Bloomington is a suburban city in Hennepin County, Minnesota, 10 miles south of Minneapolis. It is located on the Minnesota River’s north bank, above the Mississippi River’s confluence. The city was the fourth-largest city in Minnesota as of the 2020 Census, with a population of 89,987.
Bloomington, Minnesota is the place to go if you’re searching for a whole family vacation that includes adventure, nature experiences, exciting activities, distinctive experiences, and family-friendly accommodations.
In addition to being known for being the location of the biggest mall in the country, Bloomington is renowned for offering a wide range of family-friendly leisure alternatives, including outdoor pursuits like hiking, camping, bicycling, and many more.
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List of fun things to do in Bloomington MN
Here is the list of activities things to do in Bloomington MN.
1. Majestic Mall of America
The Mall of America, a retail center, is perhaps Bloomington’s most well-known landmark. The Mall of America, which was inaugurated in 1992, is the biggest shopping and entertainment complex in North America.
Its total square footage is 5.6 million and its retail space is 2.87 million. You will undoubtedly love its 520 stores that offer tax-free goods as well as its more than 60 restaurants and other activities including an amusement park, SEA LIFE, Escape Room, mini-golf courses, and many others.
The Mall of America is the ideal destination to spend the day, whether you want to shop or just wander around. The Mall of America hosts the Holiday Music Festival over the holidays, which includes Santa’s workshop. To make it simple to reach the mall, valet parking is available at the north entrance.
The Mall of America also caters to adults, even though there are numerous activities for children there. With more than 8,269,000 square feet, it is a regional entertainment center. The Mall of America, which boasts four levels and more than 50 restaurant types ranging from quick food to gourmet dining, is mentioned in an award-winning travel blog. Before or after a play, fine dining patrons frequent The Cedar + Stone for its varied urban gastronomy.
2. Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge
The center of Bloomington, Minnesota, is where the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge is located. This stunning park, a 14,000-acre nature preserve, offers two informative visitor centers and more than 46 miles of walking and hiking trails. The Refuge is a well-liked location for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter.
The Refuge, one of Bloomington’s most significant tourist destinations, permits hunting, fishing, and foraging inside the park to ensure a healthy wildlife population.
With dozens of species of birds, including warblers, eagles, and waterfowl, it is also ideal for bird watching.
3. The Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park
The best place to go for a fun-filled family day out is Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park. A 7-acre indoor amusement park is located inside the Mall of America. Everyone can have fun because there are more than 30 rides including a free shuttle ride and many other attractions.
You may see and enjoy a variety of shows and events at the park. Therefore, the Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park should be on your list of entertaining things to do in Minneapolis.
4. Normandale Japanese Garden
Visiting the Normandale Japanese Garden is among the greatest free things to do in Bloomington MN. finished in 1972. The Normandale Community College campus has two acres dedicated to this tranquil area. The Japanese Garden Committee and Normandale Community College both take care of the garden.
The Normandale Japanese garden is shaped by several constructions. On one of the three islands in the garden’s pond is the hexagon-shaped Nintendo. The name Benten refers to both a structure and a goddess of luck.
The garden also has other distinctive elements like bridges, ponds, lanterns, and a waterfall. The garden is always accessible, and entry is free. Take a self-guided audio tour among the blooming flora or savor the serenity of a traditional Japanese garden.
5. Hyland Lake Park Reserve
Want to find an area with some fresh air? Before visiting Bloomington, try to incorporate Hyland Lake Park Reserve into your plans. A 3,700-acre park with a lovely landscape and a large body of water ideal for fishing, Hyland Lake Park.
There is also a large recreational area where you can play disc golf and enjoy other outdoor pursuits like hiking and biking trails or a picnic with your loved ones.
The park is best visited in the winter when you can go skiing, snowshoeing, and sledding. Regardless of the season, Hyland Lake Park Reserve is the ideal location to get away from the hectic city life.
