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  • Educational Experiences

The Escape Game at Mall of America

From preschool on up, school is looking a little different for the 2020-2021 year. Although in-person classes may be limited or non-existent, there are still ways to keep your children’s brains sharp and get them out of the house for an educational experience. Here’s the best spots in and around Bloomington to have fun while learning.

Need assistance with creating your educational itinerary? Reach out to us at info@bloomingtonmn.org! We can help with trip planning, coupons and discounts, and more!

Science Class
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
Science class moves outdoors at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, home to 1600 acres of professionally maintained gardens, rare plant collections, and accessible trails. Prepare for your visit to “The Arb” by checking out their online activity kits, then visit in person and point out the various kinds of horticulture and nature.

Minnesota Zoo
Explore the natural world and the field of zoology at the Minnesota Zoo in nearby Apple Valley. In areas like the Wells Fargo Family Farm, Tropics Trail, and Russia’s Grizzly Coast, your kiddos can see animals they’ve only read about in books. Plus, the Minnesota Zoo’s focus on conservation will add an element of ecology to this science lesson.
MN Zoo 600x450 Minnesota Zoo

Math Class
The Escape Game
While you most likely won’t need to add, subtract, or multiply at The Escape Game, using logic is a must. Your family will need to work as a team to solve puzzles and clues and figure out how to escape from a themed room in under an hour. The skills of inference and deduction – plus a lot of teamwork – will come in handy during your child’s next geometry lesson.

Art Class
Public art tour of Bloomington
Our latest itinerary guides you through the beautiful public art in Bloomington’s South Loop. Spend an afternoon getting some exercise and fresh air while viewing art pieces like the Wright’s Lake Park mural and the Convergence sculpture. Since we’ve pre-planned the route, you can focus on encouraging your children’s creativity and curiosity.

Bloomington Center for the Arts
Bloomington’s resident arts organization, Artistry, hosts regular exhibits at the Bloomington Center for the Arts. Recent featured artists in the galleries have included abstract sculptures by Kristina Fjellman and multimedia paintings by Denise Presnell. Artistry galleries are completely free to visit, and the exhibits rotate seasonally.

Geography Class
Normandale Japanese Garden
Although the Normandale Japanese Garden is located in the heart of Bloomington, you’ll feel transported to another continent as soon as you step into this leafy green oasis. A professional garden architect from Tokyo, Takao Watanabe, designed the Normandale Japanese Garden in the 1970s. Integrate your family’s visit to the garden with some background information about Japan and how the Asian continent’s climate and geography differs from Minnesota’s.

Gym Class
Vertical Endeavors
Bloomington’s local rock-climbing gym, Vertical Endeavors, has multiple climbing walls with 230 possible routes and 27 auto belays. Instructors are on hand to help novices seeking to try out rock climbing for the first time. It’s not a traditional team sport that your children would normally play in gym class, but climbing is excellent for a socially distanced workout – and it’s a total blast!

Music Class
Paisley Park
Any musically inclined kiddo will feel inspired after a visit to Paisley Park, the former home of legendary Prince. During a guided tour, you’ll experience the place where Prince wrote, recorded, and performed some of his most popular songs, and get up close to artifacts from the musician’s personal archives.

History Class
Minnehaha Falls
Experience nature with a side of Minnesota history at Minnehaha Falls, just a few miles from Bloomington. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow made the waterfall famous with his 1855 poem The Song of Hiawatha, a story about two young Native Americans who fall in love. The park is also home to several historic structures: the Longfellow and John H. Stevens Houses and the Princess Depot.

Recess
Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge
Everyone needs a break from school sometimes, and the wide open spaces at Bloomington’s Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge are the perfect place for a mid-day break or after-school adventure. Take a walk or bike ride and explore nature with your family at one of the only urban wildlife refuges in the country.
Wildlife Refuge 600x450 Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge

Hyland Lake Park Reserve
If your kids are the active type, they’ll love spending time at this scenic retreat. In late summer and early fall, you can fish at Hyland Lake or play 18 holes of disc golf, and once the weather turns, Hyland Hills Ski Area will open up for skiing and snowboarding. The award-winning Hyland Play Area has platforms, hexagonal climbers, and slides up to 50 feet long for elementary school-aged children to enjoy.

Virtual Options
Prefer an at-home learning experience? These local attractions are offering virtual education and activities during COVID-19.