Weekend Wildcard July 19 & 20 – 5 Great Kid Approved Twin Cities Summer Outings
Minnesota Kids Just Wanna Have Fun
Can you believe it’s the third weekend in July? Yes, summer passes quickly in the Twin Cities and so we want to make the most of it. We want to squeeze every day of warmth, the sunshine, and blue skies out of it. We want to get outside and have fun with our kids! We want to live some of those moments that create memories we hope will last a lifetime and they will talk about when they have children of their own. Okay, perhaps I am going a bit over the top here but summer has that effect on me!
With one-third of summer behind us, we have many more weeks ahead to enjoy. Here are some suggestions for things to do and places to go in the Twin Cities that have been kid approved!
1. Centennial Lake Park
Tucked in between Xerxes and France Avenues, this 24-acre urban escape in Edina is considered by many the crown jewel of the Hennepin County Parks. There is something here to please all age groups and activities that have a strong appeal to kids. Challenge them to 18 holes of miniature golf on real grass! Or maybe they will fancy a game of croquet or lawn bowling. The paddle boats are a family favorite and kids enjoy powering the boat themselves and viewing the entire park from the lakes. Walk through the maze. Take a rest on a swinging bench and for an added treat take the kids to lunch at Chuck E Cheese! Attend one of the free performances at the Maetzold Amphitheater. Kids will love the Zinghoppers, Mary Hall’s Show for Pipsqueaks and the Alphabits all on the Centennial Lakes Park July Calendar
2. Minnesota Has Parks!
Spend a great summer day outdoors at one of our awesome Minnesota State Parks. We are so fortunate that In the Twin Cities area alone there are 6 State Parks, 1 National Wildlife Refuge, and 23 State Wildlife Management Areas! Enjoy activities like swimming, biking, hiking, and fishing. Check out the Minnesota State Parks website for a list of parks and available activities, grab your gear, pack up a lunch and hit the road!
3. Get Wet
Take one waterpark and add some kids and what you get is one terrific day of fun and sun. There are waterparks sprinkled throughout the Twin Cities metro with features and activities to please kids of all ages from the Water Park of America in Bloomington, The Depot Waterpark in downtown Minneapolis, and the Venetian Waterpark in Maple Grove. For more waterpark locations in the metro area visit Waterparks 360.
4. Ride a Roller Coaster
Spend a day at Valleyfair and your kids will love you for it! Drive the Antique Autos and take a ride on the Carousel or Ferris Wheel. For the older thrill seekers in the family try Wild Thing, Looping Starship or High Roller! The little ones love Planet Snoopy with rides like Snoopy’s Deep Sea Divers and Sally’s Swings. Check out the Dinosaurs Alive exhibit, the waterpark, and catch some live entertainment. A day at Valleyfair is sure to be a memorable one for everyone in the family.
5. Lions and Tigers and Bears! Oh, My!
The Twin Cities Metro boasts two great zoos – The Como Park Zoo and Conservatory in St. Paul and the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley. Although a $3 donation for adults and $2 for a child is appreciated, it is not mandatory so the admission is actually free at the Como Zoo! In addition to visiting with the many species of animals, attend exhibits such as “Our Shared Planet” and “Zoo Keeper Talks”. Attend the Summer Flower Show and tour the Conservatory and the gardens. While you’re there visit the amusement park and play some mini golf. Now you take the Metro Green Line to the Como Zoo!
Where do you find an African Fruit Bat, an Asian Wild Horse, a Bactrian Camel, an American Black Bear, a Canada Lynx, a Flamingo and a Matschie’s Tree Kangaroo all in the same place? Yup, the Minnesota Zoo that's where! That is a short list of animals that reside at the zoo. You will find creatures of the air, land, and sea from all over the world. In addition to the animals, check out the Big Bugs and Close Encounters, this summer’s ongoing exhibits. While you’re there, ride the carousel and catch a few of the ongoing special shows and animal feedings.
On Google reviews, both zoos are pretty much tied in the ratings. What’s your favorite?
Whatever you choose to do in the Twin Cities this summer, do get out and have fun. Go for a walk, play catch, ride, swim and just glory in the warmth and sunshine. Be spontaneous and ready for anything! You’re only young once you
Minnesota kids having fun above! Yikes!