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.
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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
January - Time to Embrace Winter Sports
February - Fun Indoor Fitness Ideas
Sunday, February 26, 2023: Indoor Race Against Racism
Minneapolis Sports Center, YWCA Midtown, 2121 East Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55407
The YWCA is holding this family-friendly race indoors. All children will receive a ribbon for finishing. Participate in other fun activities in the Minneapolis Sports Center. 8am-1pm. Kids FREE; Adults $20. Register here.
March Into Family Sports & Fitness
March 25, 2023: Hot Dash Tater Trot
Boom Island Park, 724 Sibley St. NE Minneapolis, MN 55413
Kids can participate in either the 5K or 10K; or enter the kid-friendly one mile, half mile or pre-K dashes. Earn a finish line medal and a Hot Dash Miir 16oz tumbler—to keep your favorite drinks perfectly cold, or warm. 8am-11am. Learn more and sign up: Adult Registration $35-$80; FREE for kids 18 years and younger.
Get Outdoors for April Family Sports & Fitness
April 29, 2023: Get in Gear
Minnehaha Park, 4801 South Minnehaha Park Drive, Minneapolis, MN 55417
5K, 10K & half marathon. Free training with Trackster. All participants get a free shirt. As always, kids run FREE at Twin Cities in Motion races. Learn more and sign up: Adult Registration $35-$90; FREE for kids 18 years and younger.
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:
- The Best St Paul Bike Trails for Families
- The Best Minneapolis Bike Trails for Families
- The Best Bike Trails in the Twin Cities Northeast Metro
Or try out the Carver Lake Bike Playground!
May Family Sports & Fitness
May 20, 2023: Women Run the Cities & Kids Run the Cities
Minnehaha Park, 4801 South Minnehaha Park Drive, Minneapolis, MN 55417
5K, 10K & 10 mile. Free training with Trackster. All participants get a free shirt. As always, kids run FREE at Twin Cities in Motion races. Learn more and sign up: Adult Registration $35-$80; FREE for kids 18 years and younger.
FALL - Marathon & More
Saturday September 30, 2023: 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. 8am-12pm. FREE. Save the Date for 2023: Saturday, September 30 – Sunday, October 1, 2023.
2023 TBA: Autumn Woods Classic
Elm Creek Park Reserve, 12400 James Deane Parkway, Maple Grove, MN 55369
An experience for the whole family to run/walk a 10K, 5K, or 1K. Enjoy the fun of Camp S’More, including family-friendly activities, music, games, prizes, and S’mores! 7am-12pm. $10-$40/pp.
13 Anytime Family Fitness Ideas
- Go Bowling. Our junior reporter, Andy shared his favorite kid-friendly bowling alleys: A Strike of Fun: Twin Cities Bowling Alleys.
- Take a Family Bike Ride.
- Play Backyard Games Together: 60 Fun Outdoor Games for Kids
- At Home Activities: 45+ Fun Physical Activities for Kids of All Ages, Categorized.
- Explore Local Parks. Don’t know where to start? We have over 400 park reviews in our directory.
- 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.
- Go mini golfing. The Twin Cities has both indoor and outdoor options: FFTC’s Guide to Mini Golf Courses in the Twin Cities.
- Grab some Frisbees and try disc golf. There are plenty of free courses in local parks: Disc Golf in the Twin Cities.
- 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.
- Try Ziplining! We Like Kerfoot Adventure Park.
- Join A Family-Inclusive Community Center. Find a List of Family-Friendly Community Centers Here.
- Go on a StoryWalk – Parks around the Twin Cities host story trails throughout the year – but particularly in the warmer months.
- Visit A Challenge Course:
Anytime Online Offerings
- The YMCA offers streaming workout videos for all ages. Most of this is adult-oriented, but they have a series of youth soccer videos.
- Core Power Yoga has on demand classes.
- 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.
- 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!”
- 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.
Find a Nearby Park Here: Twin Cities Parks & Playgrounds Search
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.
Active Play & Sports Birthday Parties
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.
5) Go swimming.
This may be just a once a week–maybe even less–activity, but it is fun for the whole family.
Creative Exercise Alternatives
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.
2023: Currently virtual and pay-as-you-can. Contact Tapestry to get a link.
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.