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Mission Impossible: Family Fun State Fair Style
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Get Ready for the Great Minnesota Get Together
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Minnesota State Fair Family Fun Mission:Impossible
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Mill City Live With Kids – Two Last Chances This Year
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Farewell to Summer: Readers’ Suggestions for Family Fun
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Walker on the Green: There is Still Time For Mini Golf At Walker
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In My Inbox: Free Non-State Fair Fun and A Special Train Deal
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The Weekend in Pictures
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Sneak Peek: What’s New at the 2014 Minnesota State Fair
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Walker Art Museum Mini Golf Ticket Giveaway
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State Fair: Alphabet Forest

Mission Impossible: Family Fun State Fair Style

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No matter what day you decide to head out to the State Fair, Family Fun Twin Cities has a mission for your family! Check in each day for the daily mission. Report back to mission control (our facebook page) with visual evidence of your completed mission. Join the fun at anytime!

Mission 2
Friday, August 22, 2014
Governor’s Fire Prevention Day

Watch the Fire Explorer Challenge in Carousel Park (different events from 8:00 am-4:30 pm)

Gianna Kordatzky is a co-founder of Family Fun Twin Cities

Get Ready for the Great Minnesota Get Together

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As always, we here at Family Fun Twin Cities will  inform you of all we can about the Great Minnesota Get Together (August 21-September 1, 2014).

We are proud to claim that Family Fun Twin Cities has the best Minnesota State Fair Guide in the whole Twin Cities:  Anne Kingston.

MN State FAir 14 Princess

image courtesy MN State Fair

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Gianna Kordatzky is a co-founder of Family Fun Twin Cities

Minnesota State Fair Family Fun Mission:Impossible

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If you want to do all the missions in one day, I have listed them here.  Some missons are only available on the day it’s listed, but most  can be completed any day.

 

Mission 1
August 21, 2014
Thrifty Thursday

Eat 5 foods on a stick

Mission 2
Friday, August 22, 2014
Governor’s Fire Prevention Day

Watch the Fire Explorer Challenge in Carousel Park (different events from 8:00 am-4:30 pm)

 

 

Gianna Kordatzky is a co-founder of Family Fun Twin Cities

Mill City Live With Kids – Two Last Chances This Year

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On Wednesdays during July and August, the Mill City Museum hosts Mill City Live. Although its aimed at adults, this can make for a fun and relatively inexpensive night out as a family.

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Farewell to Summer: Readers’ Suggestions for Family Fun

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We hosted a giveaway the other week and asked readers to leave a comment sharing one family activity they hoped to squeeze in before summer’s end. There were so many good suggestions it seemed fitting to incorporate them into a post. Need a little inspiration for that last summer hurrah? Here’s what our readers had to say:

Walker on the Green – artist designed mini-golf

Mini-golfing – which was appropriate, as the readers were vying for tickets to play the Walker on the Green course at Walker Art Center. The cost of 9 holes ($12/adults, $9/kids ages 7-12) or 18 holes ($18/adults, $13.50/kids) is probably the priciest you’ll find around town, but consider this — children under 6 are free with a paid adult, and each ticket includes admission to the Walker galleries. The Walker’s course is also artist-designed and very entertaining for kids. Read more about our family golf night at the Walker here. Keep in mind the course is open through Labor Day, September 1.

For more places to putt before the weather turns, check out this Star Tribune article published back in June.

photo credit: Three Rivers Park District

Elm Creek Swimming Pond – at Elm Creek Park Reserve, the largest parcel in the Three Rivers Park District. The pond has chlorinated water, a sandy beach, concessions, changing facilities and a giant playground nearby. The pond is open 9am – 8pm daily through Labor Day and levies a fee of $4/pp (kids under 1 yr. free) or $12 season pass/pp. There is no charge to enter the park or play on the equipment. 12420 James Deane Parkway, Maple Grove, MN 55369.

Como Town Splash Zone!

Como Town – Filled with rides and attractions to suit the 2 to 12-year-old, Como Town Amusement Park is the ideal size to make a day of it. Don’t miss Hodge Podge Park’s Splash Zone if the weather is steamy, or the Soaring Eagle Zip Ride! Convenient ticket options include purchasing an unlimited ride wristband ($21.95 or $14.95 after 4pm and only $7.95 for adults) or buying a point package (see all options here). Admission to the park itself is free, as is the adjacent and immensely popular Como Park Zoo & Conservatory. Como Town is open weekends through September 28. 1301 Midway Parkway
St Paul, MN 55103
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Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum – I loved this suggestion and wished I’d made it out to Walnut Grove myself this summer. The annual Wilder Pageant days are over for the season, but the museum dedicated to the beloved author of the Little House books is open through October. You can find the museum hours here, as well as information about seeking out other landmarks from Laura’s days in the Plum Creek area. 330 8th St., Walnut Grove, MN, 56180.

