Working In A Coal Mine…

Well, not really.  But I’ve had my nose to the grindstone for so long, I forgot what the sky looks like…

However!  Enough with the whining!  On to today’s post:

Frugal Winter Fun For The Kids

Right about now, when the holidays are past and summer is in the distant future, that your kids start to get a bit stir crazy.  Get them out of the house and out of your hair with one of these low cost – or even FREE – winter activities.

1.  Sledding.  Or as you Minnesota-born people call it, sliding.  The best sledding hill, in my opinion, is the one at Adams Hill Park in Richfield.  Or as those of us from Richfield call it, Suicide Hill.  Don’t let the scary name scare you off, though.  This epically tall hill will provide hours of sliding fun for your kids for free.  Plus, it’s excellent exercise – there is no tow rope, so you have to climb back to the top after each run.  You’ll find the park behind the Southdale YMCA and next to the Southdale Library on 7200 Washburn Avenue.

If you are on the east side of town, and are looking for your own so-called suicide hill, check out the tiny yet formidable College Park.  City Pages voted College Park the best place to sled in Saint Paul for 2012.  You’ll find both gentle hills for the wee ones, and killer hills for the very brave.  The Park is located at 2223 Carter Avenue in St. Anthony Park, and no, there is no tow rope on these hills, either.

2.  Outdoor Ice Skating.  Once you’re done sledding at Adams Hill in Richfield, head on over to Centennial Lakes in Edina for outdoor ice skating.  I love how they describe the rink on their website, “Spread out over three main ponds connected by narrow, meandering canals, the rink gives skaters a unique skating experience reminiscent of a Currier & Ives setting from bygone days.”  Skating in this lovely setting is free – if you bring your own skates – and just $5 for skate rentals.  There’s also a concession stand and a warming house with indoor and outdoor fireplaces.  For more information, log on to

3.  Indoor Playgrounds.  When it gets too cold to let the kids play outside, take them to one of the many indoor playgrounds located throughout the Twin Cities.  Although I am partial to the playground in my neck of the woods – Shoreview Community Center’s Tropical Adventure Indoor Playground, where kids can play for less than $5 a day – the community center in Chaska is a strong contender.  They have an indoor playground and an indoor waterpark.  Plus, if you bring a canned food donation, they will knock $3 off the price of your admission.  The Food for Fun discount runs now until January 20th.

To find an indoor playground in your area, check out the surrounding community centers.  Cities such as New Brighton, Woodbury, Edina and Maple Grove all have indoor parks at their centers.  Better still, break out of your local rut and go to a community center outside of your area.  You pay a little more if you aren’t a member, but change is good for bored children.

4.  Free Movies.  If you’re tuckered out from all that exercise, relax with a free movie at the Mall of America.  Free Movie Saturday is at 10 AM, and it is first come, first serve.  This weekend, they’re showing Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Dog Days.  For more information, log on to

Quick Tip!  Be sure to Like your local community center on Facebook.  That’s where they tend to post all discounts and deals.

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  1. Terri
    Posted January 15, 2013 at 10:32 AM | Permalink

    The Como Park Zoo and Conservatory are a favorite winter outing of mine.

  2. melvin
    Posted January 24, 2013 at 9:23 PM | Permalink

    I appreciate the article.

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    Where I Thrift

    Everyone has their favorite thrift stores, right?  Okay, you do if you love thrifting as much as I do!  Here are the stores where I enjoy popping tags:

    Saver’s in Bloomington – close proximity to Prestigious West Bloomington and Edina equals excellent, higher end thrift scores.  Remember, if you donate?  You receive a 20% off coupon you can use right away!

    Saver’s in Columbia Heights – it’s the nearest thrift store to my house, and they have the NICEST staff of any Saver’s in the TC, in my humble opinion.

    ARC Value Village – For me, ARC is hit or miss.  I either score BIG, or leave empty-handed.  Either way, I always enjoy perusing this tidy, friendly shop.