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. 

Youth participants can learn to ride a bike, try archery, learn soccer and much more. 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.

Project PLAY logo

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. (+ additional locations).
  • When: Twice monthly naturalist programs and weekly historical programs. Beginning August 9.  See events linked below.
  • Who: Youth ages 4 - 18.
  • Cost: Free.
  • Registration: None required.  
  • Participation Limits:  Per the Safety and Operations Plan, Pond Outdoor Events allow a maximum of 25 participants, including staff. 
Historical Events
  • Whirlygigs and Thuamatropes (Frontier Toys) - November 1, 1-4 p.m. at Pond Dakota Mission Park
    • See examples and try out unusual frontier toys. Make one of each to take home!
  • Frontier Rope-Making - November 8, 1-4 p.m. at Pond Dakota Mission Park
    • Learn all about rope - an important frontier tool - and make your own to take home! 
  • Outside-In Historic House Tours - November 15, 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.
  • 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. 
  • 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.
Naturalist Events

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

Tuesday, October 27 Family Zumba Canceled Due to Inclement Weather.  November 3 class added!

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

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 proramming 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