In Minnesota, family fun outdoors means embracing all four seasons. If you are on this page because you are looking for a new Twin Cities-area park, playground or nature center to explore, hundreds of entries can be found through our Parks & Playgrounds Search feature. Or, continue searching hundreds more ideas of things to do with kids in the Twin Cities through our Family Directory, including family outings, services, classes, camps, birthday parties and more.
Family Fun Directory of Things To Do with Kids:
The Minneapolis Toy Library is a toy lending program which seeks to reduce waste, foster child development, and build community in the Minneapolis area. The toy library opened in spring of 2015 and by summer of 2016 it was receiving some national attention for its innovative model. In March of 2016, they shared their story in a webinar through the Center for the New American Dream, How to Start Your Own Toy Library. They have also received acknowledgment through a Hennepin County Green Partners Grant. The Toy Library continues to expand both their collection and their services.
Besides their commitment to the environment and economy through fostering good stewardship of toys, I am also very impressed with their practice using a portion of their grant money to purchase toys made by local toy makers.
The Toy Library has recently found a permanent home at Richfield Lutheran Church in Minneapolis. This has addressed some of my early concerns with the program. Lending events are scheduled every other week on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings. Members can pick out toys and return toys from previous events at these times. Toys may be borrowed for up to four weeks. The fine for late toys is $1.00 if you can't make it to an event to return your toys (or arrange to return them prior to an event).
Is the Minneapolis Toy Library Right for You?
If your schedule works with their open hours, you don't want to have an over-abundance of toys cluttering up your home, and you have transportation, the Toy Library could be your best friend. Even at the increased $40/year, you would have a hard time beating that price and variety, even shopping secondhand.
As the Minneapolis Toy Library grows, they continue to try to address barriers to membership. Recently, they made this suggestion on Facebook, that responds to transportation issues:
Minneapolis Toy Library Upcoming Events