The bags are packed, the van is loaded, and the kids are finally ready to go. It’s family road trip time, destination: Minnesota. But now you have to decide what to do while you’re here, and luckily, you’re spoiled for choice. This great northern state has plenty of excellent options for all ages, which make traveling with kids a breeze. Here are just a few family-friendly choices to consider:

 

The Zoo

A little off the beaten path, just west of Rochester, is the unique Oxbow Park & Zollman Zoo, dedicated to veterinarian Dr. Paul Zollman to honor his work in rescuing injured and at-risk animals. Home to more than 30 species, the zoo provides many educational programs for children, and places special emphasis on local plants and animals. A little closer to the Twin Cities, you’ll also find the Como Park Zoo & Conservatory in St. Paul, and the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley.

 

Beach

The Lake Harriet Bandshell is a blast for a picnic, concert, or pedal boat rental. You can find fun for the whole family on and near this beautiful South Minneapolis body of water. Also consider checking out Lake Nokomis, home of the popular Sandcastle bar and snack station. Or, head over to Lake Calhoun and nosh at the lakeside eatery and cafe. Don’t forget to pack your sunscreen!

 

Amusement Parks

You’ve probably heard about the bigger amusement parks Minnesota has to offer - ValleyFair, Nickelodeon Universe at the Mall of America, Soak City, and Great Wolf Lodge. But there are lots of smaller parks and attractions sure to thrill the entire family, and without the crowds. For instance, while away a summer’s day on the lazy river at Bunker Beach in Coon Rapids. Play laser tag, swim, and slide at Three Bear Waterpark & Craguns Laser Tag in Brainerd. These lesser-known parks are just as fun, and wallet-friendly too!

 

Sporting Events 

Professional Minnesotan teams have been a key component of our northern pride for over 50 years. Baseball, football, hockey - there’s something for everyone. Fairly new is CHS Field in St. Paul, home of the St. Paul Saints, a non-MLB professional baseball team. This beautiful stadium has an array of amenities for families who are excited to celebrate Minnesota’s rich and storied athletic tradition. 

Football fans should visit the US Bank Stadium in the heart of downtown Minneapolis, home base for the Minnesota Vikings. And the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul is home to the Wild, the local NHL team. 

Minneapolis also has a new soccer stadium, Allianz Field, home to the Minnesota United FC.

Any of these impressive locations are well worth a visit by sports fans.

 

Family Resorts

When planning a family excursion, remember to check out the options at resorts which offer family packages and special accommodations for kids. You might want to bond as an entire family on boats, canoes, or kayaks, or maybe spend some quality time with your significant other while your kids play. 

Ruttger’s Bay Lake Lodge in Brainerd offers Kids’ Kamp, so parents can take a much-needed break while their little ones make the most of summer. The Kids’ Kamp staff will guide your children through outdoors activities, arts and crafts, and various games. 

Breezy Point Lodge in Breezy Point offers a pool and game room for your children and teens and more amenities for the adults in your group.

Hampton Inn in Spicer provides free breakfast, pontoon boats, bike rentals, fishing, and more combined with the comfort and value of Hampton.

 

No matter where you choose to go or what type of vacation you’re on, TPI Hospitality has you covered. Reserve your family’s room today!