Open Menu Close Menu

Ultimate Family Road Trip from Minneapolis, MN to Eau Claire, WI

Hey Fam! Keep the American tradition alive, by jumping in the car, buckling your seatbelts and cranking your favorite classic tunes. It’s time to take the ultimate family road trip to America’s Dairyland! Just 90 miles to the East in your neighboring state you will find the beautiful city of Eau Claire, Wisconsin also dubbed “Playful City USA” in 2016 and 2017 and you’re about to find out why. Known for being a creative hub with a hip and homegrown music and arts scene as well as a booming entrepreneurial culture, your entire family will head back home with authentic experiences and unforgettable adventures that will become family fokelore for decades.

To ignite your excitement, this Ultimate Family Road Trip itinerary was created for wiggly kids and venturesome parents, and the entire family’s spontaneous outlook on life. By following this step-by-step guide that showcase mini-stops along Wisconsin's most treasured landmarks, your family will establish new, traditions, and experience fun adventures along the way. We can’t wait to welcome you to Eau Claire, Wisconsin!

Collage of storefronts, ice cream in Hudson, WI Family Trip

1. Knoke's Chocolates and Nuts and Lakefront Park in Hudson, WI
Let the family fun begin! Hudson is the first city you approach as cross the border into the state of Wisconsin off Interstate-94. Kick the family road trip off right with some decadent treats from Knoke’s Chocolates and Nuts in historic and popular downtown Hudson. Your kids will be thrilled by with the hard served ice cream, homemade chocolates and locally created tasty sweets. Time to burn those calories! Next take a stroll along Lakefront Park. You will find several spots to capture a family selfie featuring the scenic St. Croix River.  Don’t be stingy with the digital pics--take one at each perfect site and sort them out on your way to the next destination!

Collage of food truck, cheese curds in Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery

2. Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery in Ellsworth, WI. 
Can you even call it a family vacation to Wisconsin if you don’t try cheese?! That’s right, your next stop is the Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery, also known as “Wisconsin’s Cheese Curd Capital”! Featuring squeaky cheese curds, fried cheese curds and delicious ice cream, this stop is Dairy Heaven. Get ready for some classic “cheesy” jokes from the kids in the backseat.

Crystal Cave arch and entrance in Spring Valley, WI

3. Crystal Cave in Spring Valley, WI (Closed in 2020).
Don't forget your good camera and some warm clothes. Your next stop, Crystal Cave, is 70 feet below ground level and averages 50 degrees each day. Discovered in 1881 by Wisconsin farm boys, this 1-hour cave tour highlights unique features of the cave and teaches you about the history of bats and geology of caves. Get ready for some stunning social media-worthy photos that will have your friends and family asking where the heck you are!

Bison in chain link pin at Menomonie Lions Club Game Park

4. Menomonie Lions Club Game Park in Menomonie, WI 
Ready to see some large animals? The Menomonie Lions Game Park features several game animals including elk, deer and bison. This is a perfect opportunity for the family to stretch legs and explore the game park with a 20-30 minute self guided tour.

Eau Claire Family Fun Things to Do

5. Family Fun in Eau Claire, WI
The fun doesn’t end! You’ve made it to your final destination—the finale of the trip—Playful City, USA! Whether a self-guided sculpture tour is calling your name, go-karts and axe-throwing are racing through your mind or Insta-worthy murals are on your bucket list, this family vacation will create nostalgic memories for years to come. For inspiration, browse the favorite places to play, top family-friendly attractions, and events that you won’t want to miss while you’re visiting. If you have any questions or would like some additional recommendations, call us at 715-831-2345 or message us on Facebook.

After spending a few days in Eau Claire, this family road trip will leave you longing for more time in America’s Dairyland. Make it a family tradition by jumping on I-94 and coming to Eau Claire every year. We can’t wait to welcome you back!