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Resources and Family-Friendly Ideas for Winter Break

Published by Saint Paul Public Schools Dec. 12, 2019 Group of students

Saint Paul Public Schools will be on Winter Break from Monday, Dec. 23, through Friday, Jan. 3. Here are some resources for families, and a few ideas to get your family out and about during break.

Meals and Resources

In observance of the Christmas holiday on Dec. 24-25, some local organizations have a tradition of serving free or low-cost meals or providing assistance.

Loaves and Fishes: Most of the Loaves and Fishes dining sites will be closed on Christmas Day, but will be open regularly throughout the break. The St. Stephens location in Minneapolis will serve dinner on Christmas Day, Dec. 25, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. On days other than Christmas Day, Saint Paul families can contact Loaves and Fishes or visit locations including:

Call 612-377-9810 for more information and additional locations.

Union Gospel Mission: Throughout the year, the Union Gospel Mission serves meals to people in need. This year, its annual Christmas Day meal is from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. at  435 University Ave. E., Saint Paul. Contact 651-292-1721 for more information. provides a list of nearby food pantries searchable by entering your current address. Service providers include Catholic Charities, the Hallie Q. Brown Food Shelf, the Masjid At-Taqwa food shelf, Salvation Army and more.

The Sheridan Story Winter Break Food ProgramAll YMCA Twin Cities branches will have The Sheridan Story bags of food available to anyone who requests it (while supplies last).

YMCA Youth Resource Line is a messaging service where youth can call and connect with a YMCA Youth Support Specialist who will provide resource and referrals (food shelves, housing, health care, etc.). Call 763-493-3052 (8 a.m.-8 p.m. seven days a week).

SafeZone Youth Drop-in Center, located at 130 E. 7th St., Saint Paul, provides food, clothing and assistance finding shelter. Visit or call 651-224-9644 for more information.

For additional resources visit or download the Youth Services Network app.

Things to Do
Here are some ideas to get your family out and about during break:

Saint Paul Public Library: All Saint Paul Public Libraries are closed Dec. 24-25, but there are plenty of programs and events happening at the library over Winter Break, including Maker Break. To view a calendar of programs and exhibits, visit

Winter Blast: Saint Paul Parks and Recreation is hosting Winter Blast Dec. 23-24, Dec. 30-32 and Jan. 2-3, which offers free, supervised recreation activities for children at recreation centers across the city. Saint Paul Parks and Recreation also hosts some additional all-day activities. Space is limited, so register online.

WinterSkate: Ice skate along the 3rd baseline of CHS Field. Skating is open most days at 11 a.m., with extended hours on weekends. WinterSkate is closed all day on Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. Skate rental is available. 

Como Zoo: The Como Zoo has exhibits, programs and story time. The zoo is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. daily. For a full list of daily events, visit

Twin Cities Model Railroad Museum: Night Trains, a special holiday tradition at the Twin Cities Model Railroad Museum, runs 6 to 9 p.m. Saturdays through Feb. 29. Cost is $15 per person, with family and group rates available. Kids under age 4 are free. For more information, visit

Science Museum of Minnesota: Special exhibits open through Winter Break include Body Worlds Rx, Sportsology and “Superpower Dogs” in the Omnitheater. The museum is closed on Christmas Day, but open on New Year’s Day. For more information and happenings at the Science Museum, visit

Minnesota Children’s Museum: There are all sorts of things happening at the Minnesota Children’s Museum, including the Scramble, Forces at Play, Super Awesome Adventures and Imaginopolis. The museum is closed Dec. 24-25 in observation of Christmas, but is open on New Year’s Day. Here is a link to the museum’s information.