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When winter sets in, most people prefer indoor fun. These indoor activities in Minnesota will help you brighten those cold days.
Sometimes, the weather in Minnesota can be pretty unforgiving. However, even the harshest weather doesn’t, even for a bit, have to stop you from having fun in Minnesota. Minnesota has more than a dozen fun indoor activities to brighten even the coldest day.
If you don’t feel like going snowshoe hiking, skiing, sledding, or ice-fishing, we have the best indoor fun options. Right from indoor golfing to cultural attractions and shopping, there are incredible indoor activities in Minnesota that you can try out.
The Land of 10,000 Lakes, as it’s popularly known, is never short of fun things to do regardless of the season.
- Top Indoor Activities in Minnesota
- 1. Tropics Indoor Water Park
- 2. Minneapolis Institute of Arts
- 3. Visit the Eagles Nest Indoor Playground
- 4. Bark and Brew
- 5. Mall of America
- 6. Urban Air Adventure Park
- 7. The Science Museum of Minnesota
- 8. Zero Gravity Trampoline Park
- 9. Mill City Museum
- 10. Winona County History Center
- 11. Can Can Wonderland
- 12. Como Park Conservatory
- 13. Attend a show at Chanhassen Dinner Theater
- 14. Midi Change of Pace Dinner Theater
- 15. Attend the CDT Concert Series
- 16. Indoor Concert at the Xcel Energy Center
- 17. Paisley Park
- 18. Visit the North American Bear Center
- 19. Roets Jordan Brewery
- 20. Lego Imagination Center
- 21. Try out a Casino
Top Indoor Activities in Minnesota
1. Tropics Indoor Water Park
This amazing indoor water park at the Shoreview Community Center offers some of the most fun indoor things to do in Minnesota. Here, the warm water plus numerous games and activities make you forget the chilly or rainy weather outside.
The best thing about this place is that it’s designed to offer endless fun for all ages. First is the zero-depth Bamboo Bay, comprising a shallow-water pool and interactive play equipment, allowing various water games like volleyball and basketball.
The Shipwreck Beach complements the Bamboo Bay with water volleyball games, a boat slide, a stimulating water walk, and the splashing palm tree. You can also opt for the main pool, which allows you to play water basketball, volleyball or even slide down the steep Shark Attack slide.
If you are traveling as a family, this is an excellent place for everyone to have fun.
2. Minneapolis Institute of Arts
The Twin Cities is one place you wouldn’t want to miss while in Minnesota. And, if you are a history or art lover, touring the Minneapolis Institute of Arts is among the best Twin Cities indoor activities.
Here, you have a chance to explore over 80,000 works of art, photography, sculpture, drawings, etc., spanning over 20,000 years of rich world art and history. The place gives you a glance at one of the most elaborate art collections in the US, ranging from contemporary art to textiles and sculptures.
The museum’s numerous exhibitions make every visit new and unique. Even better, entrance to the MIA is free, unlike many other museums in the State.
The Art in Bloom festival is a four-day annual event that you can try out. It offers a mix of fine art and fresh floral arrangements, making it one of the most exciting things to do inside in Minneapolis.
3. Visit the Eagles Nest Indoor Playground
If you want to keep the kids all busy and entertained, even when the Minnesotan weather doesn’t allow it, this is one place that offers a refuge. The Eagles Nest Indoor Playground is designed to offer amazing fun for kids aged 12 years and below.
The place includes triple-level, quadruple wave, and tornado slides designed to offer the kids endless fun. The kids will also enjoy the two ball pits, three-story climbing structure, and other interesting playground features.
As for the toddlers, the lily pad walks, tree slide, ball pit, carousel, and foam play pieces will keep these young ones entertained.
4. Bark and Brew
Just as the name goes, this is a dog-friendly beverage establishment offering craft beer, specialty drinks, wine, coffee, soda, etc. The place allows you to relax, watch your favorite game with friends, or just hang out with your furry friend, no matter the kind of weather outside.
