Someone on a homeschool yahoo group asked recently about family friendly places to go and things to do in southern MN and the Twin Cities. I thought it was worth saving my reply and posting it here:
* Visit the Faribault Woolen Mill Factory Outlet Store and take a tour of the Woolen Mill. We did this when Mane was 4yrs old, and she loved it. I think kids 4 & up would enjoy seeing the wool-making process. Faribault is about one hour south of the Twin Cities.
* In far south central MN near the Iowa border is the Spam Museum. Even if you think spam is disgusting (which I do), it's a fascinating slice of American history, and they have a number of hands-on activities for kids.
* LARK Toys is definitely worth visiting if you are near Kellogg, MN. Kellogg is on historic highway 61 along the MN and WI border. They have toy shops with both old fashioned & new/unique toys and games, a hand-carved indoor carousel, and a food shop where you can eat lunch or have ice cream!
* Also on highway 61 is the National Eagle Center in Wabasha. We got to see staff feed the eagles while we were there. They were supposed to be getting a golden eagle in the weeks following our visit. They have some hands-on activities and beautiful windows for eagle-watching.
Others have already mentioned the many Twin Cities options. I'll just add that the Minneapolis Institute of Arts is free. They have a kid's room with toys and also a coffee shop & deli.
If you're looking for a place for your kids just to play & blow off steam, there's a huge indoor play area in Edina.
Perhaps another day I'll post all the wonderful Twin Cities options. As I mentioned above, many people on the yahoo group had already listed the myriad of places to visit in Minneapolis and St. Paul.