Project P.L.A.Y.

Project P.L.A.Y. (Providing Leisure Activities for Youth) offers fun, engaging, active, imaginative and inclusive recreation opportunities for youth of all ages and abilities. Browse the categories below. Project P.L.A.Y. is sure to offer something that interests you! 

Many programs will be available via our Mobile Recreation Centers. Check this page frequently for new and exciting recreation opportunities.  

Most Project P.L.A.Y. programs occur outdoors.  For information on possible weather-related cancellations, please call 952-563-8878.  Cancellations will also be noted on the Parks and Recreation Facebook page.

Winter Activities

Keep enjoying the fun of Project P.L.A.Y. all winter with these exciting events, programs and activities! 


Minnesota Esports Club (MEC) and Bloomington Parks and Recreation are partnering to provide esports opportunities to youth in the community. 

MEC supports and promotes youth enrichment, leadership and education through electronic sports organization, development, competition, media production and fundraising. 

This extracurricular activity is geared towards Middle and High School students and fosters:

  • Teamwork
  • Sportsmanship
  • Strategy
  • Tangible skills development
Registration is open now!
Download the flyer below for registration link.
 Minnesota Esports Register Now Flyer January 2021 
Want to be involved but not interested in competing?  Volunteer opportunities exist.
For information, visit


Winter Activity Kit (SOLD OUT)

Winter Kit Graphic without Snowball maker

Get a Big Bag O' Winter Swag with the FREE Winter Activity Kit!

The kits include a wide assortment of fun and engaging outdoor recreation supplies, winter crafts, gear to keep you warm and much more!

The Details
  • Registration opens on Wednesday, December 16, 2020 at 11 a.m.  
  • Register for a kit at
    • Please make sure you have created a household on the webtrac system before you register for a kit.
    • If you do not already have an account, please request one listing ALL family members prior to registration opening on 12/16. 
    • Go to and click on “Need and Account?”
      • NOTE: Newly created accounts are not active immediately.  They need to be processed through the Parks and Recreation office.
      • To accommodate kit registration, we will be processing new accounts as quickly as possible as they come in.
      • But to ensure activation in time to register for a kit, please request your new household account by no later than 4 p.m. on Monday, December 14.
  • Limit one kit per household.  Supplies are limited.
  • For youth under age 18.
  • Must be a Bloomington resident.
  • When registering, be sure to sign up for a pickup date, time and location.
Pickup Dates, Times and Locations

(click map images to enlarge)

  • Bloomington Civic Plaza - 1800 W. Old Shakopee Road  (NEW!)
    • Thursday, December 24, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Civic Plaza Winter Kit Pickup Map Dec 2020

  • Bush Lake Beach – 9140 East Bush Lake Road
    • Thursday, December 17, 5-7 p.m.
    • Sunday, December 20, 12-2 p.m.

Bush Lake Map for Winter Kits 2020

  • Bloomington Family Aquatic Center – 201 East 90th Street
    • Friday, December 18, 5-7 p.m.
    • Wednesday, December 23, 4-6 p.m.  (Canceled due to inclement weather)
    • Wednesday, December 30, 4-6 p.m.  (replacement for Dec. 23)

Pool Pickup Map Winter Kits 2020

  • Creekside Community Center - 9801 Penn Avenue South
    • Saturday, December 19, 10-12 p.m.

Creekside Pickup Map Winter Kits 2020

Winter Activity Kits are offered through Project P.L.A.Y., which is funded by a CARES Act Grant from Hennepin County.

Contact Parks and Recreation for questions and additional information: 952-563-8877, MN Relay 711,

BINGO-Winter Edition


Go sledding. Make a snow angel. Enter the winter coloring and virtual snow sculpture contests.  Go birdwatching.  There are endless fun activities you can do during the winter months. 

Download and print the PDF linked below, then complete any combination of the fun winter activities on the sheet either vertically, horizontally or diagonally to achieve a BINGO.  
Winter BINGO Card

To receive a prize, email a scan or photo of your completed BINGO card to or mail it to Parks and Recreation Department, Attn: Winter BINGO, 1800 W. Old Shakopee Road, Bloomington, MN 55431, making sure to include your name and contact information (phone and/or email address). 

