7 Ideas For A Fun Minneapolis Spring Break Once School Is Out

Minneapolis Spring Break

There’s nothing like chasing the magic of the Midwest after a long winter semester at school. That’s why so many students and families choose to ditch the books for a while to explore all of the gems of the Twin Cities! A Minneapolis spring break is exactly what the doctor ordered if you’re looking for an adventure that combines sightseeing, nature, entertainment, and a little taste of lake life.

With the period between March and April offering many 55-degree to 65-degree days, there’s no need to wait until school is officially out for the summer to enjoy outdoor activities in Minnesota. In addition to being the perfect place for families and kids to celebrate a little bit of free time, Minnesota is also becoming a popular spot for college students looking for fun and affordable getaways.

What is there to discover in this surprise “hot spot” for spring break? This guide to spring break in Minneapolis covers all the best attractions and events!


1) Do Spring Break On The Lake

One of the best things to do during a Minneapolis spring break is to visit epic, sparkling Lake Minnetonka just as it’s waking up from its winter slumber. Covering nearly 15 pristine acres just minutes from the buzz of downtown Minneapolis, this body of water offers wonderment for the whole family.

You might be thinking that a lake day is one of the outdoor activities you can only enjoy this March or April if you happen to have a friend in town who owns a boat. Not true at all!

Many people enjoying Minneapolis spring breaks simply book outings on the water with us here at Paddle Tap. As the best Lake Minnetonka cruise company around, we pamper our guests with private or regular cruises that depart from Back Channel Brewing or downtown Excelsior.

Here are four reasons why spring break in Minneapolis is just better when you set sail with us:

  • Guests enjoy private captains on every tour

  • Our relaxing, beautiful vessels can actually get into channels and nooks that bigger boats can’t access

  • Guests can customize their tour experiences to enjoy a variety of themes

  • We’re a five-star tour company that’s been rated the best by customers multiple years in a row

Choose a tiki-themed cruise boat, LazyTap Party Pontoon experience featuring a huge upper deck, or your own unique ideas for your private party on the water.

Contact us today to start planning a spring break experience you’ll never forget!

Enjoying Minneapolis Spring Break At PaddleTap


2) Get An Education In Wildlife At The Minnesota Zoo

There’s no need to stop learning just because school isn’t in session!

Located just 20 miles from downtown Minneapolis within the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metropolitan area, the Minnesota Zoo is home to thousands of treasured species! The campus is divided into six zones with three themed walking areas. Here’s a quick blueprint:

  • Medtronic Minnesota Trail: Featuring animals native to Minnesota, this enchanted area is home to black bears, bald eagles, grey wolves, pumas, and more.

  • Northern Trail: Home to animals from northern environments, this trail is famous for its American bison, llamas, prairie dogs, and horses.

  • Tropics Trail: This warm, jungle-like trail features Burmese pythons, crocodiles, fruit bats, flamingos, and many more colorful species.

  • Discovery Bay: This area contains several aquariums and tide-pool areas that house sharks, rays, sea turtles, seals, and more.

  • Wells Fargo Family Farm: This down-home exhibit featuring chickens, cows, sheep, goats, and other familiar farm animals keeps the whole family entertained!

Bonus fun: Entry to the zoo’s Treetop Trail that offers amazing views of exhibits is now included with zoo admission!

Monkies - Minnesota Zoo


3) Spend Time Getting To Know The City At The Landmark Center

This is considered the cultural and artistic hub of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area! Built in 1902, the structure was a post office and courthouse before becoming a preserved landmark. The building is now home to:

  • Public Art: The Permanent Collection of Landmark Center

  • Landmark Center North Gallery

  • American Association of Woodturners Gallery of Wood Art

  • Landmark Gallery

  • Schubert Club Music Museum

  • Landmarket Gift Shop

This is the best place to scoop up some original artwork and crafts that will help you to always remember your time in the Twin Cities. This is also where you’ll find the Saint Paul Visitor Center!

Fun fact to know: One of the city’s biggest historical events occurred at this landmark when John Dillinger’s girlfriend, a man named Alvin Karpis, and other members of the Barker-Karpis crime gang were tried back when it was a courthouse!

The Landmark Center


4) Catch A Movie At A Cozy Theater

When planning a Minneapolis spring trip, it’s never a bad idea to have some backup plans in mind in case a cold snap hits during March or April. One of the best ways to enjoy an “indie” vibe even when seeing a blockbuster is to catch a flick at Main Cinema. Founded by the Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul (MSP Film) in 1962, this iconic theater brings mainstream first-run pictures, international films, and independent cinema to Minnesota audiences!