A Minneapolis adult scavenger hunt may not be preferable to Hyland Hills for a day of fun. The ski resort is famous for its dedication to snowmaking and grooming, which keeps the hills immaculate throughout the whole winter.
It is simple to understand why the Hyland Lake Park Reserve is one of Bloomington’s most well-liked year-round attractions with approximately 18 miles of paved and turf hiking and bike trails and multiple ponds for relaxing.
6. Great Wolf Lodge Water Park
One of the top family-friendly activities in Bloomington is at the Great Wolf Lodge, which is close to the Mall of America. The Great Wolf Lodge offers resort-quality lodging in addition to a variety of indoor activities like a bowling alley, waterpark, indoor amusement park, and video arcade.
The Park also has a climbing wall and a ropes course. Park visitors can purchase day passes. The lodge is dotted with restaurants serving both adult cuisine and kid-friendly fare. The Mississippi River and the Minnesota Como Zoo may both be reached from the Great Wolf Lodge within a 15-minute drive.
It is simple to understand why the Great Wolf Lodge Water Park is one of Bloomington’s most popular attractions given that it combines water, games, golf, food, and entertainment.
7. Normandale Lake Park
One of the park’s recreational features is the bandshell and park shelter, which host up to 35 events annually. The bandshell is mostly used by the Bloomington Fine Arts Council and other Arts in the Parks activities. On days when there are available spots, you can also reserve and hire some of them.
Architects / Consultants for The Foundation P.A. created the bandshell in 2001, which is located on Normandale Lake’s northern shore. A covered stage measuring 53 by 35 feet, a sound and lighting system, a conference room, changing rooms, and public restrooms are all provided.
The venue can host 5,000 people comfortably at once. Its public restrooms are available to walkers and runners throughout the year. You don’t have to stick to one activity at Normandale Lake Park.
Enjoy the breathtaking views while cycling or walking around the region.
8. Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy
A dinner and stand-up comedy package at Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy makes for an excellent evening of adult entertainment. a hub for both regional and national artists, such as Chris Maddock, Jordan Rock, and Paris Sashay.
There are two performances on Saturday, in addition, to live performances every night from Tuesday through Sunday. The House of Comedy is simple to locate once you are inside the Mall of America. It is situated on Level 4, and East Parking on Level 5 is the greatest parking option for the club.
The House of Comedy serves artisan cocktails, small plates, and small nibbles as one of the top adult activities in Bloomington. The creator of the House of Comedy, Rick Bronson, is an accomplished comedian, magician, writer, producer, and musician.
He has won eight COCA Comedian of the Year honors for his one-man performance. In his extensive television resume, Bronson has collaborated with artists like Spinal Tap and Bill Clinton. This native of New Jersey enjoys playing the piano and saxophone.
9. Crayola Experience
The only location in the world where you can experience the magic of Crayola is Crayola Experience. Here, you are constantly encouraged to experiment, discover, let your imagination run wild, and color outside the lines.
Color, chemistry, and technology magically come together at The Crayola Experience, which includes 25 interactive attractions, to create an exciting, colorful trip for a child’s imagination.
At the Crayola Experience, kids of all ages are encouraged to let their imaginations run wild. Play with bright crayons at Crayola Experience to release your inner child.
10. Old Town Hall History Museum
The Old Town Hall Museum is located in a wooden clapboard building from the 1890s and is run by the Bloomington Historical Society. The building has a cupola, a style of the dome that was exclusive to the Bloomington, Minnesota, region.
The Old Town Hall functioned as a center for community gatherings, where parties, dances, and other social events were held. Free permanent exhibits inside the museum show a pioneer schoolhouse. Newspapers from the time of the settlement up to the present day are among the items and documents that can be found.
The adjoining Oak Grove Presbyterian Church, which was constructed in 1864, is another remarkable adult history artifact. An early 1900s Chicago pump organ may be found in the church. It takes only a few minutes to get to one of the most distinctive historical adult attractions in Bloomington.
