Exploring the Twin Cities with Kids
Winter Capsule Wardrobe Project 2015
Family Fun Idea: 7 Spots to Craft Handmade Holiday Gifts
Avoid The Shopping Crowds on Black Friday with These Family Friendly Options
Read Aloud Wednesday– ‘How Martha Saved Her Parents From Green Beans’
3 Twin Cities Free & Budget Family Events for Nov. 21-22, 2015
9 Twin Cities Early December Holiday Events
Earn Some Christmas $$ as a Family
Fun with Dad! Brickmania Toyworks Open House
Experience Feed My Starving Children with Family Fun Twin Cities

Exploring the Twin Cities with Kids

This is my go-to website for things to do with the kiddos in Minnesota.


Is this your first visit to our site?  Start here and get to know us! 

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Winter Capsule Wardrobe Project 2015

Thrift StoreIt’s that time again: Switching our capsules.
To be honest, the boys didn’t need many new items, a couple more sweatshirts (replacing t-shirts) and St. Paulanother pair of warm athletic pants. They were done.

The girls and mom on the other hand?  We had a few more holes to fill in.  FFTC partnered with Arc’s Value Village to bring you a real-life look at thrift shopping for your capsule wardrobe.  In doing this, Arc provided us a 20% discount for our purchases.  No other compensation was exchanged, and boy, do I have things to share with you!

This is going to be fun.

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Happy Thanksgiving

Family Fun Idea: 7 Spots to Craft Handmade Holiday Gifts

Handmade holiday gifts can be extra special when the creative process is half the fun! We’ve rounded up seven local spots where your kids can mess up someone else’s space, let their imaginations run wild, and craft some serious masterpieces this holiday season:

Heartfelt • 4306 Upton Ave S, Minneapolis

Offers: Monthly preschool festivals, drop-in crafts and a comfortable, child-friendly environment to spend some time. The December festival will be held 12/16-17 from 10:30-11:45am, most likely featuring a craft that can be given as holiday gift as well as a snack and other seasonal activities. Advance reservations must me made by calling 612-877-8090.
Cost: $18 for the first child/adult pair, each additional child $10 or $3 for snacks only.

BeARTrageous2121 W 21st St, Minneapolis

Offers: All ages drop-in studio hours give kids the chance to handcraft holiday gifts with staff on hand for inspiration if needed. For kids ages 3+ there’s even a drop-off option!
Cost: $10/hr per child if adult remains, $15 per child dropped off.


Simply Jane • 5411 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis

Offers: Toddler Time Thursdays from 10am-noon are suitable for your little to create a homemade holiday gift. Experiment with paint, play with toys, books, dress-up and more. The studio also offers drop-in painting for all ages; hours can be found here.
Cost: Toddler Time is $10 per child.

Rumriver Art Center • 2665 4th Ave, Suite 102, Anoka

Offers: Free Family Art Day will take place Saturday, Dec. 5. Two sessions are available (11am-noon or 1-2pm) and reservations are required either by calling 763.323.8830 or using this form. The hour-long class is appropriate for kids ages 5+ with a caregiver and the holiday-themed project will be something suitable to give as a gift.
Cost: Free

09262009_Art1[1]Silverwood Park • 2500 County Rd E, St. Anthony

Offers: Digging in Clay: Family Gift Making will be held Saturday, Dec. 5 from 10am-noon at the visitor center. Reservations are required by Dec. 2 and can be made here.
Cost: $25/per child-adult pair, includes supplies.

Articulture • 2613 East Franklin Ave, Minneapolis

Offers: The weekend of Dec. 5-6, Articulture opens its doors for two free studio art days in conjunction with the annual Seward Winter Frolic. Make ornaments, cards & garlands, all ages plus cookies and cider.
Cost: Free

Leonardo’s Basement150 West 60th Street, Minneapolis

Offers: Sunday, Dec. 13, Leonardo’s Basement will offer a family holiday gift making workshop from 2-4pm. Project options are appropriate for ages 6+ and include crafting a wooden calendar, snow globes, jewelry & stencils on wood. A stained glass project is offered for ages 12+.
Cost: $15/pp, includes supplies. Pre-register online here.

