Living just outside of Madison Wisconsin means the Twin Cities are a simple drive for us — and road trips can be incredibly fun it you take a little bit of time to do it.
On the way to Minnesota you might to stop in the Wisconsin Dells and spend a night at the Kalihari…everyone loves a water park and it is a great way to unwind. The next morning, as you head back out on the Interstate make sure you time it right so you end up at Osseo’s Norski Nook for their delicious soups and yummy pie! I personally am a fan of their seasonal Fresh Strawberry Pie.
Soon you are crossing the border over into Minnesota and working your way to the Raddison Blu hotel in Bloomington. It’s super easy to find as it is attached to the Mall of America by a walkway.
The Mall of America is about so much more than shopping! Any kid would be beyond excited to spend some time in the Nickelodeon Universe indoor theme park. Parents and kiddos alike will enjoy Fly Over America — a 9+ minute immersion experience ride across this great state! The photography is simply beautiful and something you really don’t want to miss. Feeling warm? Try the Log Chute ride but be warned that the person sitting in front is going to get more than “just a little” wet. Jimmy Neutrons’ Atomic Collider is for people who aren’t ready for a roller-coaster quite yet. Swiper Sweeper is totally for the youngest of the kids and the Pepsi Orange streak is their signature ride: it goes around the whole theme park.
While that covers the rides, there is till so much more to do! Dutchman’s Deck is the amazing high ropes course. Kids 48 inches tall? The Pineapple Poppers is just perfect for you.
When you have had your fill of cotton candy, dippin’ dots and corn dogs, make sure you visit the Lego store.
Whew! Time to rest and head back to the hotel.
Another “must see” place for the kids is the Como Zoo and Conservatory. Arm yourself with my free printable zoo scavenger hunt and a swimsuit under your clothes and head out to this FREE attraction. They do ask for donations and the animals are in smaller habitats than the “other” zoo that has a steep entrance fee and larger animal habitats but it is a pretty cool zoo! Como has an amusement park, sit-don zipline, kid-friendly restaurants and even a splash pad to help ease the heat on a hot summer day.
In honor of the late music master, make sure you plan a un-forgetable moment to stop at Paisley Park. People are still paying their respects to Prince in forms of letters, flowers, candles and art at his legendary home and recording studio so all you really see is a concrete building surrounded by a fence and then his fans. It’s kind of emotional but in a cool way.
After all of that, end your day at RedRossa Italian Restaurant. Beautiful decor, unique menu that covers everything from lasagna to salmon, and great service all up to a relaxing evening with the family and friends. You will feel all happy and sleepy – which is great because you need to rest up for tomorrow!
Want another day trip?
Head on over to the Science Museum of Minnesota. For breakfast go to the Java Lab Cafe in the lobby. If you get there before 9:30? Not a problem! They still welcome you. For lunch? Go to the third floor and try the Chomp Cafe. You know you are going to still be there at dinner time as the museum has so many incredible interactive exhibits so try the Elements Cafe on the sixth floor. Whichever you choose, you can’t go wrong. Of course you will be delighted to see everything from quack medical devices from history, learning electrical circuits, see dinosaurs and so much more. I happily could have spent DAYS there!
At this point, you can plan the rest of the vacay your self – just make sure you take some time to enjoy the beautiful lakes and parks with a picnic or cookout. Have fun creating those lifelong memories with your kids and enjoy being “in the moment” with them.