Rochester visit with child (9) - help with things to do/where to stay

Posted by jamiemco @jamiemco, Nov 16 7:41am

Hello! I'll be going to Mayo in Rochester in January. My mom and daughter (9) will be accompanying me. I would like to have a hotel that has a shuttle for early morning appointments (don't want to wake the family) and a kitchenette. I see there are quite a few but would love feedback from people who stayed there and can give more honest feedback.
I saw in a post that some hotels even allow you to use the wheelchairs from Mayo but I imagine I'd need to stay close enough to truly borrow the chair. I have mobility but it depends on the day and the length of time I have to be on my feet. I often end up using a wheelchair to just help on the hard days and would love the flexibility.

I see there's quite a few indoor experiences my daughter could participate in but would love suggestions if you have been there yourself!
Thanks in advance for suggestions!

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@jamiemco Does your 9-year-old ice skate? Soldier’s Field has a fantastic ice rink. If she doesn’t skate and is interested you can rent skates and she can use a walker-kind-of-device to hang on to to help her stay upright on the beginner’s rink. The device will be right there are the rink for her. There are lots of families with very young children who use the beginner’s rink. She can watch the locals play ice hockey too. There was some construction going on around that area of Soldier’s Field (it’s close to downtown) when I was last in Rochester so I don’t know all of what is available but when I was in Rochester in January in 2022 there was also a place to warm up and get hot cocoa.

Soldiers Field in Winter:
Also, ice cream in winter? Yup, it’s available in Rochester at an independently owned ice cream store called Flapdoodles.


Hi @jamiemco, these are great questions. The specific question about the wheelchair may be worth reaching out to Concierge Services ( to ask if the local hotels have wheelchairs or where you can take them (either off or on campus).

Minnesota in January is obviously a gamble on what the weather will be like, but @naturegirl5's suggestion of Soldiers Field and the skating rinks is a good one. It is a fun area and pretty accessible if you park in the Soldier Field golf course parking lot. You'll want to click this link as the time gets closer to see when skate rentals are available as it typically only Sat/Sun:

Quarry Hill nature center is another great place to visit. They have a small indoor area with some fish tanks, bird watching, digital microscopes, and other animals. They also have trails to explore and a track wheelchair you can reserve (not sure on winter availability):

If your daughter needs to burn some energy, you could let her go crazy at Air Insanity indoor trampoline park,

Both Quarry Hill and Air Insanity are not far from downtown, but would require a car or some sort of ride to get to.

@jamiemco, if you are comfortable sharing, will you have your own way of getting around? You mentioned the shuttle service for early morning appointments so you don't wake your family, but will you have an alternate way of getting around once everyone is up and moving? This may help members with their suggestions if the goal is keeping it near the downtown area hotels and hospital.


Hello @jamiemco. There are so many good options in Rochester that may fit your needs. For Hotels I have a list of a few places that have a shuttle, kitchenette and even a pool for the kiddo. They all will have a discounted rate for Mayo Clinic patients.

Centerstone Plaza 507-288-2677
Home2Suites 507-361-4200
Residence Inn-South 507-923-2141
Broadway Plaza 507-424-4200
Staybridge Suits 507-280-9000
Sleep Inn and Suites 507-282-2364

Mayo Clinic has wheelchairs that are available for patients to use when at the Clinic. You can get one as soon as you come onto campus, and we can even get you a transport staff that push you to the different appointments you have. If you are at one of the hotels that are connected with the walkway system, you are able to take that to and from the hotel. Some of the hotels that are not connected, may have a wheelchair at their location, the booking staff would be able to help with that type of question.

As for activities for your daughter, there are many things in and around Rochester that would be fun for kids of all ages, many of these I have taken my daughter to as well.
Air Insanity
Quarry Hill Nature Center
History Center of Olmsted County
Movie Theaters (CMX Chateau, Hollywood 12-CineMagic and Marcus Wehrenberg Rochester Galaxy 14 + IMAX)
ROCA Climbing & Fitness
SPARK The Children’s Museum of Rochester
The Machine Shed
Oxbow Park & Zollman Zoo
Lark Toys

Please feel free to come by and see our staff at Concierge Services on the Lobby Level of the Mayo Building, we are located at the back of the International Center. We would be glad to share some more options for things while you are here for appointments.

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