Of course, the theater is best known for being home to one of the biggest events in the Twin Cities when it hosts the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival (MSPIFF) every April!

Catch A Movie


5) Play Some Arcade Games

While you may be planning a spring break around Minneapolis because you’re not a fan of the traditional “club scene” that’s associated with other popular spring break destinations, you can still spend some of your free time at popular clubs and bars around the city on your own terms.

If you love gaming, a spot called Up-Down located on Lyndale Avenue in Minneapolis is going to get you excited! This arcade bar features 50 classic arcade games that let you get schooled while out of school. For those who are 21 and over, this spot has a selection of more than 60 craft beers on tap to choose from!

Arcade Games Adventure


6) Enjoy Lunch With Views Of The Minneapolis Skyline

If you’re looking for a place where you can grab lunch while enjoying exceptional views, it’s helpful to know that Minneapolis offers a great collection of rooftop restaurants. Consider booking a table at any of the following:

  • Union Rooftop – Hennepin Avenue

  • Mara – Hennepin Avenue

  • Red Cow North Loop – 1st Avenue

  • Reveal Rooftop Bar – Wayzata Boulevard in Saint Louis Park

  • RH Rooftop Restaurant Minneapolis – France Avenue

If possible, select a clear March or April day for your rooftop lunch outing to ensure visibility. If you prefer the opportunity to dance with a cocktail in hand, these restaurants also offer exquisite after-dark views of twinkling Minneapolis.

Minneapolis Skyline


7) Get The Best Views Of The Mississippi River

In addition to being a fun spring break activity for kids, families, or college students, this final item on the list is also completely free. Let’s talk about the location where you can go to get the absolute best views of the river without paying a fortune for a penthouse suite at a fancy hotel.

Located on the historic Mississippi riverfront, Boom Island Park is considered by locals to be the spot offering the best views in the city! In addition to showing off picturesque views of the Mississippi River, Boom Island Park also provides stunning views of the Minneapolis skyline. In fact, this is a popular spot for wedding photography.

Best Views Of The Mississippi River


Spring Break Is Always Double The Fun In The Twin Cities

You don’t necessarily need to trek to the Minneapolis Visitor Center to discover all of the best landmarks and outdoor attractions for all ages. The ideas on the list above help you squeeze every ounce of magic out of your spring break here in Minneapolis.

Who says spring break needs to be tropical to be magical? If a relaxing cruise sounds like music to your ears this March, it’s time to start planning your voyage with Paddle Tap. There’s no better way to celebrate the kids being out of school than by taking to the crisp and clear waters of the American Midwest with help from our experienced crew.

We make it easy to customize your spring break itinerary to suit all ages. Book your memorable spring break adventure today!

1 hour 40 minutes
Group Size
2 to 18

Gift Card

Looking to buy a tour for a gift? This is where that would happen!

1 hour 40 minutes
Group Size
Up to 18

TikiTap-Back Channel Brewing

Our 100 minute cruise our Tiki Pub (yes, its a Tiki Themed Party Pontoon Boat and has ZERO pedals) boat offer the perfect scenic escape! It's our #1 Boat Tour for Bachelorette Parties!

This is our newest boat on Lake Minnetonka for the season. This adventure is perfect for any corporate event, private birthday party or just for fun on a bachelorette or bachelor parties!

This is the newest and largest single boat we offer and is 26 feet long and almost 12 feet wide! This party boat includes comfortable bar stool seating around the custom tiki bar, and seating for maximum of 18 total guests with plenty of walking room around the almost 300 square foot deck.

Enjoy our one of a kind Tiki Themed bar to rest your beer, wine, or cocktails.

Do you have any worry about a bathroom? Don’t! this boat does come equipped with a full bathroom for you to use.

Worried about rain? Don’t! We have a large canopy that covers 70% of the TikiTap! If this boat is open, book it soon as this is for sure the first one to be reserved.

Things to Know:
What to know:

100 minutes long
Bluetooth music
Bathroom on board
Departs out of Back Channel Brewing in Spring Park
300 square feet of usable room
Holds up to 18 guests
Pricing: $35-$49/person Private Cruise (10 or more required tickets to make it private)
135 HSP Gas Motor

8 Reviews verify
1 hour 40 minutes
Group Size
Up to 18

Private Tours (All Boats)

PaddleTap is proud to offer private tours on all of our party boats! These one-of-a-kind Tiki Boats, Pedal Pubs, or Party Pontoons can be rented out on Excelsior Bay or Seaton Channel! Enjoy a boat cruise on Lake Minnetonka!

