“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. We would also love to have you share your knowledge. Leave us a comment if you have snow day wisdom you would like to share!
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:
Hate the cold? Start here: Welcome to Minnesota Winters: 10 Ways to Embrace the Weather
Minnesota Snow Day Deals and Specials?
Sorry. While snow day deals are popular in other parts of the country, we don’t cancel school for light snow falls (unless wind chills are dangerous or sometimes because wet precipitation could make a morning or evening commute dangerous). In Minnesota, if inclement 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.
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 while watching the morning forecasts. 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 and well as after-school activities:
- Fox9 School Closings
- KARE 11 School Closings
- KSTP School Closings
- WCCO School Closings
- Sign up for automated phone calls or texts through your school
Other Useful Links:
- If you are interested in learning which months are most likely to have snowstorms, the Minnesota DNR keeps snowfall totals, snow depths and other snow data here. You’ll be happy to learn that Minnesota doesn’t have snow three months out of the year.
- National Weather Service (NWS) – Twin Cities
6 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 a new sport like snowshoeing or kick-sledding
It’s a little twist on the winter hike. And if snowshoeing is new to your family, we’ll tell you the best parks to rent snowshoes and get out on the trail. It might be a little harder to find kick-sledding opportunities, but watch our calendar.
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.
How much fun is it to play in snow when it’s fresh and fluffy. If your kids need a little push, they can try one of the games on the list above.
More Outdoor Winter Fun:
- A Guide to Family Ice Fishing Fun
- Snow Tubing for the Family: Best Twin Cities Hills
- Family Skiing and Snowboarding in the Twin Cities
Indoor 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 or take advantage of the weather and make the winter crafts in Gianna’s 25 Easy Arts & Crafts for Kids Throughout the Year.
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
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!
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:
- 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.
- 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.
Winter Parking Restrictions
Minneapolis Snow Emergency Rules
In Minneapolis, parking is restricted during declared “Snow Emergencies” and sometimes for longer periods during particularly heavy snow years. If you don’t want to get towed, you need to know where and when to park.
- Follow them on Facebook or Twitter.
- Sign up for email or text alerts.
- Receive phone call alerts.
- Download the app on iPhone or Android.
Saint Paul Snow Emergency Rules
Like, Minneapolis, Saint Paul declares a Snow Emergency to allow for efficient snow removal operations. Vehicles in violation of parking restrictions will be ticketed and towed. There are plenty of options to stay informed:
- Follow them on Facebook or Twitter.
- Sign up for email or text alerts.
- Call the hotline: 651-266-7569.
- Download the app on iPhone or Android
Twin Cities Northwest Metro Winter Parking
Andover– Parking on streets is prohibited after 2 inches or more snowfall until the snow has been fully plowed from the street.
Anoka– Parking restrictions take effect on any street after a continuous snowfall accumulating 2 inches or more. Cars will be ticketed and towed. This rule is enforced until the street has been plowed to the full width of the roadway. No parking is allowed on any street between 2am and 6am.
Blaine – No parking is allowed on any city street between 2am to 7am from November 1st through April 1st.
Brooklyn Center – Parking restrictions take effect when there is more than 2 1/2 inches of snow. Residents can sign up for alerts to let them know exact times. There is no parking allowed on any street between 2am and 6am or for more than 6 consecutive hours at any other time. The city requests that drivers “try not to park on streets, especially during and after a snowfall.”
Brooklyn Park – Overnight parking is not allowed October 15 through April 15. When a snow emergency event is called, vehicles may not park on city streets. Coon Rapids has a winter parking ban in effect November 1st through April 1st. Vehicles cannot be parked on a public street between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. between those dates. Parking is also prohibited on public streets anytime there is an accumulation of three or more inches of snow or until the street has been plowed from curb to curb. streets until the full-width of the street has been plowed. Sign up for alerts at the linked page.
Coon Rapids – Parking on streets is prohibited on a public street between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. between November 1st and April 1st and anytime snow accumulation amounts to 3 inches or more until the street has been plowed from curb to curb.
Crystal – Street parking is prohibited between 2am and 5am, and when snow accumulates to 1½ inches or more until the street or alley has been plowed and the snow removed to the curb line.
Fridley – Night parking between 2am and 6am is prohibited from November 1st through April 1st. In addition, there is no street parking anytime while snow removal is in progress.
Golden Valley – Winter Parking is in effect, November 1st through March 31st. During this time, overnight parking is prohibited on public streets and alleys from 2 am-6 am. Parking is prohibited on any public street after a snowfall of at least 2 inches until the snow has been plowed to the curb line.
Maple Grove – Maple Grove’s street parking restrictions are somewhat strict. Overnight parking from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. is prohibited all year (not just winter months). On street parking is not allowed after a 2 inch snowfall until the street is fully plowed curb to curb. And, even when parking isn’t prohibited, there is a 4-hour limit.