Avoid The Shopping Crowds on Black Friday with These Family Friendly Options

You’ve probably seen that State Parks are Free on Black Friday. (Technically, State Parks are always free unless you bring a vehicle, but I assume that’s what they mean). My family is considering checking out Fort Snelling State Park. However, there are so many other awesome options for those of us who would rather avoid the shopping crowds.  At this point, we are still deciding how to spend our free day. The following is a list of some of our favorites: Read More

Read Aloud Wednesday– ‘How Martha Saved Her Parents From Green Beans’

Family Fun at Home


This month’s Read Aloud Wednesday is in honor of Thanksgiving.  Knowing that many of you will have green beans on your table, your family will appreciate this book.

Read Aloud WednesdayHow Martha Saved Her Parents From Green Beans

“Eat your beans like Martha!”

“Remember what happened with Martha didn’t eat her beans!”

This book was written by Tori’s favorite author of all time–David LaRochelle.  I can’t blame her for loving his work.  He’s an incredible author and person, for that matter. Read More

3 Twin Cities Free & Budget Family Events for Nov. 21-22, 2015

Be sure to check our Family Fun Calendar for more inspiration on how to get out and about with your family this weekend and beyond!


bachmans2Holiday Open House featuring Santa & Albert’s Arrival and Annual Holiday Play
@ Bachman’s on Lyndale, 6010 Lyndale Ave. S. Minneapolis

When: 9am-4pm
Cost: Free
Details: Welcome Santa and his sleigh Saturday morning (9:30am) to kick off the holiday season! Kids can visit the live reindeer corral and stop by the craft counter for crafts and activities. Cookies, juice, and coffee available for snacking. And of course, see the annual Santa & Albert holiday play at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m.and 3:30 p.m.

2012-11-17_15-26-06_744[1]Math & Science Family Fun Fair
@ University of Minnesota TC
Coffman Memorial Union, 300 Washington Ave SE, Minneapolis

When: 10am-4pm
Cost: Free
Details: It’s a day jam-packed with hands-on STEM fun. (And this is coming from a mom who didn’t appreciate math and science until she had her own kids!) Highlights include free ExploraDome shows, playing with robots, and really cool exhibits that truly get kids excited about chemistry, engineering, physics and much more. Get the complete schedule here and note that the special “Physics Force” and “Energy and U” shows require (free) tickets that are picked up at the event check-in. My own kids had a blast at this event; plan to spend several hours.


A Charlie Brown Christmas
@ Stages Theatre Company
1111 Mainstreet, Hopkins

When: 4pm
Cost: Sunday’s 4pm show is a pay-what-you-can performance.
Details: Tickets to this show are available at the box office only.

9 Twin Cities Early December Holiday Events

Whether we’re ready or not the Twin Cities is preparing to kick off Christmas events in the upcoming weeks. Here are 9 you might want to mark your holiday calendar for:


Holiday Crafts from the Mississippi: Sand Candles and Straw Ornaments
@ Carl Kroening Interpretive Center, 4900 Mississippi Ct, Minneapolis

When: Thursday, Dec. 3 • 10am-noon
Cost: $5/pp, reservations required by Dec. 1
Details: A candle cast from river sand or ornaments made from prairie grasses could make a great holiday gift for someone. Refreshments provided. Reservations required by December 1.

Tree-Lighting-300x105[1]Union Depot Holiday Tree Lighting & European Christmas Market
@ Union Depot Lot B, 200 Kellogg Blvd E, St Paul

When: Tree lighting takes place Dec. 4 • 5:30-7:30pm and the market runs Dec. 5-6 & 11-13 • find times here.
Cost: Free admission
Details: Union Depot will be the hub of many special holiday activities this year including the European-style Christmas market, the arrival of the North Pole Express and Canadian Pacific Holiday Train, a Holiday Movie Night and the Tree Lighting Ceremony. Get all the details here.

tm winter lights

U of M College of Science & Engineering Winter Light Show Premiere
@ Civil Engineering Building Plaza, 500 Pillsbury Dr. S.E., Minneapolis

When: Premiere party Friday, Dec. 4, 5:30, 6 & 6:30pm

After Friday, Dec. 4, shows will run at 5:30, 6 and 6:30 p.m. as follows:

  • Saturday, Dec. 5
  • Thursday, Dec. 10
  • Friday, Dec. 11
  • Saturday, Dec. 12

Cost: Free
Details: Our family discovered the student-designed Winter Lights Show put on by the University of Minnesota’s College of Science & Engineering last year. Each show is about 20 minutes long and features lights and laser projection set to fun music.