It mixes a historical tour of the Twin Cities antebellum homes with the chilling fun of an authentic adult ghost-walking tour. The guided ghost tour of the St. Paul Mansions of Mystery is definitely worth the time. It’s a thrilling ghost scavenger expedition throughout the metropolis.
However, there are tickets available online with free cancellation if you decide it might be a little too spooky. If you would want a closer look at Saint Paul’s breathtaking attractions, a personalized tour can be planned.
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11. Vertical Endeavors
With more than 12,000 square feet of climbable space, Vertical Endeavors is an indoor rock climbing gym. In this fun-filled, family-friendly entertainment venue, the gym offers a variety of programs and activities for climbers of all skill levels.
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, Vertical Endeavors is the perfect place to enjoy some indoor rock climbing. At one of the climbing programs offered for kids by Vertical Endeavors, kids can learn how to climb like a pro.
Because it has group activities, Vertical Endeavor is a great place for workgroups or host birthday parties. With on-site rock climbing lessons, you can learn how to climb.
12. Minnehaha Falls
More than 850,000 people visit Minnehaha Falls Regional Park each year, one of Minneapolis’ oldest and most cherished parks that date back to 1849. This historic natural space, which is only 10 miles from Bloomington, has a breathtaking 53-foot waterfall and several life-size bronze sculptures by Jakob Fjelde.
Minnehaha Falls is a wonderful place to spend the day whether you’re a kid or an adult. It is named for the Native American woman who became well-known through Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s 1855 poem The Song of Hiawatha.
The 193 acres are a paradise for nature enthusiasts. While savoring food from one of the park vendors, visitors can unwind in one of the two lovely gardens. In the wading pool, you can cool off. In the Minnehaha Dog Park, even the family dog is welcome.
Take self-guided tours while strolling the park for an in-depth educational experience. A picturesque 0.8-mile track that rounds the Falls is one of the many trails that span the park.
13. Bloomington’s LifeTime Athletic Clubs
Located near the southwest corner of I-35W and 98th Street lies the opulent sports resort known as Life Time Athletic Club.
This 95,000-square-foot facility, which has both indoor and outdoor tennis courts, a sizable gym, and exercise courses, is dedicated to assisting individuals in leading healthier lives. The club offers a variety of classes and activities to its members.
If you’re looking for a place to play pickleball or just want to get healthier, check out Life Time Athletic Club. It’s the ideal location for physical activity.
14. Sea Life Aquarium
Sea Life Aquarium, the largest marine museum in Minnesota, is situated on Level 1’s eastern side. More than 4,500 animals call this amazing aquarium experience home, sharing 1.3 million gallons of water with them.
Additionally, you may observe guitar sharks, stingrays, and jellyfish swimming above the 300-foot underwater tube. The Coral Caves and the significance of the Rainforest in Brave the Rainforest are only two examples of the educational content found in many exhibitions.
Although mostly geared toward children, these educational displays also offer tours for adults. A consortium of aquariums around the world that promote marine conservation includes the Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium. Sea Life also includes easily accessible aquariums where you can get a close-up look at sea creatures like anemones.
One of the coolest things to do in Bloomington MN is to learn about shark feeding times or backstage tours. Tickets are available here. The Sea Life aquarium is a fantastic location for birthday celebrations and other special events. The Sheraton Bloomington is close by if you need a place to stay.
15. Bloomington Historical Museum
An excellent source of information on Bloomington’s past is the Bloomington Historical Museum. The museum offers a study library and a variety of displays. Additionally, you may read about the location’s past and how it has influenced the neighborhood’s culture.
The Bloomington Historical Society was incorporated as a Minnesota non-profit on July 22, 1964. The group was established to teach others about Bloomington’s, Hennepin County’s, and Minnesota’s past.
The Old Town Hall serves as a center for socializing, dancing, and other celebrations among locals. Visitors continue to flock to the museum to view the exhibits and research Bloomington’s past.
