Whether you’re looking for indoor activities, outdoor excursions, or a choice among a variety of fun things to do in Maplewood, there are plenty of opportunities to fill your entertainment itinerary for all ages. Located just six minutes from St. Paul and 19 minutes from Minneapolis, exploring the area’s many interesting, educational, and exciting destinations Maplewood offers is sure to create an unforgettable experience.
Grab your keys and let’s go enjoy all of the great things to do in Maplewood, Minnesota.
Battle Creek Regional Park provides several opportunities for fun things to do in Maplewood for all ages and multiple interests. For kids, there’s an equipped playground and play area and Battle Creek Waterworks for cooling off. Hikers have access to paved trails as well as a trail for mountain biking. Pet parents can bring their canine friends for exercise and playtime at the off-leash dog park. In winter, the park has a sledding hill and cross-country ski trails. Picnic tables and grills are available throughout the park for
Get ready for the upcoming new year with a cool visit to Ice Castles located in New Brighton, just 21 minutes from Maplewood. With lonely six locations in the U.S., this is an attraction not to be missed. The castles are created by artists using icicles to produce sculptures lit with LED lighting, frozen thrones, tunnels carved out of ice, and more. Put on your winter attire and plan to explore caverns, make your way through an ice maze, crawl through passageways, and race like the wind going down an ice slide.
Located inside the Maplewood Mall on the 2nd floor is a treat for anyone who enjoys animals whether they are two-legged, four-legged, water lovers, or aerial experts. The Sustainable Safari has a wide variety of resident animals at its interactive zoo. The hands-on zoo allows visitors a memorable experience by allowing guests to feed and pet an array of animals.
The zoo is home to lemurs, kangaroos, capybaras, emus, coatimundi, armadillos, goats, alligators, porcupines, foxes, and more. In its bird enclosure, there are more than 200 colorful parakeets. For a complete interactive experience like no other, book a guided safari tour available for ages 5 years and up.
Observe wildlife and learn about nature at Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, one of the best things to do in Maplewood, Minnesota. The free center and facility offer up-close opportunities to discover the world of resident animals such as Kulu the polar bear, our big cats, gorillas, giraffes, underwater residents, Galapagos tortoises, flamingos, visiting wolves, and more. Relax and take in the beauty as you wander among landscaped gardens past bubbling ponds and numerous artistic sculptures.
The Science Museum of Minnesota was first founded in 1907 and serves as a repository for discovering, exploring, and learning about the past, people, technology, environment, and all things that have and will affect our lives. Go back to the beginning with a walk through the Dinosaurs & Fossils Gallery and Ultimate Dinosaurs display, get creative at the Experiment Gallery, learn what makes us tick at the Human Body Gallery, discover Science Superheroes, and enjoy the aerial art displays in the Sandhill Crane Community Art area. Visit the collection section of the museum that has artifacts dating back to 1870.
Located in the Pioneer Endicott building, a historic structure in St. Paul, the Minnesota Museum of American Art – also referred to as The M – offers a smorgasbord of visual delights with over 5,000 pieces of artwork. The museum has operated for more than 115 years. During that time, one of the goals has been to provide the community with a diverse collection of permanent artworks while displaying pieces through upcoming exhibitions covering work from the 19th century to present day.
For Maplewood residents looking for a challenge, consider taking on an adventure at Tactical Escape 101 located at the Maplewood Mall. Choose one of three games – Game of Games where you have 60 minutes to escape by playing all the games before time runs out.
If you choose Death at a Funeral, you’ll help Sherlock Holmes by deciphering clues to who murdered Sir Arthur Conan Doyle while the murderer walks among your group. In The Magical Room of Requirement, you’ll need plenty of brains to go along with magic wands to find your way through the vanishing cabinet and retrieve what the elves have stolen. All games are suited for ages nine and up.
When you have time on your hands to “spare,” head over to Sun Ray Lanes in St. Paul and show off your techniques on one of the 24 bowling lanes. Sun Ray offers fast action play for all ages along with lane-side service, so you can enjoy a freshly cooked burger and a cool libation. If you need a new pair of bowling shoes or a bowling ball, visit the online pro shop for the latest styles.
Outdoor enthusiasts, bird watchers, and wildlife observers won’t be disappointed with a day trip to Maplewood’s Fish Creek Natural Area. The wide-open spaces of the prairie and distinct woodlands offer an exhilarating trek for hikers as it heads to the top of the bluff where scenic views await. The trail is paved with asphalt and almost one mile long. During the winter, the snow-covered trail is ideal for skis and snowshoes. Birdwatchers and wildlife observers also have plenty of exciting opportunities to view and photograph assorted songbirds, raptors, deer, coyotes, and foxes.
Trains have played a vital role in American history, and to see, first-hand, 50 historic cars that played a part in the Twin Cities’ history, plan to visit the Museum at Jackson Street Roundhouse. The roundhouse turntable is one of the last to still be in existence in the U.S. and is interesting to see in operation. Other historic railway equipment is on display, and you’ll see a blacksmith at work on a forge. On Saturdays, take an authentic train ride rain or shine. During the winter, a heated caboose lets you travel the rails in comfort.