 Winter Bingo 2020-21 Graphic

Conquer the Outdoors: 11/15 - 12/6 (*CANCELED*)

CANCELED: Wilderness Survival Skills for Families

Perfect for any family that spends time together outdoors, this hands-on wilderness survival course, offered in partnership with REI, makes learning a blast for both young and old. Kids will love the activities, and you'll love how quickly they gain confidence to tackle any outdoor challenge.

Participants will learn how to build a campfire, set up emergency shelters, find drinking water, and prepare for virtually anything that you will encounter while hiking or camping.  The skills learned in this course will set your family up for a lifetime of thrilling, safe and unforgettable adventures outside.

  • November 15 and 22, 1-3 p.m.
  • Bush Lake Beach House, 9140 East Bush Lake Road
  • Free Program.  No registration required.
  • Limited to a maximum of 20 participants.

CANCELED: Map and Compass Navigation

During this class, expert instructors from REI will help you understand the information provided on a map, the proper use of a compass, and how to put the two together. Participants will learn fundamentals such as magnetic north, true north and magnetic variation (declination).  

After covering these fundamentals, you'll get time to practice taking a bearing from the terrain and your map so that you can make sense of your position and plan a route.  This engaging course is a great introduction to outdoor navigation and map reading!

  • November 15 and 22, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
  • Bush Lake Beach House, 9140 East Bush Lake Road
  • Free Program.  No registration required.
  • Limited to a maximum of 12 participants.

CANCELED: Learn to Snowshoe

Discover the joy of winter and the freedom of snowshoeing as Bloomington Parks and Recreation, in partnership with REI, offers you the opportunity to Learn to Snowshoe!

On this snowy outing, you'll learn to identify common winter hazards, how to ascend and descend hills, and tips and tricks to make any winter excursion a safe and enjoyable one!

  • November 29 and December 6, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
  • Bush Lake Beach House, 9140 East Bush Lake Road
  • Snowshoes, poles, and professional instruction by experts from REI will be provided.
  • Drop in any time. 
    • There will be four separate 50-minute snowshoe excursions during the four-hour event.
    • Each excursion departs at the top the hour (10 a.m., 11 a.m., 12 p.m. and 1 p.m.).
  • Free program.  No registration required.
  • Limited to a maximum of 12 participants per excursion.

Print and/or share this informative flyer covering all three programs!

Discover Bloomington: Nature, Culture and History

Cultural, Natural and Historical Activities

Youth-based historical and cultural programming will focus on the Dakota culture, the historic Pond House and other City historic sites. Naturalist programming will focus on local parks, animals, plants and other native Minnesota environmental elements, and general sustainability. Most programs are free and require no registration. Participant limits may apply, typically 10 - 25 participants. 

Historical, Cultural and Naturalist Activities To Do On Your Own

See below for a variety of fun activities you can do at home or on your own outdoors. Based on historical, cultural or naturalist programs held throughout the year at Historic Pond House and surrounding Pond Dakota Mission Park. 

How to Make Frontier Toys

Pioneer children used common household items to make toys to amuse themselves and impress their family and friends. Two of the toys they would make are called whirligigs and thaumatropes. You can also make some for yourself. Click below to download detailed instructions on how to make a whirligig and thaumatrope at home today. Unleash your creativity and enjoy!

Frontier Toymaking Tutorial Image

Hands On History: Animal Furs and Tracks

For hundreds of years Native people in Minnesota traded furs. Enjoy these two activities that will help you identify animals by their fur and tracks. 

  • Fur Identification

Examine the 12 different furs displayed in the Animal Fur Challenge sheet below (click to open/print). Can you identify which animals the fur comes from? There's a key on the last page...but don't cheat!  Take the Animal Fur Identification Challenge today.

Animal Fur ID Challenge Graphic

  • Animal Track BINGO (OHIYA)

After identifying animals by their fur, try your hand at doing so based on their tracks. Animal Track Bingo is a fun activity that will help you learn the tracks of 10 different Minnesota animals. If there’s snow on the ground, be a nature detective and go animal track sleuthing in your neighborhood or a nearby park.

Click on the documents below and print them for use in your own Animal Track BINGO game at home!