16. Minnesota Masonic Heritage Center
In St. Paul in 1849, the Bloomington Minnesota Masonry got its start, more than 160 years ago. Furthermore, the Minnesota Masonic Heritage Center honors the origins and contributions of Freemasonry to Minnesota and the Upper Mid-West.
It is situated along the Minnesota River Valley and is maintained by the Masonic Historical Society. Just 10 miles west of the Mall of America sits the Minnesota Masonic Heritage Center.
Numerous thousands of Masonic items are housed in the 3,700 square-foot museums, along with instructive and interactive exhibits. The many displays go well with the distinctive library and the ornate Masonic Lodge Room.
Public events and performances are held in the 443-seat auditorium and theatre at the Masonic Heritage Center. The Masonic Center also engages in continuing charitable activities. Results in cancer research, eldercare, and children’s health are impacted by the Minnesota Masonic Charities (MMC).
17. The Bloomington Center for the Arts
The Bloomington Civic Plaza’s north end is occupied by the Bloomington Center for the Arts. The area is used for events, private rentals, and arts-related activities by the city, the neighborhood, and eight resident art organizations.
One of the numerous businesses occupying the plaza, Artistry Theater, and Visual Arts, is committed to promoting the area’s artistic excellence. The organization produces theatre and visual arts without profit.
By collaborating with the most talented local artists and promoting up-and-coming talent, the organization grows its audience. The plaza frequently features top-notch theatrical productions and exhibitions of fine art, such as Naomi Hart’s A Common Threat.
For those seeking more practical experience, the business also offers art instruction to both adults and children.
18. Richardson Nature Center
Within the Hyland Lake Park Reserve is where you’ll find the Richardson Nature Center. The center acts as a starting point for exploring some of Bloomington’s most breathtaking natural beauty. You can explore the center’s natural environment while admiring sculptures and vibrant clay mosaics created by artist Chris Tully.
Getting close to the reptiles, raptors, and amphibians at the facility is enjoyable as well. You can participate in nighttime events at the facility, where you can go on a guided walk during each full moon. A Young Birders Club is available for children to introduce them to the fun of bird viewing.
19. AMF Southtown Lanes
Visit AMF Southtown Lanes with your family for an enjoyable evening of bowling fun. If you want to take your game to the next level and compete against other serious bowlers, think about joining a league.
Weekly specials are available at AMF Southtown Lanes, and you may book space there for gatherings and parties. If you tire of bowling, visit the arcade for some retro entertainment.
20. Bloomington Farmers Market
The Bloomington Farmers Market sells handcrafted crafts, artisanal goods, and locally grown produce every Saturday from June through October.
Organic fruits, vegetables, herbs, cut flowers, honey, baked products, artisanal meats and cheeses, and maple syrup are all available at hundreds of kiosks. While enjoying delicious treats and live local music, shoppers can window shop.
Midweek Music and Market is open to visitors during the summer. This distinctive weekly mini-market and concert series is a well-liked neighborhood occasion. Common market merchants mix with food trucks, lawn games, and live performances by local musicians.
The Bloomington Civic Plaza’s East Lot is where the Midweek Music and Market is situated. Additionally, on a few Saturdays in the Winter, market merchants conduct an indoor market.
21. The Fair on 4
No matter what time of year it is, The Fair on 4 is a great place to enjoy summer activities. You can get all your favorite fair food, including hand-dipped corn dogs and cheese curds, as well as beer, drinks, gourmet pizza, and more at The Fair on 4.
The Fair on 4 offers a lot of entertainment in addition to its delectable food. You may pass the time away in the arcade for hours, or if you’re feeling a little more daring, try your hand at axe throwing and go-karting. Large-scale group gatherings can also take place there.
22. Como Park Zoo
Como Park’s Marjorie McNeely Conservatory and Como Park Zoo are two of Bloomington’s top attractions, according to Expedia Group Company. More than two million people visit Bloomington every year because of the park, zoo, and conservatory, which are situated on more than 384 acres of reserve.
