About Rec Reimagined

In order to help you stay connected, healthy, and active during this time, we have launched a new webpage where you can stay up-to-date with all of our digital and alternative programming options. Visit this page often for the latest virtual programs, activity ideas, and other ways to live an active lifestyle and stay connected to nature in our parks, at home, and in your own back yard. We will continue to update this page as new programs an activities are introduced. 

Some of our amenities are currently closed or have additional restrictions in place. Before you leave your home, carefully read through our Parks & Recreation COVID-19 Information page for the most up-to-date guidelines and information.

Anchor Link

As you enjoy our shared outdoor spaces, please remember to follow current public health guidance on distancing and masks. Especially at busy locations like ice rinks and ski areas where space is more limited, we must ALL do our part to #StaySafeMN and help prevent further spread of the virus.

  • Maintain distance from participants who are not part of your group.
  • Face coverings are strongly recommended.
  • Do not visit the park if you are sick, have symptoms of COVID-19, or are at a higher risk of illness. 
Parks and Rec COVID-19 updates
Anchor Link

In-Person Programs

NEW! Open Gym 

Reservations are now being accepted for Open Gym times at select recreation centers starting Monday, February 22, 2021. Reservations must be made in advance. Please review the re-opening guidelines and procedures and make a reservation on the Open Gym webpage. 

Open Gym webpage

NEW! Tot Time

Reservations are now being accepted for Tot Times at select recreation centers starting Monday, February 22, 2021. Reservations must be made in advance. Please review the re-opening guidelines and procedures and make a reservation on the Tot Time webpage. 

Tot Time webpage

NOW OPEN! Rice and Arlington Batting Cages

The Rice and Arlington batting cages and multipurpose room have re-opened. Reservations are required. Review the re-opening guidelines and procedures and make a reservation on the batting cage webpage.

Reserve a batting cage

NOW OPEN! Fitness Centers

Our fitness centers and walking tracks have re-opened. All fitness memberships have been activated. Reservations are required. Review the re-opening guidelines and procedures and make a reservation on the fitness center webpage.

Schedule a workout

NOW OPEN! Pickleball

Pickleball courts are available for indoor use at select recreation centers. Reservations are required. Review the health procedures and make a reservation on the Pickleball webpage.

Pickleball webpage


The Como Park Ski Center is now closed for the season. Cross country ski trails will be maintained for as long as conditions allow. 

Cross Country Skiing

Sledding hills

From steep to gentle, Saint Paul has a variety of hill inclines for your thrill level. All sledding hills are free and open to the public. 

Find a hill

Aquatics programs

Great River Water Park has reopened. Advance reservations are required and CDC and MN Public Health guidelines will be in place. Some activities, amenities, and features may not be available at this time. View the Great River Water Park website for full details. 

Great River Water Park webpage

Visit the Como Zoo & Conservatory

Como Zoo and The Marjorie McNeely Conservatory have reopened and are now taking reservations for visitors. Current health guidelines will be followed, including taking reservations to limit capacity, requiring masks, and staying at least four flamingos or one polar bear away from other guests. If you're ready to visit the Zoo in person yet, scroll down to view what virtual options Como Park Zoo & Conservatory are offering. 

Visit the Zoo & Conservatory

No School Day programs 

Saint Paul Parks and Recreation offers fun programs to keep youth active and engaged during fall, winter, and spring breaks as well as other days when Saint Paul Public Schools are not in session.​ Upcoming dates include March 26 and April 5-9.

No School Days webpage

Rec Check (for the 2020-2021 school year)

Our popular Rec Check after-school program is back with some safety modifications to align with the CDC and MN Department of Health guidelines on COVID-19. This program is free. Registration is required.

Rec Check webpage

S'more Fun (for the 2020-2021 school year)

S’more Fun is a recreational childcare program providing structured and unstructured activities offered at limited sites around the city. Registration is now available for school year 2020-2021 and will adhere to the CDC and MN Department of Health guidance on COVID-19. Registration is required.

S'more Fun webpage

Recreation for Preschoolers (updated information for Summer 2021 and 2021-2022 school year)

Recreation for Preschoolers encourages children to play, socialize, and grow from daily lesson plans that prioritize educational experiences and recreation. Recreation for Preschoolers registration is available at limited sites and will adhere to the CDC and MN Department of Health guidance on COVID-19. Registration is required.