Surrey bikes at Minnehaha Falls – Pedal through scenic Minnehaha Park, past the Falls made famous by Longfellow, on surrey bikes operated by Wheel Fun Rentals. For a complete list of the contraptions available and their hourly charge, click here. The bikes rent daily through Labor Day and fall weekends through October 19, 11am – 6pm. A second location to rent in Minneapolis is at Lake Nokomis. 4801 S. Minnehaha Park Dr., Minneapolis, MN 55417.

Fort Snelling

Fort Snelling – Explore life on the fort in the early 1800s– before the Twin Cities existed! Peek inside barracks, talk to costumed interpreters, and listen for the roar of the cannon. Labor Day Weekend at Fort Snelling hosts “Minnesota and the First World War”, a new special event that delves into the Fort’s role in training soldiers for World War 1. Hours: Saturday, August 30 – Monday, September 1 from 10am – 5pm. Admission: $11/adults, $9/seniors & active military with ID, $6/kids 6-17, free/children under 5 and MHS members. Fort Snelling is open Saturdays 10am – 5pm, Sept. – Oct. 200 Tower Ave, St Paul, MN 55111.

photo credit: Three Rivers Park District

Gale Woods Farm – There are plenty of opportunities left to experience Saturday Mornings on the Farm at Gale Woods. The barn will be open, the animals ready for their close-ups, and your help will be appreciated for seasonal chores. Cost is $5/pp with a 20% discount on groups of 4 or more. Hours: Saturdays through September 27, 9:30am – 12pm. 7210 County Road 110 W., Minnetrista, MN 55364.

Paddleboarding – Great idea! Try Wheel Fun Rentals at Lake Calhoun, Lake Harriet, and Lake Nokomis (through Labor Day!) in Minneapolis or keep Lake Phalen in St. Paul in mind for next summer (as rentals are now closed).

Drive-in movies – I’d keep Vali-Hi Drive-In in mind for a date night, though you can’t beat the price of a kid’s ticket – only a buck for children 6 – 12 and free for kids under 5. $8.50 per adult is good for three movies, cash only. Box office opens at 7pm Fri-Sat and 7:30pm Sun-Thurs. Movies start at dusk at the last remaining drive-in theater in the Twin Cities. 11260 Hudson Blvd. N., Lake Elmo, MN, 55042.

hand-milking!

The Minnesota State Fair – We’d be remiss not to mention the final bash of the summer, but since we’ve been yammering on about it nearly nonstop lately, I thought I’d hide it here at the bottom. Last, but definitely NOT least! Head out to the Minnesota State Fair August 21 – September 1 and be sure to check out some of our tips before you go.

Thanks to all the readers who sent in their suggestions; we’re happy to pass them along! Enjoy the final days of the season.


About the Author: Anne Kingston is a co-founder of Family Fun Twin Cities.

Walker on the Green: There is Still Time For Mini Golf At Walker

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Saturday evening Anne and I met at Walker Art Center for Mini Golf with Kids.  Despite the heat and long wait, it was a really good time for everyone. I would highly recommend getting out for a round or two before it ends.  Labor Day is the last day to play.  You can learn a little from our visit below: Read More

In My Inbox: Free Non-State Fair Fun and A Special Train Deal

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We know that some people are looking for other things besides the Minnesota State Fair at this time during the year, so I have done some searching for you and have found some great options. Read More

Gianna Kordatzky is a co-founder of Family Fun Twin Cities

The Weekend in Pictures

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Gianna’s been away the past several days and spent her weekend loving up her brand new niece! I wonder if she had any idea her family had some home improvement projects planned during her absence?

Joy and I had a terrific time experiencing the artist-designed miniature golf course at the Walker Art Center. An hour and twenty-minute wait to golf on a summery Saturday night? It turned out to be a blessing. We took our kids for a run through the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and they had a great time turning the pieces of art into their own personal playground.

Thanks to the Walker, we got to try out nine whimsical holes of golf — look for a detailed review soon — and remember that the course closes for the year Labor Day (September 1, 2014).


About the Author: Anne Kingston is a co-founder of Family Fun Twin Cities.

Sneak Peek: What’s New at the 2014 Minnesota State Fair

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For a total State Fair junkie such as myself, being invited to a sneak peek of new Fair foods and activities was an utter dream come true. It wasn’t just the opportunity to get a Fair fix early that was so cool, it was being part of the very first group of bloggers summoned by the Fair to get the word out! Twelve of us assembled this past Monday on the Fairgrounds — 10 days before the Fair opens — in the name of some very tasty research. We also got a walking tour of the brand new West End Market, a space that has been completely transformed from its careworn Heritage Square days. I’ll share pictures of West End Market after I give you my thoughts on the 7 new Fair foods we sampled.