Take a peek at all our boating options and which locations they start from. You will truly love this experience for any Bachelorette, Birthday or Corporate outing!

All private tours are charged on a per person fee. Prices range from $35-$39/person Monday-Wednesday and $35-$45/person Thursday-Sunday with a $4/increase for prime summer on all tickets in July. 10 Tickets or more are required to reserve a private boat. We have a public option that is $55/person if you have less than 10.

Our Lowest cost boat is our Original PaddlePub out of downtown Excelsior ($35/person) the rest of our boats are closer to $39-45 most days

2 hours 30 minutes
Group Size
10 to 18

2.5 hour Private Tour-Private Tour Back Channel Brewing (18 max)

PaddleTaps longest tour of the season-2 hours and 30 minutes! This tour is new for 2024, and only being offered starting in June of 2024.

Explore Lake Minnetonka in the fall where the leaves start changing. Explore the channels and bays that the larger charter boats cannot offer. Bring your own beverages, some snacks and let us drive you around West Arm/Seaton Channel/Cooks Bay for 2.5 hour on the water, our longest cruises of the year! We will get up and close to some of the best fall colors Lake Minnetonka offers. This tour will have a bathroom on board as well with bluetooth music.

This tour will either be on our largest 30 foot LazyTap double deck boat, or the 25 foot TikiTap boat. Depending on boat availability with other tours being offered"

Pricing is $70/person for the 2.5 hours, and private bookings require 8 tickets to be purchased as a down-payments are utlizied before the season starts to reserve your boat. But you are more than welcome to book as many seats as you need up to the boat maximum of 18 guests.

1 hour 40 minutes
Group Size
Up to 14

Small Group/Public Tour (All Boats)

Do you have a smaller group? Or just don't want to rent the entire boat? Book our per seat boating option! Perfect for those smaller groups who still want to go out and celebrate that Birthday/Bachelorette or even just a night out! This option does have a requirement of of 6 guests to guarantee it will go out. But you only pay for as many seats as you want. This option is not guaranteed private, and it is very likely you will be paired with other people! (we offer private cruises that start with 8 ppl-18 ppl)

This public option is only available out of our Back Channel Brewing Location (LazyTap or TikiPubs) and downtown Excelsior on our original Pedal Pub Boat Cruise.

1 hour 40 minutes
Group Size
Up to 18

LazyTap Double Deck-Back Channel Brewing (18 person boat)

PaddleTap’s #1 boat tour! For the people who like to take it easy on the lake! Our LazyTap Party Boat ride has your name written all over it. This is our only double deck party boat that is massive! PaddleTap offers one boat for 2024. This boat can hold up to 18 guests!

Both boats offers two levels and covers at least 300 of deck space on the main level with an additional 100 square feet on the upper deck! This boat has zero pedals and is the true lazy experience that can hold up to 18 total guests!

These boats offer a private party bar down the middle for you to load up with your own drinks and bench seating all the way down on both sides.

We have a large wide open space in the front where people can move around and take in the views, or sit in our comfy seating all around.

This is our only boat that can allow swimming (on requests) which has a ZERO alcohol policy. If you want to swim no alcohol is allowed. but it still does only last 100 minutes. If you do choose to swim, we limit it to four people at one time and must wear a life jacket (provided) BUT ZERO ALCOHOL. Swimming on our LazyTap is only allowed out of Back Channel. We do not allow it out of Downtown Excelsior.

The LazyTap has a large 150 HSP motor, we can cover a fair amount of lake to enjoy everything that Lake Minnetonka offers! Our pickups are out of Back Channel Brewing, Lord Fletchers, Downtown Excelsior or Wayzata.
What to know:

Private boat captain
100 minutes long
Bluetooth music
Bathroom on board
Departs out of Back Channel Brewing in Spring Park
400 square feet of usable room (two levels)
Holds up to 14-18 guests (depending on the boat you select)
Pricing: $39-$45/person Private Cruise (10 or more required tickets to make it private)
*$4/more a person from July 12th-August 4th 2024*
150 HSP Gas Motor
Zero Pedals (not even an option here)

22 Reviews verify