There aren't many theme parks in Minnesota. In fact, there are really only two major ones. They are, however, quite popular. And in the case of Nickelodeon Universe, quite unique. The state's parks and attractions are arranged alphabetically:
Located next to the Como Zoo and Conservatory, the small (four-acre), outdoor amusement park is geared for younger children. Its thrill rides include the Tiger Trax roller coaster. At a height of 33 feet, however, it is not all that thrilling compared to much larger behemoths at other parks. Likewise, the relatively short (36 feet) Drop Zone tower ride and the S.S. Swashbuckler swinging pirate ship are listed as "thrill rides," but are really comparatively tame. Como Town also includes a handful of family and kiddie rides, including a Tilt-A-Whirl, small train, bumper cars, and spinning teacups.
Admission is free to the park, and visitors can either buy points to ride individual rides or unlimited ride wristbands. A cafe is available just outside the park near the zoo.
As one of the largest indoor retail, dining, and entertainment complexes in the world, the Mall of America is an attraction in its own right. It includes an actual theme park (see Nickelodeon Universe below), as well as a number of attractions with park-like features. They include:
- Sea Life Aquarium with marine life exhibits featuring sharks, rays, sea turtles, and jellyfish. Interactive activities include touch pools and stamp stations.
- Crayola Experience– Learn how crayons are made, star in a coloring page, and engage in other activities about the popular brand.
- Smaaash– The entertainment center includes E-sports, gaming, virtual reality, and dining.
- FlyOver America– Soar across America and Canada in this flying theater experience modeled after Disney’s Soarin’.
The large indoor theme park (one of the largest in the world) is part of the gargantuan Mall of America. Admission is free. Visitors can either purchase a pay-one-price wristband and ride to their heart's content or buy points to go on rides a la carte. The park used to be known as Knott's Camp Snoopy , but now Nickelodeon characters such as SpongeBob SquarePants reign.
Attraction highlights include the Fairly Odd Coaster spinning coaster, SpongeBob SquarePants Rock Bottom Plunge coaster, the Orange Streak coaster, El Circulo del Cielo, which is a Dora the Explorer-themed Ferris wheel, the interactive dark ride, Ghost Blasters, the themed Log Chute log flume, and the family drop ride, Splat-O-Sphere.
Read more about the park in our overview.
The state's major outdoor theme park, Valleyfair features a great arsenal of roller coasters including the hypercoaster, Wild Thing, and the classic High Roller woodie. Minnesotans who miss seeing Snoopy and the Peanuts gang at the former Camp Snoopy in the Mall of America can find the characters (and rides themed to them) here. The adjacent Soak City water park is included with admission.
Other highlights include he Power Tower freefall ride, the 185-foot Steel Venom impulse coaster, the Xtreme Swing thrill ride, and the 230-foot-tall North Star high-flying swing ride. For younger kids, choices include the Cosmic Coaster, Peanuts Playhouse, and Snoopy’s Rocket Express.
Read more about Valleyfair in our overview of the park.
- It's not a theme park, but the huge Water Park of America, which is near the Mall of America is a great indoor water park and hotel.
- Find other indoor water parks in Minnesota (and there are a bunch).
- Find outdoor water parks in Minnesota.
- Find indoor water parks in nearby Wisconsin (of which there are about a gazillion).
- Find theme parks and amusement parks in nearby Wisconsin.
- Find theme parks in nearby Iowa.
- Find indoor and outdoor water parks in nearby Iowa.