287 Families,

Winter is here! Whether you welcome the change in season or are counting the days until spring, we all need to be prepared for winter.

Below we have compiled a list of community resources available for families. 

We also welcome you to reach out to your school’s family engagement coordinator if you have any questions or needs this winter. 

Programs and Activities 

  • It’s chilly out there! Here are some ideas for indoor activities for families during winter.
  • For those who embrace the cold weather, Explore Minnesota has some ideas of how to have fun outside. Check out the information here; you can search for outdoor activities by region or category.
  • The City of Minneapolis has a list of free activities in the metro area.
  • The Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board hosts a large list of community events; many are free of charge; you can check out their listings here.
  • Hennepin County Library offers special winter activities for youth and families.


  • Hennepin County has a list of health resources with clinics that can address any health needs your family may be experiencing. 
  • If you or someone in your household has COVID symptoms, here is a list of places you can get tested in the community for COVID-19; testing is always free.

Food Shelves 

  • Check out this list of organizations that provide food support through Second Harvest Heartland.
  • Hunger Impact’s Partner’s Free Meals for Kids app is a free app that shows current locations for free meals by neighborhood.
  • The Community Action Partnership of Hennepin County food assistance webpage lists community food shelves in cities across the metro.
  • Kids 18 and under can visit participating community sites for no-cost healthy meals and snacks from Minneapolis Public Schools. Children do not need to attend Minneapolis Public Schools to participate. Please check in with the park or library for meal times, menus, and the latest information. The Minneapolis Park & Recreation Holiday Schedule can be found here


  • The Transit Assistance Program (TAP) is a program you can apply for that makes public transit more affordable for lower-income families. TAP provides a year-long reduced fare pass on a Go-To Card.
  • Winter travel can change quickly; it’s always a good idea to check the road conditions from 511 here and find the safest way to get where you need to go.

Financial Assistance

  • Hennepin County has childcare resources and a list of rent assistance resources, financial assistance, and mental health resources.
  • The Community Action Partnership of Hennepin County webpage also hosts many lists of resources, from anything from clothing to bill assistance. If you need immediate access to services, please see their emergency services webpage to find a location close to you.
  • United Way 211 provides free and confidential health and human services information for people in Minnesota. Assistance is available in all languages. 211 is open for calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The United Way can connect families with resources, including food, winter clothes, and toys/gifts. Call 211 or 651-291-0211.

Winter Coats & Clothing

  • Twin Cities Salvation lists locations you can receive free coats and winter gear for children up to 14 and many other services for families in need.
  • Free coats, clothes, back-to-school supplies, and furniture in the Minneapolis and Saint Paul area are available through Need Help Paying Bills.
  • The Free Store has winter coats and home supplies for those in need. Numbers to enter the Free Store are handed out at 8:30 am and 12:15 pm on Monday and 8:30 am on Wednesday and Thursday.