Friday, March 15, 2013

Family Vacation Destination: St. Paul, Minnesota

Last summer when we took our epic cross country road trip, my heart broke a tiny bit every time we had to pass up a fun or scenic destination. We only had a very limited amount of time, and unfortunately, we just could not fit in everything that we would have liked to see and do. Don't get me wrong, we did a lot in two and a half weeks, but the trip definitely reinforced for me that I need to take several more similar road trips in order to see everything I want to see! Next time I will be researching Hotels in St Paul MN because I'm not missing it twice!

I've been busily recapping our trip in my Travel Tuesday posts, but I have yet to get around to writing about our brief time in Minnesota. It was our first time visiting Minnesota, and we were in a major time crunch so my mom could get back to work. Therefore, we were only able to choose one activity in Minnesota on our route home. Bethany had her heart set on one particular destination, so that meant we had to pass right by St. Paul and all that it has to offer. We were literally only about twenty minutes away. Ouch.

Being the capital of Minnesota, St. Paul has a lot to offer in terms of family fun. When we finally make it there, here are some things we won't want to miss:
  • Como Park Zoo and Conservatory  Maybe it's cliche, but I love taking my kids to zoos. This one looks beautiful, without being too huge and overwhelming. I love that there are several gardens on the grounds with different themes. Also, a really unique feature is Como Town, a little mini amusement park right in the zoo. Admission to the zoo is FREE, although donations are suggested. Please note, there is a charge for rides and other attractions.
  • Minnesota Children's Museum  Museums geared toward children are always a good bet for our family. Lots of hands on activities equal loads of fun, with a little learning sneaked in for good measure! The Earth World exhibit (helping kids to discover Minnesota's unique habitats up close) looks like it would be interesting and captivating. Big bonus: the museum is accessible via the city's skyway, which is an ingenious indoor walkway connecting several buildings. Which means you can get from place to place without ever going outside. That sounds perfect for rainy or cold weather!
  • Cathedral of St. Paul  Okay, I admit that perhaps visiting a church would not be on my kids' list of things they'd like to do on vacation. However, I'm a sucker for historical churches, especially majestic ones like the Cathedral of St. Paul. Almost 100 years old, this beautiful church is a treasure trove of art and architecture. And a little culture never hurt anyone.
  • Grand Avenue  Sometimes the best part of visiting a new city is simply wandering the streets, people watching and window shopping. Home to many local businesses, Grand Avenue seems like the perfect place to walk around and get to know the city. There are lots of unique options in terms of coffee shops, cafes, and shops. I can just envision a lovely afternoon, walking up and down the street, stopping for a coffee or an ice cream cone.
  • Indian Mounds Park  What kid would not like to see an ancient burial ground first hand? It's somehow creepy and mysterious and I know my kids would be interested. There are six mounds at the park, some believed to be more than 2000 years old! The park also looks like a nice place to have a picnic and let the kids run off some steam. I always like to schedule some free time outdoors when we're traveling so my kids can get their exercise and enjoy the outdoors.
Have you been to St. Paul, or do you live in the area? I'd love first hand suggestions for family friendly sites and activities!

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

1 comment:

Elizabeth Parker said...

I've never been to MN before. I'd like to see the Mall of America at some point. :)