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Summer Fun Indoors: Surviving A Hot Spell In Minnesota

By Amy Rea

After a pretty stellar holiday weekend, weather-wise, we're now facing down some hot and humid days, and probably not for the last time this summer. That's great for people who like hot and humid, but not so great for those who don't, especially those with small children who need to burn off energy. Here are some ways to stay cool without hunkering down by the fan or A/C.

The Minnesota Children's Museum just reopened after a remodeling and expansion, and there's lots to do and see. New exhibits include the Scramble, a four-story contraption with two climbing towers, a spiral slide, and a netted catwalk; Super Awesome Adventures, which has a ninja laser maze, carpet skate park, and a green-screen climbing wall; and Sprouts, a special (and very safe) play space for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, among other new attractions.

Hands-on history is always on display at the Minnesota History Center, where kids will not only learn, but get to explore, climb, and create. Younger kids can have a blast in Grainland, while older kids can learn about WWI and the Penumbra Theatre. Bonus: The Weather Permitting exhibit allows people to experience some of Minnesota's wilder weather in a safe environment.

Of course, the Science Museum of Minnesota also provides hours of active entertainment, especially with its current summer exhibit, the Science of Pixar. And don't forget, if your kids would like a more detailed, immersive experience, the museum offers children's camps and classes all summer, too.

Across the river in Minneapolis, the Bakken Museum is also devoted to science, and also offers camps and classes. Learn how electricity works in the human body, how Mary Shelley came up with Frankenstein, and about the museum's home in the West Winds mansion, all with interactive components.

Vertical Endeavors will have kids climbing the wall—literally. Check the location nearest you for hours and potential class opportunities, or private lessons, if you prefer.

Maybe you just need a short break. Hennepin and Ramsey County Libraries offer story hours across the metro, along with other kinds of programs, including LEGO labs, Mehendi hand painting, and puzzle and gaming sessions. Or visit your local bookstore; St. Paul's Red Balloon Bookshop and Minneapolis' Wild Rumpus are both geared towards kids and have lots of events.

What else is happening in our state? Be sure to check out the 10 p.m. Sunday night WCCO newscasts, where you can learn more in the weekly segment, Finding Minnesota.

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