Twin Cities Guide To Family Activities This Week: December 25-29, 2023

Things to do this week in Minneapolis & St Paul with your kids! 

This guide covers Twin Cities family activities for the week of December 25-29, 2023 — winter break for many. If you are in search of things to do with your family this weekend, jump over to our WEEKEND FAMILY GUIDE.

Weekend Family Guide - Family Fun Twin Cities Banner.

We’re closing out 2023 this week and getting ready to usher in a new year. For more early winter and seasonal inspiration you can check our ULTIMATE 2023 TWIN CITIES HOLIDAY GUIDE, plan ahead with our JANUARY FAMILY GUIDE or consult our FAMILY FUN CALENDAR for more ideas on what to do this week in the Twin Cities with your kids – satisfaction guaranteed (or close to it!)

Things to do in the Twin Cities over winter break!

Fun things to do in the Twin Cities on Monday, December 25, 2023

Merry Christmas to you and yours if you celebrate today! Perhaps you’re caught up in the rush of traveling to visit family or maybe you can cozy up at home with longtime holiday traditions. With most venues closed today it might be a good one to dust off your back-pocket list of indoor games and activities to stay occupied at home. Don’t have one? Please, use ours.

List of Indoor Games & Activities for Kids - Boredom Busters for All Ages

Fun things to do in the Twin Cities on Tuesday, December 26, 2023 

Tot Time Open Gyms in the Twin Cities Minnesota this week

Tot Time Open Gyms on Tuesday:

Most of our area’s regularly scheduled preschool open gyms are on break for the holiday. A few are back in session today with more to follow later this week and next:

TUESDAY FEATURED TOT TIME: Savage Sports Center Tot Time

13450 Dakota Ave S, Savage, MN 55378
An option for those in the southwest metro, Tot Time features activities for the 5 7 under set- inflatables, balls, other sporting equipment and space to run around when it’s chilly. December 26, 2023, 9-11:30am. $3/child.

Twin Cities storytimes on Tuesday:

Most county libraries are on a break from storytime today. The RH Stafford Library in Woodbury is one of the few that offers an option today for stories and other early literacy activities from 10:30-11am. 
BONUS reasons to visit this library: the branch is housed within the indoor WOODBURY CENTRAL PARK. Perk up with lush landscaping, paths and hopefully the floor-to-ceiling windows will let in some sunlight. For those with extra energy to expend, the park is also home to LOOKOUT RIDGE INDOOR PLAYGROUND, one of the top indoor play spaces in the southeast metro. Open December 26, 10am-5pm, just $5.50 per child to play.

Girl walking along paths in Woodbury Minnesota's Indoor Central Park

Winter break theoretically could be an optimal time to explore some outdoor winter activities. While we wish our list of RECOMMENDED TWIN CITIES SLEDDING HILLS (from bunny slides to steep thrills), across the Minneapolis-St Paul metro would be helpful this break, we’re very much in doubt. Here’s an alternative idea: refrigerated outdoor ice.

Winter Break Skate at Dick’s House of Sport

DICK’S House of Sport offers close to a full week of programing over winter break. Book your slot online for FREE Open Skate Dec 26-29, 11am-1pm & Dec 29, 12-2pm. Skate rental available for $3/pair. And keep in mind that Dick’s offers indoor activities too – a climbing wall, putting green and batting cages (my teenager was in sports heaven). Specialty dates:

Boy skating on winter outdoor ice rink at Dick’s House of Sport in Minnetonka, MN

Community ice skating rinks

Include multiple refrigerated outdoor rinks, some free, others with a fee attached. Our suggestions when you just can’t wait for the weather to cooperate to lace up your skates:

  • CENTRAL PARK ICE SKATING LOOP, Maple Grove: Skate the serpentine loop free, skate rental available for $7.50. There are outdoor firepits or a cozy pavilion to warm up in. 12000 Central Park Way, Maple Grove, MN 55369.

Skaters warming by the firepit at the Central Park Ice Loop in Maple Grove, Minnesota


Twin Cities holiday events – Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa Celebration at Midtown Global Market

920 E. Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55407
Celebrate Kwanzaa with freedom and gospel songs, food and more. The free event takes place in Center Court. December 26, 2023, 12-4pm.

Fun things to do in the Twin Cities on Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Tot Time Open Gyms in the Twin Cities Minnesota this week

Tot Time Open Gyms on Wednesday:


14645 Felton Court, Suite #104, Apple Valley, MN 55124
Work out the wiggles with indoor playsets, trampolines and basketball courts. Cost is  $6/child; parents and babies under 18 months free. December 27, 2023. Open play 9am-12pm, $8/pp.

Millz House Indoor Playground in Minnesota

Twin Cities storytimes on Wednesday:

WEDNESDAY FEATURED STORYTIME: Storytime at Oakdale Discovery Center

4444 Hadley Ave N, Oakdale, MN 55128
Storytime plus a craft each last Wednesday of the month. You’ll absolutely want to stay to poke around in the OAKDALE DISCOVERY CENTER. My kids enjoyed the large aquarium, hands-on exhibits and book corner. Our picture shows a summer visit, but any season of the year is fun. December 27, 2023, 10:30-11:30am. FREE.

