Twin Cities Guide To Family Activities This Week: January 8-12, 2024


This guide covers Twin Cities family activities for the week of January 8-12, 2024. If you are in search of things to do with your family this weekend, jump over to our WEEKEND FAMILY GUIDE.

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Best wishes for extra family fun in 2024! For more winter inspiration you can check our JANUARY FAMILY GUIDE, ULTIMATE TWIN CITIES WINTER SURVIVAL GUIDE or our FAMILY FUN CALENDAR for more fun ideas on what to do this week in the Twin Cities with your kids – satisfaction guaranteed (or close to it!) 

Fun things to do in the Twin Cities on Monday, January 8, 2024

Tot Time Open Gyms in the Twin Cities Minnesota this week

Tot Time Open Gyms on Monday:

Let them bounce off someone else’s walls! Our list covers open gyms for tots across the Twin Cities where they can work their wiggles off during colder weather either FREE or at a low cost to you. SEE OUR FULL LIST OF TWIN CITIES TOT TIME OPEN GYMS THIS WINTER!

MONDAY FEATURED TOT TIME: Preschool Playtime at New Brighton Community Center

400 10th St NW, New Brighton, MN 55112
Preschool Playtime in New Brighton is double the fun because it includes open play in the gym w/ equipment and inflatables AND admission to
 EAGLES NEST INDOOR PLAYGROUND. This special indoor playtime is held each Mon & Wed when school is in session. January 8, 2024. 12-3pm, $8/child. 

Twin Cities storytimes on Monday:

MONDAY FEATURED STORYTIME: Puppet Storytime at Westwood Nature Center

8300 W Franklin Ave, St Louis Park, MN 55426
Open play and exploration of Westwood Hills Nature Center, naturalist-led activities, puppet show and a hike. January 8, 2024. 10am-11am, $6-$7/person. Registration required.

Two puppets in a story time about maple syrup at Westwood Nature Center in St. Louis Park, Minnesota


Fun things to do in the Twin Cities on Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Tot Time Open Gyms in the Twin Cities Minnesota this week

Tot Time Open Gyms on Tuesday:

Tot Time open gyms across the Twin Cities are absolutely a saving grace for parents of squirrelly kids when it’s too cold or sloppy to be outdoors:

TUESDAY FEATURED TOT TIME: Blast & Play at Eagan Community Center 

Eagan Community Center, 1501 Central Pkwy, Eagan, MN 55121
Blast & Play Tot Time includes admission to the space-themed Blast Indoor Playground and the community center gym for open play with equipment provided. January 9, 2024, 9am-12pm. $5/child.

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

Twin Cities storytimes on Tuesday:

TUESDAY FEATURED STORYTIME: Kids Storytime & Cocoa at Shakopee Brewhall

124 1st Ave E, Shakopee MN 55379
Free hot cocoa for kids and stories presented by the Shakopee Library. Coffee and pastries available for purchase. January 9, 2024, 10-10:30am. FREE.

More family fun ideas for Tuesday: Indoor activities

Tuesday is Discount Movie Day

We feel like going out to watch a movie on the big screen can still be a treat with our kids, a bit more special than Netflix at home in PJs (though don’t get us wrong, we enjoy being cozy as much as the next family). Our list of Twin Cities cheap flicks details theaters in town where you can pay $5-$6 a ticket, typically on Tuesdays. Sneak peek: RIVERVIEW THEATER in Minneapolis, WOODBURY 10 THEATRE & MANN THEATRES in St Paul do not require to you sign up as rewards members.

Two girls with popcorn and snacks at the theater: "Twin Cities Cheap Flicks: Movie Deals for Families"

Mall of America Toddler Tuesday: Baby Shark

Now a monthly event, in January kids can meet & greet Baby Shark in the Rotunda. Plus, today only purchase an unlimited ride wristband for junior attractions for $15. January 9, 2024, 10am-12pm. FREE. HOT TIP! WHEN YOU VISIT, TAKE ALONG OUR MALL OF AMERICA GUIDE: FLOOR BY FLOOR.

Raptor Center Live Tours

1920 Fitch Ave, St Paul, MN 55108
Get up close to bald eagles, kestrels, owls and falcons during this kid-friendly tour.  The Raptor Center, located on the St Paul campus of the U of M treats about 800 injured birds a year with the goal of releasing them back to the wild. Book your 30-minute tours online in advance to guarantee entry. $3-$5/pp. Learn more about visiting the Raptor Center with kids.