Recreation for Preschoolers webpage

Anchor Link

Virtual Programs

Como Zoo & Conservatory

Como Zoo & Conservatory is offering LIVE zookeeper talks and gardener talks. Tune in Monday and Thursday at 1:30pm on their Facebook page. Can't watch live or don't have Facebook? Visit their website for a full archive of posted videos. The Reindeers are recovering from their big day in December, and you can still watch their live feed. Como counted down to 2021 with 21 adorable animal videos! A new video was added leading up to December 31. Saavy techies can also follow #ComoCountdown21to21. 

Watch Como Live videos Watch the live Reindeer Cam ComoCountdown21to21

NEW! Virtual Gardening classes (new spring topics!)

Learn how to expand your home garden with these free online classes taught by U of M Ramsey County Master Gardeners. Spring class topics include introductory and advanced vegetable gardening, growing seeds, gardening between seasons, and planting for pollinators. Beginner and advanced gardeners welcome! 

Sign up for gardening classes 

Haunted Stories

We asked writers to submit original stories and poems for our Haunted Story Competition. Watch our featured haunted stories then try writing your own spooky tale! Challenge yourself to include a Saint Paul landmark, location, or building! 

Watch haunted stories

Mississippi Park Connection events: Coffee with a Ranger

Coffee with a Ranger is a video series for folks at home to interact with a park ranger via Facebook Live.  Tune in every Friday at 10am to watch it live and ask questions in the comments section. (You do not need a Facebook account to watch the videos but you do need to be logged into an account to ask questions.) The series now features a live ASL interpreter. Check out Mississippi Park Connection's Facebook page to watch previous segments covering birds, flowers, beer and more!

Park Connection events

Digital Rec Check

An online version of our popular Rec Check after-school program. Originally aired Spring 2020. 

Watch Rec Check

Minnesota Vikings at home workout with C.J. Ham 

Saint Paul Parks and Recreation is teaming up with Minnesota Vikings fullback C.J. Ham to offer a home workout directly from his home to yours. C.J. demonstrates drills and skills you can do from your living room or yard. Read about our partnership, including thoughts from C.J. Ham and Mayor Melvin Carter, in the Viking's blog post (link below.) Follow along with the video, take a photo after your workout, and tag us on social media to let us know how you did!

Read the Vikings blog post

Minnesota United Football Club Workouts and "Funtivities" 

Try out some exercises you can do from home with Head Athletic Trainer at Minnesota United, Stacey Hardin. Then as your body cools down, warm up your brain with MNUFC-themed "funtivities" such as downloadable puzzles, word searches, mazes, and coloring pages. 

 Home workouts with MNUFC MNUFC "Funtivities" webpage

Minnesota Twins Virtual Academy Webinars

These webinars are an opportunity to learn from Twins staff and Play Ball! Minnesota partners in an easy to use online platform. Presenters will cover various topics and show youth players and coaches things they can do to help their development. You can watch past webinars from Spring 2020.

Twins webinars

Anchor Link

Self-led Programs & Resources

NEW! Scavenger Hunts in Saint Paul Parks 

The Saint Paul Winter Carnival and The Metropolitan Council are both offering self-led scavenger hunts using an app called GooseChase. The Winter Carnival's "Park-emon Go" hunt and The Metropolitan Council's "Regional Parks Scavenger Hunt" hunts are great ways to get outdoors and explore new parks!

Park-emon Go Hunt Winter Scavenger Hunt 

NEW! Regional Parks Adventure Guide

Ready for an adventure? 64 regional parks are still open during the fall and winter! Don't let a little bit of cold air stop you. To help you get outside and explore, we've created an adventure guide that lists all of the parks, along with activities and challenges. It's a great tool to continue exploring the outdoors. In the Twin Cities, you can get to any of our parks within an hour.

Browse the Adventure Guide 

Outdoor & Environmental Recreation

Our Explore Outdoors team has put together a variety of self-guided activities for everyone to enjoy the outdoors, whether it's visiting a local park or staying in your own backyard. This is a great resource for all your park information, virtual tours and live streams, community science projects, Nature Bingo, outdoor wellness tips, and more! 

Explore Outdoors webpage

Saint Paul Library

Stay safe and stay connected with the help of Saint Paul Public Library. Whatever you’re in the mood for, Saint Paul Public Libraries has curated popular library resources as well as their favorite experiences from across the web that they think you’ll enjoy. 

Research "Staying in" programs 


Sprockets is a network of many different after-school and summer programs in Saint Paul. Their vision is that all Saint Paul's youth will develop their abilities as learners, contributors, and navigators so they can recognize and achieve their greatest potential. This collaboration includes Saint Paul Parks & Recreation, Saint Paul Public Library, Saint Paul Public Schools, and other program partners. Check back as programs will be continually created and added throughout the year.

Sprockets webpage

Last Edited: March 2, 2021