There includes a seal island, as well as enclosures for big cats, primates, and birds. Additionally, there are enclosures for animals with African hooves and a famous polar bear exhibit. Meeting rooms, classrooms, and event spaces are available in the 65,000-square-foot tourist center.
Even a Zobata Cafe is available for visitors to unwind in. Anyone interested in contributing to the local or national efforts to conserve Como Zoo or the Minnesota Zoo can find information in the visitor center.
23. The Twin Cities Premium Outlets
Bloomington is within a 30-minute drive from the Twin Cities Premium Outlets. In Eagan, Minnesota, close to the intersection of Highways 13 and 77, Twin Cities Premium Outlets houses more than 80 businesses in a premium 409,000-square-foot facility.
At several reputable stores that sell apparel, shoes, home goods, and other stuff, customers can save up to 65%. Additionally, keep in mind that clothing and footwear are exempt from sales tax.
The covered walkways at Twin Cities Premium Outlets allow you to shop outside all year long. A warm two-sided fireplace and a main dining pavilion with both indoor and outdoor seating possibilities are other Bloomington attractions.
The outlet mall features a full-service information desk where you may purchase gifts, free wifi, and wheelchair and stroller rentals.
24. Fort Snelling State Park
Bloomington is about 23 minutes away from this location. One of the most well-liked tourist spots in Minnesota is Fort Snelling State Park, which receives more than 400,000 people yearly on average.
Additionally, its location is ideal close it’s to both the Twin Cities Paul International Airport and Historic Fort Snelling. Since its opening in 1962, this huge state park has contributed to the preservation of open space and wildlife in congested urban areas.
Seven important paved bike trails make it simple to access the park from neighboring cities and suburbs, and it is ideally positioned next to the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. The park is a haven for an abundance of animals and has a variety of hiking trails that divert people from the busier region.
25. The Works Museum
There is no better way to learn about architecture than in an interactive museum. Children of all ages can take part in activities and design competitions at The Works Museum in Bloomington that will introduce them to technology, engineering, and science in entertaining and memorable ways.
The museum offers a tonne of activities, such as summer camps and camps during school breaks. The Works hosts a Tech Fest every year where children and families may learn about engineering and technology.
Kids can learn more about what it means to work in robotics on Robot Day, an annual celebration that takes place during National Robotics Week.
26. Amazing Mirror Maze
Bring the entire family to the Amazing Mirror Maze for a unique experience at one of the fun things to do in Bloomington MN. You can try to navigate these perplexing but entertaining mazes filled with surprises.
This attraction is popular with children, but adults can also enjoy it on a date night. Inside the Mall of America lies a place called The Amazing Mirror Maze.
27. McLean County Museum of History
To find out more about the region where Bloomington MN is situated, head over to the McLean County Museum of History.
The McLean County Historical Society was founded in 1892, marking the commencement of the museum. The museum has five galleries for ongoing exhibits and two galleries for changing exhibitions.
The museum now houses over 20,000 artifacts and over 15,000 rare books on local ancestry and history. The annual Dia de Los Muertos celebration, Evergreen Cemetery Walk, and The Night the Stars Fell are just a few of the events and exhibits available.
What is the renown of Bloomington, Minnesota?
The Mall of America, the biggest and busiest shopping mall in the country and the globe is located in Bloomington. Hennepin County is home to the Minnesotan city of Bloomington, which is a southern suburb of Minneapolis.
Is a trip to Bloomington MN worthwhile?
In addition to being one of Indiana’s largest towns and a hive of entertaining events and attractions, Bloomington MN is well renowned as a thriving college town.
With its excellent range of indoor and outdoor activities, Bloomington, Minnesota, is one of the most amazing destinations to visit in the state. In addition to the top fun things to do in Bloomington MN on this list, the city has many undiscovered gems waiting to be discovered.
Remember to take your time when you visit Bloomington to relax, refuel, and experience the ambiance that will let you forget about the busy city life.