Animal Track Bingo Caller Card  Animal Track Bingo Player Cards  Animal Track Bingo Player Key

Historical and Cultural Events

  • CANCELED: Frontier Game Day - November 22, 1-4 p.m. at Pond Dakota Mission Park
    • Try your hand at a variety of outdoor frontier games such as Walking on Stilts, Graces, Stick and Hoop, Marbles, and Checkers. 
  • CANCELED: American Bison: King of the Prairie - November 29, 1-4 p.m. at Gideon and Agnes Pond House
    • Acquaint yourself with the American bison and learn how it provided Native people with over 50 different articles and food items.
  • CANCELED: Animal Furs and Tracks - December 6, 1-4 p.m. at Pond Dakota Mission Park
    • Play Animal Track Bingo and identify animals by their fur.
  • CANCELED: Outside-In Historic House Tours - December 13, 1-4 p.m. at Gideon and Agnes Pond House, Pond Dakota Mission Park
    • Take a tour of the historic Pond House from the outside-in, hear about the courageous Pond family and look inside to see how the home was furnished in 1878.
  • CANCELED: Carols and Cranberries - December 20, 1-4 p.m. at Gideon and Agnes Pond House, Pond Dakota Mission Park
    • Sing carols and make a popcorn and cranberries string garland for a holiday decoration or bird feeder.

Naturalist Events

Please wear a mask while participating in these events.

Get Creative

CANCELED: Kidz Craft Corner

Arts and Crafts
Join in the fun of arts and crafts as staff lead kids through three different winter-themed projects. 

  • Who: For youth ages 5-12 (must be accompanied by an adult)
  • When: Saturday, November 21, December 5 and 19.  10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
  • Where: Bloomington Civic Plaza, Arts Center lobby
    • 1800 West Old Shakopee Road
  • Fee: FREE! All supplies provided.
  • Registration: Register at
    • Registration opens at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, November 4, 2020.

Masks are required.  Limited to 15 participants.

Print and/or share these informative flyers! 

This event is presented as part of Project P.L.A.Y.  For details on other youth recreation opportunities, visit:  
Project PLAY logo

Kidz Craft Corner Operations and Safety Plan.  

Geocaching in the Parks: 12/5 and 12/12

Geocaching involves the active search for publicly accessible containers called “caches” hidden all around us.  These caches contain a logbook and a variety of items for you to take or exchange. Geocaching is both a treasure hunt and a giant game of hide and seek.

Geocaches are located using a GPS (Global Positioning System) receiver (GPSr) that pings satellites to determine the cache location within 10-30 feet. Each cache is given a size (micro, small, regular, large) and a difficulty and terrain rating between 1(easiest) and 5 (hardest).  

This FREE self-guided activity will help you learn the fundamentals of how to locate caches and what to do once you find them. It's easier than you think and a lot of fun! 

What will I be looking for in the caches?

On the weekends of December 5-6 and 12-13, search for special Bloomington Parks and Recreation souvenir coins in geocaches in parks throughout the City. 

  • All geocaches being used are available to anyone via the free, basic membership. 
  • Geocache codes will be added to each location on the list below prior to the start of the search!
Where will the caches be located?

Weekend of December 5 and 6, search for coins in caches located at:  

  • Bush Lake Park – 95th St and W. Bush Lake Rd.
    • GC52A0G (Pro5000 1K Tribute Cache)
  • Harrison Park – 1701 W. 100th St.
    • GC1V3T2 (Butcherandswimmer 1000th find)
  • Marsh Lake Park – W. 98th St. and France Ave. S.
    • GC1N7TR (Another B.I.G. Cache)
  • Normandale Lake Park – W. 84th St. & Chalet Rd.
    • GC8ZRD1 (This used to be a Farmer’s field…)

Weekend of December 12 and 13, search for coins in caches located at: 

