rumpus specializes in books for young readers and offers a secret discount when you go green. Stop by on Monday mornings to hear an enchanting new tale, then stick around to browse the shelves and play with a bundle of bookstore cats.

The Red Balloon Bookshop also offers weekly storytimes for your little ones, including tales told in Spanish by instructors from Language Sprout Learning Centers. The bookstore also hosts regular events for all ages. Check out their online calendar for family-oriented happenings, like book launch parties, live music, and even their November Birthday Bash.

Of course, the storytime fun doesn’t have to stop when cool weather hits. In December, grab your tickets for Jungle Kids Saturdays at The Jungle Theatre. Watch children’s stories come alive as actors translate stories into engaging performances and wonderful visuals. There are only four shows every season, so be sure to get your tickets to this popular program early.

Now It’s Your Turn

What fun family activities are on your list for this weekend? Share your favorites in the comments below.

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