Twin Cities Snow Day Survival Guide

“It’s A Snow Day!” The words every child longs to hear. Sometimes we love it as parents, too. But sometimes we wonder how we’re going to make it through this unplanned snowbound day. If you have lived in the Twin Cities your whole life, find links to ideas for family fun. If you are new to the Twin Cities, we answer some of your questions below.

  • Where do I get Snow Day alerts?
  • Are there good Snow Day Deals and Specials?
  • Can I get groceries delivered in bad weather?
  • What are the snow day parking restrictions in my city?

More Minnesota essentials:

Winter Survival Guide - Twin Cities

Click here to find our Winter Survival Guide for Family Fun All Winter Long

Welcome to Minnesota Winters: 10 Ways to Embrace the Weather

Twin Cities Snow Day Survival Guide - Outdoor Fun

5 Outdoor Snow Day Fun Ideas

1. Find a sledding hill

Sledding hills are free and abundant in the Twin Cities, and they come in all shapes and sizes. We keep a huge list of recommended hills around the metro on our Guide to the Best Sledding Hills.

2. Find a free outdoor ice skating rink

Use our handy Skate the Twin Cities rink-finder to seek out a new skating spot. (Call the rink’s weather alerts first. Rinks close until snow is removed or if the temperature is too low).

3. Try snowshoeing

It’s a little twist on the winter hike. And if this activity is new to your family, we’ll tell you the best parks to rent snowshoes and get out on the trail.

4. Build a Snow Fort

Need a little tutorial on building a snow fort first?

5. Take advantage of the snow with these 37 Snow Games from Kid Activities.

Winter Survival Guide - Indoor FunIndoor Snow Day Fun

Indoor games to play – no snow allowed!

Get inspired by our huge list of  75 Fun Indoor Games for Kids of All Ages, most of which are free or cheap to play.

Online library resources

The wonderful thing about your library card is that online resources are available 24/7 regardless of weather. Use this opportunity to peruse your only library’s offerings and:

  • learn a new skill with an online class
  • learn a new language
  • pick a (warm) place and learn about it
  • download an ebook or an audio book
  • explore the digital music collection

Find Your Library Here. 101 Twin Cities Libraries

Get organized

Wouldn’t a snow day be a GREAT opportunity for your kids to clean and organize their bedrooms? Molly Maid offers a checklist, they could utilize. Parents can dream.

More indoor ideas

Lake Country Family Fun offers these indoor family time ideas for days it is too cold to go outside and Ann Arbor with Kids has a comprehensive snow day streaming movie list.  Thanks to both sites for offering to share!

Minnesota Snow Day Deals and Specials?

Sorry. While snow day deals are popular in other parts of the country, in Minnesota, if the weather is bad enough to close schools, it is generally not advisable to go out. Therefore, we don’t see a lot of these deals in our area. If we do see them, we’ll share them here and readers are welcome to share in the comments. Please use caution if you drive.

Twin Cities Snow Day Survival Guide - Grocery Delivery

Using Twin Cities Grocery Delivery Services on Snow Days

When my family decided to trade the revolving-car-payment lifestyle for vintage cars, we had to create a solid plan for times when we didn’t have a working vehicle. Part of that plan was to take advantage of grocery delivery services. This has turned out to be a blessing on snow days. I highly recommend tipping these brave souls generously when the weather is bad.

The following is a list of grocery delivery services in the Twin Cities:

  1. Instacart. You can read about my experience with Instacart here. We continue to use Instacart because they deliver from Aldi, so we can still get groceries for a reasonable price even with the delivery fee. Demand goes up on snow days, so definitely order early with Instacart. 
  2. Amazon Prime Now. We sometimes use this because it is part of our Prime membership. There is no delivery fee for Prime members who spend more than $35.00, but the tip is added in automatically. Honestly, we like Instacart better, because they are more reliable. (This is too bad, because FFTC is an Amazon affiliate and not an Instacart affiliate). However, Amazon is our backup plan if we can’t get an Instacart slot. When we use Amazon, we enjoy the opportunity to shop Whole Foods.

  • Shipt. I do not have personal experience with Shipt, but it works in the same manner as Instacart. So, get your order in early here, too. We would love to hear your experience, if you use this service.
  • Most Local Grocery Stores, Target & Walmart Now Offer Delivery. If you have a favorite grocery store, you may want to go through them first, but know that they may use Instacart or Shipt, so you need to get your order in early for these too.

5 Ways to Get School Closing Information

One of my favorite childhood memories was watching the school closings scroll across the TV screen on snow day mornings. We would cheer when our school came across the screen. Now we can just hit their website. Here are links to the major stations’ school closing pages:

  1. Fox9 School Closings
  2. KARE 11 School Closings
  3. KSTP Shcool Closings
  4. WCCO School Closings
  5. Sign up for automated phone calls or texts through your school

Twin Cities Snow Day Survival Guide - Winter Parking RestrictionsWinter Parking Restrictions

Minneapolis Snow Emergency Rules

Saint Paul Snow Emergency Rules

Twin Cities Northwest Metro Winter Parking

Twin Cities Northeast Metro Winter Parking

Twin Cities Southeast Metro Winter Parking

Twin Cities Southwest Metro Winter Parking

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