Let this Lego version of Duluth's Canal Park distract you for a couple minutes

The Ness family from Coon Rapids is getting up to some cool stuff during the quarantine.

The Ness family from Coon Rapids is getting up to some cool stuff during the quarantine. Michael Ness, Facebook

Everyone’s got their own way of coping with quarantine—just ask everyone who’s suddenly addicted to sourdough baking. But if you’re the Ness family of Coon Rapids, your way involves less flour and more Legos.

As part of a contest through Odyssey Resorts, the family put their heads together and created this cute little stop-motion video of one of their favorite destinations: Canal Park in Duluth. Their loving attention to detail (and one damn fine lift bridge) won them the top prize, a two-night stay at one of Odyssey’s resorts.

This new stay-at-home existence isn’t as new to the Nesses as it is to others. The kids are home-schooled. Their mom, Rochelle, is used to being their teacher and troubleshooting their classes. But dad Michael says the adjustment has still been a little “restrictive.” The kids—and the parents, for that matter—have their emotional ups and downs. But they’re finding ways to cope.

“We were reading the Laura Ingalls Wilder [Little House on the Prairie] books,” Michael says. They used her book The Long Winter to try to explain what was happening in a way the kids could understand: the need to stay inside, and to keep spirits up and bodies healthy.

Rochelle says the kids get it. Their 10-year-old, Collin, who did much of the work on the lift bridge thanks to his experience in robotics this year, said they’d be “good” as long as they had food and heat.

But sometimes it takes a little creativity—a little play—to turn an austere reality into a memory these kids can look back on with a smile.

After taking two days to build the lift bridge, an entire Sunday to create the backdrop, and three hours and 300 photos to make the movie, Michael and Rochelle hope they’ve helped that happen.