Train Activities for Families in Minneapolis, Minnesota
This article surveys train activities for families in Minneapolis and the western side of Twin Cities. For family friendly train activities in Saint Paul and the east side please click here.
Ride the light rail.
Easy and cheap, light rail is a fun way to enjoy trains with a child. To plan your trip go to www.metrotransit.org, hover over "maps and schedules" to reveal the drop down menu and click "light rail." The Hiawatha Line running down to MOA takes a break in the wee hours of the morning but for most daytrips you'll be able to make the return with ease. If you opt for the North Star line triple check that there is a return trip available to you at a reasonable time. It's a commuter line and the number and time of runs is quite restricted.
Mom tip: The full run from Target Field to Mall of America takes 40 minutes down and 40 minutes back. Make sure your little one goes potty first and pack a snack.
2025 West River Road, Minneapolis, MN 55411
This chain uses a train in the logo and offers a variety of crusts and a secret sauce but only the West River Road location boasts trains running inside and a caboose out front. I've heard reports of dining in the caboose but can't personally verify this. Broadway Pizza is well reviewed and several of it's locations have won local awards.
Brickmania Toyworks / Lego Train Club
1620 Central Avenue NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413
Brickmania Toyworks shares building space with The Greater Midwest Lego Train Club and the Twin Cities Lego Train Club. Once per month, usually on the second Saturday from 10AM - 4PM, they welcome in a free public open house. After surviving a somewhat creepy wander through a giant re-purposed warehouse you'll arrive at the sprawling layout of immaculate Lego constructions and trains. For further information, date confirmation, pictures, and a map of the warehouse (you'll want to consult it and possibly print it to bring with you) check gmltc.org.
- The Renaissance Hotel downtown is in an upgraded historic train depot complete with tracks in the floor and spectacular windows. The first floor is a wonder to behold. The currently have no official policy on gawkers but Charley's Grill, Stone Arch Bar, the indoor water park or the seasonal ice rink all give you an excuse to be in the area.
- The TSA prefers that you not ride the light rail to the airport to watch the planes take off. The Hiawatha Line has two stops at the airport and a sizable amount of space separating the light rail from the security checkpoints.
- Go to Saint Paul. It has more and better train activities for families and young children.