Clockwise, from top right, the foods are:

  • PB & J French toast from Robbinsdale OES Dining Hall. Created, we learned, to inject a little more protein into a kiddo’s diet. My own bunch would love the generous amount of pb & j sandwiched between traditional slices of cinnamon-dusted French toast. This would be a great breakfast for multiple kids to split and bulk up on. Located on Underwood St. next to FAN Central.
  • Iron Range pierogies from Blue Barn. These mild potato dumplings will be served along with other “fun farm food” at a brand new building in the West End Market, marking the first year at the Fair for the Blue Plate Restaurant Company. Located in West End Market just west of the Skyride.
  • Pizza tots from Green Mill. The unexpected flavor and crispness of hashbrowns mixed with the usual meat, cheese and seasonings is really tasty. There’s a generous dusting of parmesan on top and a pizza sauce for dipping on the side. Located west of the Family Fair Stage in Baldwin Park.
  • Deep-friend lobster-on-a-stick from LuLu’s Public House. I prefer my lobster non-battered and deep-fried, but this version was still pretty tasty. I especially enjoyed the mildly spiced dipping sauce that came with. Try this dish from the second floor of the new LuLu’s Public House in West End Market overlooking Schilling Amphitheater.
  • Jello salad ice cream from Hamline Church Dining Hall. My kids would go nuts for the rich marshmallow flavor, mallow chunks, and cranberry sauce swirl. 2014 will be Hamline Church’s third year of collaborating with Izzy’s Ice Cream of St. Paul on a flavor only available at the State Fair. Located on Dan Patch Ave. near Visitors Plaza.
  • Rustic stuffed scone from French Meadow Bakery. Gianna loved the ham-and-cheese filling of this parmesan-encrusted scone, but I plan to stick with one of the vendor’s sweeter offerings — buttermilk scones stuffed with cream and fruit. Located on Carnes Ave. between Underwood St. and Nelson St.
  • Caribbean-style lobster roll from Café Caribe. I saved my personal favorite for last! I’m a seafood fan and love me a good lobster roll. The best part was the semi-spicy habanero kick to the dressing, and the perfectly buttered and grilled roll gave it a delicious delivery. Located on Carnes Ave. west of the DNR Park.

the Blue Barn

Now, let’s make our way across the Fairgrounds to the far west — and newly-christened — main gate at West End Market. You can’t miss the splendid bright blue of the restored streetcar arch that welcomes you. Its rank is a result of the Fair’s main transit hub being routed from congested Como Avenue to a vast space just south of the new Market. It’s estimated that almost half of all Fairgoers arrive using mass transit so the owners of the new Blue Barn eatery and LuLu’s Public House should have no problem attracting customers. That’s the Blue Barn above (excuse the raindrops on the lens) and LuLu’s Public House below, showcasing the sweet “rooftop” patio.

LuLu’s Public House

Other new elements in West End Market include a beautiful, well-lit and interactive State Fair History and Heritage Center, space for free entertainment on the much-expanded Schell Stage at the Schilling Amphitheater, and lots of room for the merchants. I came to the tour nostalgic for the old-timey look of Heritage Square, but left truly looking forward to bringing my family back to explore West End Market. In fact, I believe most of us bloggers left the Fairgrounds filled with fresh ideas — and stuffed with Fair food, of course.


This sneak peek was by no means a complete listing of all the new offerings at the 2014 Minnesota State Fair. I’ll be back next week with the sequel to my 10 Ideas For Free Family Fun at the Fair. In the meantime, don’t forget about our ticket giveaway (2 tickets good for any day of the State Fair!) closing Sunday, August 17 at 9pm!


About the Author: Anne Kingston is a co-founder of Family Fun Twin Cities.

Walker Art Museum Mini Golf Ticket Giveaway

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Congratulations to Cindy for winning two Walker Sculpture Garden Mini Golf tickets!

 

Thank you to everyone who participated in the giveaway.  The giveaway is now closed.

I have heard only rave reviews about the Mini Golf at Walker.  So when the Walker offered us some free tickets to try it out, we thought we would share the love with youwalker mini golf 1.

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Gianna Kordatzky is a co-founder of Family Fun Twin Cities

State Fair: Alphabet Forest

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Congratulations to Shanda for winning The Fabulous Fair Alphabet.  Congratulations to Chelsey for winning On the Day You Were Born.   Look for details in your email!

Giveaway is now closed!  Thanks to our wonderful readers for participating!!!   

This is an absolute must see attraction! Laidback and fun, the Alphabet Forest is perfect fun for the whole family!

And Debra Frasier–local author and creator of the Alphabet Forest–has offered two books to giveaway.  One lucky reader will receive Fabulous Fair Alphabet (to get you ready for your big fair adventure), and one will win On the Day You Were Born. Keep reading for more details.

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Gianna Kordatzky is a co-founder of Family Fun Twin Cities

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