Thursday, January 31, 2013

Spaghetti Nights









...and then it's bathtime.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Favorite Winter Activities: Out & About in Minnesota

Our MOPS group recently asked me to put together some material on Kid-Friendly, Winter "Survival" Activities in Minnesota. When asked to compile this, I was thrilled because I have been looking for an excuse to take the time to sit down and gather a complete list of our Winter Favorites (and a few excursions that our family has never personally tried but would like to do in the near future!).

If you have been reading my blog for awhile, you know that I love to document fun activities to do with kids (whether at home or out n' about). Now, I have a complete list of our favorite places to go for those Winter Blah days, so that when we are having moments like this, and need to get out of the house quickly, we have somewhere to go FAST!! :)

(Click on the names of the activities to go directly to the site...oh, and please forgive the sloppy format below. I copied and pasted most of the text from a Word document and for whatever reason my layout and font sizes aren't changing and saving).
1. Minnesota Zoo - 13000 Zoo Boulevard, Apple Valley, MN 55124, 952-431-9200
A couple of years ago (just after Cooper was born) I was taking the boys to the zoo literally every week. Some days we would go just for a picnic lunch and to see one big exhibit, and other times we would spend 3 hours walking through the indoor exhibits. The Membership is totally worth every penny if you can go several times a year. (Ours is gifted to us each year as a Christmas present; it's truly the gift that lasts throughout the year! Thank you Papa!!!)
Click here, here, here, and here, to see a few of our family trips to the zoo.

2. Como Park Zoo and Conservatory - 1225 Estabrook Drive, St. Paul, 55103, 651-487-8200
Check website for current events and happenings. We have only been here during the Summer and Fall but I hear a lot of moms talk about taking their kids their during winter!)
Click here to see a glimpse of the Conservatory and some of its beautiful species.

3. Minnesota Children’s Museum  (3rd Sunday of each month is Free!) - 10 West Seventh Street, St. Paul, 651-225-6000
You can see some of our fun times at the Museum here, here and here.
LOVE this place and would also recommend a Membership here if you can go several times a year.

4. Minnesota Transportation Museum – 651-228-0263
Time to take Parker and Cooper! They would love this!!! It is on my list! :)

5. Mall Of America - LegoLand, Toddler Tuesdays, Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium and Free Family Flicks every Saturday at 10am; 60 East Broadway, Bloomington
The Mall of America practically saved us our first two years we were in Minnesota. If anything, you can strap the kids in the stroller and walk, and walk, and walk and smile at the moms you pass who are also walking, and walking and walking. :) For even more fun though, check out the activities listed above. Note to self: Need to take pictures next time we go to the Mall!!

6. Kid Create Studio - 7918 Mitchell Road, Eden Prairie, 952-974-3438

7. Creative Kidstuff – various locations

8. Edinborough Park – open gym and climbing area (Edina) 7700 York Ave. S, Edina; 952-833-9542

10. Ice Skating at Centennial Park - 7499 France Ave. S., Edina; 952-833-9580

11. Eden Prairie Center’s Soft Play Area – (lower level near Kohls); 8251 Flying Cloud, Eden Prairie, 952-941-7650

12. Choo Choo Bob’s Train Store - 2050 Marshall Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55104; 651-646-5252
His storytimes are awesome; the kids will love singing songs, hearing an engaging story and then getting to play at one of the large train tables in the back!
Click here for a peak into one of the storytimes.

13. Minnesota Landscape Arboretum - 3675 Arboretum Drive, Chaska; 952-443-1400
This is our first year to have a Membership at the Arboretum, although we have visited at least once every Fall since 2008. I plan on taking many a walks and drives through the development now that we have a Membership. Fresh air! Yes! 
Here is a links from one of our outings there...(not of winter though)

14. Lake Harriet4135 West Lake Harriet Parkway, Minneapolis
Find the secret troll tree, write a note and leave it there overnight. The next day, go back to the same place and your note will have been answered by the troll himself! Seriously, I sooo want to do this!

15. Wild Rumpus Storytime – Monday’s at 10:30; 2720 West 43rd Street, Minneapolis; 612-920-5005

16. Red Balloon Bookshop (various storytimes) - 891 Grand Ave, St Paul, 651-224-8320
Click here to see one of our Storytimes here.

17. Minnehaha Falls - 4801 South Minnehaha Park Dr, Minneapolis,  612-230-6400
Minnehaha is truly one of our favorite places in Minnesota.

18. Pump it UpVarious locations

19. Stages Theatre - 1111 Mainstreet, Hopkins, MN 55343; 952-979-1123

20. The Depot - (ice skating and indoor waterpark)- 225 South 3rd Avenue, Minneapolis; 612-375-1700

21. The Walker Art CenterKids Day: 1st Sat of the month

22. Children's Theatre Company, 2400 3rd Av. S, Minneapolis; 612-874-0500

23. Trapp Farm Park (tubing, ice skating)– Eagan, 651-675-5511
Great outdoor fun for the whole family!!!

Have fun and Happy Wintering!!! :)
...and if you really get "ancy", you could always mow the snow. ;)