GrandMeander_0[1]Grand Meander
@ Grand Avenue businesses
between Dale Street & Fairview Avenue, St. Paul

When: Saturday, Dec. 5 • events 8:30am-5pm
Cost: Free
Details: Explore one of St. Paul’s best shopping districts, sample from local restaurants, have breakfast with Santa, take a trolley ride down the avenue, and much more at this annual winter tradition. Get the full event guide with participating businesses here.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
@ Steppingstone Theatre for Youth Development, 55 Victoria St N., St. Paul

When: Shows Dec. 4-6, 9-13, 16-23, find times here.
Cost: $16/adults, $12/students. Pay-what-you-can performance will be held on Saturday, December 5, 4pm show only.
Details: A holiday classic. Visit with Santa after the show!

Old Fashioned Holiday at Holz Farm
4665 Manor Park, Eagan

When: Sunday, Dec. 6 • Noon-3:30pm
Cost: Free
Details: Celebrate the holidays 1940’s style at this free event at Holz Farm. Enjoy hayrides, carolers, a bonfire, refreshments, reindeer and a visit from Santa.

Children’s Holiday Storytime
@ Fillebrown House
, 4735 Lake Ave., White Bear Lake
When: Thursday, Dec. 10 • 6:30 pm
Cost: $2/pp
Children are invited to the Fillebrown House to sit by the magnificently decorated Christmas tree and listen to holiday poems and stories.  Hot or cold cider and cookies will be served.
Reservations required:  office@whitebearhistory.org or 651-407-5327.

bachmans2Bachman’s Annual Holiday Play: “Santa’s Magical Music”
@ Bachman’s on Lyndale, 6010 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis

When: December weekends through Sunday, Dec. 20 • Saturday shows at 10am, 11:30am, 1pm & 2:30pm and Sunday shows at 11:30am, 1pm & 2:30pm
Cost: Free
Details: Arrive early for a good seat to see the annual Santa & Albert holiday play and stay after for pictures with Santa. The show lasts about 20 minutes.

Folkways of the Holidays
@ The Landing, 2187 Highway 101 E, Shakopee

When: December weekends starting Dec. 5-6 • 10am-4pm
Cost: $8/adults, $5/ages 2-17 & seniors, under 2 free
Details: Discover the holiday traditions of 19th century Minnesota through folk art performances, a horse-drawn trolley, tours of homes decorated with heritage crafts for the season.

Earn Some Christmas $$ as a Family

Sponsored PostFocus Pointe GlobalThis past summer, my daughter wanted to go to Camp Shamineau.  We were excited for her, but we weren’t sure how we would pay for it.  Then, we qualified for two different marketing research opportunities:  one for me and one for Kyla.  By participating in these two experiences, we were able to cover 90% of the cost of camp!

Now, with Christmas approaching, extra income can become a huge priority. Participating in a focus group or product test is a fun and easy way to earn some extra spending money – from $75 to $250 for only a couple of hours of your time. Some opportunities even make it possible for your whole family to participate. Read More

Fun with Dad! Brickmania Toyworks Open House


Family Fun With Dad

I thought it would be the perfect thing for the men in my life to do.
So on the 2nd Saturday (This was way back in February, 2013), they tootled down Central Ave to Northeast Minneapolis to Brickmania Toyworks’ Open House.

Now please keep in mind that I did not go.  I sent the boys.  The boys don’t use many descriptive words…their descriptive vocabulary is limited to one word that may or may not be an adjective.  Chris, on the other hand, speaks in complete phrases if not in complete sentences.  He just doesn’t use very many.  So while I am excited to tell you about Brickmania Toyworks’ Open House, I am telling you now. You will need to go for yourself. Read More

Experience Feed My Starving Children with Family Fun Twin Cities

Last year, I visited Feed My Starving Children for the first time.  It was a wonderful experience.  And one we have done again and again with my kids. This year, you can join FFTC on Monday, November 23 from Noon-2 p.m. 

If you are interested in joining us, we have reserved 20 spots for you to join us.  They have very strict age guidelines.  All volunteers need to be over 5 years old and the adult to child ratio is very important to adhere to.  If you want to come, but need childcare, please let us know under the contact button.  We will arrange for you to be able to come.

Click here to register to join our FFTC Packing Team.

Read more to check out our experience.

Feed My Starving Children Read More

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