Kids activities downtown Saint Paul are built into city life. There is something special to do every day regardless of the weather.
Outdoors, downtown has 2 playground sets one at Fourth and Sibley by Union Depot and one at Wacouta Commons. Mears Park has a stream kids love to walk across and Rice Park has Peanuts’ character statues. There are bike trails all along the Mississippi River leading to even more parks and fun sites.
Indoors, these are my recommendations, one for every day of the week.
Monday – Go swimming. The main museums and most of the smaller museums are all closed on Mondays. Both the downtown YMCA and the Saint Paul Athletic Club have indoor swimming pools and are skyway connected. If you live at Mears Park Place, Kellogg Square or The Pointe Condominiums you’ll have an indoor pool even closer to home.
Tuesday – Visit the History Museum. From 5-8pm every Tuesday it is free and open to the public. Grainland is my kids’ favorite exhibit – basically an indoor playground that revivals anything McDonalds or Chuck E. Cheese have put together. Kudos to the Historical Society for making all the exhibits so fun and interactive. In the summer it’s a healthy walk up towards the Cathedral, but the #21 bus stops just outside the museum. Only 50 cents each way since it’s in the downtown zone. Kids 5 and under ride free.
Wednesday – Walk to Union Depot. 4pm-8pm they put out over-sized games like Connect Four, Jenga, Chess and Checkers. The Ping Pong table is always there and along with lots of space to run around. Skyway connected. Free to all.
Thursday – Visit the Science Museum. It’s open until 9pm Thursdays. Located just across the street from skyway access at the River Center doors. A $99 family membership pays for itself quickly if you go on a regular basis. Movies at the omnitheater are included in the membership! Ask about reduced rates if you have a membership at another local museum or receive government aid.
Friday – Play at the Children’s Museum. Friday evenings are traditionally the quietest time at the museum. It will be easy to make friends and no waiting to play with what you want to play with. Open until 8pm and skyway connected. Memberships are similar to the Science Museum and well worth it!
Saturday – Go to the Central Library. At 11:15am every Saturday morning they host a Children’s Show featuring professional entertainers, singers, and storytellers. We’ve seen magicians, puppet shows, circus acts and live animals from local zoos. Free to all. Stay to enjoy the fabulous Children and Teens’ Sections. Check out books, dvds and music to enjoy throughout the week.
Sunday – Go to the Landmark Center. Extraordinary programming nearly every Sunday afternoon and very often with kid specific activities. Even without a special program the Landmark is always open 12-5pm every Sunday. The Woodturners Gallery upstairs is open 12pm-3pm and does demonstrations on the 3rd Sunday of each month. The Schubert Club Museum is open 12pm-4pm. All places have free admission. Landmark’s programming varies from free to a few dollars, but the building is always free to enter and explore.
Skyway Mom’s main resource page has links to event calendars, downtown websites, and other useful Saint Paul information.