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Trapped inside? With no school, parents scramble for options

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Going a little stir crazy?

For many Minnesota parents, Monday brought stinging cold – and then stinging news that school would be canceled a second day, on Tuesday.

For some, that meant an extended weekend that amounts to a four-day stretch indoors with kids and parents driving each other nuts. Many stressed working parents were left scrambling yet again Tuesday for day-care options. The Star Tribune talked to nurse Ryan Giacomini, who had ­Monday off to watch his 12- and 5-year-old sons, but he told the newspaper he’ll have to rely on family Tuesday. “I will probably lean on my dad who just retired,” he said.

A few workplaces have been flexible. WCCO reports that communications firm Tunheim in Bloomington allowed workers to bring their children to work Monday. About a dozen kids spent the day at the office watching movies and playing games, WCCO reported.

“We do have an adult here helping corral the chaos, but we are getting work done,” Tunheim's Lou Ann Olson told WCCO.

Some businesses, suffering from slow traffic, offered free promotions to draw in the masses huddled at home on Monday, including the Mall of America, which offered free rides at Nickelodeon Universe on Monday (but not Tuesday).

In St. Cloud, The AirMaxx Trampoline Park typically isn't open Mondays, but it made an exception this week to give parents something to do, the St. Cloud Times reported. Marcus Theatres’ Parkwood Cinema in Waite Park saw higher traffic than usual, the newspaper reported.

So what are parents doing with their kids Tuesday?

In some cases, looking for places to go to escape the house, despite the brutal wind chill: on errands, to indoor pools and recreation centers and libraries (although not the Wildwood branch of the Washington County Library in Mahtomedi – it's closed due to a burst water pipe).

The Minnesota Zoo is open Tuesday, noting on its Facebook page that it will offer $2 adult ticket discounts ($1 off for kids).

The Star Tribune offers a few other ideas for day-trip escapes, including Edinborough indoor park and gym in Edina, and Tropics Indoor Waterpark in Shoreview, open noon to 4 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m., according to the city's Facebook page.

WCCO offers some other ideas for metro-area parents: Como Conservatory’s Amazon Trail in St. Paul, where it's always 70 degrees; the Waterpark of America; and Vertical Endeavors.

Zero Gravity Trampoline Park in Mounds View says it is open at noon Tuesday.

IGM Gymnastics in Burnsville is offering a full-day camp Tuesday for kids for $45.

In other news, the two no-school days left Minneapolis school officials mulling whether to add more school days in June, although the school calendar already has two "snow days" built in for the possibility of school cancellations, the Star Tribune reports.

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