Family Sports & Fitness – Family Friendly Activities to Get Moving

Family Fun Twin Cities - Family Sports & Fitness

Participating in family sports and fitness is a great way to spend time together and create strong family bonds through teamwork and family fun. A 2018 study has found that fathers who exercise raise healthier children – even into adulthood. Why not find fun ways to set good examples of healthy lifestyles, get moving with the entire family and have some fun together. Bonus, you avoid childcare expenses when you workout together. 

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Date: April 1 – May 16, 2024
Distance: 30 Minutes a Day
Price: Free.
Details: An all-ages challenge to get moving this spring. Choose your own activities. Participants will track their progress of  being active for 30 minutes every day during the challenge. After completing the challenge, submit your tracking sheet by May 23 to be entered into a drawing for a prize.
More Family Fun: Registered participants who submit their tracking sheets will also receive a free one-time use daily pass to the St. Louis Park Aquatic Park
RegisterRegister through St. Louis Park by April 9, 2024.


Date: April 1 – October 31, 2024
Event AddressOakdale Nature Preserve and Discovery Center, 4444 Hadley Avenue North, Oakdale, MN 55128
Distance: 25-150 mile (collective goal)
Price: Free.
Details: This is only for Oakdale residents. Once registered, report your mileage each time you walk at the Oakdale Nature Preserve. Staff will tally your miles. Earn prizes when you reach 25, 100 & 125 miles.
Register: In person at the Oakdale  Discovery Center beginning April 1st.


Date: May 1-28, 2024
Price: Free.
Details: These challenge is free and open to all ages. Participants log their activity to compete against themselves, others or the community. 
Register: Registration begins April 1, 2024.


Date: May 1, 2024
Time: 6:30pm-7:30pm
Event Address
: Plymouth Community Center, 14800 34th Ave. N., Plymouth, Minnesota 55447
Price: Free.
Details: Kick off your participation in the Step To It Challenge with a leisurely one-hour walk with Plymouth Mayor Jeff Wosje. Snacks and water provided.
Register: No need to register. Just show up.


Date: Saturday, May 4, 2024
Time: 9am
Event Address: Fred Richards Park, 7640 Parklawn Ave, Edina, MN 55435
Distance: 10 miles
Price: $50/family or $25/adult & $15/child.
Proceeds Benefit: A Better Chance Edina, Edina, Youth Frontiers, Circle of Discipline, Edina Education Fund, Oasis for Youth, Urban Ventures
RegisterVia Edina Morningside Rotary Foundation


Date: Saturday, May 4, 2024
Time: 9am Gran, 10am Medio, 11am Piccolo
Event Address: Fulton Brewery, 2540 NE 2nd St, Minneapolis, MN  55418
Distance: Gran 100 miles, Medio 50 miles, Piccolo 24 miles
Price: $60/adult; Kids Free.
Information: The longer rides could be great for families with older, experienced cyclist. The piccolo is perfect for families with smaller kids. 


Date: Thursday, May 9, 2024
Time: 6-7:30pm
Event Address: Augsburg Park, 7000 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55423
Price: $5/child.
Information: Kids in grades K-5, run a one mile cross-country-style running event. 
Register: With the City of Richfield.


Date: Saturday, May 19, 2024
Time: 10am-1pm
Event Address: Lone Lake Park, 5624 Shady Oak Rd, Minnetonka, MN 55343
Price: Free.
Information: A day of family-friendly bike fun, including a community ride, workshops and vendors. 
Learn More: Minnetonka Mountain Bike Opener


Date: Saturdays, June 8, June 22, July 13, July 27, Aug. 10 and Aug. 24, 2024
Time: 8:30am-9:30am.
Event Address: Ridgedale Commons, 12590 Ridgedale Dr, Minnetonka, MN 55305
Price: Free.
Information: Free, drop-in outdoor yoga program. Bring your own mat and water. 


Date: Saturday, June 29, 2024
Time: 8-10am
Event Address: Northwest Greenway Pavilion, 5250 Peony Lane North, Plymouth, Minnesota 55446
: 5K
Price: TBA.
Proceeds Benefit: Production of Music in Plymouth
RegisterVia Music in Plymouth

Minnewashta Mud Run Obstacle Course

Date: Saturday July 13, 2024
Time: Mini: 8:30am; Main: 9:15am
Event Address: Lake Minnewashta Regional Park,6900 Hazeltine Blvd., Chanhassen, MN 55331
Distance: 1.7 or 3.4 miles (1/4 mile Mini Mud Run)
Price: $19-$29/Mini Mud Run; $49-$59/Mud Run
Register: Through Minnetonka Schools.


