Rochester has plenty of indoor family-friendly fun to offer. From swimming to bouncing to live theater to arcades, Rochester has something fun to do for every member of the family.
Escape games are the newest craze sweeping the nation – a fun, team-building, brain-busting experience!. The Escape Challenge is a real-life room escape game based on the popular computer and mobile phone escape games. After entering a room with your team of 4-10 people, the door is locked behind you. 60 minutes are on the clock! You must work together in order to find clues and solve puzzles that will lead you to your escape. It is part scavenger hunt and part puzzle game. Only about 10% of groups are able to meet the challenge and escape in time!
Rochester Tennis Connection is open to the public and offers memberships. For instruction for juniors and adults, please see our website. We have Bargain Courts (non-prime time) at reduced rates (see website or call us for times & rates!), rackets available at no charge and a ball machine that is fun to use at no charge…just pay for the court time! If any member of your family is involved in a program at our club, courts are available on Sundays for Family Day at the reduced member rate! Borrow our rackets and carts of balls to practice (no charge for those!). It’s a fun place to play a great lifetime sport!
The Rochester Area Family Y has a lot to offer: swim lessons, T-ball, football, soccer, basketball, volleyball, karate, dance and much more including home school classes. All this and a fitness center, a preschool (Y tots), and Kids Care (childcare while you work out). Visit their website for membership fees.
The Rochester Athletic Club (aka The RAC) offers Rochester residents a place to work out plus three pools, batting and golf cages, adult and youth classes, a Kids Play area for children six and under, a Junior Gym for kids, and a Kids Club daycare facility (kids stay while parents play). Visit their website for membership fees.
The Recreation Center (aka The Rec Center) offers indoor ice skating (and skate rental), swimming and open gym. Their website always has a two-week schedule that lets you know the days/times of open skate, open swim, and open gym.
Prairie Walls Climbing Gym is a state of the art indoor rock climbing facility. Featuring 9500 square feet of highly featured climbing surface, their walls are designed to inspire and challenge first time climbers as well as seasoned veterans of the rock. Prairie Walls Climbing Gym offers a wide variety of services including lessons (Kids Club and Parent/Child classes – see our Calendar of Events for more information) and birthday parties.
Roca Climbing & Fitness is a locally-owned, custom-build rock climbing, fitness and yoga studio in Rochester. They provide over 15,000 square feet of climbing with walls up to 48 feet tall, kids climbing area with two slides built into the climbing walls, as wel as a fitness and yoga studio overlooking the climbing area.
Bowlocity offers bowling, a fun arcade, youth leagues, and kids birthday parties. Call for open bowling times and rates.
Colonial Lanes offers bowling, youth leagues, and kids parties. Call for open bowling times and rates.
Bounce World is a 15,000 sqare foot indoor bounce playland. At Bounce World, we have our bounce arena packed full of inflatables that we rotate from our large Jolly Jumpz collection! In addition to our bounce houses and inflatable games, Bounce World also has carnival games and a concession area.
INDOOR PLAYPLACES FOR TODDLERS
Monkey Junction is an indoor play space designed for children ages 0-6 to use under a parent or guardian’s supervision. It is located inside of Life Lutheran Church. Open several mornings throughout the week, Monkey Junction is open fall, winter and spring (not summer). Sign up on their website for the Monkey Junction newsletter so you can stay informed about their season openers, closings for bad weather, and special events. Admission is $1/child.
Pipsqueaks is a public indoor play zone designed for children kindergarten-age and younger to play under parental or guardian supervision (children may not be dropped off). A fun place to go with your kids and/or to meet with your play group, Pipsqueaks is located at the United Way of Olmsted County. Pipsqueaks is open Monday through Saturday for the majority of the school year. Pipsqueaks will be closed on all major holidays and when the Rochester Public Schools are closed because of inclement weather.
At the Minnesota Children’s Museum of Rochester, children and families will have a blast discovering an exciting, interactive world that ignites their curiosity, increases their understanding and sparks an appreciation for learning. The 5,000 square foot space is uniquely designed to provide a hands-on, stimulating environment with rotating exhibits and a classroom with new programs and activities every week. Admission: $5.50 – ages 1 to 101. Groups also have the opportunity to reserve the museum for private visits and parties.
The History Center of Olmsted County is located on a 46-acre site that includes numerous gardens, walking (and snowshoe) trails, two farmsteads, and several historic buildings. Inside the History Center, the museum features permanent exhibits about the events and people that shaped the history of Olmsted County, Minnesota. Exhibit topics include Saint Mary’s Hospital, IBM, and the 1883 Rochester tornado. Admission to the museum and grounds is $5 for adults, $2 for children, and free for members. The History Center offers many family-friendly special events and programs throughout the year (Movies Under the Stars, summer day camps, Days of Yesteryear).
The Rochester Art Center presents an exciting schedule of contemporary exhibitions featuring local, national and international artists. Just for families, the Rochester Art Center offers Free Family Days (visit our Calendar of Events for more information), providing an array of free family-friendly activities including, hands-on art activities, special docent-led tours of the exhibitions and family guides. Throughout the year the Rochester Art Center also offers classes, camps, workshops, film presentations, lectures and gallery tours for all ages.
Visit Rochester’s Chuck E. Cheese on 16th St. SE, behind the Apache Mall next to Trader Joe’s.
Bowlocity, the bowling alley, also has an impressive arcade. Play games, save up tickets, redeem for prizes.
ABC & Toy Zone offers story time Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 10:30am.
A Child’s Kingdom offers storytime on Saturdays.
The Apache Mall B&N location offers storytime. Go online for a schedule of storytimes.
The Rochester Public Library offers a variety of storytimes for infants through kindergarten enrollment. Visit their website for this month’s schedule of storytimes.
Rochester has one public library, the Rochester Public Library. It is located downtown and is connected to other downtown establishments via the skyway. The library is open every day during the school year, closed Sundays in the summer. The library offers a variety of free programming for every member of their family. Visit the library’s online calendar to check out this month’s programming.
The Rochester Public Library also has one bookmobile that operates year-round. Books may be reserved online for pickup at the bookmobile. Visit the library’s website to checkout the bookmobile’s days, times, and stops.
Home Depot (north side of town) offers free and fun DIY projects for kids many Saturdays, year round. Register online to save your spot.
Lowe’s (south side of town) offers free and fun DIY projects for kids many Saturdays, year round. Register online to save your spot.
CineMagic Theatres offers a FREE Kids’ Movie is held most Saturday mornings. Visit their website for this week’s movie and time.
Mayo Civic Center is located in downtown Rochester. It is southern Minnesota’s largest event center and is home to conventions, trade shows (the annual Home Show — the community’s annual motivator to get “projects” done around the house), sporting events (like the Harlem Globetrotters), and entertainment (Sesame Street Live among others). Check out their website for a full calendar of upcoming events.