12 Things to Do with Family in Maple Grove, Minnesota

Last Updated on February 11, 2024 by Emily Johnson

Maple Grove, Minnesota is a charming suburb located just northwest of Minneapolis. Known for its natural beauty, excellent schools, and family-friendly amenities, Maple Grove offers visitors plenty of fun things to see and do. From exploring nature trails and parks to hands-on museums and action-packed sports complexes, Maple Grove has something to delight travelers of all ages.

This article outlines 12 of the top attractions and activities for families visiting Maple Grove. Highlights include indoor water parks, interactive children’s museums, batting cages and mini golf, maple syrup festivities and more. Details are also provided on nearby lodging and dining options that cater to families. With so much to experience, Maple Grove makes for an ideal Midwest vacation spot.

1.Explore the Outdoors at Elm Creek Park Reserve

Stretching across nearly 1,900 acres, Elm Creek Park Reserve features prairie areas, woodlands, and wetlands. Families can embark on miles of scenic hiking and biking trails that wind through the park’s diverse habitats. The park also contains a universally accessible treehouse and playground, fishing pier, disc golf course, and archery range.

In winter, families can snowshoe and cross country ski on the park’s groomed trails. Year-round interpretive programming like guided hikes and hands-on educational activities teach visitors about the area’s cultural and natural history. With so much natural beauty and numerous amenities, Elm Creek Park Reserve provides the perfect introduction to Maple Grove’s landscapes.

2.Make a Splash at Great Wolf Lodge

This immense, log cabin-themed indoor water park offers families a fun place to stay and play during Maple Grove visits. The main attraction is a nearly 80,000 square-foot water park kept at a comfortable 84°F year-round. Highlights include thrill rides like hydro blaster looping water slides, a six-story funnel slide called the Howlin’ Tornado, and a raft ride through hairpin turns called River Canyon Run.

For younger kids there is a scaled-down water fort treehouse with mini slides and spray features. Life jackets and swim diapers are available to keep little ones safe. Parents can relax under a canopy bed on the park’s lazy river or sip cocktails from the bar. Overnight guests receive unlimited water park access and discounts to other attractions like mini golf. With kid-friendly dining, arcade games, and nightly Story Time sessions, Great Wolf Lodge offers families an easily entertaining one-stop-shop.

3.Swing for the Fences at Maple Grove Batting Cages

The Maple Grove Batting Cages facility contains both outdoor and indoor batting cages where families can practice their swing techniques. The outdoor cages remain open April through October and let baseball and softball players hit real balls pitched at adjustable speeds. The indoor cages provide climate-controlled spaces to sharpen skills year-round.

Several additional facilities are offered alongside the batting cages. These include a 18-hole mini golf course with water features, a fast-paced go-kart track, driving range, and arcade room. Family packages are available that bundle attractions at a discounted rate. With opportunities for players of all ages and skill levels to test their batting capabilities, these cages make for a home run Maple Grove activity.

4.Craft Up Close at Maker Faire

Hosted annually each May, the Minnesota Maker Faire celebrates creativity and hands-on learning. Families can immerse themselves in exhibits focused on science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) subjects. Featured booths contain everything from interactive art installations to laser cutters and 3D printers. Budding young makers can learn metalsmithing, join a robotics club, or race solar cars built from scratch.

Special kid-friendly performances and activity areas foster engagement. Maker Faire also organizes plenty of games and contests from robot battles to duck tape creation challenges. By spotlighting emerging trends in design, manufacturing, and craftsmanship, the event sparks children’s innovative thinking in an encouraging environment. Attending Maker Faire proves both educational and entertaining for curious, creative families.

5.Appreciate Art at The Museum of Russian Art

As the only museum in North America dedicated exclusively to Russian fine art, The Museum of Russian Art makes for a truly unique Maple Grove experience. The collection contains thousands of paintings, sculptures, and artifacts that trace Russian culture from the 10th to 20th centuries. Standout works include decorative Faberge eggs, impactful realist and socialist paintings, and ornate religious icons.

Family programs occur regularly and include guided exhibition tours, hands-on art projects, and film screenings. The museum also hosts seasonal events like Russian dance lessons, folk music performances, and New Year’s celebrations that immerse visitors in Russian traditions. By providing interactive opportunities to explore this dynamic artistic heritage, The Museum of Russian Art proves engaging for family members of all backgrounds.

6.Get Hands On at the Minnesota Children’s Museum

The Minnesota Children’s Museum prioritizes fun while fostering early development and learning. The museum contains 9 themed areas packed with dozens of hands-on exhibits. Imaginative play spaces like a market, farm, Splash Lake water area, and climber with twisting slide encourage movement and role playing. Building zones let kids construct race tracks out of blocks or giant structures using oversized blue foam pieces.