  • Bush Lake Park – 95th St and W. Bush Lake Rd.
    • GC code - GC3750 (Beach View)
  • Harrison Park – 1701 W. 100th St.
    • GC code - GC3F1C (Down by the Old Mill Stream)
  • Heritage Hills Park – 102nd St. and Rich Rd.
    • GC Code - GC7W2PC (Kid Friendly 1 – Heritage Hills)
  • Normandale Lake Park – W. 84th St. & Chalet Rd.
    • GC Code - GC32TBC (Wood Ducks)
The Basics
  • If you are new to geocaching, visit and create a free, basic membership account prior to the coins being hidden.
    • Also download the official Geocaching® app available for iOS and Android.
  • Each geocache will contain up to four (4) coins, space permitting.
    • Coins will be hidden by no later than 10 a.m. each Saturday and placed inside official, pre-existing geocaches.
    • At 10 a.m. on December 5 and 12, you will be able to begin searching for the geocaches containing the souvenir coins.
    • Undiscovered coins will be removed from caches on Monday, December 7 and 14. 
    • Souvenir coins available only while supplies last. 
How to Find the Geocaches
  • Search for the geocaches selected for this activity by using the GC code on the app.
    • Open Geocaching app.
    • Click on Map > Search icon > by Geocache (e.g. GCK25B) > type in GC code > Navigate
    • Once successfully navigated, then log the cache.
    • On the cache information page, participants have access to hints, descriptions, and comments from past finders to help locate the cache.
  • The caches in use for this activity are available to find at any time.
    • But only after 10 a.m. each Saturday will you be able to find a souvenir coin.
    • If you find a cache with souvenir coin(s), please take only one per household, to allow others the chance to find them.
What Do I Need to Get Started?
  • Smart phone with GPS capabilities.
    • Portable charger is recommended if planning to be out for extended period of time.
  • official app
    • Available on iOS and Android.
  • Writing utensil (pencil is best)
  • Swag items to place in the geocache when you remove the souvenir coin.
    • Examples: keychains, buttons, toy cars, Happy Meal toys, foreign coins, etc.
Learn More About Geocaching®

Want to learn more before you go out and begin your search? Use the informative links below.  

Questions?  Contact Parks and Recreation at or 952-563-8877.  Good luck and happy hunting! 

Geocaching graphic

Medallion Hunt: December 2020


Congratulations to the Hoffman family, who found the Winter Medallion today (Monday, Dec. 21) near Oak Grove Elementary School. Thanks to everyone who participated throughout the month. We hope to see you all again next year for more Medallion Hunt fun. 

Hoffman Family - Finders of 2020 Winter Medallion

Meet the Hoffman family and learn how they became the 2020 Winter Medallion Hunt champions.


The Second Annual Bloomington Parks and Recreation Medallion Hunt will take place in December, 2020.  Clues will be provided here and on the Facebook home of Bloomington Parks and Recreation beginning on Tuesday, Decemeber 1 and occur twice weekly, on Tuesday and Friday until the Medallion is found.

Bragging Rights AND Fabulous Prizes

The person(s) finding the Medallion will win an exciting prize package that includes a Google Chromebook! 

The Medallion looks like this and will be hidden somewhere within the City of Bloomington.
2020 Winter Medallion

Contact Parks and Recreation at 952-563-8877 or with questions AND/OR WHEN YOU FIND THE MEDALLION.

We don't want to miss out on giving you props for your accomplishment and letting others know they can stop looking! 

  • CLUE #1 - Tuesday, Dec. 1:  When seeking the spot where the medallion is hid, look to find it outside, in a place with no lid.
    • Medallion is outside
  • CLUE #2 - Friday, Dec. 4: Finding the Medallion comes along with a prize, no digging, no breaking, all you need is your eyes. 
    • No digging or opening anything needed to find the medallion.
  • CLUE #3 - Tuesday, Dec. 8: Paul and Babe could help, or they may just be a distraction. Get out and search Bloomington for some Medallion Hunt action.
    • Medallion located within a tree, something Paul Bunyan was famous for chopping down with his trusty sidekick, Babe the Big Blue Ox.
  • CLUE #4 - Friday, Dec. 11: The Medallion is outside, but you may need to look within. Put September 14th and May 6th together and surely you will win.
    • It was within a tree. September 14 was the birth date, and May 6 the date of the passing of Alexander von Humboldt, after whom Humboldt Ave is named. The medallion was located just off of Humboldt Avenue near Oak Grove school.
  • CLUE #5 - Tuesday, Dec. 15: Among nature and greenery you should seek. Step off the path and take a peek.
    • Oak Grove has a cute little walking path in the woods, the medallion was in a tree just off that path.
  • CLUE #6 - Friday, Dec. 18: Today’s day is special, if only we had double. Then subtract Lowman’s district, and you'll be near the Medallion bubble.
    • The date (18) x 2 = 36. Minus Lowman's district (Councilmember Lowman represents District 1) = 35. The medallion was near Oak Grove, which is near 35W. 

