Rochester MN Guide to Things to Do With Kids Under Two 

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Finding appropriate places to bring your toddler to play and learn can be hard especially when they’re two years of age and under. They need constant stimulation in a safe and clean environment surrounded by children of their age. Look no further! Here is a comprehensive list of appropriate things to do and places to see for those little minds, and very busy bodies, in and near Rochester, Minnesota.

Arts & Culture 

Castle Community
121 North Broadway, Rochester, MN 55906 // (507) 218-7214
Where artists can afford to work, learn, and grow their craft and a place where you can explore, meet and expand. Discover the new Castle Community on North Broadway where young, old, rich, poor, artsy, and fartsy can escape, dream, and celebrate together. Check out the Neon Green Studio — and purchase a small art project for your kiddo to do with a little help from you.

Color Me Mine
416 Crosswords Dr. SW, Rochester, MN // (507) 258-5436
On the 2nd Tuesday of each month, children 5 and under can creatively paint a pre-selected pottery figurine for $10. As long as your toddler can hold a paintbrush, join Color Me Mine from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. and go home with a personalized piece of art! No registration or reservations required. 

Mayo Clinic Art Tour
200 1st St SW, Rochester, MN 55905 // (507) 284-2511
Take a stroll with your littles and enjoy the extensive collection of art displayed throughout the downtown campus. Many pieces were donated and commissioned works made possible by Mayo benefactors. If interested in a self-guided audio art tour, visit the Information Desk in the Gonda Building, lobby level, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. or call 507-266-2066 for more information. 

Minnesota Children’s Museum Rochester
1643 N Broadway, Rochester, MN 55906 // (507) 218-3101
Rotating exhibits promote hands-on play, learning, and exploration. The Minnesota Children’s Museum of Rochester brings learning to all ages through its classes and interactive exhibits. Memberships are available. Admission for adults ages 1-101 is $5.50 and children under one are free. See online for hours.

Rochester Public Library
101 2nd St SE, Rochester, MN 55904 // (507) 328-2300
Catch concerts, dance parties, reading events, character visits and more throughout the year at our treasured Rochester Public Library. Watch their public events calendar for detailed information. For a more casual experience, check out the coloring room equipped with markers, pencils and plenty of paper to let the kiddos doodle. Grab a book on arts, culture or diversity and enjoy a story with your little one. Be sure to explore the play and learn corner full of interactive displays.

Sargent’s Garden
811 2nd St SW, Rochester, MN 55902 // (507) 289-0022
Its Wee Wednesday program is one Wednesday a month (9:30 am. and 10:30 a.m.) during April through December. Designed for preschool and kindergarten aged kids (and their favorite big person), classes include hands-on activities, a story, and a tasty treat. Cost is $8 and $ per additional sibling. Registration required.

Indoor Play

Air Insanity
1607 Hwy 14 East, Rochester MN 55904 // (507) 218-8385
Rochester’s indoor trampoline park has 130+ interconnected trampolines, a toddler zone, open jump arena, fidget ladder, obstacle course, climbing wall, nerf zone and much more! Join Tot Time between 10 a.m. – Noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays and 10-11 a.m. on Saturday’s. Prices are online.

Apache Mall Play Zone
52 US-14, Rochester, MN 55902 // (507)288-8056
Located on the north side of Apache Mall, near the SCHEELS entrance — this little playscape is perfect for a free afternoon of play! It’s a great place for young kids with only one entrance/exit, soft floors and climbing toys.

Bounce World
4430 19th Street NW, Rochester, MN 55901 // (507) 398-6660
A 15,000 square foot building is filled with inflatable bounce houses and slides and other interactive inflatables for your little one to bounce and burn off energy. Open for all ages 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Monday-Thursday and 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. on Friday. Admission is $3 + tax for 2 years of age and younger.

Monkey Junction
500 60th Ave NW, Rochester, MN 55901 // (507) 254-9205
This indoor play space is hosted by Life Lutheran and offers a large gymnasium filled with ride-on toys, balls, climbing equipment and slides for ages 0-6. Admission is $1/child and hours are from 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays during the fall and winter. Its closed Easter through summer. 

Pipsqueaks
903 W Center St, Rochester, MN 55902 // (507) 328-2525
A climb and slide area, riding and imagination zone and a toddler/crawler space are located in the gymnasium of the United Way building. Free parking is onsite and admission is $2 per child per day (free for children 0-6 months of age) or buy a punch card (6 visits) for $10. Open 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m, Monday-Saturday. Closed on holidays. 

Soccer World
380 Woodlake Dr. SE, Rochester, MN 55904 // (507) 424-3018
Preschool open gym takes place in a huge indoor soccer field equipped with a 16-foot slide, bounce house, mini soccer and hockey fields, hoops, gymnastics equipment, potato heads, bouncy balls, parachutes and much more. Open for preschoolers during the winter from 9-11 a.m., Monday & Friday. Parents are responsible for supervising their child. Children under two are free.

Movement & Music

Janet Lang Dance Studio
2625 Highway 14 West, Rochester, MN 55901 // (507) 288-9653
Enjoy dancing with your little one (minimum 18 months old) during this child/parent “Mommy & Me”30-minute dance class. Sessions take place at 6:45 p.m., Monday, 9 a.m., Thursday and 9 a.m., Saturday. Fees and registration are online.

