Rochester Local

Where to Take Your Grandkids Over Holiday Break

Quarry Hill Nature Center – Exploration Hall | Rochester, MN

If you’ve arrived at this post, it probably means you have family visiting you over the holidays! We’re certain you’ve found things to keep everyone happy and busy at your house, but what happens when everyone starts to get a bit of cabin fever?  Here are our recommendations for where to take your grandkids in Rochester MN. These ideas are geared for kids 10 and younger, but we also included several guides below with even more ideas for kids of all ages (1-99, that is). Have fun!

SPARK – Place of Play

SPARK – Place of Play | Apache Mall, Rochester MN


SPARK – Place of Play (formerly Minnesota Children’s Museum Rochester) has so many things to do: educational, immersive displays, a huge climber, a huge interactive water feature, role-play opportunities with costumes, stages, a grocery store, and more, a maker space, a wind tunnel wall, music, yoga, story-time, Zumba and much more! Regular SPARK programming and pop-ups from community partners provide new experiences every time you visit.

Address: Inside Apache Mall – 1201 12th Street SW, Suite #632 (inside the south corridor of the JCPenney wing)
Phone: (507)218-3100


Children under 1: FREE
Ages 1-59: $12
Seniors (60 and older): $11
Military (with valid ID): $11
Play for All (EBT/SNAP): $6

[button link=”https://www.sparkrochestermn.org” size=”small” window=”yes”]Website[/button]


Nana Gogo Toybrary

The first of its kind in Rochester, this Toybrary offers onsite play, hot coffee and comfy seating for parents, and an extensive library of toys that kids can check out and bring home! With affordable monthly or annual memberships, kids can check out toys, attend events, and play with other kids on site all year round.

Address: 2300 Superior Dr. NW, Rochester, MN 55901
Phone: (507) 328-0673
Cost: $7.50/child for drop-in play (memberships available)

[button link=”https://www.nanagogotoybrary.com/” size=”small” window=”yes”]Website[/button]

Miss Angie’s Place

Address: 222 S Main St, Pine Island, MN 55963
Phone:(507) 351-3684

Miss Angie’s place seeks to be a place to feel safe, secure, and wanted. Miss Angie’s Place is focused on 4 PILLARS that have been with the owner throughout her life: Art, Nature, Spirituality, and Movement.  Read more about Miss Angie’s Place here. She offers a variety of programs throughout the month. Check the calendar for all the details!

[button link=”https://missangiesplace.org/registration/” size=”small” window=”yes”]Website[/button]


Quarry Hill Nature Center

Address: 701 Silver Creek Rd NE, Rochester, MN 55906 //  (507) 328-3950
Phone: (507) 328-3950

Quarry Hill Nature Center is set within Quarry Hill Park on the NE side of Rochester. The Nature Center offers so many opportunities for open-ended exploration.  Observe reptiles, fish, birds, and small mammals, or grab a pair of binoculars to watch the birds. Get up close with artifacts such as feathers, fossils, animal bones, and more.  There is a climbing structure/treehouse and a library to read more about our environment and the animals we share it with.  Outside the Nature Center, discover miles of trails and outdoor exploration.

Cost: FREE (donations accepted)

[button link=”https://www.qhnc.org/” size=”small” window=”yes”]Website[/button]


Oxbow Park & Zollman Zoo

Address: 701 Silver Creek Rd NE, Rochester, MN 55906 //  (507) 328-3950
Phone: (507) 328-3950

The building includes a class area, an exhibit of some of the more common snakes of the region, and displays and artifacts associated with our natural world. The expanded experiences provided by a new addition to this building and existing park facilities allow groups and individuals more ways to enjoy the natural world.

The Dr. Paul E. Zollman Zoo houses over 30 species of wild animals native to Minnesota. Many of the zoo creatures have physical injuries that have rendered them non-releasable, while others are surplus zoo animals from other facilities. In some cases, animals are purchased from licensed animal facilities with donation funds set aside for such purposes. The zoo is named after Dr. Paul Zollman, DVM, in recognition of his dedication to Olmsted County.

Address: Oxbow Park, 5731 County Road 105 NW, Byron MN, 55920

Phone: (507) 328-7340

Cost: FREE (donations accepted)

[button link=”https://www.olmstedcounty.gov/residents/parks-recreation/parks/oxbow-park-zollman-zoo/oxbow-park-nature-center” size=”small” window=”yes”]Website[/button]

Roca Climbing & Fitness

Address: 6071 Rome Circle NW, Rochester MN 55901
Phone: (507) 218-1500 

Roca Climbing & Fitness amenities include indoor climbing, climbing instruction and training, a yoga studio, a fitness deck, a retail shop, special group events, and a spectator area. Whether you want to take the family, or kids, or escape for a few hours to burn energy, Roca Climbing is home to many great opportunities in one location!

Cost: Day Pass – $17, Day Pass with Gear – $23

[button link=”https://www.climbroca.com/” size=”small” window=”yes”]Website[/button]


Art Heads Emporium

Leah Joy Bee, owner | Art Heads Emporium, Rochester MN
Address: 317 S Broadway, Rochester, MN
Phone:(507) 319-0117
Studio art sessions are so much fun! From flower pressing to canvas art, you can find a class that’s right for you! Check out the calendar of events here. Art Heads Emporium offers a wide variety of creative things to do, local art pieces for purchase, and unique classes to participate in. You get all the materials needed to create a unique piece of art along with a demonstration! Check their website for more information.
Cost: Varies

[button link=”https://www.artheadsemporium.com/” size=”small” window=”yes”]Website[/button]


Other Places to Take Your Grandkids

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