Located in Suamico, WI, this dog-friendly establishment is the best place to be when you wish to tag your dog along. Their indoor and outdoor climate-controlled environment ensures that the freezing temperatures or the heavy downpour outdoors don’t interfere with your fun.
The good thing about the place is that your dog won’t stay hungry or bored. Besides the expansive beverage menu for humans, the establishment also offers a dog menu for your pet.
This way, as you sip that hot coffee, your dog also enjoys its favorite bite. In addition, they have experienced Dog Butlers to ensure that your dog is well-taken care of.
5. Mall of America
A visit to the Mall of America should be on top of your to-do list. Established in 1992, this is the largest mall in the Western Hemisphere and 7th worldwide. Therefore, when I say you need to visit this place, it’s because it is undoubtedly worth visiting at any time.
The Mall of America receives around 40 million visitors annually, among the most famous tourist destinations in the US. And with its more than 520 stores (retail and specialty), it’s obvious why people can’t avoid going to the place.
This indoor mall also offers over 50 dining and entertainment spots, some of which you can find nowhere else. Here, you’ll get a chance to spend some time at the Nickelodeon Universe (R) indoor park (the largest in the world), visit the SEA LIFE(R) Aquarium, or have some fun at the ACES. Flight Simulator.
With over 400 events held here annually, a tour of this place guarantees some of the best indoor activities in Minnesota. You might even meet your favorite celebrity while there.
6. Urban Air Adventure Park
If you thought you’d seen it all with indoor fun, Urban Air Adventure Park takes you to an even higher level. The park offers a one-of-a-kind fun experience for thrill lovers. It is an indoor adventure park, offering various adventure levels to cater to everyone’s needs.
Some of the main attractions here include:
- Sky Rider
- Climbing Walls
- Laser Tag
- Indoor Skydiving
- Foam pit
- Warrior course
These, plus numerous other fun activities, will make you forget how chilly or rainy the outdoors are. If you are searching for the best indoor activities while raining in Minnesota, this park offers more than you can take in.
7. The Science Museum of Minnesota
Instead of worrying about the weather outside, why not enjoy some thrilling science facts and discoveries at the Science Museum of Minnesota? The museum, found in Saint Paul, MN, was established over a century ago, in 1907, and focuses on various topics, including natural history, technology, mathematics, and physical science.
Keeping true to its mission statement, “Turn on the science: Inspire learning, Inform policy, Improve lives,” the museum is the best place for science enthusiasts. And, being one of Minnesota’s most visited science museums, its discoveries will certainly be worth your visit.
So, if the outdoor weather is unwelcoming, the museum can form part of your list of the best indoor activities in Minnesota.
See Related: Best Museums in Minnesota
8. Zero Gravity Trampoline Park
This is the ultimate fun destination for kids in the Twin Cities or even Brooklyn Park region. As they put it on their website, Zero Gravity offers one of the most comprehensive adventure parks, and it’s pretty affordable.
The park includes over 11,000 square feet of bouncing, jumping, leaping, and flipping activities that always wowed visitors. Besides the extensive field covered with trampoline surfaces, other attractions at this park include:
- Laser tag
- Foam pit
- Indoor climbing wall
- Ninja obstacle course
- Open jump area
The place is designed to cater to all your kids’ fun needs, regardless of age.
9. Mill City Museum
A tour of the famous Mill City Museum can prove to be one of the most practical indoor activities in Minnesota for adults. The museum, which sits in downtown Minneapolis MN, is easily accessible via car, bike, light rail, or bus.
The museum, which accepts visitors of all ages, offers an incredibly rich history connecting the flour industry, Minneapolis city, and the Mississippi River. Here, you get to explore the vintage milling equipment, and old-fashioned advertising or join the various tours and events held by the museum.
For anyone looking for exciting things to do in Minneapolis in winter indoors, this one should certainly feature on their list.
The museum is also just 22 minutes and 18 minutes away from Maple Grove and Brooklyn Center consecutively. This means that indoor fun is not meant for Twin Cities residents only.
