Family Fun Twin Cities - Family Sports & Fitness

Family Sports & Fitness – Family Friendly Activities to Get Moving

Family Sports and Fitness are a great way to spend time together. A 2018 study has found that fathers who exercise raise healthier children – even into adulthood. Why not find fun ways to set that 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. We keep a running list (haha punny) of events that have been submitted to us here.

If you have a sporting event you would like to share, please keep in mind our parameters and mission. Events must be something that can be participated in as a family and it must be a stand-alone event with no long-term commitment. Please feel free to email Joy with your submissions 

Table of Contents

August Family Exercise

Fitness in the Park Opportunities

Each Summer, park systems around the Twin Cities offer free, drop-in group fitness classes. These are great opportunities for families. Kids ages 10+ (and sometimes younger) are welcome to join their parents or they can play on the playground while Mom and/or Dad gets a workout with a supportive community. 

We’ll list links to local programs as they are announced. Feel free to leave a comment if we miss one.

Year Round: St. Paul Fitness in the Parks:

Free outdoor exercise programs in the summer months and inexpensive indoor programs in the cooler months. Find a calendar of current offerings here.

st. paul fitness in the parks
Image courtesy St. Paul Parks

June 6-August 27, 2022: Shakopee Fitness in the Park:

Huber Park, 150 Fillmore St. N., Shakopee, MN 55379
Zumba, Yoga and Boot Camp classes offered on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. Family Zumba is Wednesday 6:45-7:30pm. Drop-in. Learn more here.

June 13-August 15, 2022: Crystal Fitness in the Parks:

Becker Park, 5501 Douglas Dr N., Crystal, MN 55428
Bassett Creek Park, 5609 32nd Ave N, Crystal, MN 55422
Yoga flexibility and hip hop dance cardio fitness classes at various times on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Drop-in. Learn more here.

June 7-August 9, 2022: Edina Fitness in the Park:

Rosland Park, 4300 W 66th St, Edina, MN 55435

Fitness classes led by local fitness professionals. Adults can participate in a variety of classes, like boot camp and yoga while kids explore the universal playground. Tuesdays 6pm-7pm. Registration Required.

June 11-October 1, 2022: Eden Prairie Fitness in the Parks:

Staring Lake Amphitheatre, 14800 Pioneer Trail, Eden Prairie, Minnesota 55347

Free classes are offered at the Staring Lake Amphitheatre Monday through Friday. With a special Family Yoga on Mondays at 6pm. Find all the dates on Eden Prairie’s community calendar.

Get the Bikes Out!!

Anne and family have been mapping the best Bike Trails in the Twin Cities. These are great for older kids with some endurance:

Or try out the Carver Lake Bike Playground!

August 6, 2022: Tiny Tot Triathlon

M Health Fairview Sports Center, 4125 Radio Drive, Woodbury, MN 55129
Bike, walk/run and splash in this triathlon for kids 2-5 and their big helper. 9am-11:15am. $6.00 Register by age/time for Event #550916.

August 11, 2022: Zombie Apocalypse Chase: Run and Get it DONE

Carver Lake Park, 3175 Century Ave S, Woodbury, MN 55125
Participants are challenged to return plutonium rocks before mad scientists can stop them. Kids can dress as zombies if they want. 8pm-9pm. $21.00 Register for Event #550911-03.

Lake Nokomis, 5001 Lake Nokomis Parkway West, Minneapolis, MN 55417
An casual, untimed community fun run/walk against racism. The YWCA makes every effort to accommodate adaptive participants in this event. 9am-11:15am. $40/adult & teens; Children under 10 can register for free. Virtual options are available. Register here.

Red shoe with a white heart running of "5K" - Race Forward 2-Day 5K Run/Walk

August 19, 2022: Splash and Dash at BreakAway Kids Tri

Elm Creek Swimming Pond, 12420 James Deane Pkwy, Maple Grove, MN 55369
Kids ages 4-17 and their parents, can join the Family Splash & Dash — a 100-yard swim in shallow water followed by a 1-mile obstacle course run. All participants receive a race shirt, personalized name bib and finisher’s medal. 4–7 p.m. $22.40-$28/racer. Register Here.

August20, 2022:  BreakAway Kids Tri

Elm Creek Swimming Pond, 12420 James Deane Pkwy, Maple Grove, MN 55369
Minnesota’s biggest kid-only Triathlon. Participants receive a race shirt, personalized name bib and finisher’s medal. Starts at 9 a.m. $31-20-$29/racer. Register Here.

August 20, 2022: Energy for Life Walkathon: Minnesota

Normandale Lake Bandshell, 5901 W 84th St, Bloomington, MN 55438
The Energy for Life Walkathon event is a fun-filled family event with music, kids activities, food, raffle, silent auction and merchandise at the event and raises awareness and money to support the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation.  8:45am-11:30am. FREE to Attend. Register to Walk Here.

September Family Sports:

September 17, 2022: Mighty Mites Triathlon

Brookview Park, 200 Brookview Parkway North, Golden Valley, MN 55426
Preschool triathletes in two age groups will bike, run and end with a splash. 10am-Noon.  $10-$12/tot.  Register for Event #S1293.

September 24, 2022: St. Jude Walk/Run Twin Cities

Elm Creek Park Reserve, 12400 James Deane Pkwy, Maple Grove, MN 55369
A family-friendly event. Registration is free and participants have the option to fundraise for St. Jude and earn cool incentives. In person or virtual. 8:30am Registration begins; 10:15 fun run begins.  FREE.  Register Here.

October - Marathon & More

October 2, 2022: Twin City Marathon Family Events

State Capitol Grounds, 75 Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard., St Paul, MN 55155 
Free Kids events for all ages Diaper Dash to 5K plus family activities. 8pm-12pm. FREE. Register for Family Events Here.

13 Anytime Family Fitness Ideas:

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. 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. Go mini golfing. 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.
  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. Visit A Challenge Course:

Anytime Online Offerings:

YMCA Family with basketball
The YMCA Promotes Playing
  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.

Exercise with Kids in the Parks:

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.

Here is a list of our favorite ways to break a sweat in the park:

  • Volleyball. Nets are up in local parks for most of the warmer seasons.
  • Basketball. Almost all parks have basketball courts. Practice shots, play a game of HORSE or Around the World or just do some dribbling drills.
  • Baseball 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.
  • Dodgeball. Any park with approximately 30 square feet of open space can host a dodgeball game.
  • Soccer. Another sport that only needs an open space to practice.
  • Gaga Ball. More and more parks are adding gaga pits.
  • Racquetball. Even if a park doesn’t have racquetball courts, you can practice against a brick wall.
  • Pull Ups on the monkey bars. A few minutes of play with your kids will work your arm muscles.
  • Swings. Whether you are pushing your kids or swinging yourself, the swings can be a muscle strengthening exercise.
  • Run. Do fun styles like high knees or butt kicks. Or do a other fun races like bear crawl or crab walk.
  • Open Gym. Saint Paul and Minneapolis, in particular, offer regular open gym times at most of their recreation centers. 
Find a list of ideas for getting kids appropriately active from Table 3-1 of Health.Gov’s Physical Activity Guidelines

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
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