Maple Grove, Minnesota, is a suburban retail and park destination just 20 minutes northwest of Central Minneapolis.
It’s often ranked as one of the best places to live for amenities, cost of living, and low poverty rates. Stash Box
In fact, the city is becoming so popular that it recently got its own tourist site instead of just being lumped in with other cities in this northwest section of town.
The population grew more than 12% between 2010 and 2020.
In addition, the city welcomes tourists with a healthy number of hotels right in the heart of the retail district.
The Shoppes at Arbor Lakes creates a small-town within a city vibe, shattering the traditional concept of an American Mall and creating a seemingly endless road of shops, restaurants, parks, entertainment, and spas.
Whether you want a morning cup of coffee after a sunrise run or a nightcap after a fancy dinner, Maple Grove has it all.
As vibrant as the city is, it still holds family-friendly districts as a top priority and offers indoor and outdoor activities in all seasons.
There's a low overall risk here, with plenty of things to see and do. It's close enough to the city while still offering that feeling of home with hotels to fit all budgets.
Maple Grove Transit offers routes around town and a few express routes to and from Minneapolis during rush hours. There is a more robust public bus option at the Starlit Transit Center next door in Brooklyn Park. You can also get taxis and rideshares easily. Having a rental car is another great, safe option.
Watch your stuff here because there were 32 pickpockets or purse snatchings in 2021. That's one of the highest numbers I've seen of any Minnesota city I've researched. On top of that, 42% of all thefts were shoplifting, so you'll likely be near a would-be thief at some point in the retail district. Carry only what you need, leaving the large purses at home, and always keep your purse closed and close to you. For those only carrying a wallet, leave it in the front pants pocket to make it harder to snatch.
This part of Minnesota can get a wide range of weather throughout each season, with severe risks possible. Spring starts tornado season with severe thunderstorms that can produce intense systems that spawn tornadoes. Winter brings blizzards, dangerous cold, and ice storms. While it's important to stay weather aware, you'll get notifications and information on any impending weather event.
Even with a higher theft risk, the robbery risk is low - showing that criminals are more likely to take your stuff by trickery than force. You don't want to let your guard down, especially when walking through shopping mall lots at night, but you should also be more focused on petty theft prevention.
While Maple Grove itself wouldn't be a potential target, the Twin Cities are large enough to always get a higher level of security. There is also a risk of domestic acts of terrorism, making it all the more important to report anything suspicious you see.
There are some pretty elaborate, large-scale scams in Maple Grove, but nothing that should worry a tourist. Since this is such a large shopping area, be careful how my personal information you share when signing up for coupons or reward programs. I have a whole separate email account for my shopping habit, and I never give out my phone number. The way I see it, my phone number is much more valuable than a 20% off coupon or whatever a deal might be.
Since there's so much shopping to do here, women should be careful when carrying around a lot of bags. Shoplifting is also a big problem in this area, and you shouldn't intervene if you see it happening. Just report it to the police or store security. Overall, the risk is low, but you'll need to protect your purchases, receipts, and purse as you see the overwhelming number of stores.
No violations were reported in the 2021 Water Quality Report, and wall water samples met or exceeded the federal and state requirements. Winter visitors should pay attention to any notices about protecting pipes from freezing, which might mean leaving a faucet dripping while you're away.
Experience Maple Grove is a website launched in early 2023 focused solely on the city.
Minneapolis Northwest is the official tourism site for this section of the Twin Cities but does include Brooklyn Center and Brooklyn Park.
That’s great to get information about Maple Grove and the nearby cities without extending to the rest of the region.
If you want to know about the entire metro area, use the Visit Minneapolis website.
The Shoppes at Arbor Lakes is the major shopping district in this section of the region.
It’s an open-air mall where you can walk around, but you’ll want to drive between the surrounding shopping sections, including nearby Maple Grove Crossing.
Walking the entire length of the shopping district will be exhausting, but there are paths if you choose to do so.
