From snorkeling at SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium to scaling one of the country’s biggest indoor playgrounds, the greater Minneapolis region offers plenty of entertainment for curious kids. Connected to Mall of America® via skyway, the Radisson Blu Mall of America is the perfect home base for a family-friendly adventure. After checking in to the hotel, children will receive a Blu Passport offering suggestions for nearby activities and attractions. Don’t miss these family favorites during your stay!
If the kids are ready to get out and play but the weather isn’t cooperating, head to Edinborough Park—a one-acre indoor park only eight minutes from the Radisson Blu. Edinborough is home to one of the country’s largest indoor playgrounds, where kids can swing, slide, climb and crawl their way through a massive 40-foot-tall structure. You’ll also find an inflatable air bounce for toddlers, a junior Olympic-size pool, a café serving light bites, and an amphitheater where you can catch a family-friendly show.
The Minnesota Children’s Museum
Mall of America® is packed with kid-friendly attractions, and children will jump at the chance to hop on a roller coaster, journey through an underground shark tunnel and ride America’s longest indoor zipline. But make sure to leave time to drop by the Minnesota Children’s Museum on the mall’s third floor, where the kids can give their imaginations a workout. Young explorers can dig for dinosaur bones and artifacts in the sand pit, challenge their minds with science-based games and enjoy revolving exhibits that feature beloved cultural icons.
While kids of all ages enjoy the museum, many of the hands-on exhibits were designed by early childhood specialists, making the experience especially ideal for those aged six and under.
Hyland Lake Park Reserve
A morning outdoors is an invigorating way to kick off the day, and the Hyland Lake Park Reserve offers picturesque prairieland and an abundance of activities for the whole family. The Hyland Play Area is an award-winning playground with a massive climbing and sliding section with four- to 50-foot slides, and it also includes a designated play area for children with disabilities. The 18-hole disc golf course provides the playing field for older kids and adults to live out their competitive Frisbee dreams. For those wanting a leisurely afternoon, check out the nature center or pack a picnic and relax on the shores of the lake.
If you’re visiting in winter, head to the park’s Hyland Hills Ski and Snowboard Area, where you can hit the slopes, ski your way across seven miles of cross-country trails, or snowboard in the terrain park, which offers a half-pipe and lessons for beginners.
Cliff Fen Park and Minnehaha Regional Park
In addition to Hyland Lake, you’ll find two other popular parks within a 15-minute drive of the Radisson Blu: Cliff Fen Park and Minnehaha Regional Park. Cliff Fen Park is a 40-acre green space where you can play volleyball, walk the trails, enjoy the Burnsville Lions Playground or, if it’s hot enough, set the kids loose to be soaked by the water features on the splash pad.
The park also offers direct access to the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, a 14,000-acre stretch of protected land and water along the Minnesota River that serves as habitat for migratory waterfowl and other wetland fauna. Depending on the season, you can hike, bike, fish, canoe, snowshoe or cross-country ski at the refuge.
Minnehaha Regional Park, meanwhile, is a verdant oasis where cycling trails wind past colorful gardens. You’ll find serene paths to stroll, a wading pool to splash in, and a Victorian train depot to explore (called Princess Depot for the gingerbread architecture of its canopy). The park’s showpiece is Minnehaha Falls, a 53-foot waterfall immortalized by Longfellow in his poem “The Song of Hiawatha;” it remains the most photographed spot in Minnesota.
Top image: © iStock.com/FamVeld