New Brighton – Street parking is prohibited after a snowfall of 3 inches ore more until the snow has been removed or plowed to the curb line. Daytime parking on streets is restricted to 6 hours between 5am and 2am, and night parking is only allowed for 30 minutes between 2am and 5am.
New Hope – In 2019, New Hope started a new Snow Emergency protocol. When snowfall reaches 2 inches or more, the city will declare a snow emergency until the street is plowed curb to curb. Residents can follow the city’s social media sites for notifications. New Hope prohibits parking on city streets year-round from 2am to 6am.
Plymouth – Overnight on-street parking is not allowed year round between the hours of 2am and 5am. A snow emergency is declared after a snowfall of 2-inches or more until the street has been plowed curb-to-curb. Violators may be tagged and/or towed.
Twin Cities Northeast Metro Winter Parking
Maplewood – Cars cannot be parked overnight (2am-6am) during a snow emergency or any time without a permit. Regardless of snow or permit, cars must be moved every 24 hours.
Oakdale – Parking is prohibited overnight from 12am to 5am during the months of November through March. The city recommends not parking on street if “measurable snow” is predicted, because parking is not allowed any time it snows 2 inches or more.
Roseville – Parking is prohibited for 48 hours after snowfall of 2 inches or more or until snow removal has been completed on any street. Sign up at the link for updates.
Saint Anthony Village – Parking is not allowed on any street for 48 hours, following snowfall of 2 inches or more, or until snow removal has been completed curb to curb.
Shoreview– On street parking is prohibited when snowfall is 2 inches or more, until the street has been cleared curb-to-curb. Overnight parking is not allowed between 2am and 5am all year.
Vadnais Heights – Parking is prohibited on streets when snowfall reaches 2 inches or more until the streets are plowed Overnight parking is not allowed between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. from November through March.
White Bear Lake – Once snow levels reach 3 inches, parking is not allowed until the street is fully plowed and vehicles may not be parked on the street for more than 24 hours from November through March.
Twin Cities Southeast Metro Winter Parking
Apple Valley – On-street parking is prohibited any time snowplowing or snow removal operations are in progress.
Burnsville– Parking on public streets during a snow event is not allowed. Overnight parking is prohibited on any street between 2am and 6am daily year-round.
Cottage Grove – Parking is not permitted on the streets of the city between the hours of 2am and 6am from November through March. On-street parking is otherwise permitted when it does not interfere with the removal of snow and ice from city streets.
Eagan– Eagan employs an odd/even parking plan from November 15th to April 15th. If it is an odd day, park on the odd side and even days, park on the even side. Cars can be parked on both sides from 6pm to 6am. If you are not going to move your car before 6am, plan accordingly.
Inver Grove Heights – Parking is prohibited from November 1 through April 1 between the hours of 3:00 am and 6:00 am.
Lake Elmo – Street Parking is prohibited from November 1 through March 31 between 2am and 7am to allow for Public Works to clear the roadways.
Mendota Heights – Overnight street parking is prohibited between 2am-6am, November 1 – March 31.
Rosemount – Seasonal parking restrictions state parking is not permitted at any time on public streets after accumulation of snow of two inches until streets have been plowed curb to curb. Parking is never allowed between 2am-6am between November 1 – April 1 of each year.
Woodbury – Parking on city streets is banned between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. from Nov. 1 through April 1. Street parking is also prohibited when two or more inches of snow has accumulated, until after the street has been completely plowed.
West St Paul – Snow parking regulations are in effect after a snowfall of 2½ inches or more. Please see the city’s website for further information as snow emergency laws vary by street.
Twin Cities Southwest Metro Winter Parking
Bloomington – A 48-hour parking ban is in effect when the city declares a snow emergency or until the street you park on has been plowed full width.
Eden Prairie – During a snow emergency (snowfall of 2 inches or more), parking is restricted on all Eden Prairie streets until noon the next day. Find this information on the city’s News page and social media platforms or subscribe ahead to receive email and text notifications.
Edina – Parking is banned on Edina streets after a snowfall of 1.5 inches, until streets have been plowed to the curb-line. Parking is not allowed between the hours of 1am – 6am, November 1 – March 31.
Hopkins – When a snow emergency is called in Hopkins, vehicles must be off the street by 9pm. There are approved snow emergency parking lots if you need extra spaces.
Minnetonka – When two or more inches of snow have accumulated, plowing begins. There is no parking on any city street from 2 – 6 a.m. and vehicles may not remain parked on the street for more than 6 hours.
Richfield – A snow emergency is in effect after a snowfall of at least two inches fallen. Parking on the street is prohibited until the streets have been plowed curb to curb.
Savage – Following a snowfall of 2 inches or more, vehicles must be removed from streets until snow has been plowed from curb to curb.
St. Louis Park – The city has multiple winter parking exemptions in the case of snow emergencies. Please refer to the city’s website for complete details.