Get Moving: Open Play, Gym & Swim Spots for Tots in the Twin Cities


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Tot Time Open Gym was my savior when my firstborn was a squirrelly toddler who needed a space to run off his pent-up wintertime energy. A few years later, I had four littles under the age of 7 who were climbing the walls and testing the limits of my sanity. Perhaps you find yourself in the same boat? Browse through the listings below to find an open gym, open playtime or open swim near you and treat yourself to a (near) guaranteed naptime:

PRESCHOOL OPEN PLAY & GYM at COMMUNITY REC CENTERS

Apple Valley Community Center: Parent/Tot Time & Preschool Open Gym
14603 Hayes Rd., Apple Valley

When: Ongoing Mon, Wed, Fri  • 9:30-11am
Ages/Cost: 5 & under w/ caregiver • FREE
Details: Burn off some energy with other kids, develop motor skills and coordination. A special tot time for tykes ages 2 & under is held from 9-9:30am followed by open play for 5 & under until 11.

Andover Community Center: Tot Time Open Gym & Activities
15200 Hanson Blvd NW, Andover

When: Most Mon & Tues through April 2017 • 9:30-11:30am
Ages/Cost: 6 & under w/ caregiver • $3-$4/child
Details: Drop in for unstructured play time and special activities such as a bounce house, book swap and craft days. Be sure to check the calendar for the latest schedule.

Braemar Field: Tot Time
7509 Ikola Way, Edina

When: Ongoing Mon & Wed • 9-11am
Ages/Cost: At your discretion (w/ adult) • $3/child
Details: Room to run, age appropriate toys and some organized games. Keep in mind when dressing – temp is set at 55 degrees. Also, Family Night is hosted ongoing Saturdays, 6:30-8:30pm, at $5/pp.

Brookview Community Center: Preschool Playtime
200 Brookview Pkwy S, Golden Valley

When: Fridays through March 31, 2017 • 10-11:30am
Ages/Cost: 1-5 w/ caregiver • $2 per child, under 1 year free
Details: A variety of play areas will be set up for kids to run, jump, crawl and roll indoors.

Chaska Community Center: Tot Time
1661 Park Ridge Dr, Chaska

When: Mon, Wed-Fri • times vary, see this page for details
Ages/Cost: 6 & under for most activities, 5 & under for tot gym • $5.75/pp resident youth, $7.50/pp non-resident youth, caregivers free
Details: Lots to choose from here: Mondays bring art projects in the craft room, open gym with special tot toys is hosted Wednesdays & Thursdays, splash around during Tot Time Swim Mondays, Fridays & Sundays, and try out ice skating with your little one on Wednesdays (skate rental $2).

An awesome place to find Tot Time locations and other activities to do with my preschool child.

Image courtesy Chaska Parks

An awesome place to find Tot Time locations and other activities to do with my preschool child.Eagan Community Center: Open Gym
1501 Central Pkwy, Eagan

When: Mon-Fri • 9-11:30am
Ages/Cost: 1-5 • $4 per child, under 18 mons free
Details: A variety of fun toys and sport equipment are available to play in the gym as well as play time in the Blast Indoor playground.  The first Monday of the month features a bouncer for extra entertainment.

Eden Prairie Community Center: Tot Time Open Gym
16700 Valley View Rd, Eden Prairie

When: Mon-Fri • 9:30-11:30am (9:15-11:30 Thurs)
Ages/Cost: Best for ages 1-4 • $4/pp ages 1-4, $5/pp ages 5+, under 1 and caregivers free.
Details: Participate in free play with balls, hoops, scooters, jump ropes, tumbling mats, parachutes, music and more. For $6/pp, admission to the Prairie Play Zone indoor playground is included.

Gleason’s Gymnastic School: Preschool Open Gym
2015 Silver Bell Rd. Suite 180, Eagan

When: Wed • 9:30-11:30am & Fri • 9:30-11:30 and 12-2pm/
Ages/Cost: 0-6 • $8/child or $10/family
Details: Have the run of the equipment! Kids can jump on the trampolines, launch themselves into the foam pit, walk the balance beam, follow obstacle courses, swing from the trapeze and more.
AND
9775 85th Ave N. Suite 500, Maple Grove
When: Wed/Fri • 9:30-11:30am

PicMonkey Collage gleasons - Copy

Hopkins Pavilion: Play Place & Turf Tots
11000 Excelsior Blvd, Hopkins

When: Play Place is open Mon-Fri now through March 1, 2017 • 9-10:30am & 10:30am-noon. Turf Tots will be hosted in the spring.
Ages/Cost: 9 mon-5 years • Play Place is $3/child, Turf Tots $4/child, caregivers free
Details: Through the end of February, Play Place is a drop-in program where kids can play with equipment including balls, crawl tunnels, bounce houses, blocks, and more. In the spring, the playtimes moves to the indoor turf where there’s more room to run!

An awesome place to find Tot Time locations and other activities to do with my preschool child.