Clues not used

  • CLUE #7 - Tuesday, Dec. 22: For this hunt, north and west need not apply. Look to the remainder and the Medallion will be nearby.
    • Medallion is located in the southern and more eastern portion of Bloomington
  • CLUE #8 - Friday, Dec. 25: The medallion finds shelter near a place where kids learn. Keep diligently searching and a prize package you’ll earn.
    • Medallion is located near a school.
  • CLUE #9 - Tuesday, Dec. 29: Oh Gee it looks like you haven’t found it yet. If nobody has luck, then January 1st is a sure bet.
    • OG = Oak Grove
  • CLUE #10 - Friday, Jan. 1, 2021: Unfortunately, the month of December is at an end. Enter these GPS coordinates and the Medallion will be around the bend. Coordinates: 44.813776, -93.298011.
    • This one's not so much a clue, but rather exact directions to the specific spot where the Medallion was hidden. 

SledstravaganZa: 1/16/2021 (*CANCELED*)

SledstravaganZa 2021 has been canceled

Cowabunga! Bloomington Parks and Recreation cordially invites you to enjoy an afternoon of incredible fun at SledstravaganZa!

  • Where: Brookside Park, 10000 Xerxes Ave. S.
  • When: Saturday, January 16, 2021, 1-4 p.m.
  • Who: Open to all. Free event. No registration required.
    • Per safety and operations plan, participation limited to two pods of 25 participants at any one time.  

There will be sledding (of course), treats, door prizes, photo ops and much more.

  • Have your own sled?  Bring it.
  • Don’t have a sled?  Use one of ours.
  • All attendees receive a logo mug with a packet of hot cocoa just for showing up.
  • Door prizes include gloves and other winter related goodies. 

Come join us for some FREE classic winter fun! 

Donation of a non-perishable food item for VEAP would be appreciated, but is not required. All are welcome to participate. No registration required. 

For questions or more details, contact or 952-563-8877. 

Winter Fete Sledding

Virtual Snow Sculpture Contest: 12/28/20 - 2/12/21 

Congratulations to the winners of the 2021 Virtual Snow Sculpture Contest!

  • Age 4-8: Snail by Tess M.
  • Age 9-11: Dragon by Cohen & Bryce T.
  • Age 12-14: Hand Sanitizer by Megan B.
  • Age 15-17: Hiding Bear by Allison M.
  • Age 18+: Ice Carving by Dave R.
  • Family: Poplar Bridge Polar Bear by Andrews Family

Thank you to everyone for participating and sharing more than 40 wonderfully fun and creative frozen works of art in this year’s contest.

Are you a master snowman builder?  How about snow loons or dragons or castles or space ships?  With snow sculpting, the only limit is your imagination…and the amount of snow we receive.  

Assuming typical Minnesota snowfall, we invite Bloomington residents to show off your artistic skills by entering the first-ever Bloomington Parks and Recreation Virtual Snow Sculpture Contest


(click images to enlarge)

Snow Sculpture Contest Entry Collage 1 - 2021  Snow Sculpture Contest Entry Collage 2 - 2021


Contest is limited to Bloomington residents. Winners will be asked to provide proof of Bloomington residency. 


Step 1) Decide which of six different age-based categories you intend to enter

  • Age 4-8
  • Age 9-11
  • Age 12-14
  • Age 15-17
  • Age 18+
  • Family  (team up with members of your own household for a group sculpture)

Step 2) Create your amazing frozen work of art.

Step 3) Take a picture of your amazing frozen work of art.

