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.
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Wood Lake Nature Center is Richfield's 150-acre natural space. Visit to observe wildlife, take a class as a family, hike the trails and view the indoor educational exhibits. Naturalists are available to answer questions during building hours.
Park amenities include several wildlife viewing areas, an amphitheater, space to picnic, and three miles of trails and boardwalks. The trails are either blacktop or crushed limestone and most are can be navigated with a stroller, however bikes and rollerblades are not allowed on these paths. When snow permits, cross-country ski trails are open. Pets are not allowed at Wood Lake.
Wood Lake Nature Center's Low Impact Scavenger Hunt
Because Wood Lake is dedicated to preserving its natural environment, they have created a low impact scavenger hunt. Unlike most scavenger hunts, this hunt does not require the player to collect items. Instead, the list contains things like sounds, sights, and experiences. For those kids who really want to gather things, Wood Lake suggests picking up any trash you find on your hunt. Maybe you can have a contest to see which kid can find the most. You could also bring a camera to "collect" many of these items. Find the Rules and the Scavenger Hunt List Here.
For other similar hunts, see Beyond Pokémon Go: Twin Cities Quests for Families.
Winter at Wood Lake Nature Center
Wood Lake has two traditional-style ski trails. One is slightly over 1 1/2 miles and the other is slighlty over a 1/2 mile. Both trails wind around the marsh and through the woods. Skis and snowshoes are available to rent at affordable rates: $8 for 16-55 years old; $4 for under 16 or over 55 (and free for members to borrow) on a first come, first served basis. Call 612-861-9365 for more information and weather updates. Trails are open Monday-Saturday 9:00 am-3:30 pm and Sunday 12:30 pm-3:30 pm weather permitting.
Birthday Parties at Wood Lake Nature Center
Birthday Party Packages start at $115 for up to 10 children and come in a variety of themes. Two-hour parties include a naturalist-led activity and use of the party room with tables, chairs, and tablecloths.
For a do-it-yourself party, the Emily Day Pavilion can be rented for $80/4 hours. This pavilion has the capacity for 40 people and has electricity. Or if you have a winter birthday, the fireplace room is available for $45-$50/hour.
For More Birthday Party ideas, we have created FFTC’s Ultimate Guide to Birthday Parties in the Twin Cities
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