Date: Saturday, July 27, 2024
Time: Half Marathon 7am; 5K 7:30am
Event Address: Veterans Park, 636 East 66th Street, Richfield, MN 55423.
: Half Marathon & 5K
Price: Starting at $35-$44/5K & $67-$72/Half Marathon. Price increases as the race date approaches.
Proceeds Benefit: Wood Lake Nature Center/Richfield Public Schools
RegisterVia RunSignUp


Date: Saturday, September 21, 2024
Time: Registration 8am; Ceremony & Walk 9:30am
Event Address: Target Field, 1 Twins Way, Minneapolis, MN 55403
: 1 mile or 2+ miles
Price: FREE to Register. Raise $100 to earn a t-shirt.
Proceeds Benefit: Alzheimer’s Association
Register: Via Alzheimer’s Association


Memory Lanes and other bowling alleys
  1. Go Bowling. Our junior reporter, Andy shared his favorite kid-friendly bowling alleys: A Strike of Fun: Twin Cities Bowling Alleys.
  2. Cycling. Take a Family Bike Ride.
  3. Play Backyard Games Together60 Fun Outdoor Games for Kids
  4. At Home Activities: 45+ Fun Physical Activities for Kids of All Ages, Categorized.
  5. Explore Local Parks. Don’t know where to start? We have over 400 park reviews in our directory.
  6. Go Swimming. Or even just play at an Indoor Water Park any time of year. In the summer months pick from outdoor Beaches, Pools, Water Parks & Splash Pads.
  7. Put you way through a miniature golf course. The Twin Cities has both indoor and outdoor options: FFTC’s Guide to Mini Golf Courses in the Twin Cities.
  8. Grab some Frisbees and try disc golf. There are plenty of free courses in local parks: Disc Golf in the Twin Cities. If kids are smaller, just toss a frisbee around in any park or green space.
  9. Try Archery. Although there is an initial cost to starting up this sport, it could be fun for the whole family. Some ranges are only open April to November, but others are year round. Archery Ranges around the Twin Cities.
  10. Try Ziplining! We Like Kerfoot Adventure Park.
  11. Join A Family-Inclusive Community CenterFind a List of Family-Friendly Community Centers Here.
  12. Go on a StoryWalk – Parks around the Twin Cities host story trails throughout the year – but particularly in the warmer months.
  13. Play Table Tennis. Don’t have your own ping pong table? Visit Union Depot on Wednesdays for Games Galore., where they provide table, rackets and ping pong balls.
  14. Practice Yoga. Between Fitness in the Parks programs and Union Depot’s Free Yoga classes, there are so many free opportunities for Yoga in the Twin Cities. Parents with younger children, can bring them along, and if it doesn’t work out, no big loss, try again in a few months. Parents of teenagers, could start a practice together.
  15. Frequent an Indoor Playground or Trampoline Park. Many of our favorite Twin Cities Indoor Playgrounds & Trampoline Parks offer memberships.
  16. Go Canoeing or kayaking. We do live in the Land of Lakes. Find watercraft rentals at many Three Rivers Parks and at the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes Parks.
  17. Take on A Challenge Course:


Most local parks have a variety of sports facilities just waiting for family fun. Consider it your free family health club in the fresh air. You don’t need to keep a great deal of equipment in your car. Many can be used with just an inexpensive playground ball or soccer ball and can be adjusted for family members of all ages. Make this part of your summer lunch routine by choosing a park that offers Free Summer Meals for Kids. If you find a team sport your child loves, the parks also offer affordable youth leagues.

