The change in weather signals spring break is approaching. Are you looking to do a staycation with your family, or perhaps a long weekend road trip? There are lots of fun and affordable options in Minneapolis Northwest, with hotels, restaurants and attractions with health measures in place so you and your family can stay safe. Take the stress out of planning with our ideas for a memorable, family-friendly spring break.
Where to Stay
First, be assured that ALL hotels in Minneapolis Northwest have health and safety measures in place so you can rest easy. Measures include face masks being required in public areas, floors with social distancing markers, sanitizer available to all guests and staff, and linens that are cleaned thoroughly in high-temperature wash.
The whole family will love the Holiday Inn & Suites Maple Grove because of a little something called the Venetian Waterpark. The weather won’t matter when you step into this 25,000 square foot water paradise that will easily entertain your family for an entire day, if not the entire weekend. You do have to be a guest at the hotel in order to get in on the fun. Good news - the waterpark has extended hours in March, including Monday and Thursday hours, so you can really enjoy a long weekend. The Holiday Inn is also steps away from great shopping and dining options in The Shoppes at Arbor Lakes, as well as Dave & Buster's.
If pools are a must for your family, we have other options available too: the Staybridge Suites Minneapolis/Maple Grove is a new extended stay hotel that features a pool, fitness center, complimentary breakfast, and family room layouts. Hilton Garden Inn Minneapolis/Maple Grove includes a pool, bar/lounge, fitness center, family rooms and suites, and room service. And Hampton Inn Minneapolis NW/Maple Grove also has a pool, free breakfast, and family style rooms.
BONUS: All hotels in Minneapolis include FREE parking.
The MiniSota Play Cafe is the newest creative play space to open in Minneapolis Northwest. Not only does it provide an imaginative play area for little ones, it also has a cafe for adults with coffee, teas, and smoothies! Kids can "swim" and "fish" in Lake Mini-Tonka and visit the grocery and music stores. Adults can join in or let the kids do their thing while enjoying a freshly made cafe drink. The MiniSota Cafe also creates and sells sensory bins and kits, as well as craft kits.
A fun activity that will get the creative juices flowing is a trip to Color Me Mine. Paint a mug, vase, plate or bowl. It's great for all ages, and kids will love bringing home their painted art piece. The studio is accepting table reservations with limited seating to ensure social distancing. Save a spot for up to 6 painters for a 2 hour session. You can also shop online and paint at home. Just choose your pottery or project kits, and within 24 hours your kit will be ready to pick up.
If you live in the area and plan on enjoying a staycation, take a look at Brooklyn Park's Painting in the Park series of events. These classes provide step-by-step instructions on creating fun, spring-themed art pieces. Check out:
- Every Bunny Welcome on Wood
- 3 Spring Wood Blocks
- Bunny Painting on Canvas
The Painting in the Park series continues to add dates throughout the spring, so be sure to check our Events page for the most up-to-date events listing.
Our indoor playgrounds are the perfect spot for kids that want to run around and blow off steam. Check out the Maple Maze at the Maple Grove Community Center. It's so much fun for children 12 years old and younger. They can climb a rock wall, bounce on pogo sticks, crawl through tubes, soar down slides, explore a treehouse and more! Reservations are required, so plan ahead.
Another excellent indoor play space is Playground Plaza. It's open 365 days a year and features playground equipment and large turf field for sports. A great spot for ages 5 and up. Both Playground Plaza and the Maple Maze are limiting capacity to ensure social distancing, and staff are rigorously cleaning the equipment throughout the day.
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Sometimes in March, the snow sticks around and you can still use your skates and skis. This year, it seems spring has come early, not that we mind. While winter recreation is postponed until further notice, you can still get out in the fresh air for a great family hike. Within Elm Creek Park, the Eastman Nature Center features a number of fun outdoor events. Learn how maple syrup is made when you Journey Into the Sugarbush March 13, 14 and 27, and attend the Maple Syrup Season Celebration March 21 and 28. Stop by the cauldron and watch how sap is boiled into syrup; take a photo with Paul Bunyan and explore the surrounding trails.
Spring events are also heating up at Mississippi Gateway Regional Park. Uncover Nature's Mysteries, learn how to build Forts and Fires, and go for a solar system hike during Free Family Fun Day. This is also a great park to explore, including walking over the Mississippi River on the Coon Rapids Dam where you'll see lots of wildlife in action.
Where to Eat
While having all this fun, your family will work up an appetite. Minneapolis Northwest has a number of casual kid-friendly restaurants where even the pickiest eaters will find something to love. 3 Squares Restaurant features an all-day breakfast menu, so kids can get pancakes for dinner! And nearby Portillo's Hot Dogs is always a hit with its hot dogs, burgers, chicken sandwiches, classic crinkle fries and more.
Rodizio Grill is a fun spot for families. The Brazilian steakhouse provides a lively atmosphere with its grilled meats served table-side by Brazilian Gauchos. This is a unique dining experience the kids won't forget.
Did you know Guy Fieri just opened a "ghost kitchen" in Minneapolis Northwest? Guy's Flavortown Kitchen is a delivery only operation featuring a number of exciting dishes from the master himself. Spend the evening at your hotel and by the pool with cheesesteak egg rolls, fried pickles, chicken parm-eroni, or the bacon mac n cheese burger!
The Lookout Bar & Grill has been a neighborhood favorite for decades. The bar and grill features a massive patio and children's play area. You might catch a game during the bar's spring volleyball league or have a family dance party with live music on Friday and Saturday nights.
For more great family atmosphere, you have to try 50’s Grill, complete with poodle skirts, throwback decor, and old-fashioned, handmade shakes and malts. They also have home-cooked pot pies, meatloaf and burgers all served in a fun 50's environment.