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Exploring the Twin Cities with Kids
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FFTC’s Guide to Local Parades in the Twin Cities
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Nature Playgrounds in the Twin Cities – Get Back to Green
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FFTC’s Guide to Mini Golf in the Twin Cities
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FFTC Guide to Summer Water Sports
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Twin Cities June Family Festival Calendar – Updated for 2017
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10 Twin Cities Beaches & Playgrounds to Try This Summer
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Twin Cities Summer Reading Programs – 2017
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Twin Cities Vacation Bible School Opportunities
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FFTC’s Guide to Free and Cheap Summer Movies
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Universe in the Park 2017

Exploring the Twin Cities with Kids


 

Exploring the Twin Cities with Kids
We’d like to help your family connect with fun events, resources, and local businesses in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis & St. Paul – and beyond!

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Monthly & Seasonal Family Guides

Twin Cities May Family Events & Activities GuideOpening in May: Twin Cities Attractions
Twin Cities Mother’s Day EventsSummer CampsFFTC’s Guide to 2017 Twin Cities Summer Camps
10 Family-Friendly Twin Cities Spring Farmers MarketsTwin Cities Seasonal Events & Activites
Twin Cities Spring Family Festival CalendarTwin Cities Memorial Day Weekend Events

Year-round Family Fun

Tweens/TeedsFamily Fun with Tweens & TeensbirthdayFFTC’s Ultimate Guide to Twin Cities Birthday Parties
Twin Cities Indoor Playgrounds & Play AreasTwin Cities Open Play, Gym & Swim Spots for Tots
I love this site! I didn't know about most of these Waterparks!Twin Cities Indoor Waterparks and PoolsTwin Cities Kids Eat Free or Cheap List

Family Service Guides

Special NeedsTwin Cities Special Needs GuideFamily Wellness Guide BloomaTwin Cities Family Wellness Guide
cooking classesFFTC’s Guide to Cooking with Kids in the Twin Cities
FFTC’s Family Music Classes Guide

 

FFTC’s Guide to Local Parades in the Twin Cities

Parades are some of the best family fun in the summer.  They are free, you get candy, and it doesn’t take a lot of effort.  Just bring a blanket or a chair.  Oh, and some pillowcases for all the tootsie rolls you will be collecting.


This guide is brought to you by Wheel Fun Rentals.


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Nature Playgrounds in the Twin Cities – Get Back to Green

Nature Playgrounds are a growing trend for good reason; scientists keep finding connections between nature to child development and well-being.

nature playgrounds
It used to be, according to my children, that in order for a park to be authentic, it needed at least a slide and a set of swings. I was less enthusiastic about taking them to places like state parks simply because I felt I’d have to go the extra mile to “prove” that playing and exploring in a natural environment could be just as fun as clambering around a commercially manufactured jungle gym. Don’t get me wrong – the local playgrounds can be a lot of fun, too. And some are really inventive! But I have to say that I get a deeper satisfaction from watching them play in a more natural setting: digging, figuring out how to climb that tree, following paths, building forts. They become immersed in tossing rocks into the water, scouting frogs, collecting wildflowers. They also gradually forget that “playing at the park” requires a plastic treehouse.

So here’s what I find really cool: incorporating natural elements into new playground designs seems to be the trend. More places are popping up where kids get the opportunity to interact with the landscape and, perhaps, develop a greater appreciation for it. Here are seven places I’ve discovered that have those goals in mind:

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FFTC’s Guide to Mini Golf in the Twin Cities

mini golf

Whether you are looking to mini golf outside in the beautiful summer weather or inside to escape the heat and humidity, we’ve rounded up all the mini-golf courses in and around the Twin Cities.  Choose between classic courses and inventive courses, beautifully artistic courses and techno courses, challenging putting courses for dad and pirate’s lair for son.

 


Our Ultimate Summer Guide is sponsored by Wheel Fun Rentals

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FFTC Guide to Summer Water Sports

As the Land of 10,000 Lakes, Minnesotans take pride in our summer water sports.  We’ve collected water ski shows, boat rentals, kayaks and canoes, sailing experiences and other water fun.  Most are located in the metro while some of them are just a short drive away.