Try your skills at WhirleyBall, which is a sport where you drive a bumper car while playing a mix of lacrosse, hockey, and basketball.
If that sounds as complicated to you as it does to me, there are also the options of laser tag, bowling, and an escape room.
Playground Plaza is a great escape on hot summer days or cold winter mornings.
It’s a massive indoor playground and family-friendly facility covering more than 20,000 square feet.
You must buy passes on the website, and an adult needs to supervise children as there will not be staff at the location to do so.
Socks are also required for children at all times. Security cameras are recording at all times.
Maple Maze is another indoor playground option in town.
MiniSota Play Cafe is sort of like a playground, but it’s more for playing “house” or “work” with different mini-worlds for kids to explore their imaginations.
Venetian Indoor Waterpark is yet another indoor activity to enjoy during any season, with sections of the pool for kids of all ages, and it’s connected to a hotel if you want to get the added bonus during your stay.
Central Park is near the shopping district, and it’s so much more than a walking path with a few contains.
From a winter ice rink to a challenging labyrinth to learning the game of Cronkicurl, there’s just so much to do here.
The fountain is really a splash pad with nearly 50 streams of water coming from all directions.
You will also have Elm Creek Park Reserve and Fish Lake Regional Park nearby to explore your favorite seasonal activity, from summer swimming to winter cross-country skiing.
These are also popular fishing areas.
Events are held throughout the year at each park, so check the schedule before you go.
The Hindu Temple of Minnesota is a true gem of Maple Grove.
Several services are held each day.
The design is elaborate, with a main temple and 21 mini temples replicating some of the most cherished Indian temples.
Call in advance if you want to schedule a tour.
You can also attend a service even if you aren’t Hindu.
Maple Grove is, by and large, a safe city to explore, whether it’s the shopping area or the parks.
You should still stay on the main roads and highways, but there isn’t a part of town that is too dangerous to be in.
When you’re dining or shopping at night, use the standard security caution when walking to your car.
Ask for a security officer to escort you if you are alone.
Even in Plymouth, just to the south of Maple Grove, there was a high-profile case where a woman was carjacked in a Target parking lot just before 10:00 pm.
“These types of crimes are unusual for Plymouth, but it is a good reminder that crime can happen anywhere, and it’s important to be aware of your surroundings,” Public Safety Director Erik Fadden commented in a statement released to the media.
If you’re looking at the different cities nearby, like Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center, you should definitely avoid 63rd and Zane Avenue in Brooklyn Center.
That’s a crime hot spot where a lot of focus has been put on catching criminals and working with the community’s youth to offer safer alternatives and activities.
If you’re deciding between the three cities, they rank in this order for safety:
While none of those is among the most dangerous parts of Minneapolis, it’s just good to know the overall ranking for each one since they are grouped together in some tourism sites.
Maple Grove’s biggest challenge in 2022 was shoplifting cases, especially during the holiday season.
42% of all thefts were shoplifting throughout the year.
This makes sense since the area is so focused on shopping.
For those who want to stop a lot here, get a hotel nearby, so you can safely drop off your bags at the hotel before you go to the next section of the district.
The violent crime rate is almost 75% lower than the national average, and just 14% of violent crimes happen against strangers.
This is definitely a part of the Twin Cities that is riskier for petty crime than violent crime.
29% of all thefts were either car break-ins or theft of car accessories, like the super expensive catalytic converters.
For those visiting in winter, rent a car with all-wheel or four-wheel drive and ask if snow tires are an option.
If there’s ice on the streets, stay put.
No vehicle is tough enough to drive across sheets of ice.
If severe thunderstorms are possible on a given day, don’t plan outdoor activities.
Storms can quickly turn dangerous or produce tornadoes, sending you running for cover.
You should also know where the safe room is in your hotel in case a tornado happens overnight.
Maple Grove is one of the safer parts of the Twin Cities, with easy highway access in all directions.
You should study the surrounding communities to know where the bad parts of town are, as you’ll drive through several of them on the way to downtown Minneapolis.
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