Try your hand at a game that’s part tennis, part badminton 


To play pickleball—no actual pickles are used! Two or four players use oversized ping-pong paddles to hit a whiffle ball over a three-foot net on court. 

The rules are similar to tennis, but are slightly different to allow for a more relaxed pace. For example, a serve must be hit underhand and each team must play their first shot off the bounce.

Although the pickleball was invented in Washington state in 1965, it’s really been taking off in the Twin Cities over the last 10 years. There are more than 70 places to play pickleball in Minnesota—many of them are YMCA locations. 

At the Y, pickleball games are usually run like pick-up basketball games—on the Gym schedule and people can just show up during the designated times. At Y locations where pickleball is especially popular, there might be a sign-up process or there might even be outdoor courts. Not all Twin Cities YMCAs offer pickleball, but for those who do, it’s free for members to play. Find a Y near you to inquire about pickleball.

Cities around the metro are also getting into the action, and offer pickleball court rental, including:

Pickleball is a game for all ages, and is especially popular among active older adults who want to exercise competitively. It’s a great way to stay fit and make social connections. The USA Pickleball Association claims it is the fastest growing sport among seniors nationwide.