Here are a few outings that are out of the box but great fun for all ages. If you are looking for something a little different, check out these local spots.
Twin City Model Railroad Museum: 1021 Bandana Blvd, Suite 222, St. Paul, www.tcmrm.org. This model railroad museum features historical reporducations and takes you on a visually energizing "tour" through the Twin Cities of the past. The museum volunteers have a great deal of information to share. There are some hands-on train tables for those who want to engage with trains directly.
Jackson Street Roundhouse: 193 Pennsylvania Avenue East, St. Paul, www.trainride.org/jsrh.shtml. The Great Northen Railway's historic Jackson Street Roundhouse, a former steam engine maintenance facility, provides a unique opportunity for people of all ages to experience railroading. Travel through history with indepth exhibits featuring local and regional railway history. Experience a genuine operating roundhouse turntable, one of the last of its kind in the country. They have Tots and Trains Wednesdays for a morning of fun!
The Minneapolis Institute of Arts: 2400 Third Avenue South, Minneapolis, www.artsmia.org. The Minneapolis Institute of Arts enriches the community by collecting, preserving, and making accessible outstanding works of art from the world's diverse cultures. You'll see a variety of displays including sculptures, painting, furniture and dimensional art. I've taken all ages to enjoy the art here. Since admission is free you can return often.
Midtown Global Market: Lake Street and 10th Avenue, Minneapolis, www.midtownglobalmarket.org. Wee Wednesdays, 10 AM to 1 PM, provide special activities and hands on features geared for 5 years and under. This is a place with music, food and cultural experiences for all ages. The colorful marketplace is great option on a day when the weather isn't so cooperative for an outdoor option.
Mercado Central: 1515 East Lake Street, Minneapolis, www.mercadocentral.net. The Mercado Central is a member-owned cooperative of 48 Latino businesses whose mission is to recreate an authentic Latin American marketplace. Their website will give you dates of special events and celebrations you'll want to experience. There are shops, lots of restaurants and a festive atmosphere.