There are so many family friendly spots across the Twin Cities, but it’s hard to beat the southern Minneapolis neighborhood of Linden Hills. In a fairly small geographical area, there are several kid-friendly shops, restaurants that cater both to children and to adults with more adventurous palates, and gorgeous outdoor recreation areas.
mn creative kidstuff 1 Family Fun Neighborhood Guide To Linden Hills

Creative Kidstuff (credit: Amy Rea)

The blocks surrounding the intersection of Upton Avenue and 43rd Street are full of cozy retailers and eateries, some specifically geared towards kids. Creative Kidstuff has long been a Twin Cities family favorite. A place chock full of toys, many of which have educational bents, but those are well hidden within the fun. Even better there are many items open for hands-on exploration.

mn wild rumpus ext Family Fun Neighborhood Guide To Linden Hills

Wild Rumpus Bookstore (credit: Amy Rea)

Just around the corner is the equally delightful Wild Rumpus bookstore, named (of course) for the classic Maurice Sendak book, Where the Wild Things Are. The Twin Cities has an excellent selection of independent bookstores, and Wild Rumpus is right up there at the top of my favorites list. The staff is topnotch, the shop is well stocked (including items for grownups), and physically it’s a fun place to explore.

mn wild rumpus int Family Fun Neighborhood Guide To Linden Hills

Inside Wild Rumpus Bookstore (credit: Amy Rea)

Besides, how can you beat a store that has its own pet chicken?

mn cafe twenty eight Family Fun Neighborhood Guide To Linden Hills

Café 128 (credit: Amy Rea)

There are also plenty of places to get a bite to eat. But here’s the thing: Linden Hills has casual places with kids’ menus, but the attendant adults don’t have to sacrifice anything—they can get an excellent meal (and in a couple of places, an adult beverage, if desired) at the same time. On the same street as Wild Rumpus is newcomer Tilia, a friendly, boisterous restaurant that takes its food seriously, but doesn’t mind catering to the little ones. Nearby is Café 128, housed in a historic building with a lovely outdoor patio and a limited but thoughtful menu—and again, food for kids.

mn sebastian joes Family Fun Neighborhood Guide To Linden Hills

Sebastian Joe

Across the street is the Zumbro Café, a cheerful long-time Linden Hills’ purveyor offering hearty and tasty breakfasts and lunch. Finally, who’d want to miss a chance to stop for ice cream at Sebastian Joe’s?

mn lake harriet Family Fun Neighborhood Guide To Linden Hills

Lake Harriet (credit: Amy Rea)

Just a few blocks away you’ll find the summer paradise of Lake Harriet.

Many hours can be spent romping here, whether it’s biking or inline skating around the lake (almost 3 miles), swimming at the beach, playing in the adjacent playgrounds, and visiting the Lyndale Gardens (especially the Rose Garden). Plan ahead and book a ride on the Como-Harriet trolley, a lovingly restored century-old streetcar.

mn lake harriet bandshell Family Fun Neighborhood Guide To Linden Hills

Lake Harriet Bandshell (credit: Lake Harriet)

Better yet, take in one of the nightly live concerts (in the summer) at the historic Lake Harriet Bandshell.

While you’re there, stop by the new concession stand, Bread & Pickle, for far-better-than-average snacks and light meals.

Amy C. Rea lives with her family in the Twin Cities. She’s the author of “Backroads & Byways of Minnesota and Minnesota, Land of 10,000 Lakes: an Explorer’s Guide.” She can also be found chatting about Minnesota travel topics at

Comments (4)
  1. AD says:

    ‘southern Minneapolis’ lol wat?

  2. One of the Operators says:

    Thank you. But no planning needed to ride the streetcar on the Como-Harriet Line. We’re open every weeknight evening from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm and weekends from 12:30 pm to 8:30 pm until Labor Day. After that only weekends. Just show up and take a ride. No advance booking needed.

  3. Saly says:

    So let me see if i get this right,During the summer time, Minneapolis is as hot as Austin, but idnurg the winter time Minneapolis is like crazy ass cold as compared to Austin. Did i get that right.. yeah I think.. I did.. Kudos to A-TOWN

  4. garmin nuvi 1300 says:

    I believe this is one of the such a lot vital information for me. And i am glad studying your article. However wanna commentary on few normal issues, The website taste is wonderful, the articles is really great : D. Excellent job, cheers

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Watch & Listen LIVE