While the weather outside is delightful, plan to build some memories this fall that will warm your heart through winter: Grab the whole family for a day of fun at any of these ten fun-filled attractions located in the communities of the Twin Cities Gateway, which are just minutes away from downtown Minneapolis or Saint Paul. Break out of your routine and step off the beaten path to laugh and play, together. You’ll be glad you did.
Indoor karting is the fastest-growing sport in the U.S., and MB2 Raceway offers all the high-speed thrills of go-kart racing in its indoor facility, in Fridley. When sitting behind the wheel of a powerful bright-red European go-kart, you’re in control of that vehicle’s throttle and brake so you can race around the track at whatever speed you feel comfortable up to 45 miles per hour. The quarter-mile course won’t intimidate beginners yet challenges seasoned racers. Competitive racing is exhilarating, and you’ll get to see your lap time and race position in real time on a giant projection screen. MB2 Raceway promises safe fun for all ages and ability levels (drivers must be a minimum of 48-inches tall), and an indoor environment free of harmful emissions since the go-karts are electric. Arcade games and pool tables can keep the fun going when you step off the track.
Ride in an open-air horse-drawn wagon with Bunker Park Stable through the grassy meadows and pine and oak forests of the 1,600-acre Bunker Hills Regional Park near Coon Rapids.. Snuggle up to your family while sitting on a hay bale in the flat-bed wagon as a gentle team of strong draft horses pull you on a scenic hour-long tour. Along the way you might see wildlife like white-tail deer, pheasants, turkeys, hawks and more. Fun and safe for all ages, each hay ride wagon can accommodate up to 35 people. Trail rides on horseback are also available.
Take a leap as high as you dare at Zero Gravity Trampoline Park in Mounds View, where you’ll find 11,000-square feet of leaping, jumping, bouncing and flipping fun. In addition to an open jump arena packed with trampoline surfaces, the park offers a basketball slam dunk zone where you can live out your Michael Jordan slam-dunk fantasies, a traverse-style climbing wall, an aerial challenge court with net, rope and other challenges, a dodgeball zone, laser tag, plus an arcade. A tot spot ensures that little ones tackle challenges that are safe and sized right for their age, including a mini obstacle course and climbing wall. Your whole family can somersault in the air, flip into a foam pit, bounce off walls here: There’s no excuse to sit still.
Bowling is big at Bowlero in Blaine: 38 black light bowling lanes are flanked by massive HD video walls and plush lane-side lounge seating. Bowling is fun for all ages: Bring Grandpa (he might win)! Bowlero also offers a giant arcade with more than 50 games, a state-of-the-art laser tag arena equipped with cutting-edge technology to ensure each blast is accurate, billiards and balladium. What’s balladium? A fast-paced, interactive ball-blasting game played in an eye-popping black light arena: Load your air cannons with soft foam balls and race to outscore the other team before time runs out. Between games, a retro-inspired sports bar is ready to serve if hunger strikes: try a family-size shareable like the two-foot Mega Dog, eight-pound Beast Burrito, or five-pound Behemoth Burger. Mom, Dad or Grandpa might sip on craft beer or one of the signature cocktails.
Grip a putter, sink a golf ball into 18 simple-yet-challenging holes on this black-lit miniature golf course, and you’ll be grinning like a Cheshire cat. Bright neon and upbeat music set a festive mood at this indoor course that’s located in Blaine. Fun for all ages…just don’t tell the kids that miniature golf encourages the use of math skills. The facility also offers several arcade games.
The water’s always warm and welcoming at Tropics Water Park at the Shoreview Community Center. Fun for all ages, the park boasts pools with floating sea creatures to climb on, twisty slides, an interactive splashing palm tree, the zero-depth Shipwreck Beach play area with a boat slide, a challenging water walk, water volleyball and more. The three-story “Shark Attack” water slide boasts a one-of-a-kind jukebox-type system that lets riders choose from over 100 songs and enjoy a custom light and sound show during their ride. For family members age 18 and older, there’s also a relaxing whirlpool. Pool wristbands also grant access to the Tropical Adventure indoor playground, basketball and volleyball courts, fitness center and indoor track.
Jump into inflatable fun at Pump It Up in Ham Lake. The inflatable party zone offers slides, bounce houses and obstacle courses where kids (who are at least 34-inches tall) and anyone young at heart can leap in and send spirits soaring. The enormous play space also has a bouncy jousting arena and a basketball court. Popular for kids’ parties, Pump It Up does host open jump sessions when kids of all ages are invited to hop on over and join the fun.
Hansen Park in New Brighton is one of the best bets for disc golf. Disc golf is easy to learn, a healthy activity, and accessible to all levels of fitness. The object of the game is to throw a Frisbee-type disc at a target using the fewest number of throws. Hansen Park’s challenging yet approachable course has 12 chain and cone/saucer baskets positioned through mature trees, open spaces, and dense woods. Target distances range from 145 to 358 feet and any regular Frisbee can be used. Fun for all ages, this course has even entertained somber teens. The park offers other invitations to explore the outdoors, including hiking trails. Other disc golf courses are also available in Blaine, Coon Rapids and Ham Lake for round-robin style play.
You can fly over Urban Air Trampoline Park in Coon Rapids in the Sky Rider. For more airborne fun, the 30,000-square-foot space also offers a ropes course with ten obstacles, a challenging climbing wall, a slam dunk track, and wall-to-floor trampoline arenas that provide several zones to jump, flip and fall into foam. An open jump arena invites you to test your parkour skills while a zone with air-bag technology is a safe space to try stunts and tricks. Ultimate Dodgeball combines the familiar game with trampolines, kicking it up several notches. At Urban Air, people of any age and fitness level can triumph over gravity.
Pedal a portion of the hundreds of miles of interconnected bike trails and paths this fall before they’re buried in snow. Portions of the Mississippi River Trail (MRT), a U.S. National Bike Route, stretch along the scenic Mississippi River in three Gateway communities: Anoka, Coon Rapids and Fridley. (The other six Gateway cities offer bike-friendly roads and trails leading to the MRT.) The MRT starts at the Mississippi River’s headwaters in Lake Itasca, Minn., and continues south to the River’s mouth in Venice, Louisiana—but you don’t have to bike the entire route and can just make a fun day of it. All cyclists are welcome. In addition to the River you’ll roll past prairies, forests, lakes, and—depending on the route you take—charming communities like historic downtown Anoka.