Monday, January 15, 2007

The sliding park for the day

Because there are so many parks in the Twin Cities, there are all kinds of secret and not-so-secret places to go sledding. If you want steep and scary, head to Kenwood Park above the tennis courts or Lyndale Farm's deep bowl. If you want long and shallow, Theodore Wirth's "back nine" is a fine place for that old four-person tobaggon.

But for a quick jaunt in the heart of the city with young kids—especially on a holiday snow day like today—we like Martin Luther King Park at Nicollet and 42nd. The hills are easy to navigate both up and down (that's important for the kids' short legs and Dad's weak back), there are enough trees to keep the heart rate up, and there's a long safe runout punctuated by a rumblestrip (a sidewalk at the base of the hill).

Best of all? Walk across the street with the kids to Curran's old time family diner, or another block south to Anodyne for hot cocoa and an old fashioned doughnut. A great opportunity to remind the kids why they have the day off today.

Oh, and you want a recommendation for best sledding technology? The flexible flyer is sexy, sure, but go with the snow-tube (cf. Dad's back).

Martin Luther King Park:, 42nd and Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis

Curran's,, 4201 Nicollet Ave. S, 612.822.5327

Anodyne Coffee House,, 4301 Nicollet Ave S., 612.824.4300

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