Trip Ideas

Family Winter Break

Looking for a winter getaway the whole family will love? Minnesota's Sweet Spot offers both outdoor and indoor adventures that are sure to keep everyone entertained.

Food
Outdoor Activities
Attractions
Drinks

Friday

Afternoon

Begin your weekend away with lunch at Yum! Kitchen & Bakery. This woman-owned café and bakery features delectable made-from-scratch eats, seasonal favorites and signature cupcakes, cookies, and cakes. Try the chicken club sandwich with avocado and pommeray honey aioli or Hugo’s Baja mahi Tacos with spicy baja sauce and cotija cheese. Younger kids will enjoy traditional favorites such as chicken fingers, mac & cheese, grilled cheese and freshly made thin crust pizzas. Be sure to save room for dessert – they’re all so decadently good!

Theodore Wirth Regional Park

The host site for World Cup cross-county skiing, Theodore Wirth offers miles of groomed and single-track ski trails. Whether you prefer skate style or classical skiing, you’ll enjoy the variety of ski options, from open sections with spectacular views of downtown Minneapolis to wooded trails overlooking scenic lakes. North Wirth Park includes about 8 miles of groomed trail and includes a mix of beginner, intermediate and advanced trails, including snowmaking trails. South Wirth Park also offers trails for all ability levels and features about 6 miles of natural snow trails.

Evening

Fuel up after your adventures with dinner 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.

The ROC

The ROC, St. Louis Park’s covered outdoor skating rink, is the perfect place for an evening skate. The rink is open from October through early March and public skating sessions are offered on Friday evenings and weekend afternoons. Free pond hockey is also available on weekends for all ages. The rink is so cool that the Minnesota Wild host a practice there each year. Bonus: It’s just a short stroll away from McCoy’s via the trail through picturesque Wolfe Park.

Afterwards, warm up poolside back at your hotel. It’s the perfect ending to your first day in Minnesota’s Sweet Spot.

Saturday

Morning

Located at The Trailhead building in the heart of Theodore Wirth Regional Park, Mill Valley Market offers organic, locally sourced cuisine in a casual, grab-and-go setting. Breakfast offerings include a breakfast burrito, a fried egg sandwich on an English muffin, and avocado toast. But one of their most popular choices is their Belgian waffles. You can order them plain, but we recommend ordering them with berries and cream or chocolate and cream. They also serve a variety of coffee drinks, chai, tea, hot cocoa and hot apple cider. A great start to a winter day!

Then it’s off to Theodore Wirth’s Tubing Hill, which offers fun for the entire family. Located just behind The Trailhead, this riding hill features a tow rope to bring tubers back up to the top of the hill. You bring the warm clothes, and they will provide the rest! Aspiring snowboarders might also want to try the park’s Snowboarding Hill. It’s the perfect spot for learning how to snowboard (they offer lessons!) or brushing up on your skills.

Afternoon

Having worked up an appetite, it’s off to New Bohemia. Their menu includes family favorites such as a  giant Bavarian pretzel with pepper jack cheese, a mini corndog basket, pickle fries, Wisconsin beer battered cheese curds, loaded fried potatoes and mini doughnuts with cinnamon sugar. But what they are really known for is their 24 different types of handmade sausages. Choose a traditional dog or be adventurous and try the smoked elk, smoked duck, Louisiana alligator bayou or rattlesnake rabbit jalapeño!

Feeling “game?” We’ll keep you entertained at Game Show Battle Rooms. Play your favorite TV game shows, complete with your own personal host! 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!

Afterwards, we recommend a stop next door at Under Pressure Brewing & Blendery. This family-friendly brewery offers modern brews in a laid back, medieval-style setting. Kids will love the suits of armor and the non-alcoholic barley root beer, while adults can enjoy over 20 beers on tap and 40 blended beer offerings. They have a library of books to read, as well as a collection of board games.

Evening

The whole family will love Lat14 Asian Eatery. Ann Ahmed, owner and executive chef, drew inspiration from her real-life experiences to create this Golden Valley gem. The restaurant is designed to bring people together with a menu full of unforgettable food inspired by her Asian culture. You’ll experience the flavors of several Asian countries that sit along the 14th parallel north — specifically Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and the Philippines. You can’t go wrong with any meal, but our favorites include the Thai basil duck, the snow crab wontons and the bacon pineapple fried rice.

Try your hand at a classic Minnesota sport played on ice – curling! Brookview Golf & Lawn Bowling is home to the first outdoor pub curling rink in the state. Designed for all ages and skill levels, pub curling, which is similar to shuffleboard, is perfect for beginners and casual curlers alike!

Sunday

Morning

Our pick to start off your morning is decadent pastries from Angel Food Bakery & Donut Bar. Everything at Angel Food is made from scratch in small batches using the best ingredients. Enjoy hot fresh donuts, cookies and cupcakes. You’ll definitely want to try the legendary “Dough-Naparts,” spectacular croissant donut hybrids that take 3 days to make with hundreds of glorious layers. Each delicious knot is perfectly chewy and flaky, with an irresistible vanilla glaze. Or order a Jumbo D’oh!nut – it serves 4!

Westwood Hills Nature Center

Spend the morning exploring Westwood Hills Nature Center, a 160-acre natural area featuring marsh, woods and restored prairie. Home to Westwood Lake and more than 3 miles of groomed trails, visitors can explore the winter world of Westwood via snowshoe, spotting wildlife along the way. You can rent a pair of snowshoes from the Interpretive Center, which is open 7 days a week. All sizes of snowshoes are available, starting with preschool, so even the littlest members of your family can join in on the fun.

Or get in touch with Minnesota’s Nordic roots and take a traditional Norwegian kicksled out for a spin. Glide across the snow and ice with these wood and metal sleds, taking turns “driving” and riding.

Be sure to stop into the new $12 million, eco-friendly Interpretive Center.  It’s full of interactive exhibits, as well as live animals, including a flying squirrel, a red-tailed hawk and a barred owl.

Afternoon

REM5 VR Lab

For a futuristic lunch and some gaming fun, it’s off 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 dine on tasty treats such as flatbread pizzas, boneless wings and waffle fries, mac & cheese bites and mini donuts. Adults can even enjoy a craft beer from our local brewery, Steel Toe Brewing.

Pavek Museum

Travel back in time (and across the street) 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.

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!