Trip Ideas

A Sweet Family Vacation

Vacation or staycation, Minnesota’s Sweet Spot offers fun for all ages. From water parks and nature centers to game rooms and a museum, you’ll find a little something for everyone to enjoy in St. Louis Park and Golden Valley. Pack up the kids – and the dog! – and prepare for an amazing getaway!

Food
Outdoor Activities
Attractions
Sporting Events

Friday

Afternoon

Fuel up for your adventures in Minnesota’s Sweet Spot with lunch at McCoys’ Public House. This family-owned eatery, located in the heart of Excelsior & Grand, has been a neighborhood gem since 2003. The restaurant features spacious, comfortable booths, a large bar area with numerous big-screen TV’s for watching the game, and an outdoor patio that’s perfect for enjoying some sunshine and people watching. Serving modern American comfort food, their known for their brick oven pizzas, black angus burgers, and decadent mac & cheese.

Walk off lunch with a stroll through nearby Wolfe Park. The park is home to walking trails, a fishing pond, sand volleyball and pickleball courts, and an interactive playground.

Pavek Museum

Then it’s off to the Pavek Museum to view one of the world’s most significant collections of electronic communication. The museum features over 12,000 sq. ft. of antique radios, televisions and broadcast equipment and provides instruction in the science of electromagnetism and sound. Popular items in the Pavek’s collections include an AEG Magnetophon tape recorder, an RCA Theremin, a Spark Gap Generator, and a Philco Mystery Control Radio.

REM5 VR Lab

After getting a blast from the past, zip into the future by going across the street to REM5 VR Lab, a state-of-the-art virtual reality lab offering fun, immersive experiences for the entire family. Swim with whales, visit the Eiffel Tower, paint in 3D, fight a zombie apocalypse, play baseball or even become a space pirate! Enjoy your own private gaming pod, play the latest games and munch on tasty snacks such as flatbread pizzas and mini donuts. Adults can even enjoy a craft beer from our local brewery, Steel Toe Brewing.

Evening

Spend the evening exploring St. Louis Park’s vibrant West End and choose from a variety of tasty restaurants for dinner. Yard House, a high-end sports bar, is sure to please the entire family, with a huge menu of over 100 made-from-scratch dishes, plus 100+ taps of the best American craft and import beers. Another popular choice is CRAVE American Kitchen & Sushi Bar, which offers Wagyu beef burgers and steaks, vegetarian and gluten-sensitive options, as well a large selection of nigiri, sashimi and specialty rolls. Plus, both restaurants offer ample patio seating.

Finish the day with a movie at the ShowPlace ICON Theatre. This 16-screen theater features stadium seating and the latest in cinematic digital sight and sound. Splurge on VIP seating and watch your movie in style as you put your feet up and sink back into a luxurious recliner.

Saturday

Morning

Start your morning with a trip to Valley Pastries in Golden Valley. It’s THE local spot for arguably some of the best donuts in the state. Pick up some of their signature GIANT raised donut holes or one of their many cake donuts, fruit and cream-filled bismarks, Long Johns, turnovers, Danish pastries or fried cinnamon rolls. You’ll also find 12 varieties of homestyle cookies based on old family recipes made daily.

Aquatic Park

After breakfast, make a splash at the 20,000 sq. ft. outdoor Aquatic Park. The park features a zero-depth water playground, two four-story water slides, drop slides, a diving area, lap swim lanes, a sand-and-water play area, a picnic area with concessions and more. There’s also plenty of space to stretch out, soak up some sun and have fun.

Afternoon

For an easy, casual lunch, it’s off to Yangtze Chinese. They offer a wide variety of classic Hunan, Szechuan, Mandarin & Cantonese dishes. House specialties include Volcano Chicken made with crisp chicken cutlets topped with flaming lemon sauce, Imperial Beef served with scallops and broccoli, and Vegetarian Mock Duck. On weekends, an award-winning Dim Sum menu is served until 2 pm.

Afterwards, hop an Uber for a quick trip downtown to Target Field and spend your afternoon at the Twins game. Kids can bring their gloves and try to catch a foul ball. Win or lose, it’s sure to be a fun family outing.

Evening

After the game, adults will love the flavorful (and ample) margaritas at Teresa’s Mexican Grill. Teresa’s is known for their authentic Mexican cuisine featuring classic dishes such as tacos, burritos, enchiladas, flautas, quesadillas, arroz con pollo and more. Kids, meanwhile, will enjoy the delicious desserts, such as the chimicheese cake, churros and fried ice cream. Bonus: picky eaters can order chicken fingers and fries!

Game Show Battle Rooms

Not ready to call it a night? If you’re feeling “game,” we can keep you entertained. Play your favorite TV game shows, complete with your own personal host, at Game Show Battle Rooms. Or test your wits as you try to find the hidden items and escape the locked room before time runs out at Escape MSP.  It’s the ultimate in family bonding!

Sunday

Morning

A true family-friendly destination, the Park Tavern Bowling & Entertainment Center has been a St. Louis Park landmark for over 60 years. They’ll “bowl” you over with their breakfast menu. The whole family will love their signature breakfast pizza featuring garlic cream sauce, fontina and mozzarella cheese, bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs and hashbrown potatoes, drizzled with Hollandaise sauce. Other classic dishes include omelets, eggs benedict, huevos rancheros, pancakes, French toast and Belgian waffles. Stay and bowl a game or two and let the kids try their luck in the arcade. They even have a collection of vintage video games and pinball machines.

Westwood Hills Nature Center

Use the rest of the morning to explore Westwood Hills Nature Center, a 160-acre natural area featuring marsh, woods and restored prairie. More than 3 miles of trails and walkways provide hikers with can’t-miss opportunities for leaf peeping, birdwatching and wildlife spotting. The preserve is home to many animals, including deer, turtles, fox, mink and owls. Nestled within the preserve is Westwood Lake, a 64-acre lake that’s stocked with bluegills. Rent a fishing pole from the Interpretive Center and head over to the fishing pier or rent one of their canoes and go for a paddle. Kids will love running along the floating boardwalk that crosses over the lake. Be sure to stop into the new $12 million, eco-friendly Interpretive Center.  It’s full of interactive exhibits, such as a display on pollinators and the important role they play, as well as live animals, including a flying squirrel, a red-tailed hawk and a barred owl.

Afternoon

Enjoy a late lunch on the patio at Revival. The restaurant oozes Southern charm and features classics such as fried chicken, white cheddar grits, fried green tomatoes, collard greens and hush puppies. Your kids will be begging to stop next door at Angel Food Bakery. Trust us – it’s worth it! You’ll be hard pressed to decide from amongst their delectable array of doughnuts, cupcakes, cookies and frozen treats. Order extra to take home with you!

All too soon it will be time to pack up the car or head to the airport. Hopefully, you’ll leave with fun memories that the entire family will cherish.

This is just a sampling of what you might do in Minnesota’s Sweet Spot. View our list of Experiences to help plan your trip!