See related: Best Small Towns in Minnesota to Visit.
10. Winona County History Center
If you are looking for some engaging rainy-day activities in Minnesota, touring this historic center is one of them. The historical center, which is Minnesota’s largest, was established in 1935 and has more to offer than you can imagine. Right from historical artifacts to displays and special programs, the place never disappoints.
Various exhibits examine the rich history of Winona County, ranging from early human settlements, immigrant cultures, local businesses, arts, and numerous events that shaped the county’s history. In addition, the new local Art Gallery showcases the county’s talents, offering numerous amazing artworks for visitors to buy.
Some of the annual events include the Museum Open House, Moonlight Revels, the WCHS Annual Meeting, and the Christmas House Tour.
11. Can Can Wonderland
One has to see this indoor golf course and amusement park to believe. The mini-golf course was designed with the input of more than 200 golf enthusiasts from around the globe. These people were asked to offer a proposal for the mini-golf hole they have always wanted to play.
From the more than 200 proposals sent, 18 of the best were chosen and implemented. This gave rise to this amazing indoor mini-golf course located in the heart of the Twin Cities.
Besides the artist-tailored mini-golf course, Can Can Wonderland also offers:
- Vintage arcade games
- Delicious bites
- Boozy Malts
- Live performances
- Private events
12. Como Park Conservatory
Even for nature lovers you don’t have to wait for favorable weather to have some fun. Como Park Conservancy is a combination of an indoor zoo and a botanical garden that brings nature to you even during the worst weather.
The conservatory is stunningly designed to appeal to your eyes right from the time you set foot inside. It consists of an arched center with open conference rooms and gardens. In total, the conservancy consists of 13 gardens and other displays that you’ll certainly love exploring.
Admissions here are free, but the place offers more than most free-admission sites would. Therefore, you don’t need to look for expensive indoor activities in Minnesota to enjoy a cold or rainy day. Even at a free cost, you can still have splendid moments.
13. Attend a show at Chanhassen Dinner Theater
If you look at the number of theaters in Minnesota, you’ll undoubtedly come to the same conclusion – Minnesotans love fun. The Twin Cities, for example, host incredibly many theaters per capita, second only to New York.
However, only a handful of these companies allow you to dine and watch a great movie in the same venue. Chanhassen Theaters is one such place that is open almost every night of the year.
The place has more than 300 people working together to ensure that each night is special for the attendees. Right from the theater directors, actors, musicians, chefs, waiters, and waitresses, they work harmoniously to offer you the best experience.
Generally, it runs multiple productions (two or three) simultaneously during the entire season. So, while you enjoy your favorite play, you can order that delicious meal to make the experience even more breathtaking. When you want some relaxing indoor activities in Minnesota, look no further.
14. Midi Change of Pace Dinner Theater
Unlike the Chanhassen Dinner Theater, which accompanies its theater plays with meals, this one is the other way around. It’s one of the restaurants serving meals accompanied by theater plays.
Located in Duluth, this dinner theater is a partnership between the Change of Pace theater troupe and Midi Restaurant. Together, they make your evenings in Duluth worth every minute.
The menu here comprises incredible dishes like roast beef and champagne chicken. As for the beverages, you can order your favorite wine or cocktail. And if you want a gluten-free or vegetarian menu, you are also sorted.
This means that while the weather might not allow you to enjoy the beauty that North Shore offers, your stay in Duluth doesn’t have to be as dull.
See Related: Top-Rated Hotels in Duluth, Minnesota
15. Attend the CDT Concert Series
Besides plays, comedies, and other special events, Chanhassen Dinner Theater also holds some of the best indoor concerts in Minnesota. There is always something special to help you counter those cold or rainy evenings.
CDT Concert Series allows you to enjoy great music from some of the finest musicians in Minnesota as you also relish your favorite dish from the theater’s menu. And there is a concert almost every other weekend, meaning you can always end your week in style.
