This time of the year, we all start experiencing a bit of cabin fever. Even though this winter has not been nearly as bitter and defeating as last year, spending too much time indoors can make anyone a bit edgy.
Cabin fever can leave even the hardiest of Minnesotans feeling claustrophobic, lethargic and irritable. Combat the winter blues with a few fun activities around town. Some even involve beer.
Urban Growler Table-for-Twosday
St. Anthony Park’s brewery and taproom, Urban Growler, 2325 Endicott St., offers a great deal to liven up dreary Tuesday nights. You and a winter-weary friend can enjoy an appetizer, two entrees, two pints of the brewery’s handcrafted beer or a flight to share, and a sinful De-Lovely Porter brownie for dessert, all for $30.
Urban Growler is not for hipsters only, although there are usually plenty of bearded faces in the crowd. On a recent visit, we were surprised to see many families enjoying an evening out together. Let the kids share a Table-for-Twosday deal, too—and bonus, more beer for Mom.
Find out more at urbangrowlerbrewing.com.
Beer and wine classes at Underground Music Café
Want to know more about your favorite libations? Delve into the history and unique traits of a variety of wines and beers with group classes at Underground Music Café, 1579 N. Hamline Ave. Practice the besttasting techniques, identify wines from around the world or learn about the ever-growing beer styles available, all while noshing on a variety of appetizers and socializing with fellow revelers.
Classes cost $30 per person. Check upcoming class schedules at undergroundmusiccafe.com.
Open soccer at Joy of the People
Located in the former South St. Anthony Rec Center, 890 Cromwell Ave., near University Avenue and Highway 280, Joy of the People Soccer Center (JOTP) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to strengthen community and children’s health through soccer. The center offers several sessions of open free play throughout the week.
Kids can join a pick-up game or practice their skills in a supervised setting. Free play hours vary but include most weekday afternoons 3:30 to 5 p.m., as well as some weekend hours.
For specific winter hours and to learn about JOTP’s organized programs, go to joyofthepeople.org.
Open gym times at rec centers
Attached to Chelsea Heights Elementary School, Northwest Como Rec Center, 1515 N. Hamline Ave., is a popular Como hangout year-round. Between Jan. 4 and March 22, the rec center hosts Family Open Gym on Sunday afternoons. A variety of activities, including floor hockey and volleyball, are scheduled for schoolaged kids and their families from 3 to 4 p.m.
The gym is open for all ages for free play from 4 to 5 p.m. The gym at Langford Park Rec Center, 30 Langford Park, is available for open play on Fridays from 4 to 7 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. Children over the age of 9 are welcome to play without a parent. Langford Rec Center staff is onsite during those times.
North Dale Rec Center, 1414 N. St. Albans St., offers several openplay options. Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon, children 5 and younger and their caregivers can romp around the gym on tumbling mats, tiny slides, wheeled bikes and scooters. Children must be supervised by an adult at all times. There may be a nominal fee.
Additional programs such as Rec Check and programs geared toward teens are also available at several rec centers throughout St. Paul.
Check the St. Paul Parks and Recreation website for more details at mnstpaul. civicplus.com/index.aspx?NI D=1286.
Puppy playtime at Canine Coach
Long winters are hard on our fourlegged family members, too. While you and your pup count the days until it can frolic to its heart’s content at the nearest off-leash park, the Canine Coach, 1044 Front St., offers indoor playtimes for dogs and their humans.
The Canine Coach has two levels, so larger dogs can be separated from the itty-bitty ones, and 4,000 square feet of romping room. Puppy parents attend with their dogs and are responsible for them at all times, although helpful supervisors are always in attendance to make sure everyone is on their best behavior.
Playtimes cost $10 per one-hour session or $40 for five sessions.
Learn more at thek9coach.com/playtimes.php.