Maple Grove Community Center: Parent/Tot Time
12951 Weaver Lake Rd, Maple Grove

When: Mon & Wed • 10-11:30am
Ages/Cost: Best for ages 5 & under • $2.50/resident youth, $3/non-res youth, caregivers free

Minneapolis Parks: Parent & Tot Indoor Playground

When: Times & parks vary
Ages/Cost: 5 & under with caregiver • FREE
Details: Finding tot times in the Minneapolis parks can be tricky. Click the above link and type “parent tot” into the activity search box to get a list of parks that offer drop-in play with scooters, balls, tumbling mats and more. You’ll need to sign up for an active pass, but it is free and you can do that the first time you go in.

New Brighton Community Center: Preschool Open Gym

When: Mon & Wed excluding holidays and school breaks • 10:30am-1:30pm
Ages/Cost: Preschool & under with caregiver • Admission to open gym is included in the price of admission to Eagles Nest Indoor Playground, $5.50/child, caregiver free.
Details: Gym equipment includes a bouncer, crawl tubes, mats, tumbling blocks and more.

Plymouth Field House: Open Play
14800 34th Ave., Plymouth

When: Mon, Wed, Fri starting 10/31/16 • 10:30am-1:30pm
Ages/Cost: Best for ages 3-5 • $4/resident youth, $5/non-resident youth, caregivers free
Details: During the chilly months, heat in the field house is turned on to 55 degrees for fun with inflatables, slides, nets and lots of space to run the kids ragged.

Saint Louis Park Rec Center: Little Tot Playtime
3700 Monterey Dr, St Louis Park

When: Tues-Fri through March 25 (begins Nov. 9, 2016) • 9:30-11:30am
Ages: 1-5 with caregiver
Cost: $2 per child
Details: Bounce in the inflatables, ride the big wheelers, play dress up or build with blocks on the creative carpet.

St. Paul Recreation Center Tot Times

When: Daily Mon-Fri • Times vary depending on location
Ages: 5 & under with caregiver
Cost: Free
Details: 16 recreation centers across St. Paul offer free, drop-in sessions of open play with a variety of scooters, balls, mats, and small slides available. Click the above bold link to find the center nearest you.


indoor-playgrounds

TWIN CITIES INDOOR PLAYGROUNDS & PLAY CENTERS

INDOOR PLAYGROUNDS – click the above graphic for all the details!

  • Adventure Peak at Edinborough Park, Edina
  • Atrium at Playworks, Prior Lake
  • Blast Indoor Playground, Eagan
  • Brown Family Adventure Park, Ham Lake
  • Chaska Community Center Playroom, Chaska
  • Eagles Nest Indoor Playground, New Brighton
  • Giggle Factory, Hudson WI
  • Good Times Park, Eagan
  • Lookout Ridge Indoor Playground, Woodbury
  • Maple Maze, Maple Grove
  • Monkey House, White Bear Lake
  • Prairie Play Zone, Eden Prairie
  • Pump It Up, Plymouth
  • SkyZone Indoor Trampoline Park, Oakdale & Plymouth
  • Tropical Adventure Indoor Playground, Shoreview
  • Williston Treehouse, Minnetonka

INDOOR PLAY SPACES

Kid Oasis: Open Play Time
120 Main Street S, Stillwater

When: Mon-Thurs 9am-7pm, Fri 9am-4pm, & Sat 9am-1pm
Ages/Cost: $5.50/child ages 5 mons-8 yrs, 2 adults free w/ child
Details: Discover the power of free play alongside activities designed to encourage creativity and thinking skills.

Pinwheel Play
1256 Park Road, Chanhassen

When: Open daily, 7am-9pm
Ages/Cost: $8.50/child ages 1+, adults free w/ paying child
Details: This brand new 5,000 square feet space includes equipment for large-motor play, an art room, rotating activity stations, engaging toys and much more.

An awesome place to find Tot Time locations and other activities to do with my preschool child.Rainbow Play Systems: Pay to Play
900 West 80th Street.  Bloomington, MN 55420
When: Mon-Sat • 10am-4pm, Sun • 11am-3pm
Ages/Cost: All ages • $7 per child weekdays, $9/weekends
Details: Pay to Play includes a 2-hour block of playtime on the showroom equipment.

Wishing Tree Play Cafe
1011 Meadowlands Dr Suite 2, White Bear Township

When: Mon-Fri 9am-8pm, Sat 8:30am-1pm
Ages/Cost: $3.50-$7 ages 9 mons+
Details: A beautiful new space with ample room for large motor play, art activities, classes and workshops.


TOT OPEN SWIM AT TWIN CITIES WATERPARKS & POOLS

Swimming can be a wonderful way to squeeze in a workout during the frigid winter months in Minnesota. Use this list of Twin Cities Indoor Waterparks and Pools to find tot swims, open swims and special ways to save on splashing your way through the winter.


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About the author

Anne Kingston

If we left it up to Anne to write her own bio, it would never get posted. She doesn't enjoy talking about herself, but Anne does love exploring the Twin Cities with her family and sharing her finds here. She, her husband and their four kids are lifelong residents of St. Paul.

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