Top Things to Do With Teens in Minneapolis

Bringing your teenager to Minneapolis and unsure of what to do? Fear not, we have everything you need to make it a trip to remember!

Where to Eat

There are plenty of restaurants to peruse in the city, many of which will satisfy the palates of all ages. If you are looking to keep your teens entertained while awaiting your food, look no further. Pinstripes has a full Italian-American menu, along with bowling and bocce to keep the whole family amused. Chatterbox is another hotspot, with a plethora of board games and video games for you and your family to enjoy while waiting for their delicious food.

What teenager would say no to pizza? Day Block Brewing Company uses ingredients from local farmers and producers to make delicious pizzas, salad dressings, and breads all in-house. Featuring a long list of local beers for the adults accompanied by a non-alcoholic drink menu, this relaxed atmosphere welcomes families with teenagers and children. Buca di Beppo is the perfect place for a family dinner with big tables, shareable platters, and a lively atmosphere. The baked ziti is our favorite! Be sure to make a stop at Pizza Lucé, with an extensive menu of handmade pizzas with plenty of vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options for everyone. This family-friendly atmosphere is equipped with good music and televisions to catch the game. Outside of Downtown, James Beard award-winning chef Ann Kim’s restaurant Pizzeria Lola offers wood-fired pizzas with Korean flair that are perfect for sharing. Our favorite is the Lady Zaza.

In the mood for a burger? Head to Red Cow in North Loop for gourmet burgers, fries, and appetizers. This is a great place for a sit-down family meal, and even has a non-alcoholic drink menu. A great early morning spot is Key’s Café, which is located at the bottom of the Foshay Tower and offers a wide array of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options for even the pickiest of eaters.

If your family can’t seem to agree on one place, we have the solution: Midtown Global Market. This international public market is home to over 50 vendors including diverse restaurants, specialty produce and grocery items, and locally made crafts and goods. This is great for teenagers who love trying new cultural foods.

Be sure to pay a visit to Benihana if you find yourself at Mall of America. This hibachi style restaurant provides a wide array of Japanese options. If a quick-bite is what you desire, the food court is your haven, featuring Johnny Rockets, Melt Shop, Bonchon and many more fast food restaurants.

Where to Grab Treats & Coffee

Dinner isn’t complete without a scoop of ice cream or a cup of coffee to top it off. Luckily, we know just where to go. Across from the Guthrie Theater, Izzy’s has more than a hundred flavors including lemon sponge cake and chocolate caramel superstar. Sebastian Joe’s makes small batches of ice cream with quality ingredients daily, with seven signature flavors and a rotating list of many more. With locations in Lowry Hill and Linden Hills, you have to make your way there to see what all the buzz is about. MN Nice Cream serves made-to-order soft serve creations in Northeast. Try one of the special cones, our favorite is Dirt ‘N’ Worms with brownie, Oreo, fudge and gummy worms. In need of a caffeine boost? Four of the five Spyhouse Coffee shops call Minneapolis home with locations in Northeast, Uptown, North Loop, and Downtown in the Emery Hotel. Each location offers a variety of coffee drinks accompanied by a picture-perfect interior for your teenager’s Instagram feed. Grab a quick drink or spend the afternoon lounging at one of the many locations.

How to Keep Busy

Keeping teenagers entertained for the whole day is no easy feat, good thing we have a few solutions for you. Valleyfair is the Upper Midwest's largest amusement park featuring over 75 rides and attractions including eight roller coasters, Soak City Waterpark, live entertainment, Dinosaur's Alive, Planet Snoopy and the family area, Route 76. Spend the whole day here enjoying the heart-pounding, family-filled action. 

Bring your teenager to see where their favorite athletes play at U.S. Bank Stadium accompanied by tour guides sharing everything they know about the hometown team. Or, be a part of the action and attend a game. If baseball is more your thing, get an inside look with behind-the-scenes access at a guided tour of Target Field and check out the press box, clubhouse, dugout and other areas. Stick around and watch a Twins game to see what all the hype is about. Our sports stadiums are within walking distance of each other, so be sure to check out our other hometown teams such as the Timberwolves and the Lynx at the Target Center.

From virtual reality to dinosaur exhibits, there is something to do around every corner in Minneapolis. Keep your video-game-loving-teen occupied and active at REM5 VR Lab with a state-of-the-art virtual reality experience for all ages, experience levels, and interests paired with food made in-house and a wide selection of local craft brews. For a more collaborative adventure, have the whole family try one of the escape rooms at Trapped Puzzle Rooms located in both North Loop and Uptown. Each room tells a unique story and has a mystery to uncover. The Science Museum of Minnesota offers hands-on exhibits, larger-than-life Omnitheater films, and a world-class collection of fossils and artifacts including one of only four real Triceratops on display in the world. 

What teenager doesn’t like shopping for new clothes and gadgets, right? As one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world, Mall of America (MOA) hosts over 520 stores, 50 restaurants and attractions galore, including The Escape Game, Moose Mountain Adventure Golf and FlyOver America. With no sales tax on clothing or shoes in Minnesota, this is the ideal place for your teenagers to stock up on all the new clothing trends. For the classic trends, we suggest Cotton On, Garage, American Eagle, Hollister, and H&M. For those teenagers who are edgier than most, head to Zumiez, Pac Sun and Urban Outfitters for all their apparel dreams. Before you leave MOA, be sure to visit the second largest Lululemon in the nation, which offers yoga and other weekly events.

Where to Spend Time Outdoors

Spend the day with your Teens away from the iPhones and iPads and enjoy the fresh air. After all, they call us the City by Nature for a reason. Minnehaha Falls is one of the oldest and most striking sights in Minneapolis. Peer over the ledge at the start of the 53-foot waterfall or take the staircase down to the bottom to explore from a different angle. For family fun activities in the park, try out Wheel Fun Rentals for the largest selection of specialty cycles, bicycles, boats, and more.

Theodore Wirth Regional Park is the largest park in the Minneapolis park system with over 740 acres of land. Located West of Downtown Minneapolis, this park can be enjoyed throughout all four seasons with activities such as cross-country skiing to disc golfing and everything in between. If you want to see even more wildlife, head to the Minnesota Zoo and experience three unique venues featuring tropical rainforests, aquariums and marine wildlife and the Minnesota Trail with northern wildlife. The Como Park Zoo offers glimpses at an array of animal life along with Marjorie McNeely Conservatory, which showcases exotic plants and beautiful displays in a vast network of indoor gardens.

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