Teddy Bear Park : Minneapolis/St Paul Children’s Photographer

Welcome to the third edition of Best Twin Cities Playgrounds!

During the last week of August I found myself driving along interstate 694 after a visit to one of my favorite fabric shops. My Aunt was in town and she, like me, is a major crafter so we spent a lot of time on the road looking for stores to visit. I lost count how many different places we visited that week; on this particular day we decided to go to JoAnn’s in Woodbury after our trip to Rogers. Talk about exploring the metro! I am not sure we could have chosen two places more far apart.

Anyhow, there I was on 694 thinking I was so smart for remembering I could circle around and get to Woodbury from the north. HA! Construction foiled me, and there was no exit for interstate 494. In either direction. I so rarely find myself that far north and east near Stillwater that I looked in my rearview mirror and said to Holly–“We are going to Teddy Bear Park!” I had a photo session there earlier this summer and had been looking for a time and reason to go back.

For directions on how to get there, click here.

Unfortunately I only had my little point and shoot camera with me this day, but the photos still tell a pretty good story of how unique the park is. I only wish it wasn’t so warm the day we were there. Boy am I excited the fall is upon us and I can start really enjoying these park visits instead of barking for water and shade the whole time!

This is the view when you first go through the gate. Completely adorable right? I love how colorful everything is, and how cool the rocks are on bare feet. (The artificial grass? Not so much–it get’s really hot!) While a lot of equipment is right out in the sun, there is a shaded bench pavilion for parents, and a cliff rock wall that provides a lot of shade as well.

Note the brick building in the upper right. From what I understand it’s rentable for special events. Wouldn’t this be a cute place for a birthday party!? (Information on how to rent it is found here.) We were there at high noon on a Thursday so it was pretty vacant, but I did visit earlier in the summer around 10am and it was a complete zoo. There must have been 200 kids there and 50 strollers…it was crazy. And a Friday morning. I can’t imagine what the crowd could be on a Saturday.

This area is to the right of the main entrance and stretches all along the east side of the park until it reaches the brick building seen in the earlier photo. The amphitheater and building host children’s events all summer long. (Events are over for the year now, but look here for a list of events once the summer of 2013 draws near.) Holly loved climbing in the spiderweb net and along the cliffs. Marie, of course, really was into the sand!

The equipment near the front of the park looks to be geared more towards the three and under set,

while the rear and east of the park were more for Holly’s age group 4-6.

Kids do, however, just like to play. Holly spent just as much time running through the trains and on the little slides as she did the big one!

Holly gave this park two thumbs up, and I would have to agree. It truly feels magical there, almost as if you are in the technicolor world of OZ. Some things I want to make sure to mention are tables available near the cliff wall perfect for picnics, water fountains to keep you hydrated near the entrance, and bathrooms accessible at the rear of the brick building for use.

And that wraps up this week. I will leave you with the obligatory, yet oh so needed for my scrapbook, shot of the girls on the big teddy bear at the front gate. At times nothing makes me feel more like a mom than having my kids sit on big stone statues as I ¬†frantically call for them to “look at me!” “Keep smiling!” “Wait Holly, your sister’s not looking–look at me again!”

For the record, this isn’t how it goes with clients. For some reason getting other people’s children to look at me is 100x easier than my own!

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