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Things to Do With Kids in Minnesota When Cold Weather Arrives

The lazy days of summer are behind us, when it’s easy to find fun things to do with kids. In the summer, camping in state parks, picnicking at playgrounds, and catching a small-town baseball game are easy things to do.

When winter comes to the upper Midwest, however, it can be a little more challenging to find things that will get us out of the house for some fun.

Here are some of our favorite Minnesota (or near Minnesota) winter escapes:

1) Museums. A trip to Minneapolis or St. Paul gives us a grand choice of museums. Some of our favorites are Mill City Museum, the Minnesota History Center, The Works in Edina, and the Minnesota Children’s Museum. My son is asking to return to the Twin City Model Railroad Museum for his birthday. If the Twin Cities aren’t in your area, check your local museums. The Children’s Museum in Fargo and Kirby Science Discovery Center in Sioux Falls are also good getaways.

2) Waterparks. There’s something about a steamy waterpark in the middle of winter that makes things seem right with the world. The Great Wolf Lodge (formerly the Waterpark of America), near Mall of America, bills itself as the largest indoor waterpark in America, and it is big. We also enjoy The Edge in Duluth and Splashers of the South Seas in Grand Forks, North Dakota. A day at the waterpark can go a long way in keeping the winter blahs at bay.

3) Seasonal Activities. We love to go to the holiday lights parade in New Ulm, MN, the day after Thanksgiving. Visiting the Forest History Center in Grand Rapids, MN, when it was 15 below zero gave us a special appreciation for the loggers in the camps. There’s a great tubing hill at Fort Ridgely State Park, near Fairfax. Sometimes we have to embrace the elements and take in some real winter fun.

4) The Library. Whether it’s our own local library or an afternoon trip to a neighboring town, we love to cozy up with a good book at a library. On those days when we just need to get out of the house, the library is a haven, and the quiet moments when we return home with bags full of books can’t be beat.

While winter fun can involve a little more planning than summer activities, it’s worth the effort to find new things to do or begin some family traditions. For information about all of the places I mentioned above, as well as ideas about things to do, any time of year, in Minnesota and beyond, I invite you to read my blog, Travels with Children.

About the Author: Linda (minnemom) is a mom of four young children who enjoys finding new adventures near and far.