Jets Gym
2440 Clare Ln NE, Rochester, MN 55906 // (507) 285-9262
Let your child ages 1-4 explore basic tumbling and apparatus work during JETS pre-school open gymnastics. Cost is $7 for members and $10 for non-members and takes place from September-May during 10:30 a.m. – Noon, Monday & Friday and 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m., Wednesday & Thursday. During June-August, pre-school open gym is only from 10:30 a.m. – Noon on Fridays.

Mapleford Studio
1112 7th Street NW, Rochester, MN 55901 (507) 775-2226
Sunrise children are 2 and 3 years old and come to a 45-minute class with a parent or caregiver one time a week for 10 weeks. Class time is focused on activities for growing pitch and rhythm matching and growing foundations for music understanding with “Bigger Kid” activities. Register online.

Rochester Academy of Music 
3169 Wellner Drive NE, Suite C,  Rochester, MN 55906 // (507) 326-0732
Located at Assisi Heights, experience Bounce & Sing – a parent-child class for children 18 months to 3 years. Class meets once a week, year round. No long-term contracts necessary and registration is month-to-month. Rochester Academy of Music also offers private voice and instrument lessons, 20, 30 and or 60 minutes per week.

Tippi Toes
1619 North Broadway, Rochester, MN 55906 // (507) 327-8950
Toddler & Me (18 months – 3 years) or Baby Ballet (2-3 years) gives your little ones a fun, positive and nurturing environment so they are able to experience the joys of dance, self-expression, and movement. Fees & schedule are online.

Outside With Nature 

Chesterwoods Park
8378 14 Hwy SE, Eyota, MN 55934 // (507) 328-7350
This park has a great swimming beach with dressing rooms and showers and 12 miles of natural trails for hiking. Spot a diverse population of wildlife, woodland birds and native prairie plants while enjoying your time outside. It’s worth a short drive to Eyota for a full day of fun. Admission is $5 daily or $25 annually. Park passes may be purchased at Chester Woods Park or at 2122 Campus Dr. SE, Suite 200. Beach hours vary and park hours are from 5 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Quarry Hill Nature Center
701 Silver Creek Road NE, Rochester, MN 55906 // (507) 328-3950
Seated in the City of Rochester’s Quarry Hill Park, find 8+ miles of paved and hiking trails, a pond and a historical sandstone cave carved in 1882. Explore the admission-free center which houses live animals and nature exhibits and a quiet reading room for your little one to learn. Year-round classes, day camps, trips and recreation activities are also offered. 

Oxbow Park and Zollman Zoo
5731 County Rd 105 NW, Byron, MN 55920 // (507) 328-7340
Jaunt over to Byron’s Oxbow Park with a zoo housing over 30 native Minnesota animal species and a nature center full of educational activities, exhibits, and artifacts. Tour the Path of Imagination, a 2-acre natural playscape full of art, education, and adventure. Also, 30 campground sites are available with modern restrooms, showers, and a community playground — in close proximity to the natural playscape and Zollman Zoo. 

Silver Lake Park
840 7th Street NE, Rochester, MN 55906 // (507) 328-2525
Take a lap (nearly 2 miles) around Silver Lake and reconnect with nature on one of our gorgeous spring, summer or fall days in Rochester. Pack a picnic and explore the Children’s Adventure Playground, a completely wheelchair and handicapped accessible facility, or enjoy a day of swimming at the outdoor pool. With plenty to see at Silver Lake Park and places to play, it may take a while to make it all the way around!

Story-time 

ABC Toy Zone
Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 10:30 AM
122 17th Ave NW
Rochester, MN 55901
Phone: (507) 286-8440

Barnes and Noble // Apache Mall
Saturdays at 11 AM.  (check website to ensure they are having story-time that week)
1201 12th St SW #425
Rochester, MN 55902
Phone: (507) 281-7950

Redeemer Lutheran Church
Mondays at 10:15 AM
869 7th Ave SE.
Rochester, MN  55904
Phone: (507) 289-5147

Rochester Public Library 
Many options to choose from below!
101 2nd St SE
Rochester, MN 55904
Phone: (507) 328-2300

Baby Story-time: Thursdays
Start Time: 10:00 AM
End Time: 10:20 AM
Bring in your baby for rhymes, songs, and stories just right for little ones (birth to 18 months).
Location: Auditorium – 1st Floor

Toddler Story-time:  Thursdays
Start Time: 10:30 AM
End Time: 10:50 AM
Special stories and songs for active toddlers (ages 18 months to 3 years).
Location: Auditorium – 1st Floor

Together Story-time:  Thursdays
Start Time: 11:00 AM
End Time: 11:20 AM
Special stories and songs for active toddlers (ages 18 months to 3 years).
Location: Auditorium – 1st Floor

Family Story-time:  1st & 3rd Saturdays
Start Time: 10:30 AM
End Time: 11:00 AM
Books, music and fun for you and your family!
Location: Auditorium – 1st Floor

Other Resources

For more things to do with your children, check out the following:  Guide to Fabulous Free Fun in Rochester MNRochester MN Guide to Summer Swimming and Restaurants and Coffee Shops with Play Spaces.

And, don’t forget Community Education provides classes for family members of all ages (baby through grandparent). Preschool, youth and adult class catalogs are sent through the U.S. mail and are also available online.