As the 12th-largest state in the U.S., Minnesota has plenty to offer families for fun-filled children's activities. If you are visiting, or live in Minnesota, finding indoor outings for the kids is a snap. Between cultural attractions such as museums, hands-on educational institutions and all of the other energetically engaging children's activities in Minnesota can keep the kids busy on a rainy or chilly winter day.
Mini Monets and pint-sized Picassos can spend the day indoors at Minnesota's Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Aside from touring the world-class art at the museum, families can enjoy the interactive Art Carts that have hands-on projects and activities or visit the Family Center to try out a computer game or read a story. Check out Family Day -- a once a month free event -- and meet local artists while making creative crafts. The Bell Museum of Natural History, at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, features a Touch and See Discovery Room where kids can visit with a 10,000-year-old wooly mammoth as well as other permanent exhibits that include life-sized dioramas, rainforest research and more. Young scientists will enjoy the Science Museum of Minnesota in St. Paul. Little learners can try the Preschool Playdate program that features demonstrations, and make-and-take activities, while older kids can enjoy the interactive exhibits.
2. Performing Arts
Entertain the kids on a boring rain-filled or chilly day by taking them to indoor performances specifically designed for families with children. For example, go indoors during Christmas time and check out a performance of the family-favorite Nutcracker at Duluth's Minnesota Ballet. Another option is Minneapolis' Children's Theatre Company. Younger kids can enjoy performances of plays such as "Charlotte's Web," Shrek the Musical or Eric Carle's "The Very Hungry Caterpillar." If your child is a music lover, the Minnesota Orchestra offers Young People's Concerts with themes that interest kids. This concert series also includes a focus on specific composers, time periods and comes with free online prep materials to get your child ready for what she will hear
3. Indoor Play
While the weather outside might get frightful, Minnesota parents can take their kids to an indoor playground or play space as a substitute for the traditional outdoorsy version. The City of Edina's Edinborough Park features a one-acre large indoor playspace called Adventure Peak. With a 44-by-44-by-37-foot climbing apparatus climbing apparatus, kids can slide down tubes, make their way up a 30-foot high mock Oak tree or take on the climbing wall. Little ones can get playful in the Tot Area, which features inflatables and smaller-sized climbers. If your child enjoys bouncing fun, Woodbury's Club Just Jump! has a weekday open play session for toddlers and up to hop and bounce on massive inflatables. Rochester's Jolly Jump Bounce World not only has 15,000 square feet of indoor play, but also features a mechanical bull and a supervised "Date Night" where parents can drop off kids for an evening of bouncing while they get an evening out.
4. Adventure and Sports Activities
Kids who are adventure seekers but are stuck indoors, can try out one of Minnesota's laser tag or adventure centers. Prior Lake's Triple Play Sports offers laser tag, mini golf and batting cages -- all indoors. The Wow! Zone, in Mankato, has an industrial themed laser tag arena with multiple levels for group play up to 20 people. Minneapolis' Splat Ball is an indoor paintball arena with over 10,000 feet of play space as well as a private party room for birthdays and celebrations.
- Enchanted Learning: Minnesota
- Minneapolis Institute of Arts: Visit the Museum/ For Families
- Bell Museum of Natural History: Exhibits
- Science Museum of Minnesota: Visit
- Minnesota Ballet: Nutcracker
- Children's Theater Company: 2012-2014 Season
- Minnesota Orchestra: Young People's Concerts
- The City of Edina: Adventure Peak
- Club Just Jump!: Open Play
- Jolly Jump Bounce World: Home
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