16. Indoor Concert at the Xcel Energy Center
When considering indoor concerts in Minnesota, Xcel Energy Center should always be on the list of best venues. Located in Saint Paul, MN, this arena is considered one of the world’s finest.
It is an exceptional multi-purpose facility hosting over 150 sports and other annual entertainment events. More than 1.7 million people visit the arena annually, a clear indication of the fun the place offers.
All you need is to visit their website and find out which day they have a great concert and book. You can also attend one of the many games and tournaments held here. There is always a major event happening at Xcel Energy Center.
17. Paisley Park
Paisley Park, established to commemorate Prince’s (a renowned American musician) death, is one of the best places to be during the cold winter. It comprises an active museum, a concert venue, and a hi-tech recording studio.
Paisley Park is open to musicians, fans, and audiophiles for concerts, festivals, tours, and other special events. Some of the notable events that have taken place in Paisley Park include the Under the Cherry Moon cinema series, Summer of Soul, Paisley Park After Dark: DJ Lenka Paris, and the Beautiful Dance Party.
Also, if you like what you see here, there are numerous items you can buy to remember your visit. These include icon albums, designer collections, and beautiful apparel. Visiting this park is undoubtedly one of the best things to do inside in Minnesota.
See related: Best Breweries in St. Paul
18. Visit the North American Bear Center
For the best rainy or snow day activities in Minnesota, this Bear Center is a perfect choice. It is a one-of-its-kind black bear and other wildlife educational center, helping to eliminate the fear and myths surrounding these beautiful animals.
A visit to this place lets you learn firsthand about bears’ behavior, ecology, and how they relate to humans. With so much false information and myths about these animals, the North American Bear Center offers scientific facts and accurate information.
Therefore, if you are a big fan of black bears or wish to clarify some issues, this is the best place to visit. Here, you’ll relate to these animals and decide whether what you know is true or just a myth.
19. Roets Jordan Brewery
Are you passionate about a great beer? What better place to enjoy one than at Roets Jordan Brewery? The place brings back the art of beer brewing to the city, allowing you to enjoy freshly brewed beer while listening to soothing music.
And, as Roets puts it, all you need is one sip of their brewed beer to decide whether it’s all worth it. Some of the main drinks on the tap include:
- Roets beer: American cream ale
- Smoky: smoked dark wheat ale
- Roets IPA: throwback IPA
- Mocha: milk tout, coffee, and vanilla
These and many other varieties will make that cold, rainy day feel warmer and refreshing.
20. Lego Imagination Center
Lego Imagination Center is an excellent place to visit for the ultimate fun with your kids when the outdoors isn’t so friendly. The center is located on the Mall of America‘s 2nd floor, and it’s here where you realize that building blocks aren’t just for kids.
With Lego models spread throughout the expansive 6,500 square feet area, four stories up, the fun here will make you forget about the chilly weather outside. The best thing is that the center offers fun activities for everyone.
21. Try out a Casino
In Minnesota, around 18 great casinos call the State their home. And a rainy or cold winter day offers a perfect excuse to visit one. Besides, “What more options does the weather offer?”
If you’d rather enjoy some time on the slot machines or play roulette, picking one of these casinos can help make your winter days in Minnesota more enjoyable.
- Seven Clans Casino
- Black Bear Casino & Hotel
- Palace Casino & Hotel
- Treasure Island Resort & Casino
However, make sure that you feel lucky before heading to the casinos. Some luck always comes in handy here. Visiting one of these casinos might be among the winter’s most exciting indoor things to do in Minnesota.
- About the Author
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Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a full-time traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers experience a fully immersive cultural experience as he did initially living in Italy. He’s a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wanderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). After visiting 12 countries and 13 national parks in a year, he was devoted to creating and telling stories like he’d heard.
Plus, after spending more time on airplanes and packing, he’s learned some incredible travel hacks over time as he earned over 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points in under a year, helping him maximize experiences as much as possible to discover the true meaning of travel.
He loves listening to local stories from around the world and sharing his experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time.