A Roundup of Summer Wellness Opportunities for You and Your Kids

Thanks to the Uelmen family—Jeff, Emily, Peyton, Greyson, Reed and Gabe—for sharing their hoops skills (and smiles!) with us for this fun photo shoot.

Ah, summertime—the season of freedom for youngsters, free from the trappings of studies, classes and (most) extracurricular activities. What’s a family to do with all this pent-up energy? “The statistics on childhood obesity are sobering and sad,” says FlyFeet Fitness co-owner Ben Shane. “The earlier you can build fun into a regular exercise regime, the better.” Luckily, the lake area is committed to providing multiple options for kids and families to get active. Here’s just a sampling of what’s out there. We’ve organized these local classes and events by age group.


Bloom Where You’re Planted
All ages (literally)
When it comes to incorporating children into your workout, Blooma arguably leads the way—and has been doing so for more than 10 years. Founded by doula and yoga teacher Sarah Longacre in 2007, the goal of all Blooma workouts is to support moms and their families. Plymouth’s location (located within Yoga MN) offers parent-child classes before the baby even comes into the world and continues through infant, crawler, toddler and all the ages in between. Yoga isn’t the only workout available for kids and moms, however: There’s a barre session made specifically for baby-wearing (think: children strapped to chest or back while safely squatting and stretching at a ballet barre for balance).
$12/class (child) and $24/class (adult); monthly passes $40/child or $94/unlimited mom pass

School of Fish
Ages 6 months to 4 years
Swimming lessons often begin with parent-child water-acclimation opportunities. The Marsh extends that family connectivity to include grandparent-grandchild opportunities each fall, winter and spring in its 95-degree therapy pool, and children’s private instruction in the summer. Swim instructor Diane Pattridge says this makes the offerings unique. “A calm, comfortable atmosphere with warm-water pools allow for focused children who receive individualized attention incorporating fun, safety and swim skills,” she says.
$31 for semi-private lessons; $50 for private lessons (but ask about the sibling discounts available); $252 for AquaBabies and AquaTots adult-child fall classes

Family Camp
All ages
Many are familiar with the YMCA’s history of youth programming, offering a number of children’s fitness and development programs from age 6 months on up. But few might know about summer camp as a family (and, while we’re at it, fall and winter camps, too). Camp du Nord just outside of Ely, Minn., offers all the favorite summer camp activities, from hiking to paddling to dance parties, as well as storytelling, crafts and everything in between. There are more camping opportunities as well, including space on the Gunflint Trail. The best part? You don’t need to ship off the kids and spend the week wishing you were there, too. You can be.
Starts at $340/cabin for a week (food not included); raffle registration for following summer occurs each November/December, but check in as there are waiting lists and spaces do become available.

AGES 5–8

Sunset Beach Yoga
Ages 5 and up
Join the Minnetonka community for a blissful beachfront yoga session at Shady Oak Beach. No experience necessary; the yoga will include meditation, asanas (poses) and pranayama (breathing). Participants should wear clothes that allow them to move comfortably. “Please also bring a towel or a mat, and a water bottle is encouraged,” recreation specialist Ann Davy says. In the event of questionable weather, a class might be canceled. These sunset classes (7:30–8:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Sundays) are popular and have no participation limit, so they’re a perfect way to spend time outdoors with the family (July 8, 11, 18, 22 and 25).

Picnic in the Park
Ages 12 and under
One of the most quintessential summer pastimes is a picnic at the park. To add a little spice to your picnic routine, include a walk to the neighborhood park or perhaps make a list of area parks and check them off one by one each week of summer vacation. At Minnetonka parks, you’ll find tons of amenities, from basketball and volleyball courts to play equipment to skate parks. There’s something for all ages. For those who want to go, rain or shine, consider the Williston Treehouse, an indoor play area at Williston Fitness Center for children ages 12 and younger. Check out a sample healthy picnic menu in the sidebar on page 33.
Williston Treehouse free for members, $6 for nonmembers