Raptor Center, Saint Paul

Fun things to do in the Twin Cities on Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Tot Time Open Gyms in the Twin Cities Minnesota this week

Tot Time Open Gyms on Wednesday:

WEDNESDAY FEATURED OPEN GYM: Plymouth Fieldhouse Open Play

When the temps dip, field house opens up for kids who need to run and scoot around indoors. Balls and objects for free play are provided – and inflatables for kids up to age 12 make a special appearance on Wednesdays. The fieldhouse is heated to 55 degrees so dress accordingly. January 10, 2024, 10:30am to 1:30pm, ages 12 & under, $6-$8/pp. 14800 34th Ave., Plymouth, MN 55447-1482.

Twin Cities storytimes on Wednesday:


More family fun ideas for Wednesday: Kid-friendly museums


Text: Family-Friendly Museums & Historic Places in the Twin Cities & Greater Minnesota. Family Fun Twin Cities. Background of kids exploring the Minnesota History Museum in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Fun things to do in the Twin Cities on Thursday, January 11, 2024

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 1 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. January 11, 2024, 9:30-11:30am. FREE.

TCO Sports Garden sign on the front of the new sports complex.
Image courtesy of Ramsey County Parks & Recreation

Twin Cities storytimes on Thursday:

THURSDAY FEATURED STORYTIME: Storytime at Red Balloon Bookshop

891 Grand Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105
Storyteller Angela hosts a storytime at the charming bookshop perfect for 3s & under (but all welcome). January 11, 2024, 10:30am. FREE.

Summer Reading Programs at Local Bookstores
The Red Balloon bookstore

Lil Explorer Thursday at Como Zoo

1225 Estabrook Dr, St Paul, MN 55103
Lil Explorer Thursdays program includes two 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. January 11, 2024, 10am-noon. FREE.

Take a spin: Outdoor ice skating rinks

We’re the metro area of 10,000 rinks in the wintertime. From frozen puddles at the local park to beautiful, refrigerated outdoor rinks, we catalog as many as possible in our TWIN CITIES ICE RINK-FINDER (most of them featuring FREE opportunities to skate). This week, we strapped on a pair and hit the canals and ponds of CENTENNTIAL LAKES PARK in Edina. Skating is free, rentals are available for $10.

People skating the canals of Centennial Lakes Park in Edina, Minnesota.

Fun things to do in the Twin Cities on Friday, January 12, 2024

Tot Time Open Gyms in the Twin Cities Minnesota this week

Tot Time Open Gyms on Friday:

FRIDAY FEATURED OPEN GYM: Gleason’s Gymnastics Open Gyms

2015 Silver Bell Rd #180, Eagan, MN 55122
So flipping fun! This used to be a family go-to when the cold set in and my kids needed to get their wiggles out. Yours will love the opportunity to bounce on trampolines, scoot through obstacle courses, and play on the gym equipment. Register in advance for a discount. And hey, teens and tweens! There’s an open gym for you, too. January 12, 2024. Preschool open gym: Wednesdays & Fridays: 9:30 – 11:30am. Pre-register: $10/child; $15/family ($13/$20 at the door).Collage of Preschool Open Gym at Gleason's Gymnastics School in Minnesota

Twin Cities storytimes on Friday:

FRIDAY FEATURED STORYTIME: Engineer Paul at Choo Choo Bob’s Train Store

1665 West End Blvd, St Louis Park, MN 55416
The beloved train shop is BACK in a new location, complete with Engineer Paul’s train-tastic storytime. Our littles grew up with Choo Choo Bob’s original shop in St Paul so this is happy news. (Photo from the old store until we can get to the new one!) January 12, 2024, 10:30am. FREE, note that the train tables are pay-to-play.

Girl playing at train table in Choo Choo Bob's Train Store

More family fun ideas for Friday: Tot Open Swims

Littles can splash the winter blues away at special TOT OPEN SWIMS reserved just for them. We know of three indoor pools in the Twin Cities metro area that offer tot swims on Friday mornings (please tip us off if you know of others):

Find more Twin Cities indoor pools and waterparks for a winter swim!

Twin Cities Indoor Waterparks and Pools

Eagan Frosty Festival

Trapp Farm Park, 841 Wilderness Rd, Eagan MN 
We are rooting for enough snow to pull this festival off! Go snow tubing to music by a DJ, warm up at a bonfire with s’mores and hot cocoa, build a snowman and more winter activities. Tickets are available for purchase online or at the door. January 12, 2024, 5:30-7:30pm. $5/pp.

Fun things to do this weekend in the Twin Cities – January 13-14, 2024

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.


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