So you always complain of the fleeting summers, reveling of the afterthoughts of green pastures, the smell of fresh morning dew and the smell of freshly cut grasses that idles in your mind. Speculating what’s outside you approach the window to stare into nothingness, seeing seclusion, the painstaking suffocation of realization peering into another day of blanketed white snow, the cold harsh winter. Although winter’s set afoot in Minnesota, fear not, there are plenty of places in the Twin Cities Metro area to keep you plus your kids entertained without breaking the bank.
1. Your city’s community center: Minnesota is all about the community. You’ll be surprise that your city may offer a lot of winter activities as well as indoor activities at your local community center. All the cities in Minnesota has a website that you can access online, or you can simply look up your city’s telephone number in the phone book and find a contact number to call to find out about winter activities or about your city’s community center. A lot of times they will offer brochures about their community center when calling in to inquire.
Recommendation of Cities that have built a great community center
Shoreview Community Center
Activities: Indoor aquatic water park/pool, large indoor adventure playground with toddler play area, gymnasium with tennis tables, meeting and event center, fitness center, indoor track, and much more. You can check them out at www.shoreviewcommunitycenter.com to find out more information about their prices on each activity.
Maple Grove Community Center
Activities: Indoor aquatic water park/pool, huge indoor Maple Maze playground with toddler play area, gymnasium, meeting and event center, Teen Center with arcade center with billiard table and foosball table, indoor ice rink, and much more. You can check them out at www.maplegrovemn.gov/community-center to find more information about this community center, and the activities that they have to offer.
Edina Parks and Recreation: Edinborough Park
Activities: Adventure Peak indoor playground, indoor pool and track, birthday party center, gymnasium, a running track and fitness area, and all connected by meandering pathways of a densely landscaped interior garden. To find out more, go check them out at www.edinboroughpark.com.
2. Science Museum of Minnesota
If you haven’t had a chance to get your child out there you’ve been missing out on a lot of fun activities that the he/she can partake on, some interactive and hands on activities that they’ll be sure to enjoy. The Science Museum of Minnesota has 5 permanent exhibit galleries: Mississippi River Gallery, Human Body Gallery, Collections Gallery, Experiment Gallery, and Dinosaurs and Fossils Gallery, and there’s always a bonus exhibit that they’ll feature over a temporary time span, but it’s ever changing. There are a total of 4 floors that you will visit while you are there, so be sure to plan out your day and make it worth it. Go check them out at www.smm.org for more information on your visit.
3. Minnesota Children’s Museum
Every 3rd Sunday of each month the Minnesota Children’s Museum offers free entrance. This center hold truth to their motto, “Sparking children’s learning through play.” At the Minnesota Children’s Museum your child will have active play and hands-on learning with the activities that they can encounter in the exhibits that this institute offers. Make sure you check them out at www.mcm.org to plan your trip, or learn what they have to offer for your child.
4. Como Zoo and Conservatory
Although it’s cold outside you can still enjoy some of Como’s indoor and outdoor if you’d like to brave the cold of winter. There are still a lot to see and do even with some hands-on activities for the kids. Don’t be surprise as this may be another trip that you may end up doing year over year during the winter months. Go check out www.comozooconservatory.org for more information to plan your next visit.
5. Minnesota Zoo
Even during winter, the Minnesota Zoo is thriving. There are plenty of indoor exhibits that you can keep the kids oohing and aahing due to the many specimens of animals that the zoo has to offer—this zoo wasn’t called Minnesota Zoo for nothing. Before you go out there, make sure you plan your visit, go to www.mnzoo.org to set up a daily itinerary for you on your day of visit. They’re always updating their website daily to include the day’s special events/live shows, be sure to check that out before you get out there so that you don’t miss out on those activities.
6. The plethora of indoor malls in the Twin Cities
Mall of America: 4 story complex with a gross area of 4,870,000 total square feet of retail shops, restaurants, and entertainments galore, and home to Nickelodeon Universe with many other side attractions as Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium, American Girl, Lego, Theatres at MOA, A.C.E.S. Flight Simulation Center, Build-A-Bear Workshop, House of Comedy, Moose Mountain Adventure Golf, Amazing Mirror Maze, Universe of Light, and Barbie Dream house Experience. With the plethora of attractions you can find yourself here with the kids being entertained all day. For more information go check out www.mallofamerica.com.
Rosedale Mall: A great hang out location for teens and everyone alike. With 3 department stores Macy’s, Herberger’s, and JCPenney, and over 150 retail shops. Rosedale offers a friendly family oriented environment that features The Norwood Play Area, an indoor toddler play area, in addition just a few steps away from the indoor mall the AMC Theathres of Rosedale is there to entertain all who’s looking to catch a flick, plus to compliment this all there are 6 full service restaurants: Big Bowl Fresh Chinese and Thai, Flame Rotisserie & Grill, Granite City Food & Brewery, Green Mill Restaurant & Bar, Romano’s Macaroni Grill, and Ruby Tuesday Restaurant. For more information go check out www.myrosedale.com.
Maplewood Mall: There’s a great working vintage carousel smack in the middle of the shopping mall for kids enjoyment with a nominal fee, also the mall offers a toddler play area next to the food court. With over 130 shops and featuring 4 department stores that anchor this mall, they are JCPenny, Kohl’s, Macy’s, and Sears, this is one location that the kids would enjoy, so you can be guilt free in shopping for yourself as well. For more information go check out www.simon.com/mall/maplewood-mall.
There are plenty more destinations that you can add to this list. Make your list, and send us your thoughts of places, destinations, and locations that you’ve been that didn’t make it on our list. Sharing your comments and feedbacks may broaden the horizon for many other Minnesotans that may want to learn about other ideas to fill their time during the long winter months. Hope this help everyone out there, subscribe to Hmoodle and we will update you if we learn about more places that you can visit during the winter months, or you can simply e-mail us at [email protected].