Mindfulness Tools for Kids and Teens
Two classes, one for ages 6–12 and another for ages 13–17
This one isn’t strictly for the whole family, but we think it’s an important wellness topic for teens. Nicole Lovald, owner of Spirit of the Lake Yoga and Wellness Center in Excelsior, is a mom in addition to being a certified yoga instructor and life coach. She emphasizes the importance of working with kids to help them use breathing and mindfulness techniques to calm their bodies and minds. From 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Mondays in July, she’s hosting a class for teens, who face an incredible amount of pressure in today’s world that can lead to stress, sleep issues, anxiety and depression. “Mindful awareness exercises and mind-body skills training can help develop self-awareness, greater concentration and a more positive outlook,” Lovald says. Teens will learn to increase their focus and memory, as well as concentrate on test-taking skills, sports and more.
$50, or $15/class for drop-ins

Play Ball!
Ages 6 and up
Kevin Costner might have said it best: There’s nothing quite like having a catch—or a batting session—to reconnect on a physical and emotional level with your child, and Williston Fitness Center makes everything about America’s favorite pastime accessible and fun, whether you’re a member of the center or not. Batting tokens are available for the cages, or join Dugout Clubs for package deals. There are open throwing sessions Tuesday evenings, reservations recommended. If you build it, they will come.
Rental fees start at $25 for members, $35 for nonmembers. For cost details visit eminnetonka.com

TWEENS ages 9-12

Sunday Fun Runs
All ages welcome
Meet at 7:30 a.m. every Sunday at FlyFeet for outdoor runs. All levels are welcome as the staff at FlyFeet Running offer multiple routes, depending on the distance you want to run and what kids you have in tow. “We certainly still accommodate all ages,” co-owner Ben Shane says. “The value of doing this as a family is that it creates a lot of positive exercise momentum and association for kids (and honestly for adults, too).”

Fly Through the Air
Ages 12–17
If you’ve heard about the “aerial silks” craze (or if you’ve seen some of the amazing athletes on America’s Got Talent), you know the seemingly graceful movements conducted on swinging hammocks or bungees are among the most incredible total body workouts available. Benefits include increased flexibility and core strength, but there’s a hearty dose of aerobic conditioning as well. Owner Christine Longe says she is excited to offer all classes to teens ages 12 and up. An introductory class for aerial hammock gets teens (and all ages) comfortable with the movements. Class packages can only be shared between a parent and child or two siblings. Once experienced, teens are welcome to more advanced classes with mom and dad.
$20/class, or packages that range from $95–$199

Happy Feet Training
Ages 8–12
Join the professional trainers at FlyFeet Running Saturdays to work on conditioning, speed, strength, mechanics, agility and fun. “This program is designed to teach kids how to move and perform like an athlete in a fun and focused environment,” co-owner Ben Shane says. “Running is the oldest form of exercise, and everyone is built to do it with minimal equipment required.” There’s a new four-week class each month, limited to 15 kids per class.  
$99; ask about student discounts for the summer


What’s SUP?
Ages 13 and up
Enjoy the beautiful scenery at Shady Oak Beach in Minnetonka while getting in shape at a stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) yoga and fitness class. Kids and parents alike will be challenged in balance, endurance and core strength, all while staying afloat a paddleboard. Wear clothes you can move in—so no jeans—and be sure to bring a towel and a water bottle. In the event of questionable weather, the class will be canceled. Class dates and registration available at kbsculpt.com.  
Starts at $41
Try a Tri Training Class
Ages 15 and up
Want to learn more about triathlons and how to train for one? Come out to Shady Oak Beach from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays to join this five-week class on the quirks of each segment (swim, bike, run). This class ends with a short practice triathlon, perfect, recreation specialist Ann Davy says, for those who want to sign up for a late-summer tri and need some motivation and guidance. Participants will get a simple workout plan, and registrants receive 50 percent off the registration fee for the Hopkins Royal Triathlon (hopkinsroyaltri.com) on September 1. $75

Mom & Dad Time
Child care options abound at local studios.

