We are planning a trip for 4-5days in the Twin Cities. The group will consist of 5 couples and 9 children.the ages range from 6 years to a young 72. The children are 6-14 and the adults 35-72. Shopping is not a big attraction although 1day at the mall would probably do.
What else is there to do in the Twin Cities?
Como Park Zoo & Conservatory is a fine option. In the picture, there's a zoo, rides for the kids, a conservatory, various gardens, and a nice lake to walk around. Once you finish walking around the lake then you can get a bite to eat at the new pavilion.
Another nice thing to do is Unorganized Territory of Fort Snelling (I believe only open on weekends). You can start at the museum, then see various demonstrations and olde time things, muskets, cannonballs, people in period costumes, and then after that you can walk down to the Mississippi river, there's trails and nature, etc. (bonus it is accessible from the light rail system)
Another nice thing to do, is drive to Taylor's Falls (1 hr north of the cities). There is a state park there, a quaint town with a nice main street, a riverfront with interesting rock formations and also a boat tour you can take.
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it's a little "out there", but I'd think about renting a boat on the river up in Stillwater. It's a neat town and the river is beautiful and some neat little spots along the way.
Definitely head over to Minnehaha Park, where you'll find some good, easy hiking, scenery and Sea Salt Eatery. If you want to extend the experience, get bikes from a Nice Ride station and ride along Minnehaha Creek to get to the park.
If you're here on a Saturday, bundle a few activities in downtown Minneapolis, starting with Mill City Farmers Market. It's held right between the Mill City Museum and the Guthrie Theater. Also nearby is Gold Medal Park—and on the far end of it (away from the Guthrie) is Izzy's Ice Cream. Walk down by the river to see Mill Ruins Park and take a walk across Stone Arch Bridge. Actually, you can still do all that on a day other than Saturday—except the farmers market.
The Minneapolis Institute Of Arts (free entry here!), Walker Art Center, The Museum of Russian Art, Bakken Library & Museum and Science Museum of Minnesota (the latter of which is in St. Paul) are all good museum experiences. The Walker currently has artist-designed mini-golf in the sculpture garden. Historic Fort Snelling is another good option.
Grand Ave in St. Paul is leafy, relaxed and lined with stores, if you want a non-mall shopping experience. Nearby Summit Ave makes for a great walk, too, and you can gawk at all the historic mansions as you walk toward the Cathedral of Saint Paul, which, even if you're not Catholic, is a remarkable sight to see. A short walk from there is the Minnesota History Center.
The Chain of Lakes—primarily Lake Calhoun, Lake Of The Isles,
I hope you have a great time in the Twin Cities!
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