Happy wakes to you.

Click on a title to go directly to that category.

Boat Rentals

 

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Twin Cities June Family Festival Calendar – Updated for 2017

TWIN CITIES JUNE FAMILY FESTIVAL IDEAS

Get your fill of June family festival outings with this handy list of local celebrations around the Twin Cites. Most are free. If there is admission, it is listed. Family-friendly highlights are listed for each:

Family Festival Calendar - Get Your Fill of Twin Cities Festivals in June

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10 Twin Cities Beaches & Playgrounds to Try This Summer

tm big marine beach

Tired of heading out to the same old swimming spot? We’ve combed the Metro in search of new places to try with our own families and came up with ten we think are worth checking out for their beaches, playground, and other recreational opps nearby:

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Twin Cities Summer Reading Programs – 2017

A couple years ago, I did some research on the reality of the income-based achievement gap and how parents can Increase their Child’s Chances in School with a few Simple, Budget-Friendly Habits. Summer reading is another place where the achievement gap grows. However, the fix is offering your kids easy access to a lot of books and empowering them to select their own reading materials.This is where summer reading programs can come in handy.

2017 Summer Reading Programs

Where do your kids fall in the summer reading spectrum? Whether they love to read or hate it or are somewhere in between, there is probably a program out there for them. If they are ambitious, they can participate in several. There is no rule that kids can’t use the same books for several programs.

The following are few programs we found plus our own:

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Twin Cities Vacation Bible School Opportunities

Vacation Bible School seems to be a little like scouts or sleep-away camps in that some parents did it when they were kids and consider a childhood rite of passage. I am not one of those parents. I don’t even know if Catholic VBS programs existed when I was a kid. I have very little experience with VBS, so this list is merely a collection of churches that have submitted VBS programs to us. I can’t personally endorse any.

Faith formation of our children is such a personal matter, that I recommend visiting the websites of these churches and possibly attending a service to decide for yourself if the program is a good fit for your family. Follow the links to explore and register for programs.

June Vacation Bible School Programs

6/5-6/9 • Calvary Lutheran Church Session • Deep Sea Discovery • 9:30-11:30 am • Ages 3½-Kindergarten • $15/child.

6/12-6/16 • Calvary Lutheran Church Session • Deep Sea Discovery • 9:15 am-12:15 pm • Ages 4½-completed grade 5 • $15/child.

6/12-6/15 • King of Grace Lutheran Church • Mighty Fortress • 9 am-11:30 am • Ages 3+ (3-year-olds require a parent to be present) • FREE.

August Vacation Bible School Programs

8/7-8/11 • Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church • Maker Fun Factory • 9 am-12 pm • Age 4 – 6th Grade • FREE!


Do you have a VBS submittal? I’ll continue to add them throughout the summer. Submit them to Joy  

FFTC’s Guide to Free and Cheap Summer Movies

Summer movies are a classic choice to enjoy together — especially outside in the parks where they are free! And for an indoor option to beat the summer heat, movie theaters with free or bargained price summer programs are also scattered around the Twin Cities. Read More

Universe in the Park 2017

Universe in the Park

Looking for an astronomy fix? During the summer months, we don’t have the Friday night Public Viewings at the UofM’s Institute for Astrophysics, instead there is the Universe in the Park program on Friday and Saturday nights throughout the summer. These events are held in various parks — some close, some not so close. The program starts with a 20-30 minute presentation at 8:30 p.m. and then, weather permitting, an opportunity to view the sky through telescopes until 10 or 11 p.m. Participants can learn how to use a star map and go home with a free one. This program is free, but a vehicle permit may be required ($25 annual/$5 daily). Don’t forget to dress appropriately for Minnesota summer evenings (You know the drill — layers and insect repellent.) Since it IS a park, and you are paying for a days worth of parking, you might as well arrive early with a picnic and have some playtime.

Participating parks are listed below:

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