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May 24, 2013 08:36 AM

Three Days with Grandkids/Chanhassen

We have three, grades 3 and 5, with car. We want to have fun while the parents are away and will be eating out several times.

Is the Midtown Global Market worth the drive? Is it a place the kids may enjoy with lots of food choices?

Will be going to the sculpture garden by the Walker and checking out eating places in that area.

The kids like Jake O'Connors in Excelsior and the usual kid food, pizza, hotdogs, etc. I'm wondering about "Yum". Is it a fun place? Also would like to know about ice cream and treat places.

For us, any good seafood places in this southwest region?

Thanks in advance.


Thanks in advance

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  1. I would think the MGM would be a hit. Several places to eat including a Camel Berger or less adventerious Joes Garage. If you don't mind standing in line Sea Sart or Tin Fish are OK for "seafood". Yum for kids might not be a fun place. Sorry I can't be of more help but this is a start....Have fun with the kids..

    1. Love the sculpture garden! The restaurant in the Walker, Gather, is supposed to be casual for lunch. Each month a different high-profile local chef takes over the kitchen. It might be worth checking out. I haven't been to Gather, but I would say I would have felt fine taking children your grandkids' age to Gather's predecessor for lunch... It might be a little pricey and perhaps not cuisine specifically targeted to kids, though. It just depends on the Chef O'The Month.

      As far as ice cream, my Minneapolis geography is questionable (hopefully someone will chime in if I'm leading you astray), but I think the Franklin location of Sebastian Joe's might be doable from the Walker:

      I can't comment on whether MGM is worth the drive (because it depends on how you feel about city driving, etc.) but it is most-definitely kid-friendly with lots of food choices. They have pizza, burgers, tacos, tamales, gelato, a James Beard-nominated bakery (Salty Tart) and a Mexican bakery, among other offerings. It's all counter service, then you go find one of the many tables in the public area to sit at and eat your meal.

      They do have many family oriented events, but I get the impression they are targeted to children younger than your grandkids: Nevertheless, it might be worth peeking at their calendar. Often they have interesting events on weekends.

      There's a parking ramp on the East side of the Market: be sure to get your ticket validated by one of the vendors at the market.

      RE: Ibew's excellent comment re: Tin Fish and Sea Salt, I just wanted to clarify that those are at Lake Calhoun and Minnehaha Park respectively, not at MGM. (I haven't been to Tin Fish in ages, but I do like renting a canoe at the boathouse at the lake's edge there.) Sea Salt gets very crowded at peak meal times, but it's fun to see the falls this time of year and maybe rent a surrey.) I think there's a newish lakeside restaurant, Bread and Pickles, at Lake Harriet. I haven't been there yet, but similar in concept to Tin Fish and Sea Salt.

      They serve Sebastian Joe's ice cream at Sea Salt.

      You don't say which days of the week you'll have the kids, but I really recommend the Saturday morning Mill City farmer's market at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. Do wander the Guthrie itself (the bridge to nowhere). You can walk the Stone Arch Bridge from there. The lock and dam (they are closing it next year! it might be your last chance to see it in operation) and St. Anthony Falls... I think the Mill City Museum itself is wonderful and gives you a sense of Minneapolis' flour milling past. Be sure to check out the Flour Tower and the Betty Crocker Kitchen at the end of the Flour Tower. I love looking through all of the vintage cookbooks in the kitchen. Lots of kid-oriented, food-oriented exhibits at the MCM.

      Another kid-friendly restaurant might be Bryant Lake Bowl in Minneapolis. (If you're willing to go to MGM, well, BLB would be about the same effort to get to...)


      1. Yum is great for kids--always lots of families there. Especially great for kids if the grandparents are willing to spring for some fun cupcakes or other treats. They have a pretty good pizza and good mac and cheese, and lots of other potential options for kids.

        I think MGM is worth it. I think Friday nights are still "family nights" with music and other fun things, but agree that it's a little targeted to younger kids. Still, older kids usually have fun looking at all the stuff--the Mexican "general stores" are pretty cool.

        Tin Fish can be a HUGELY long wait, so order before you're hungry.

        You could think about spending some time in Linden Hills for maybe a lunch or breakfast at Tilia (I don't go there with kids at dinner time--too packed), then walking around to the toy stores or the great bookstore Wild Rumpus which is right next to Tilia and has live animals walking around and other cool stuff. You could also walk down to Lake Harriet from there and eat at Bread and Pickle and have some ice cream there and listen to a concert at the bandshell there--concerts every night at 730, or 2:30 and 5:30 on Sundays.

        If you're going to the Sculpture Garden, it's not too far from Black Sheep Pizza, which could be a fun spot.

        1. Have a good report to make, but will have to wait until my finger (got hospitalized in Msp) infection goes away. Thanks for your replys.

          1 Reply
          1. re: conniemcd

            Heal well, sorry for the medical misfortune while you were here.