Couldn’t we all use a little help getting through the long Minnesota winter with our kids? Family Fun Twin Cities Winter Survival Guide has something for everyone, from those who want to get out and play in the snow to those who’d rather take a break from it, to those who need a place to plop their kids for a few hours for everybody’s sanity:
Indoor activities may be the key to our winter survival guide! Sometimes, during the coldest, darkest days of winter, we just need the bright lights and bustle of a public place. These ideas are well worth the effort to leave the house!
There are so many options around the Twin Cities that you won’t be able to hit them all during break. Take your pick from our master list or search by region of the metro!
Ideas on where your kids can get super crafty (and super messy without YOU having do be on cleanup detail!)
- Color Me Mine, Eagan & Maple Grove | Studio fees include use of paints, studio space, and the firing.
- Heartfelt, Minneapolis | Drop-in Crafts were created to invite you to come in and get creative whenever you can. Click on the link to see what Lisa and her staff are offering.
- Michaels | Drop in for Kids Club, Saturdays 10am-12pm for simple, inexpensive crafts.
- Simply Jane, Minneapolis | Toddler Time Thursdays, 10am-noon let littles experiment with paint, play with toys, books, dress-up and more. The studio also offers drop-in painting for all ages.
VISIT A LOCAL MUSEUM
- Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis – Family Day is great for all ages. (FREE).
- Minnesota History Center, St. Paul – lots of interactive exhibits (FREE Tuesday after 5pm).
- MN Air National Guard Museum, St. Paul (FREE-check website for details)
- Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (FREE Thursday evenings)
- Mill City Museum, Minneapolis – read up on 10 Things For Kids: Mill City Museum first!
- Minnesota Transportation Museum, St. Paul – real train rides included! ($5-$12)
- The Museum of Russian Art, Minneapolis ($5-$10, under 14 FREE)
- Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis (FREE)
- Bell Museum, Minneapolis
We’re always adding to our list of Twin Cities Museums & Historic Sites – browse it for something unexpected!
- Roller Garden, St. Louis Park
You will want to check this link out. They have so much planned for Winter Break including a Wheel of Fortune party, Glow Day, Candy Cane Day, Star Wars Day, Balloon Day, and more.
- Skateville, Burnsville
Special hours during winter break.
- Saints North, Maplewood
Open for some extra fun during winter break
- Wooddale Fun Zone, Woodbury
The big kids can skate and the little ones can clamber around the giant play structure
COZY UP INSIDE
- Cozy Up & Play at these Kid-Friendly Twin Cities Coffee Shops/Cafes
- Top Preschool Storytimes in the Twin Cities
- Special Winter Break hours at Minneapolis Recreation Centers and St Paul Recreation Centers.
- Don’t forget the library! There are tons of special winter break activities going on at metro area libraries to combat any boredom:
Ramsey County Library events
Hennepin County Library events
Dakota County Library events – DCL has a some ideas for Winter Break Fun
Washington County Library events
Carver County Library events
Scott County Library events
Anoka County Library events
Getting outdoors is the second half of our winter survival guide suggestions. The more you get outside, the less you hate it. Trust us on this! If the weather cooperates, you can take advantages of these different outdoor ideas:
GO SLEDDING OR SNOW TUBING
- Trapp Farm Park | Eagan | $4/pp – no tow ropes at this facility; the use of your own sliding craft is not permitted. Opens Dec 22.
- Trollhaugen Snow Tubing | Dresser, WI | At this location, a hill for small children is not provided. They do not recommend children under 42 inches use their tubing hills. Expected to open Dec 2.
- Green Acres | Lake Elmo | $5-$17/pp, tubing offered in 2 hr increments
- City of St. Paul sledding hills | List of available sledding hills in St Paul
- Elm Creek Park Reserve | Dayton | $15/pp for 2 hrs increments between 10am-9pm
- Buck Hill | Burnsville
- Ekobacken | Forest Lake
- Wirth Park Winter Recreation Area | Minneapolis
For further inspiration, try our Twin Cities Sledding Hills Guide.
GO ICE SKATING
Find our list of Twin Cities-area free outdoor ice rinks here. And don’t forget about Wells Fargo WinterSkate, open for the season in downtown St. Paul. Skate FREE and receive free skate rental with a WF card ($4 rental w/o card). Across the river at Holidazzle in Loring Park, you can also skate free (free skate rental included) on an illuminated rink!
GO ICE FISHING
Ice Fishing is another options you can enjoy with your kids. Here are some of the best Twin Cities Lakes for ice fishing according to Game and Fish Mag.
- Bald Eagle Lake in White Bear Lake
- Lake Owasso in Roseville
- Lake Phalen in St. Paul
- St. Croix River on the border, Hudson Wisconsin
- Spring Lake in Prior Lake
- Lake Harriet in Minneapolis
- Lake Minnetonka in Minnetonka
OUTDOOR WINTER FESTIVALS
Embrace our cool MinneSNOWta culture with a full lineup of outdoor festivals that feature sledding, skating, snow sculpting, and other winter delights as the main event!