Summer Fun!!!!!!

The sun is finally shining, the days are a bit longer and a bit brighter, and children are eager to get outdoors and explore!  With ECFE programs ending (except for the lucky parents of infants–there are summer classes available to you!) and preschools generally winding down, parents and caregivers are eagerly looking for things to do with their families in order to fully enjoy the season of play.

The benefit of having a widely diverse group of parents in our Hopkins ECFE Classes becomes especially clear when we pool our resources to create a summer-time activity list. Because our community encompasses a wide area we were able to create a list of events and attractions which include something from every corner that the Hopkins School District serves.

In the mood to try out a new wading pool? Check out the link below. Interested in finding an indoor activity for that rainy day–we have lists of things to accommodate you in any number of cities.  Looking for a new park that the kids haven’t been to 100 times already, take a look at the favorite parks that our parents recommend.

Whatever your fancy for a day or an afternoon, feel free to peruse this list, get further details if you need them by researching through Google, and enjoy your summer with your family!

Parks and Playgrounds:

  1. Oak Hill Park (located on Minnetonka and Rhode Island in St. Louis Park)
  2. Scheids Park (located off Duluth street in Golden Valley)
  3. Stillwater Teddy Bear Park (located in Stillwater, MN)
  4. Yosemite Park (small park good for very young children) (located on Yosemite Ave N off of Turners Crossroad in Golden Valley)
  5. Any park in the Three Rivers System
  6. Wolfe Park in St. Louis Park (near the rec center)
  7. Alice Smith Playground (south of Hiway 7)
  8. Minnewashta Park (in Carver County)
  9. Lake Minnetonka Regional Park
  10. Edinborough Indoor Park (in Edina)
  11. West Medicine Lake Park (in Plymouth)
  12. St. David’s School Playground in the early evening (off Plymouth Road in Mtka)
  13. Staring Lake Park in Eden Prairie

 Beaches for families and water fun (some of these are repeated from above, as the park has a beach as well as a playground)

  1. Many of the parks in the Three Rivers System
  2. West Medicine Lake Park (in Plymouth)
  3. Cedar Lake South Beach (in Mpls)
  4. Calhoun Beach
  5. Oak Hill Park Splash Pad (located on Mtka and Rhode Island in St. Louis Park)
  6. Shady Oak Beach in Minnetonka
  7. St. Louis Park Rec Center water park
  8. Wayzata Beach (in Wayzata)
  9. There are 61 free wading pools in Minneapolis.  Use this link to find them:  Mpls Wading Pools
  10. Nicollet Commons Park Splash Pad, 126th Street and Nicollet Avenue

Areas to enjoy hiking, biking or walking through nature—lots of fun and a change of pace from playgrounds

  1. Any of the Three Rivers Parks offers fantastic trails
  2. Warner Nature Center near St. Croix
  3. Westwood Nature Center in St. Louis Park
  4. Wood Lake Nature Center in Richfield
  5. Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis
  6. Big Willow Park in Minnetonka

 Places to go for the day—or maybe a weekend

  1. Minnesota Zoo
  2. Como Zoo
  3. Arobretum—has fantastic natural playscape behind their learning center building, it is beautiful!
  4. Use a Museum Pass from the libraries to get free passes to a museum for your family—details at your local library
  5. Skyzone in Plymouth-trampoline excitement. Toddler Time on Tuesdays and Fridays
  6. Stillwater Teddy Bear Park–and explore the city
  7. Explore the city of Wabasha
  8. Explore the city of Red Wing
  9. Explore the city of Duluth
  10. The building that used to be Dunn Brothers on Mtka Blvd. (in Mtka) is now a coffee shop selling Sebastian Joe’s ice cream
  11. Minneapolis Institute of Arts is free all the time, and has a small children’s room
  12. Try Frisbee Golf at any of the local parks that offer it, running and throwing and a huge amount of open space to work off all that energy. Use this link and click on “Courses”and you will find LOTS of options!
  13. Children’s Museum (St. Paul)
  14. Free child films at Minneapolis Central Library on selected Saturday mornings
  15. Free storytimes at bookstores: Wild Rumpus (Minneapolis), Red Balloon (St. Paul) or Barnes and Noble (various locations)
  16. Choo Choo Bob’s (St. Paul)
  17. Centennial Lakes Park in Edina has family-friendly events with concerts and entertainment during the day and early eveningOur cities do such a great job of providing community events. Here is a taste of what is offered. Googling the event will get you lots of info on it.
  1. Puppet Shows through the Puppet Wagon in Golden Valley. They perform at various parks in the city
  2. Golden Valley Days city celebration
  3. Golden Valley Firefighter Street Dance city celebration
  4. Downtown Hopkins provides outdoor shows and Music in the Park at the Pavillion off of Main Street
  5. Free Music at Golden Valley Brookview Park
  6. Parkers Lake in Plymouth offers a free water ski show, and has free music every Wednesday
  7. Hopkins has the Raspberry Festival
  8. Crystal Community Center has a Vehicle Fair
  9. Golden Valley has a Penny Carnival in Brookview Park
  10. St. Louis Park has Parktacular in Wolfe Park
  11. Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis has free music concerts
  12. Lake Harriet has free music concerts in the bandshell in Mpls
  13. Minnetonka has an Ice Cream Social celebration
  14. Eden Prairie offers free music concerts at Staring Lake Park
Another online resource for finding events and programs throughout the cities is to look up the “Parks and Rec” section of a cities’ web site.  Remember how many different cities are served by Hopkins School District? Be sure to check out all the offerings from all these areas: Hopkins, Minnetonka, Edina, Eden Prairie, Robbinsdale, Golden Valley, St. Louis Park and Plymouth.
I hope that your summer months are filled with family, friends and fun.  Be sure to relax and enjoy the moments that are unplanned as well as the activities that you have in store. Remember, our children want most of all to spend time with parents in a way that fosters connection. This can be done on a wildly exciting action packed vacation or in the backyard on a blanket watching the clouds drift by.

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