15 Mar 2013
Whenever I’ve visited Minneapolis before with my husband, it’s usually been for just a couple of days – enough time to catch up with family and friends, do some shopping, fit in a few nights out, and then jump on the plane home.
This time, although we’ve got plenty of catching up planned, there’s a bit more time to explore the city (or rather the twin cities, including St Paul). Which got me wondering what family-friendly activities there were.
Firstly, if the weather’s good enough (it’s going to be cold, no question, but if we’re lucky it’ll be sunny and not too snowy), there are plenty of lakes. 10,000 according to the licence plates, although some estimates put it as high as 15,000. Great lakes, small lakes, waterfalls plus the Mississippi river means that waterside walks should be easy to find if we fancy.
Then the shopping. Although the exchange rate is nowhere near as good as those happy days when a pound got nearly two dollars, America does sales very well. Forget 10% off, I’ve snapped up jeans for $10 in Gap before now.
I’ve also come away with vintage dresses in past visits to Minneapolis, which a dry cleaner promptly (sadly) lost
And the Mall of America, the 11th largest in the world if you include its seven acre indoor amusement park Nickelodeon Universe, still pretty huge if you don’t, is likely to feature. There’s also Sealife Minnesota including an interactive pool and shark tank (not so interactive).
There’s DSW (discount shoe warehouse) for me and Build-A-Bear for Minnie. Although maybe I should take advantage of the fact she can’t yet beg for her own bear and leave a visit until pester power kicks in.
If it’s not snowing too hard, the Minnesota Zoo has leopard and tiger cubs at present – plus, understandably, a lot of cold-weather species – while Como Park Zoo and Conservatory is a bargain with just a suggested couple of dollars donation for the fee. Both will rent you buggies if you don’t have them.
And the Children’s Theatre Company divides its performances by age (sadly The Very Hungry Caterpillar won’t be on while we’re there) plus there’s activities for over-twos.
The city also has some great interactive museums for kids, including the Minnesota Children’s museum and the Science Museum of Minnesota with dinosaurs and hands-on exhibits, plus the collections from the Museum of Questionable Medical Devices, which closed just over a decade ago.
No prizes for guessing what I’m most tempted to visit.