This article was written by Emily Bowers, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Naturalist at North Mississippi Regional Park
Snow-filled winter months provide a free and unique source of entertainment compared to the rest of the year. For those who venture out to explore, getting into the snow is a great way to mix up your outdoor play! Piles of frozen flakes are on the ground, waiting for you to enjoy. Try your hand at building in the snow by making forts, snowmen or other creations. Set challenges for yourself or other members of your household to craft the tallest snow tower, widest snowman, or a snow fort big enough for everyone to fit in at once. Don’t forget about your artistic side, snow makes the perfect blank canvas for painting murals or other pictures. Plus add even more individual style to the snow creations you build by painting them afterwards! So, step outside and enjoy the season; with the help of snow building and painting resources in Minneapolis parks, you’ll get the most out of this special time of year!
Visit the Adventure Hub at Kroening Interpretive Center to borrow outdoor exploration activities and materials for free! Items available for check out include snowshoes, trekking poles, fort building kits, outdoor art kits, and nature observation kits such as bird watching, animal tracking and stargazing. Adventure Hub operating hours are Wednesdays 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Thursdays 4-8 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and Sundays noon-4 pm. Materials must stay within park boundaries and are only available for same day checkout and return. Select Recreation Centers will also have materials to borrow throughout the winter season. Available hours and activities will vary depending on the site.
Get outside and into Nearby Nature, with self-directed, nature-based activities designed to enhance the experience of park goers of all ages while exploring parks. All Nearby Nature activities are free and no materials or registration is necessary. Get activity locations each week at the Minneapolis Parks Neighborhood Naturalist page on Facebook. Share experiences and photos through the hashtag #NearbyNatureMpls or send feedback to our email email@example.com. Visit the Kroening Interpretive Center Facebook page for more fun ways to connect with nature in our community.
Saturdays from 1-3 p.m. are Family Fundays at North Mississippi! Join us outside for active, nature fun in the park! Explore a different seasonal theme each week: scavenger hunts, nature walks, and interactive skills development such as bird watching or animal tracking. All ages and experience levels welcome to enjoy the outdoors while activating bodies and minds in discovery! Naturalist staff will be onsite to provide sanitized materials and introductory instruction for activities that will be self-directed by individual households.
Kroening Interpretive Center February Outdoor Programs
- Nature Playtime – Wednesdays from 9:30-10:30 a.m. $2. Ages 2-8 with an adult.
- Winter Survival Challenge – Thursday 4th from 5-7:30 p.m. Free. All ages
- New Moon Stargazing – Thursday 11th from 6:30-8 p.m. $3. Ages 8+
- Valentine’s Day Snowshoeing – Sunday 14th from 6:30-8 p.m. $7. Ages 18+
- Hike: Urban Canines – Tuesday 16th from 1-2:30 p.m. Free. Ages 18+
- Noticing Nature Hike – Thursday 18th from 6-7 p.m. Free. Ages 18+
Registration is required; sign up for programs at minneapolisparks.org/register. Upon registration, participants agree to maintain social distance (6 feet) at all times and adhere to the current Minnesota state face covering mandate (face covering exceptions may apply to certain MPRB activities).
Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board program buildings remain closed to the public until further notice due to the impacts of COVID-19. The MPRB’s priority is the health and safety of our park visitors and our employees. Visit minneapolisparks.org/coronavirus or sign up to receive email updates at minneapolisparks.org/subscribe by selecting “COVID-19” in the “News Updates” section.
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