Step 4) Email a picture of your amazing frozen work of art to  Include in the email message the following: 

  • Name of individual or family entering   
  • Phone number
  • Category in which you are submitting your entry (one of the 5 age-based categories, or the famly category)


  • The entry period runs from December 28, 2020 through February 1, 2021 (NEW extended entry timeframe)
  • One entry per person.  Duplicate entries will be discarded.
  • EARLYBIRD BONUS: First 50 participants receive a free snow sculpture kit, to be picked up at Bloomington Civic Plaza, Parks and Recreation, 1st Floor, 1800 West Old Shakopee Road.


There are three great reasons to enter the Virtual Snow Sculpture Contest.

  1. Bragging rights.  Winning has benefits! 
  2. Showing off.  Everyone needs to see your artistic talent on display!
  3. Hmm…what was the third one again?  Oh right, PRIZES! 
    • To be more specific, awesome prizes including Nintendo Switch game consoles, a bike, a tablet, a camera and more! 
    • Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in each entry category. Details below.
Category Place Prize
Age 4-8 1st
Nintendo Switch Lite
Kids Tablet
Age 9-11 1st
Nintendo Switch Lite
Kids Bike
$50 Visa Gift Card
Age 12-14 1st
Nintendo Switch Lite
Ukulele Bundle
$50 Visa Gift Card
Age 15-17 1st
Nintendo Switch Lite
Polaroid Camera
$50 Visa Gift Card
Age 18+ 1st
Nintendo Switch Lite
Bluetooth Headphones
$50 Visa Gift Card
Family 1st
Nintendo Switch (Full)
Movie Kit
$50 Visa Gift Card


  • We encourage individual entries in the five age categories, and entries by members of the same household in the Family category.
  • If you do team up with someone who is not in your family and enter via one of the age categories, please be aware that there will be only one prize per place winner, regardless of the number of individuals contributing to the sculpture. 


  • Final entry deadline is Monday, February 1, 2021. 
  • Entry photographs will be voted on by City staff.   
  • Winners will be notified on Friday, February 12, and announced on the Bloomington Parks and Recreation Facebook Page the week of February 15. 

So make a plan, let your artistic side shine, and get ready to enter the first-ever Bloomington Parks and Recreation Virtual Snow Sculpture Contest!

Winter Coloring Contest: 12/28/20 - 2/12/21

With nearly 200 entries, the 2021 Winter Coloring Contest was fun and exceptionally colorful. Congratulations to our first-, second- and third-place winners in each grade as determined by the public vote in early February. Thanks to everyone who shared your creativity with us!  If you want to see all of the entries in a clickable gallery, click here.

  • Preschool: 1st-Amaya, 2nd-Louis M., 3rd-Sawyer F.
  • Kindergarten: 1st-Faustina D., 2nd-Cal C., 3rd-Elsi J./Madeline B.(tie)
  • 1st Grade: 1st-Ethan K., 2nd-Presley W., 3rd-Lacey O.
  • 2nd Grade: 1st-Hannah A., 2nd-Laila O., 3rd-Elin H.
  • 3rd Grade: 1st-Aubrey A., 2nd-Alyssa C., 3rd-Maggie M.
  • 4th Grade: 1st-Cassidy H., 2nd-Anna N., 3rd-Patrick C.
  • 5th Grade: 1st-Vivian W., 2nd-Annabella S., 3rd-Britta S.


Enter the Bloomington Parks and Recreation Winter 2020/2021 Coloring Contest.
Win prizes for your artistic skill and creativity!  For youth from preschool through 5th grade. 

Contest Rules

  • Age groups: Preschool (3 - 4 years), Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th grades.
  • Complete the drawing on a printout of page 2 of the PDF(s) linked below using markers, crayons or colored pencils.
  • Coloring contest entries may be submitted beginning on December 28, 2020 and are due by February 1, 2021 at 4:30 p.m.  
  • Submit completed entries one of two ways:
    • Postal mail to: Bloomington Parks and Recreation, 1800 W. Old Shakopee Road, Bloomington, MN 55431-3027
    • Scan and send via email to
Coloring Sheets
The 2020/2021 Coloring Contest has concluded. But you can still download and color the sheets below, just for fun! 

All submissions will be entered into the contest. Voting for the top entries will take place online on the City of Bloomington website in early February, 2021.

Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, & 3rd place in each age group. Winners will be notified and may pick up prizes at the Parks and Recreation office after completion of the contest.