Find a Nearby Park Here: Twin Cities Parks & Playgrounds Search

Here is a list of our favorite sports games and activities to break a sweat in your local park:

  1. Volleyball. Nets are up on the sand courts in local parks for most of the warmer seasons.
  2. Basketball. Almost all parks have basketball courts or half courts. You only need a single hoop to practice shots, play a game of HORSE or Around the World or just do some dribbling drills.
  3. Baseball, Softball or Kickball. If you don’t want to carry all the baseball gear, just bring along a playground ball and make it a family game of kickball.
  4. Dodgeball. Any park with approximately 30 square feet of open space can host a dodgeball game.
  5. Soccer. Another sport that only needs an open space to practice.
  6. Gaga Ball. More and more parks are adding gaga pits.
  7. Racquetball. Even if a park doesn’t have racquetball courts, you can practice against a brick wall. Other racket sports include Tennis and Badminton. Younger kids can practice against a wall or families can adjust the size of the playable court to fit their child’s abilities.
  8. Kite Flying. We love adding kites to Easter baskets for an excuse to play at the park in the spring. We’ve also tried Boomerang Throwing. Both activities can be practiced in any open green space and take some learning but can be fun once you get the hang of it.
  9. Pull Ups on the monkey bars. A few minutes of play with your kids will work your arm muscles. If the ground is dry, add in some Push Ups and Sit Ups.
  10. Swinging. Whether you are pushing your kids or swinging yourself, the swings can be a muscle strengthening exercise.
  11. Park Running. For fun, use an open green space to do running styles like high knees or butt kicks or silly races like bear crawl or crab walk. If you are more serious, check out the training programs designed by Twin Cities in Motion to prepare for a 5K.
  12. Walking, roller skating, skate boarding, and scootering can all be done on the paved paths of city parks. Larger parks often offer hiking and biking paths.
  13. Geocaching & Orienteering. There are geocaches hidden in parks all over the cities. Grab the app from to get started. Orienteering is a little like geocaching, but adds an element of speed. The Minnesota Orienteering Club offers several permanent course maps for local parks for a small fee.
  14. Open Gym. Saint Paul and Minneapolis, in particular, offer regular open gym times at most of their recreation centers. If you can’t find a park location, some of the local gymnastics studios and parkour gyms also offer open gym times for a small fee.
Find a list of ideas for getting kids appropriately active from Table 3-1 of Health.Gov’s Physical Activity Guidelines


  1. The YMCA offers streaming workout videos for all ages. Most of this is adult-oriented, but they have a series of youth soccer videos. 
  2. Core Power Yoga has on demand classes.
  3. Go Noodle is recommended by schools for helping kids stay active in small places with fun exercise videos (some of them featuring Koo Koo Kangaroo!). One of our favorite ways to make screen time a little healthier.
  4. 12Bursts Program is recommended by Three Rivers Parks, for staying active at home: “Our partners at Cycle Health launched a fun new initiative the whole family can do at home! The 12Bursts program encourages physical activity through 12 activity “bursts” of five minutes each. Complete each day’s free Daily Dozen challenge in whatever way best fits your schedule. No special skills or equipment required. Learn more and get started today!”
  5. Play Ball! Minnesota Virtual Academy Webinars – Free webinars from Twins staff and Play Ball! Minnesota partners.

Active Play & Sports Birthday Parties

Family Fun Twin Cities Guide to Birthday Parties in the Twin Cities - You're Invited - Book A Active Play / Sports Birthday Party - Twin Cities Birthday Party Venues & Ideas for Kids
Book an Active Play Birthday Party
5 ways to make family exercise a reality

5 Ways to Fit Simple Fitness into Family Time

Here are five fun sports programs parents can fit into a family lifestyle – even with young children. I have a few ideas as to how to make it a game that you will play, too.

1)    Do simple weightlifting.

But instead of using dumbbells, use soup cans. Everyone can use soup cans. You may need more weight than  a soup can, but this is a great way to introduce weightlifting to your kids.

2)    Do sit-ups with you child sitting on your belly.

Everytime you come up, poke them in the belly.

3)     Line dance together.

While I don’t recommend doing exercise videos together (my kids got bored within 30 seconds), you can teach them some line dances. In my opinion the best one to increase your heart rate is “Cotton-Eyed Joe.”

4)     Try some kid-friendly yoga.

There are lots of videos on YouTube for this. Find a family favorite to promote flexibility and build strong bones for a lifetime of good health.

5)     Go swimming.

This may be just a once a week–maybe even less–activity, but it is fun for the whole family.

2 Creative Exercise Alternatives

1. Family Dance 

Tapestry Folkdance Center’s Family Dance in South Minneapolis.  Every 2nd Saturday from 6:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m., bring your family and learn some European and American folkdances.

2. Aerial Arts

If you want something truly exhilarating, head to NE Minneapolis and sign up for age-appropriate classes at Xelias Aerial Arts Studio owned by Meg Elias Emery.

Twin Cities Fitness Centers

Family Fun Twin Cities - Family Sports & Fitness
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