Looking for a fun family road trip? Minneapolis is one of our family’s favorite destinations. It’s less than 4 hours away and there are more than enough fun activities to keep you busy.
How to get there
When heading to Minneapolis, we like to leave in the morning to miss the traffic. We grab our coffee and snacks and hit the road. It takes about three and a half hours, and we like to stop once. Our go-to stop is the Petro Travel Center in Albert Lea. The best thing is it’s a straight shot up I35.
Fun things to do
There are SO many different things to do! We cannot get them all accomplished in one weekend, which is perfect for a couple short weekend getaways.
Mall of America
You can spend the entire weekend at The Mall of America. The Raddison Blu or JW Marriott are connected to the mall so you don’t even need a car. My boys are 7,5, and 5 so their favorites are Nickelodeon Universe (27 rides), Crayola Experience, mini golf at Moose Mountain, or Rock of Ages and the mirror maze.
The Lego Store puts out legos for kids to play with hours before the mall opens. Grab a coffee and Cinnabon and let the kids build. When the mall gets busy, head back to your hotel for swimming or naps.
Great Wolf Lodge is another great time while in Minneapolis. Besides the waterpark, guests can also do MagiQuest, rock climbing, a mining experience, bowling, or a ropes course. They also have an arcade and Build a Bear.
Looking for a smaller indoor waterpark option? Try Holiday Inn & Suites in Maple Grove or the Holiday Inn & Suites in Lakeview.
Other fun ideas
Got a family member who loves sports?! Enjoy a baseball game, football game, or basketball game depending on the time of year you visit. The Art Museum, Como Zoo (free), walking the skywalks, The Sculpture Park, Minnesota Children’s Museum, and Science Museum are fun ideas. There are many different trampoline parks, an indoor skydiving option, and even different dinner cruises to keep you busy.
Another personal favorite is Edinborough Park. It’s indoors which is great when the weather isn’t perfect.
Spend a day at one of the many lakes. Lake Harriet is our go-to. It has many beaches that have kayaks, canoes, and paddleboard rentals. We usually pack a picnic lunch, but there is a cute food stand, too.
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Where to eat
Our favorite place to eat while at Mall of America is The Rainforest Café. Twin City Grill, Crave, Wahlburgers, Bubba Gump, and Margaritaville are some other options.
- Dave and Buster’s is a fun spot to play and eat.
- The Tiny Diner is a kid-friendly option with a fun patio.
- For burgers and kids’ meal deals, check out Red Cow.
- Sebastian Joe’s is a favorite for ice cream.