When you and your canine buddy want a day of adventure at one of the best things to do in Maplewood, take your furry friend to visit to the 35-acre Battle Creek Dog Park. The free park is fully fenced in and features two pup playgrounds for socializing, two small ponds for those who want to take a dip, and a network of scenic trails paved with wood chips. The dog park has ample benches for sitting and taking a break, trash cans, and disposable areas for waste.
12. Plaza Theatre
Since 1967, the Plaza Theatre has been the “go-to” destination for a good movie, fresh popcorn, assorted snacks, and cool beverages. Owned and operated by Woodland Hills, the theater offers viewing of second-run Hollywood films suited for all ages from family to R-rated for adults. The theater is community-oriented and offers job skills training and employment for area youth.
When it’s “tee time,” make a reservation at Keller Golf Course where you can swing into action. The historical public course has been the destination for PGA and LPGA tours since 1929. The completely renovated golf course features a well-maintained and challenging course, full-length driving range, chipping green, and a practice bunker. Play 9 or 18 holes, sign up for private or group lessons and join a league. Before or after playing, relax at the Keller Grille in the clubhouse offering a full-service restaurant and bar.
If you’re looking for a place to practice your swing in Maplewood, the Midwest Golf Dome is the place to go. With 33 stalls available, golfers of all skill levels for practice plus a putting and chipping green. During the winter, the dome is heated, so you can still practice in comfort. During the summer, kids and adults can enjoy playing a round of miniature golf on the 18-hole course.
At the Maplewood YMCA Community Center, there are multiple activities suited for all ages and interests. For fitness enthusiasts, there’s a gym with weights, cardio machines, and personal training. Swimmers have a water park and two refreshing swimming pools where group exercise classes and swimming lessons are available. The center also offers a variety of programs, such as before and after school care, drop-off childcare, and online fitness classes.
16. Landmark Center
For one-stop entertainment, the historic Landmark Center built in 1902 provides a full menu of entertaining options including music, theater, exhibitions, dance, and special events. Peruse the artwork at one of the galleries featuring a variety of cultural exhibits, live musical performances at Landmark Live, and art and culture events on Sundays at Landmark.
Take a walk on the wild side with one of the tours available at Wabasha Street Caves in St. Paul. Named as “1 of 10 Great Places to Discover These Cities Secrets” by U.S.A.Today, you’ll walk the same paths in the sandstone caves that notorious gangsters of the past strolled during Prohibition. Learn about the city’s colorful history from historically dressed tour guides. A 45-minute walking tour is filled with exploration of the caves accompanied by stories of mobster mayhem and ghosts.
For a quiet respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, plan an outing to the Maplewood Nature Center. Discover the lifestyle and habitats through observation of reptiles, snakes, birds, and other wildlife species while accessing the 600-foot floating boardwalk and its two observation decks and overlooking the wetlands. Get close to nature with a walk along one of the nature trails then relax at the demonstration gardens where you’ll see a variety of native plants. Plan to dine among nature at the picnic area while kids have fun in the play area.
Kids will have a blast at the Minnesota Children’s Museum and its three floors of fun. For the youngest children, there are Tot Spots and Sprouts featuring exhibits and encouraging exploration and discovery. For older children, interactive fun includes The Studio for creating items and Super Awesome Adventures with its green-screen climbing wall, carpet skating, and a laser maze. The museum also has lockers, Wi-Fi, a store, and a café.
Step back in time to 1891 when visiting the 2.5-acre Bruentrup Heritage Farm with its big red barn and 11 outbuildings bordered by an expansive prairie. While visiting, you will see several exhibits along with stories covering the history of Maplewood. These include information about the 3M company and its role in Maplewood history, photos, and artifacts from the Gladstone neighborhood, photos and interactive exhibits about the Parkside Volunteer Fire Department, plus you’ll see a vintage 1923 Pirsch fire truck. The Historical Society hosts events throughout the year at the Bruentrup barn. There is also the opportunity to select a souvenir at their online shop.
Whether your interests are in rock, retro, country, or alternative music, MYTH Live offers an array of on-stage performances that are sure to keep your toes tapping and your head bobbing. The small venue has an impressive calendar of events throughout the year. Seating for events is limited. Arrive early as seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.
Where to Begin…
With so many choices of great things to do in Maplewood, Minnesota it might be difficult to decide where to begin. Choose one, choose more or eventually all from our list and you won’t be disappointed. If you have a favorite or a story to share from your adventures at one or more of the fun things to do in Maplewood, please leave a comment below!
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Born in Madelia, MN, to a now 5-generation Minnesota family, Ryan’s MN roots go deep.
A painter by day, Ryan founded Life in Minnesota in 2013 with his wife Kelly to chronicle their musings on everything Minnesota. Ryan and Kelly are raising their 7 kiddos in Maple Grove, MN.
When he’s not shuttling his kids around to hockey practice, you might find him in the shop working on his leatherwork. Undoubtedly, there will be a family trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area every summer, and of course weekends at Grandpa’s cabin up north in the summer.