The Cure for the Winter-Time Blues

The temperature is now widely careening from one extreme to the next. It drops below freezing during the night, requiring all family members to get bundled up in mittens and jackets and hats before jumping into the car for the morning. However, by the late afternoon we may be hearing lots of complaining about being too hot. The temperature rises up to the mid-fifties—certainly no summer heat wave, but beautiful weather for last hurrah romps through the parks or the front yard.

Soon, however, we know what will be coming. Snow, freezing whistling winds, and a strong urge to hibernate through the dark months. Getting out of doors with young children is a real challenge during the colder months because it sometimes doesn’t even feel worth the effort to get all the gear on, warm the car up, stuff ourselves into car seats and travel the icy roads. However, long days indoors tend to test the patience of every parent in the upper latitudes.

Here is the great news!!! Harley Hopkins Family Center offers Stay and Play Opportunities on Thursdays, Fridays and some Saturdays throughout the winter! A chance to spend a few hours out of the house in a room designed to offer developmentally appropriate activities for you and your child to do together. A wonderful reason to get out into the morning of a cold wintery day.

This is in addition to our fantastic once-a-week classes for families with young children. Our early childhood program offers a room full of toys for the children, with supervision provided by licensed and highly skilled classroom teachers, and a chance for adults to discuss parenting topics with others who have children just the same age.

Our winter / spring catalog will be arriving in your mailbox by December. Be sure to look through it to find the classes or opportunities that best suit you and your family. Feel free to look up classes through our online catalog, also. It is located at http://www.hopkinsschools.org/early/ecfe-early-childhood-family-education
Scroll down to Registration to download a copy of the catalog.

In addition, Minnesota cities have taken our cabin fever difficulties to heart. Often there is an indoor gym provided for families with young children: a community gym opens its doors and welcomes children for a chance to run free, play with hula hoops, climb through tunnels and ride tricycles to their hearts delight.

Hopkins School District services quite a few cities in the area. Here is what those cities are offering you in the form of indoor entertainment. Take advantage of these great activities as you feel the weather turn chilly.

Hopkins / Minnetonka:
Pavilion Turf Tots: Mon–Fri, March 3–May 13, 2011
no program on April 22 or May 6
9 am–noon
$3/session per child
Turf Tots is a drop-in free-play program for children up to 5 years old. Kids can run and play with equipment provided by the Pavilion, including sport balls, crawl tunnels, bounce houses, hula hoops, and more!
Parents are required to stay on the field and supervise during the event.
http://www.hopkinsmn.com/pavilion/turf/turf-tots.php
Hopkins Pavilion
11000 Excelsior Blvd
952-939-1410

St. Louis Park:
Little Tot Playtime: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays Oct. 6 – March. 25
(no session Oct. 29, Nov. 2, 24, 26, & Dec. 24, 28 & 29)
9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
$2 per session at the door OR $40 for a 30-session
Ages 1 to 5 by start of session (must be accompanied by an adult)
Enjoy “open play” time in the Banquet Room. Little tots can play Nerf basketball, jump in one of the moon walks, and play on the creative carpet. This is an unsupervised activity.
http://www.stlouispark.org/youth-activities/little-tot playtime.html?zoom_highlight=little+tot+playtime

Rec Center
3700 Monterey Drive
St. Louis Park, MN 55416
Phone: (952) 924-2540

Golden Valley:
Preschool Playtime: Fridays, Sept 17–Dec 17, No Nov 26
10–11:30 am
$3/child or $25/10-time punch pass ($29 non-resident).
Come run, jump, crawl, and have a great time indoors at Brookview Community Center. Adult participation with your child at the different play areas is required. No instruction provided.
http://www.goldenvalleymn.gov/recreation/youth/play.php

Brookview Community Center
200 Brookview Parkway
Golden Valley, MN 55426
763-512-2345

Plymouth:
Fieldhouse Open Play: Starting Nov. 1, 2010 – April 1, 2011 Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays No Open Play on 12/24, 12/31, 3/18
10:30am – 1:30pm
$2 for Plymouth Resident children, $3 for Non-Resident children
Children may play on the field only when accompanied by an adult. Some equipment will be provided, but children may bring their own play equipment, such as Nerf or playground balls. Any equipment that might damage the field or presents a danger to other participants using the track will not be allowed (i.e. baseball, softball, etc.). If fieldhouse walking hours are cancelled on a particular day to accommodate other activities, open playtime will also be cancelled. Please check the walking/jogging schedule for any changes in times or dates.
http://plymouthmn.gov/index.aspx?page=119 Then click on Field House Open PlayLink, about halfway down the page

Plymouth Creek Center
14800 34th Ave.
Plymouth, MN 55447-1482
763-509-5280

Edina:
Gym Time: Nov 1, 4, 8, 11, 15, 18, 29 Dec 2, 6, 9, 13, 16 Jan 3, 6, 10, 13, 20, 27, 31 Feb 3, 7, 10, 14, 17, 24 Mar 3, 7, 10, 14, 17, 21, 24
Mondays and Thursdays 10:00-12:00 PM
Join your friends at the Edina Community Center’s City Gym. Gym time is an interactive time with your children. This facility will give you and your pre-schoolers a chance to dance, run, wiggle and play. The Edina Family Center provides the environment and age-appropriate equipment, and you provide the snacks and supervision.
http://www.edina.k12.mn.us/community/familycenter/index.html    Click on PDF file titled Gym Time about halfway down the page on the right

Community Center’s City Gym
5701 Normandale Rd
Edina, Minnesota 5542
Park in the South parking lot & enter Door #8
952-848-3952

Eden Prairie:
Tot Time: Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays
9:30-11:30 a.m.
Combination Tot Time and Play Structure Rates:
• Tots (18 months–4 years): $5
• 5 years and up: $6
Member Play Structure Rates:
• Under 18 months: Free
• 18 Months–4 years: $3.50
• 5 years and Up: $4.50
A time for parents and children to interact, Tot Time makes actively playing together easy. Enjoy free play with balls, hoops, scooters, jump ropes, tumbling mats, parachutes, music and more. Members and guardians are free, however they must pay for play structure time if desired.
http://www.edenprairie.org/vcurrent/live/article.asp?r=7389

Eden Prairie Community Center
16700 Valley View Road
952-949-8470

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