Summer Activities

Project P.L.A.Y. offers a diverse array of interesting and fun outdoor, warm-weather recreation opportunities!

Discover Bloomington: Nature, Culture and History

Cultural, Natural and Historical Activities

Youth-based historical and cultural programming will focus on the Dakota culture, the historic Pond House and other City historic sites. We'll incorporate naturalist programming such as the establishment of a Native American garden.

  • Where:  Pond Dakota Mission Park & Historic Pond House, 401 East 104th Street, and additional locations (see below).
  • When: Varies (see below)
  • Who: Youth, families and adults 
  • Cost: Free.
  • Registration: None required.  
  • Participation Limits:  Outdoor events typically allow a maximum of 10-25 participants. 
Historical and Cultural Events
  • Check back in Spring 2021 for more warm-weather events and learning opportunities.
Naturalist Events
  • Check back in Spring 2021 for more opportunities to engage with the environment led by experienced naturalists.

EVENT-ful Fun

Drive-In Movies

Our Drive-In Movie schedule for 2020 is complete.  Thanks to everyone who came out to enjoy these FREE movie experiences.  We hope to ramp up the outdoor film fun again in 2021.

Get Active

Family Zumba in the Park

The Family Zumba season has concluded for 2020. Thanks to everyone who participated!

FREE Family Zumba!  Enjoy instructor-led classes with Shelly Pomonis.

  • Where:  Smith Park, 8155 Park Avenue South 
    • Check in at the East Gazebo to receive your participant wristband.  Class will take place in east baseball diamond outfield.  Staff will be on hand to assist with directions. 
  • When: Tuesdays, September 22 - November 3 (weather permitting), 5 - 6 p.m.
  • Who: We'd love to see families and kids, but ALL are welcome.  No age restrictions. 
    • Per our operational safety guidelines, the maximum number of participants allowed at any one time is 25.
  • Cost:  Free. 
  • Registration: None required 
Guest safety
  • Participants who are not from the same household must stay 6 feet apart during class.
  • Bring plenty of liquids to drink.
  • Please wear a mask and maintain physical distancing before and after class.

Tuesday is now TueZUMBAday!  In the event of weather cancellation, notice will be provided on the City of Bloomington Parks and Recreation Facebook Page

Family Pop-In Archery

Marsh Lake Park is home to Bloomington's premier archery range.  Learn archery basics and elements of safety. Shoot at stationary targets and compete in games. Equipment provided.  

  • Where: Marsh Lake Park Archery Range, 9401 France Avenue South.
  • When: October 17, 24, and 31, 10-11:30 a.m.
  • Who: Youth ages 7+ (with adult supervision).
    • Maximum number of participants at any one time is 15. First come, first served.
  • Cost: Free. Equipment and instruction provided. Taught by trained instructors from USA Archery.
  • Registration: No registration required, but waiver must be completed. 
  • Flyers: Download for your own use, and share with anyone else who might be interested in participating.

Learn to Bike

Providing instruction on fundamentals to help youth learn to ride a bicycle.    

  • Where: Bryant Park, 1001 West 85th Street. 
  • When:  TBD (coming soon!) 
  • Who: Youth ages 5 - 12. 
  • Cost: Free. Helmet included.
  • Registration: TBD

Learn to Kayak

Get introduced to the fundamentals of kayaking in a comfortable setting at a relaxed pace.  Learn proper strokes, paddling technique and more from expert instructors.    

  • Where: West Bush Lake Park, 95th St. and West Bush Lake Road. 
  • When:  TBD (coming soon!) 
  • Who: Youth ages 14+. 
  • Cost: Free. All equipment provided.
  • Registration: TBD 

Mobile Recreation

Bringing Fun to You!

Mobile Recreation Centers provide free programming with no registration required in a variety of Bloomington park locations. Examples of games, sports and other activities include basketball, Spikeball, parachutes, kite-flying, pop-up disc golf, slacklining and much more!  Mobile Rec Centers are equipped with all necessary cleaning and sanitizing supplies to ensure a safe experience for participants.

