Minneapolis: Make Your Dollar Go Further

This Minnesota city has attractions that appeal to both kids and grown-ups – and your budget! Add these affordable stops to your Minneapolis family vacation list.

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Art, culture, and beautiful scenery – if you’re looking for a city that checks all the boxes, you can’t go wrong with the Minneapolis half of the Twin Cities. This Minnesota city has affordable attractions that appeal to both kids and grown-ups, making it a great family-friendly destination. If you’re visiting, add these stops to your family vacation list.

Where to Eat

Feeding a crew isn’t hard in Minnesota’s biggest city. Bring the fam to one of these budget locations for meals that satisfy every time.

Al’s Breakfast

A cash-only hole in the wall with a quirky feel, Al’s Breakfast offers classic diner fare to fuel your adventures. Try the Bacon Waffles for a sweet and savory start to a great day.

Midtown Global Market

If you find it hard to please everyone in the family when you’re looking for a bite, you might appreciate Midtown Global Market. This international-themed market offers food from 18 restaurants and vendors, so there’s a good chance you can find something for even the pickiest of eaters. Grab a Steak Torta and spend the afternoon browsing the shops and listening to live music.

An exterior view of the popular Mickey's Diner in Minneapolis, photographed on a cloudy day.

Mickey’s Diner

You have to take a little detour to St. Paul to visit Mickey’s Diner – but it’s worth it. A classic 24-hour diner tucked into a vintage train car, this restaurant is so famous it’s been featured in various magazines and TV-shows. When you visit, try the One-Eyed Jack.

Budget-Friendly Attractions

Minneapolis has got a lot to see, and you don’t have to break the bank to have a good time. Check out some of these free and low-cost favorites that are sure to give you a fun-filled itinerary for the whole family.

Minnesota Children’s Museum

Kids and adults alike love the fun, interactive exhibits at Minnesota Children’s Museum. Shoot down the slide in the Scramble, and get creative in the Studio, or head outside to the Backyard. Visit on the third Sunday of the month for free admission.

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

Put this one on your list of unique outings, for sure. The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is an 11-acre park where you can find more than 40 giant sculptures, making it the largest urban sculpture garden in the country. You can’t miss the iconic Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture – it’s huge and famous!

Como Park Zoo and Conservatory

See polar bears, penguins, monkeys, and more at the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory, all without spending a dime. Let the kids enjoy a close encounter at the giraffe feeding station, and then stroll through the beautiful gardens and take a ride on the carousel.

An aerial view of the gorgeous Minnehaha Falls and surrounding greenery on a cool morning.

Minnehaha Falls

You can’t visit Minnesota without indulging in some fun outside. And you don’t even have to leave the city limits to see some stunning natural beauty. Just head to Minnehaha Falls, a city park with a 53-foot waterfall, limestone bluffs, and scenic overlooks. Wow!

Minneapolis Institute of Art

More than 80,000 works of art, like sculptures, drawings, paintings, and photography, are just waiting to be explored at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. View the enchanted mountains of Chinese landscape paintings, or explore African artifacts as you visit this free city museum.

Wild Rumpus

Want to encourage your kids to read more? You won’t have a problem after a visit to Wild Rumpus. Let the kids get wild at this children’s bookstore that is heavy on kid-appeal, with live animals, a kid-sized door, and plenty of beautiful book displays.

A kayaker paddles toward sunset on Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis on a crisp evening.

Lake of the Isles

To wrap up your Minneapolis trip by enjoying a short walk and a refreshing change of pace from the busy city at Lake of the Isles. Depending on the weather, you can even try some canoeing or go ice skating at this pretty city park.

Ready to make new family memories in Minneapolis? Get even more trip-planning inspiration when you check out our other budget-friendly Minneapolis guides.

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