Science and music exhibits feature concepts like pulleys, gears, sound waves, and instrument recordings. Special traveling exhibits like wildlife dioramas, planetarium shows, and celebrations of Native American culture rotate through as well. Every experience is designed to educate through active engagement rather than passive observation. With many bilingual exhibits and accessibility options, the Children’s Museum welcomes all families to play and grow together.

7.Tour Weaver Lake’s Steam Boats

Riders of all ages can experience Minnesota’s lake country aboard vintage-style steam boats. The Betsey Northrup and Wenonah are authentic replicas of 19th century steamers that once transported lumberjacks down the Mississippi River. During public and private tours the boats traverse placid Weaver Lake just north of Maple Grove. Knowledgeable guides share area history and point out wildlife sightings of birds like egrets, herons, and piping plovers.

Occasional live music and themed tours add to the nostalgic atmosphere. Up to 150 passengers fit comfortably on multi-level decks with tables, chairs, and stadium style seating. Refreshments are available for purchase on most tours. For families interested in old-fashioned boating adventures, these classic steamers offer a memorable chance to sip cider and take in gorgeous lake vistas.

8.Pick Your Own Fruit at Deardorff Orchards

From late summer through fall harvest time, Deardorff Orchards invites families to hand select ripe fruit straight from the fields and trees. All visitors are welcome to roam through rows of apple trees and winding vineyards to sample over 45 varieties of apples, grapes, pumpkins, and raspberries. Kid-sized picking baskets are available to lend small children a hand.

Once back from the orchards, families can buy freshly made ciders and baked goods or head out on a tractor-led ride tour across the 200 acre grounds. Fall brings wagon rides, corn mazes, camp fires, and grape stomping extravaganzas. Leashed pets, blankets, and packed lunches are welcome additions for picnicking outings as well. With plenty of fruit to enjoy in-season, Deardorff Orchards promises Maple Grove visitors wholesome harvest time fun.

9.Tap into Maple Traditions at Maple Syrup Festival


Each April, Maple Grove celebrates the start of maple syrup season with family-friendly events across town. The Maple Syrup Festival kicks off with a parade through downtown followed by a pancake breakfast featuring syrup made from local maple trees. Activity booths line Main Street allowing kids to participate in hands-on demonstrations of historical maple sugaring practices.

other sweet activities include cake and maple syrup contests, syrup bottling workshops, live music, chainsaw wood carving shows, a vendor marketplace, and plenty of specialty food and craft samples. By fusing Minnesota’s proud maple sugaring customs with small town charm, the Maple Syrup Festival offers families a tasty way to connect with Maple Grove’s heritage.

10.Tee Off on Championship Courses

With over 20 pristine golf clubs set amid glacial terrain, Maple Grove is a regional golf destination. Five private clubs have hosted professional tournaments and events over the years including Hazeltine National Golf Club. Public clubs like Eagle Lake Golf Course offer families more casual settings to play full rounds or practice skills on the driving range and putting greens.

Most facilities provide club and cart rentals while some lend stand up balance bikes to help little ones learn the basics. When not hitting the links, families can kick back in clubhouse restaurants known for panoramic views and kid-approved meals. Bluff Creek Golf Course even has an on-site pool complex and giant checkers boards for post-game fun. Thanks to these best-in-class clubs, Maple Grove lets golf lovers of all skill levels tee up for memory making family rounds.

11.Get Competitive at Maple Grove Community Center

The Maple Grove Community Center houses top-tier recreational facilities suitable for friendly family competitions. Courts for basketball, volleyball, racquetball, squash, and pickleball stay busy year-round with drop in games and skills clinics. For aspiring hockey stars there is a year-round NHL regulation ice rink for public skating sessions, youth leagues, and tournament games.

The 25 meter pool contains lap lanes, a slide tower, diving well, and children’s splash area. Outside families have access to a skate park, tennis courts, hilltop sledding area, and summer entertainment venue called The Grove. Special events like glow in the dark roller skating, Thanksgiving drop-in volleyball, e-gaming leagues, and fitness expos cater to area families as well. With extensive programming options, the Community Center helps Maple Grove visitors build active lifestyles through sport and play.

Conclusion

From scenic nature escapes to hands-on museums, Maple Grove offers no shortage of family fun. Visitors can tap into local history through festivals and pioneer village exhibits or test athletic talents on championship golf courses and ice rinks.

Nearby chain hotels, all-suite properties, vacation rentals, and RV resorts provide convenient places for families to recharge between adventures. With unique attractions, four season recreation, and welcoming Midwest hospitality, Maple Grove makes an excellent destination for memory making getaways.

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