Accessible Spots in the Twin Cities for Every Type of Person
The Twin Cities is a vibrant, booming metro with no shortage of activities to satisfy any resident or visitor. But even more importantly, this area focuses on ensuring these popular destinations are accessible for everybody – a commitment that results in an inclusive and diverse community.
Whether you’re a Vikings fan, an art aficionado, or someone who loves to hit the mall, there’s something for everyone here – and these hot spots have made a point to educate visitors on their accessibility features to make visits even more seamless for those with special considerations.
We also recently created a Top Spots list to make it easier for families of children with special needs to find the best spots in Minnesota that are set-up to accommodate their needs. With over 20 categories, this list is sure to help your family get out and about year round!
- Minneapolis Institute of Arts – whether you’re in the mood to view some artwork or participate in their Family Day, the Minneapolis Institute of Art has something for everyone. And with touch tours, assistive listening devices, a ramp-accessible auditorium, and ASL interpreters, everyone can enjoy their visit.
The Sports Fan
- US Bank Stadium – this newly built home to the Minnesota Vikings makes sure fans of all types can enjoy the events held in this stadium, and are equipped to help guests with needs from assistive listening devices and mobility services to wheelchair and companion seating.A list of their accessible services on their website will help you plan for your adventure.
- The Grand Rounds Scenic Byway Trail – this 50-mile trail is completely paved and travels throughout Minneapolis with many access points so you can choose what portions you’d like to explore – whether it’s incredible views as you go past lakes, downtown cityscapes, or other historic areas of the city. Bikers travel on a completely separate trail than pedestrians, making the trail safer for everyone and leaving plenty of space for wheelchairs.
- The Mall of America – as one of the largest attractions in Minnesota, this mall offers an abundance of handicap parking, wheelchair and electric cart rentals, and access to vehicle transportation with accessibility. Nickelodeon Universe has created a rider safety guide that outlines various considerations to help riders consider which rides are best for them – a resource that makes the fun a bit easier.
The Animal Lover
- Minnesota Zoo – There is no shortage of animals ready to make you say ‘awwwww’ at this zoo, located in Apple Valley. The Minnesota Zoo is committed to making everyone’s visit a fun and safe time – and takes a number of steps to ensure this can be the case for those with special needs. On the accessibility page of their website, they lay out various considerations for visitors from seating and medication refrigeration to sensory sensitivities.
- Orchestra Hall – As home to the Minnesota Orchestra, this landmark is located in downtown Minneapolis and takes steps to ensure anybody can take time to appreciate not only the beautiful building, but the incredible music performed inside. The hall explains its handicapped parking in connected ramps, ASL interpretation availability, braille programs, sensory-friendly concerts, and more on the accessibility page of its website, along with a calendar of its shows in case this has been on your to do list.
- George Latimer Central Library – Located in historic downtown St. Paul, this library has a number of adaptive and assistive technology features including screen readers, print to speech conversion, speech-recognition software, and more. The Rondo library on Dale Street in St. Paul also has these same features available for visitors.
- Minneapolis Convention Center – Holding the title of largest convention center in the upper midwest, there is always something going on for any type of learner – whether you’re interested in weddings, landscaping, health, or anything else on their long list of event topics. The building received the Minnesota Access Achievement Award for its attention to access, and highlights some its features on their accessibility page.
Getting around the metro with a wheelchair
The accessibility of the Twin Cities isn’t limited to just getting around buildings and stores. If you’re in a wheelchair or scooter and are using public transportation to navigate Minneapolis or St. Paul, there are a few options that make the process even easier. Additionally, the AXS Map app provides users with the ability to rate and review wheelchair accessibility of a variety of locations – check out their website.
- Metro Transit has made that possible with any bus or light rail and they outline the process of boarding and exiting a bus and riding trains on the accessibility page of their website. If you would like personalized training or more information about riding a bus or train, they have customer advocates available to help you through that process and ensure you are confident in the process. To make a request for particular accommodations, you can also call their customer relations manager at 612-373-3333.
- Metro Mobility is a service offered by Metro Transit for riders who are unable to utilize the public bus or light rail system due to a disability or health condition. Certified callers can schedule a ride by contacting transportation providers at 651-602-1111. Transportation is shared with other riders.
- There are five taxi companies in Minneapolis that have wheelchair accessible vans available 24/7 at the same rate as a standard taxi:
What else would you add to this list? Send us your favorite spots to visit so we can share the insight!Originally published: December 19, 2017