Tip Of The Day: Ways to have warm, wet fun (get your minds OUT of the gutter), even though winter will be here for at least 3 more months.
Check out these Twin Cities indoor water parks: Tropics, Grand Rios, The Depot, and Sand Dollar Lagoon. Admission per person is under $20, it’s humid and warm inside, your kids will think you are the greatest human on Earth, and you’ll have a few moments to read your latest (library!) book while SOMEONE ELSE safeguards your children’s wellbeing.
Tip For Tomorrow: Cleaning the Cheap Chick’s house – figuratively, of course. Why on EARTH would I clean it for real? Reader tips and updates - a miscellany of frugality, if you will.
Further Elucidation Of My Cheap Deal: A few years back, I set an alarming precedent with my two oldest god-daughters. I took them to my local indoor water park (Tropics in Shoreview) during one of their many winter breaks. At the time, it seemed like a good idea. I enjoy water parks, my body was in kickin’ shape, and swimsuits didn’t terrorize me. Now? Not so much. However, the girls don’t seem to CARE that my ass is the size of a HOUSE. The nerve, right?
If your butt is in better shape than mine (and honestly, whose isn’t?), or, if you don’t care what you look like in a one-piece, here is a list of the local indoor parks for your enjoyment.
Note: Yes, I left out the Water Park of America in Bloomington. Sorry, tickets are over $20 a person, so it doesn’t make my cut. Take that, over-priced activities!
1. Tropics, Shoreview: I like this park the most, because it’s the only one I’ve been to. Plus, I’m a resident, so I get a discount - $5 to $6. If you are not a denizen of Shoreview, tickets range from $6.50 to $7.50, and are good for one full day.
The park has stuff for kids of all ages to mess around with, but only one water slide. However, that one slide is a doozy, so you won’t feel like you’re missing out. http://www.ci.shoreview.mn.us/Tropics/Tropics.html
2. Grand Rios, Brooklyn Center: This park is owned by the same company that owns Water Park of America, and both are “hotel water parks,” so you can stay where you play. Grand Rios, though, is WAY cheaper, by about $10 a head. Even still, it’s the most expensive one on my list.
Rates and hours change, depending on the day, so you’ll have to check out the calendar on their web site for exact details. Be Warned: some days cost more than $20 per person.
This park has it all, including a lazy river (being lazy myself, I appreciate this feature), so you get a lot of bang for your buck. http://www.grandrios.com/waterpark/
3. The Depot, Downtown Minneapolis: This one BARELY squeaks by – tickets for non-hotel guests (it’s associated with the Residence and the Renaissance) are $20 per person. It looks worth the price, though – apparently it is three stories high. I don’t know what’s contained within those three stories, but I bet it’s cool. And, well, LARGE. http://www.thedepotminneapolis.com/newSite/waterpark.asp
4. Sand Dollar Lagoon, Inver Grove Heights: Like Tropics, this water park is a part of a community center. Sand Dollar, though, has TWO water slides. So perhaps it is more better-er. Whatever.
I found two different price points for the park – Explore MN’s web site says $7.46 per person, $19.17 for a family of up to 5 people. But the Sand Dollar's web site says $5 a person, plus $2 per kid. So, either call ahead for exact pricing, or bring extra bucks. http://www.ci.inver-grove-heights.mn.us/index.asp?nid=97
Be a hero to your children and take them to an indoor water park. Just be sure to take along aspirin – the echoing screams in these parks are enough to make you voluntarily rip off your head.