Arts + Entertainment

75 Best Places for Kids

75 Great Places to Go & Things to Do with the Kids

Party On

From art studios to aquariums, kids will remember these birthday parties for years.

3rd Birthday

Kiddywampus: This interactive toy store in St. Louis Park offers several theme parties, from a Princess Party to a Jedi Training Academy. But its most popular event is the Action Jackson Party, which allows little ones to throw paint at walls à la Jackson Pollock. The staff handles the setup and cleanup, and kids get to take home their masterpieces. 952-926-7871,

4th Birthday

Simply Jane Open Artist Studio: Let your kids channel their inner Picasso at this art studio in southwest Minneapolis. Artsy attendants dole out smocks, stretched canvases, and painting techniques. Afterward, kids can dress up in provided costumes and take photos on the studio stage. 612-354-3961,

5th Birthday

Minnesota Children’s Museum: The Super Celebration theme parties here are super indeed. Choose from several options. Animal Antics includes an interactive story and lets kids make their own animal to take home. Super Science allows guests to experiment with slime, gel, and a homemade volcano. 651-225-6000,

6th Birthday

Leonardo’s Basement: The staff at this hands-on learning facility in Minneapolis will work with you and your child to select and customize the perfect activity. Options include woodworking, sculpture, painting, jewelry, toy making, electricity, chemistry, or rockets. Plus, the birthday kid gets a free T-shirt. 612-824-4394,

7th Birthday

Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium: With sea turtles, stingrays, sand tiger sharks, and more, Mall of America’s massive aquarium promises an underwater party where kids will learn a little, too. Opt for the Deluxe Party, which includes admission for up to 15 guests, a party coordinator, and personalized cake. 952-853-0612,

8th Birthday

Yoga Center of Minneapolis: Let the kids be yogis for a day. Choose from multiple themes, such as circus yoga, fairy yoga, or outer-space yoga. Instructor Angela Wethor leads guests through a one-hour class, followed by time for gifts and celebrating. Organic cookies and yoga mats included, of course. 612-436-4700,

9th Birthday

Way Cool Cooking School: If you have a little Giada or Jamie at home, consider a culinary soiree. Partygoers don chef’s hats and create their own three-course meal at this Eden Prairie locale. Cooking supplies are included, and the staff cleans up the mess. 952-949-6799,

10th Birthday

Minnetonka Center for the Arts: Book a party at this stellar visual arts center. Choose a theme, such as cartooning, fashion, or printmaking. The center will provide an instructor and all the materials. Just make sure your guests are dressed for a mess. 952-473-7361,

11th Birthday

Science Museum of Minnesota: This St. Paul spot has entertaining (and teaching) kids down to, well, a science. Try the Pirates Party, designed for kids ages 10 to 12. Partygoers will build their own ship, have a cannonball battle, and make their own quicksand to take home. 651-221-4511,

12th Birthday

Brunswick Zone XL: Bring the whole crew bowling where there are plenty of lanes, pizza, and games. Kids can burn off more steam with the arcade, air hockey, and laser tag. Four Twin Cities locations,

13th Birthday

Vertical Endeavors: Tweens and teens can learn the ropes at this indoor rock-climbing oasis. An instructor leads the group through two hours of climbing walls up to 60 feet tall. And thanks to sturdy harnesses, ropes, and a cushioned floor, there’s no need to be afraid of heights. Mpls., 612-436-1470; St. Paul, 651-776-1430,

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