Balanced Barre
Ages: 6 weeks and older
Located in the heart of Wayzata, just blocks from gorgeous Lake Minnetonka, “we are a studio that makes a difference that’s dedicated to more than exercise,” owner Tina Dunlap says. The noncompetitive environment that allows parents to focus on fitness goals at Balanced Barre extends to child care. Classes where child care is offered—9:30 a.m. Mondays and Fridays—have their own sense of community.
Cost: $5/class; 305 Minnetonka Ave. S., Wayzata; 952.473.2433.

Monkey Barre at The Barre Studio
Ages: All, including infants
The 60-minute total body workouts focus on the kinds of long, lean muscle development common in dancers (the space utilizes a ballet barre for balance and some movements), but no dance experience is required. Take the time to work core muscles, arms and legs to exhaustion, then stretch them out to optimize recovery, while your child plays. Since all of the fitness classes have “barre” in the name, the team at The Barre Studio thought it was a cute way to incorporate the kids, as well. “We find it an absolute necessity as moms ourselves that when we want to get a work out in, there’s a place for our kids,” says Rachel Tessalone, manager. “We want to make sure other moms (and dads!) know about the option, as well.”
Cost: $7/class; reservations required; 539 Lake St. E., Wayzata; 952.473.0109.

Child Center at Life Time Fitness
Ages: 6 weeks to 12 years
Available during your regular workout or for special occasion parents’ nights out, Life Time offers child care for its members at its Minnetonka location.
Cost: $15 for parents’ night out, July 13 and August 10;3310 County Road 101 S., Minnetonka; 952.476.1717.

Kids Club at The Marsh
Ages: 6 weeks–12 years
The Marsh offers a Kids Club complete with an amazing library, an outdoor play space and loads of fit fun in age-appropriate activities. Whether parents are coming for dinner on the outdoor deck, enjoying a spa service in the award-winning spa or taking a yoga class, Kids Club is open to both members and the public while parents are on-site. Check in advance for hours.   
Reservations required for infants only; cost: $4
members, $10 nonmembers

Williston Fitness Center
Ages: 6 months and older
Children who are members of the facility receive the first 75 minutes of child care free. Members are then billed at $3/hour/child in 15-minute increments after the 75 minutes (two-hour max limit). Be sure to check the schedule in advance, as hours vary depending on the day and time of year.
Cost: Free for first 75 minutes; $3–$4 up to two hours

Ages: 6 weeks to 10 years
When you come to work out at the Y, consider bringing your children along for the fun that awaits them at Kids Stuff, the Y’s child care program. Reservations aren’t required, and your child can enjoy Kids Stuff for up to two hours a day while you are in the building.
Cost: Free

Picnic Menu Planner
Fun and healthy packables you and your kids can make together.

Trail Mix
Ingredients: Sunflower seeds, raisins, banana chips, pretzels, cashews, peanuts, granola
Put a generous kids’ handful of each into a large bowl, then stir gently. Store in a hard-sided container to keep ingredients from getting crushed. Tip: Avoid chocolate chips on hot days.

Sandwich Zoo
Make mini sandwiches by using cookie cutters in animal shapes. Kids can choose their fillings while mom or dad assembles the pieces. Kids might be more excited to try new items (hummus, avocado, tomato slices?) when they’re shaped in a new menagerie.

Melon Skewers
Ingredients: Honeydew, cantaloupe, watermelon
Parents can cut or scoop melon, while kids skewer them with a flexi-straw. Make them just before heading to the picnic because fruit tends to start losing vitamin C after it’s cut.

Fruity Punch
Ingredients: Strawberries, blueberries, grapes; fruit punch, apple juice or orange juice
Freeze the fruit for this punch before you pack it up. It’ll act as ice cubes to keep the drink cold, and make the drink more fun for wee ones.

Where to work out with your family this summer

The Aviary
118 Shady Oak Road, Minnetonka
3900 Vinewood Lane N. Suite 21, Plymouth

Fly Feet Running
881 Lake St. E., Wayzata //  Fly Feet Running

Shady Oak Beach
5200 Shady Oak Drive, Minnetonka

Spirit of the Lake Yoga and Wellness Center
244 Water St. (second floor), Excelsior

Williston Fitness Center
14509 Minnetonka Drive, Minnetonka

12301 Ridgedale Drive, Minnetonka