Grandparents Day is Sunday, September 9, and what better way to celebrate than by having a day out, just grandkids and grandparents? The Twin Cities area is filled with places both kids and adults will love. Here are 10 family activities for Grandparents Day in the Twin Cities.
10. Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is a beautiful way to spend time outside. It has something for everyone: a Chinese garden with a spectacular dragon sculpture, a quiet rose garden, walking paths and hiking trails, and a hedge maze for kids. Enjoy the beauty of nature and learn more about our local plants and flowers.
9. Go Through Family Photos
This is a great stay-at-home option! Break out those old photo albums you haven’t opened in years. You can look at the grandkids’ or grandparents’ photos, but it’s particularly fun to look at the generation in between. Grandparents can reminiscence about years past, and kids will love seeing their parents when they were the same age. Plus, who doesn’t love hearing all the funny stories of things their parents did when they were little?
8. Gone Fishin’
A day out on the lake can be a great way to spend time together. Grandparents can teach young children a new skill or enjoy a favorite hobby by going fishing together. If you don’t have a boat, The Twin Cities has dozens of lakes where you can fish off the dock or the shoreline. Keep in mind that everyone ages 15 – 89 needs a valid fishing license; kids under 15 do not need one if they are fishing with a licensed adult.
7. Choo Choo Bob Storytime with Engineer Paul
Photo: Tireless Tot
The Choo Choo Bob’s Train Store is always a hit with preschool or early elementary aged kids. Head over to play with trains any day of the week. Or, stop in on Tuesdays to sing songs, and listen to train stories at Story Time with Engineer Paul, a character on the popular children’s TV program.
6. Apple Picking
Photo: Minnetonka Orchards
Take a drive for a pleasant (and healthy) day out at a local apple orchard. Pick your own apples, and maybe even learn how to make homemade applesauce with the fruits of your labor. Most apple orchards have other fun outdoor activities such as corn mazes mazes, hayrides, or play areas for children to run around.
5. Como Zoo and Conservatory
The Como Zoo and Conservatory is truly a family-friendly attraction. From exotic animals like flamingos and spider monkeys, to the peaceful Japanese gardens, everyone young and old will find something that suits their interests. You can even feed a giraffe! A mini golf course and children’s amusement park rides next door round out the options.
4. Your Local Library
Photo: Stillwater Library
For some quiet time, take a trip to your local library. Show your grandkids the books you loved to read as a child, find your grandkids’ favorites, or go hunting for something new to take home. In addition, most libraries host a weekly “Storytime” event for babies and toddlers to help build a strong foundation for success in reading. Each library’s program is different, but most will include reading stories together, singing songs, and playing with puppets.
3. Sculpture Garden
From the iconic Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture, to an elegant wind chime, to a blue rooster, the artwork at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden will delight everyone. Kids will be intrigued by the unique sculptures while having fun out in the sunshine. Families can also enjoy the varied art collections inside the Walker Art Museum, the Sculpture Garden’s partner organization.
2. Ride the Trolley
Travel back in time with an unforgettable trip aboard the Lake Harriet Streetcar. You’ll learn about the history of the streetcar and of the Twin Cities with a ride on this “museum on wheels.” The scenic ride runs between Como and Lake Harriet and lasts about 15 minutes. End your day with a picnic and some swimming in beautiful Lake Harriet.
1. The Works Museum
Come discover, create, and build with your grandchild with a visit to The Works Museum. Experiment together with simple machines, sensors, and optical technologies. Kids touch, try, and build as you explore how things work in a hands-on and engaging environment. If you are looking for ideas beyond Grandparents Day, consider a class at The Workshop . These classes, designed for an adult and child pair, let you create a unique project completely from scratch to take home. Learn how to make a soldered pendant, an Arduino robot, or a zippered pouch while spending quality time engineering together.
Did you know that admission to The Works Museum is free for grandparents in recognition of Grandparents Day? Visit on Saturday September 8 or Sunday September 9 to receive free admission for grandparents. Simply mention that you are a grandparent at the front desk to receive this offer.