5 Places for Kids to Play and Learn in the Twin Cities

From zoos to theaters, your child will love these creative, kid-focused places


little boy dressed up like a firefighter at Science Museum of Minnesota

Science Museum of Minnesota

With your sensory-friendly visitor’s guide in hand (complete with loudness ratings and social narratives), prepare for a lesson in all things science across 10 exciting exhibits. For more structure, enroll your child in a class like Dinomania — an action-packed, dinosaur-themed class for ages 3 to 5. smm.org

Children’s Theatre Co.

Treat your preschool prince or princess to a top-notch, age-appropriate performance of “Cinderella” (Nov. 3, 2019 to Jan. 5, 2020), “Rainbow Fish” (March 10-April 5), or “Annie” (April 19-June 20) at one of the nation’s most acclaimed children’s theaters. Audio description and American Sign Language interpreters are available upon request. childrenstheatre.org

Minnesota Children’s Museum

Your little one will never be too young to explore these three floors of fun. Discover designated Tot Spots throughout the exhibits or make your way to Sprouts, a sensory-oriented play space for babies and toddlers under the age of 3 complete with water tables, rest areas, and more. mcm.org

Minnesota Zoo

Amphibians, birds, and mammals, oh my! The 485-acre zoo offers all sorts of animal activities, including two youth programs: Toddler Time (for ages 18 months to 3 years) and Preschool Pals (for ages 3.5 to 6). Both programs take advantage of child-directed exploratory play, age-appropriate activities, and up-close animal encounters. mnzoo.org

Nickelodeon Universe

It will be hard to say goodbye to the Wonder Pets and Backyardigans after your youngster encounters them face-to-face. With a certified autism center and more than two dozen rides and attractions, this indoor amusement park will leave your tyke tuckered out. nickelodeonuniverse.com

Splash & Swim

Accessible, zero-entry pools for your little swimmer are more common than you’d think. Pack your swim bag and spend the afternoon at one of these waterparks in the metro area:

Soak City at Valleyfair
Great Wolf Lodge Waterpark
Bunker Beach
Cascade Bay
Edina Aquatic Center

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