Find our extensive list of Twin Cities Nature Centers & Outdoor Interpretive Centers to explore this fall!
Girls exploring at the Oakdale Discovery Center in Oakdale Minnesota

More family fun ideas for Wednesday:

Eagan Winter Market & indoor playground

Eagan Community Center, 1501 Central Pkwy, Eagan, MN 55121
Visit an indoor winter market like the one at EAGAN COMMUNITY CENTER – from 4-7pm kids can do a special “produce hunt” activity while caregivers shop for local products. Make a day of it at THE BLAST INDOOR PLAYGROUND, also located in the community center. The perfect way to work out winter break wiggles and just $5/child. Speaking of kids with energy to burn, we have a dozen more indoor play places listed on our ultimate guide to TWIN CITIES INDOOR PLAYGROUNDS.

The Blast Indoor Playground at Eagan Central Park, Eagan Minnesota
The Blast Indoor Playground

Twin Cities holiday events:

Holiday Night Trains at Twin City Model Railroad Museum

A special holiday tradition at the Twin City Model Railroad Museum, the Night Trains season magically transforms the museum layouts. Buildings and street lights glow, and throughout the museum the layouts are adorned with Christmas lights. December 27, 2023, 3-7pm. $15/pp.

Fun things to do in the Twin Cities on Thursday, December 28, 2023

Tot Time Open Gyms in the Twin Cities Minnesota this week

Tot Time Open Gym on Thursdays:

THURSDAY FEATURED OPEN GYM: TCO Sports Garden Toddler Thursdays

Little ones with energy to spare: Come to Field 2 for indoor activities such as a bouncy house, kicking around soccer balls and open field time with room to run.  The fieldhouse is kept at 55 degrees so dress with this in mind. December 28, 2023, 9:30-11:30am. FREE.

TCO Sports Garden sign on the front of the new sports complex.

Twin Cities storytimes on Thursday:

More family fun ideas for Thursday: free museum visits

Here’s a chance to visit a couple of family-friendly Twin Cities museums FREE today (who doesn’t love some FREE around the holidays?)

Free Thursday Night at American Swedish Institute

2600 Park Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407
Have your kids ever thought it would be awesome to explore a castle? Here’s their chance (and yours) while the very family-friendly AMERICAN SWEDISH INSTITUTE offers FREE admission every Thursday after 3pm. There is a rotating family gallery kids will enjoy playing in and nooks and crannies to explore. PLUS! ASI’s holiday exhibit Once Upon a Mansion has the castle decked out through January 8, 2023. December 28, 2023.
PAIR A VISIT WITH DINNER: Our kids have enjoyed the Swedish meatballs at FIKA Cafe in the museum. Plus happy hour pricing from 3 until 8 p.m. on Thursdays.Dala Horse at American Swedish Institute

Free Thursday Night at Walker Art Center

725 Vineland Pl, Minneapolis, MN 55403
We recommend this chance to visit the Walker for free with older children or teens who enjoy art in a less hands-on experience. For a more kid-friendly (and still admission-free) opportunity, make sure to visit the first Saturday of each month for special programming. December 28, 2023, 5-9pm.


Girl by large wooly mammoth diorama at Bell Museum of Natural History.

For those of us here in often-frigid Minnesota, this seems like a better day to observe on a balmy summer afternoon. However! Both of our local zoo options – COMO PARK ZOO & MINNESOTA ZOOhave spaces that call to mind a warmer climate. Como has a toasty warm conservatory and indoor rainforest exhibit; Minnesota Zoo has the wonderful Tropics Trail that will temporarily transport you away from all the ice and snow. (Budget tip: Como Zoo is FREE!)

Lil Explorer Thursdays at Como Zoo

Lil Explorer Thursdays program includes themed storytimes. This is a fantastic free event aimed at preschoolers and includes all kinds of hands-on activities, manipulatives, games and crafts. Meet in the Visitor Center. December 28, 2023, 10am-noon. FREE.

Winter for Wildlife Hot Cocoa Tour

Gabbert Raptor Center, 1920 Fitch Ave, St Paul, MN 55108
Learn about raptors as they take on winter, make snowflake crafts and enjoy hot cocoa. Great for kids on school break. December 28, 2023, 1-2:30pm OR 2:30-4pm. $8/adults, $3/kids.

Fun things to do in the Twin Cities on Friday, December 29, 2023

Tot Time Open Gyms in the Twin Cities Minnesota this week

Tot Time Open Gyms on Friday:

Twin Cities storytimes on Friday:

More ideas for Friday night fun: last call for holiday lights!

That’s a wrap for 2023, folks. Most holiday venues blink off following New Years weekend so LIGHT IT UP, TWIN CITIES while you can!

While the big, flashy shows can be exciting, sometimes a little less can be more. We’ve made some fond memories designing our own holiday lights route (in our respective necks of the metro), piling into the car and touring at our own pace. You can plan your family’s own light show route with our HOLIDAY LIGHTS FINDER. Just this week we discovered sweet Candy Cane Lane in Roseville (north central metro), complete with a little public walking path and sleds. Perfect for the littlest lights in your life!

Trains After Dark

Overland Railway Historical Society, 2501 East 38th Street, Minneapolis
Those who love model trains will enjoy this special event – low light levels simulates night operation. December 29, 2023, 6-9pm. $10/person $25/family.


Happy New Year! Too many fun things to list here, I’ll tell you that. So we publish a separate guide each weekend with up-to-the-last-minute ideas for spending family time together.


Weekend Family Guide - Family Fun Twin Cities Banner.

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