  • Where: Various parks throughout Bloomington (see schedule below)
  • Who: Youth ages 18 and under.
  • Cost: Free. 
  • Registration:  None required.
  • Participation Limits:  Per the Safety and Operations Plan, organized events are limited to 2 pods of 25 participants each, including youth, staff, parents, guardians, and spectators.  For self-guided activities, please observe physical distancing and other precautionary measures.
Mobile Rec Activity Schedule

Literacy Walk - Get Up and Go! 

Get up and go book image

  • What: Minnesota author, Nancy Carlson's book "Get Up and Go!" will be displayed at two trail locations throughout the month of October in Bloomington parks. The book is intended for children ages 3+ and is a great way to incorporate literacy and staying active in your local parks! Participants who have gotten up and gone can take a picture at one of the trails to become eligible for a free copy of the book, available while supplies last.

    To pick up a free copy, visit the Parks and Recreation Department on the first floor of Bloomington Civic Plaza, 1800 West Old Shakopee Road, and show a photo of your child(ren) enjoying the literacy walk. Books available first come first served, limit one per household. 50 books allotted to each trail location.
  • Where & When: Quail Ridge Playlot, 7301 Minnesota Bluffs Drive, 10/2-10/15;   Smith Park, 8155 Park Avenue S., 10/16-10/29
  • Who: Families with children ages 3+.
  • Cost: Free 
  • Registration:  None required.

For all the details on Mobile Rec Center operations, including health and safety protocols, view the complete Mobile Recreation Center Operation Plan

Anytime Activities

Try these activites that you can do anytime on your own.  

Nature Enthusiations

Go outside and take a walk, pay attention to your natural surroundings, look for animal tracks, or the animals themselves! Your environment can be an endless source of fun, learning, and new experiences.

Wonder Walk
  • Go outside & pay attention to the things around you.
  • Make a list of questions (‘wonders’) you think of that relate to the things you notice. It helps to start with the phrase “I wonder…”.
  • Use as many senses as you (safely) can- look, listen, smell, & feel.
  • Consider including ‘wonders’ you can measure, using words/phrases like “when”, “how much”, “how many”, “how often”, “more than”, or “difference between”.

Wonder Walk Activity
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Color Challenge
  • Choose a color and try to find something in nature (not human-made) that matches that color.
  • Recommendation- younger kids should find general colors (like anything ‘red’) & older kids/adults should find exact colors (like ‘robin’s egg blue’).

Color Challenge Activity
click to enlarge

Tracks and Trails
  • Go outside and look for tracks and other signs (feathers, fur, nests, homes, partially eaten food, scat, etc.) left behind by animals.
  • If available, try to follow the trail left behind by this animal- are there any similar tracks or other signs nearby?
  • Try to figure out what the animal(s) may have been doing when they left the tracks or other signs you noticed.

Tracks and Trails Activity
click to enlarge

Animal Observation
  • Watch an animal for at least 1 minute (ideally 5+ minutes).
  • Record anything you notice the animal doing (behaviors).
  • Try to be just an observer- don’t do anything that might change the animal’s behavior.

Animal Observation Activity
click to enlarge

Download and print this guide that includes all four fun and educational activities, and then get outside and experience nature today! 
Nature Enthusiations Activities Guide

General Information 

Safety and Operations Plan

Bloomington Parks and Recreation is offering a variety of outdoor pop-up programming through Project P.L.A.Y. All programming is subject to the Stay Safe Guidance as provided by the Minnesota Department of Health, as well as operations according to the City of Bloomington’s Safety Preparedness Plan, as updated. Each program will have an operating plan (Plan) that will outline the procedures and policies that must be followed in order to best provide a safe and healthy opportunity for our City staff, volunteers and participants.  

Examples of COVID-19 mitigation and participant safety measures that will be employed include:  

  • Equipment sanitization after every session.
  • Participant screening questions regarding household health status and potential COVID-19 exposure.
  • Limits on maximum number of participants.
  • High-visibility signage outlining health and safety precautions and identifying programming as part of Project P.L.A.Y.
  • City staff and other program providers will wear masks at all times.
  • Many programs and events have participation limits of 2 pods of 25 participants per pod. See full operations plan for details. 

For details, download the Project P.L.A.Y. Safety and Operations Plan

Enjoy additional activities you can do on your own in the Recreation Experience Center