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Summertime in the City
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Beat the Heat with Best Day of Bakken – 07/22/14 – 07/26/14
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Family Fun Twin Cities In My Inbox: July 22-July 28, 2014
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Free Peformance of The Mostly True Tale of Robin Hood
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Planes: Fire and Rescue Opens Friday, July 18
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Thomas & Friends™: Explore the Rails at Minnesota Children’s Museum – Plus, More Places to Spot Trains
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Castle Heights Playground in Columbia Heights
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The Free List – My Five Favorite Family Outings for July 18-20, 2014.
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Featured FFTC In My Inbox July 15-July 21, 2014 (Updated)
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Catch The Cat In the Hat Before He’s Gone!
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Find Pick-your-own Produce Farms Through Minnesota Grown

Summertime in the City

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Parents can lose perspective.  There are times I go in search of Chris just to whine, “I need you.  I can’t figure out what I should do.  Kyla wants this and Tori wants that.  Dash and Jack won’t stop asking me for things. Help!”

I am so glad for the summertime.  I need this time to have later bedtimes and relaxed days.  While we are still keeping up our morning routine, it’s not the same rush of the school year.  If we don’t get started on morning chores until 9:30, that’s okay.  We all need time to relax and not rush.  As for this summer, I can honestly say that I am going to soak in every last ounce of heat.  We haven’t put in our window air conditioners yet.  Unprecedented, I tell you.

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

Beat the Heat with Best Day of Bakken – 07/22/14 – 07/26/14

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Best Days of The Bakken
The Bakken Museum, 3537 Zenith Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55416-4623
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 – Saturday, July 26, 2014; 11:00.m. to 4:00 p.m.

At the dawn of the automobile age, electric vehicles vied with steam and gas-powered cars for market dominance.

Today is the start of the Best Days of The Bakken.  With the weather so warm, why not take a day indoors.  Free Admission all 5 days!!  While you are there, you can also check out their latest exhibit on early electric vehicles — Absolutely Horseless.  The following are links to the individual days:

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Family Fun Twin Cities In My Inbox: July 22-July 28, 2014

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Here’s what showed up in my inbox for this week: you won’t want to miss it. Especially the free ice cream–or is that just me?

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

Free Peformance of The Mostly True Tale of Robin Hood

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Directed by Joy Donley, The Mostly True Tale of Robin Hood is not going to be like anything you’ve ever experienced. Read More

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

Planes: Fire and Rescue Opens Friday, July 18

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I drove to the theatre happy to be able to bring the boys to a fun evening out with Mama, but I wasn’t into the whole sequel to Planes thing.  I liked Planes fine, but I didn’t want to see it again.  And now I was going to the sequel?

Find out if I recommend this movie!

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

Thomas & Friends™: Explore the Rails at Minnesota Children’s Museum – Plus, More Places to Spot Trains

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Thomas & Friends™: Explore the Rails at
Minnesota Children’s Museum

Now through September 21, 2014
Sunday – Thursday, 9am – 5pm
Friday & Saturday, 9am – 8pm
Museum admission: $9.95/ages 1 & up
Ramp parking discount: $4 for 3 hrs.

Debating whether or not to take your little ones to the new Thomas & Friends exhibit at the Minnesota Children’s Museum? My quick two cents: it’s great for toddlers and preschoolers – especially those who already have an interest in the characters – but there are better places to take kids truly intrigued by trains. (I’ve listed those further below.)

What my 2.5-year-old liked best:

  • The large network of Thomas train tables, though it was difficult to get a spot to play on a weekday morning.
  • Imaginative play – you can purchase train tickets at a ticket window, schlep your luggage into the baggage car, then settle back to ride the rails.
  • Interactive touches such as working the engine controls in the train cab.
  • Fitting “Percy” with a new set of wheels

Beyond the Thomas & Friends exhibit, here are some spots we recommend visiting if your kids are train enthusiasts: Read More

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

Castle Heights Playground in Columbia Heights

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Off the beaten path, with just a small sign to identify it, is a hidden kingdom. A hidden kingdom that is ruled by one or many different monarchies depending on the time of day.  While these monarchies could be in constant civil war, most often they live in peace together.  In the same kingdom. 

If only real life was like the Castle Heights Playground, our world would be a better place.

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

The Free List – My Five Favorite Family Outings for July 18-20, 2014.

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With Aquatennial in full swing, there is no shortage of fun this weekend.  I’ve picked my favorites below.  If you are still looking for something more, Anne suggests finding a farm where you can Pick-Your-Own-Produce.  You can also check out our calendars for both free and pay activities happening around the Twin Cities.

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Featured FFTC In My Inbox July 15-July 21, 2014 (Updated)

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When I first saw this  email, my first thought was I don’t like golfing. And then I remembered that many of you may, so this could be a lot of fun! (Updated!  Just added another option for this Saturday in Maplewood–see the bottom of the post.  Must register by today, Thursday) The Grand ReOpening of Keller Golf Course and Keller Regional Park is  on Saturday, July 19.  I think the first thing I will need to do is head over to the mini-lessons section of the course.  Also, across Highway 61 at Keller Regional Park, at 1:00 p.m., they are having a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony with free cookies! Read More

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

Catch The Cat In the Hat Before He’s Gone!

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With just a handful of showtimes left, don’t miss your chance to catch The Cat In the Hat!  It’s pretty incredible!  Dean Holt–the actor who plays the Cat– actually made me like the semi-irritating cat.  

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

Find Pick-your-own Produce Farms Through Minnesota Grown

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pleasant valley orchard mn

[Note: This is an updated article originally posted July 2013 on Family Fun Twin Cities. The author has now started a small backyard vegetable garden!]

When you’ve got parents who don’t garden, how’s a kid supposed to satisfy that itch to hunt and gather? The solution in our family is to visit a variety of pick-your-own farms and orchards throughout the growing season and let the kids harvest to their little hearts’ content. We love to scout berries in the summer months, fresh veggies as summer wanes, and we cram as many apple orchard trips into the fall as our schedule allows. It may cost a little more than purchasing at our local grocery store, but we believe the experience is worth it. Our method for finding these farm gems is a great little tool called the Minnesota Grown website.

cider flats orchard

Maintained by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, the website is very user-friendly. You can search for farms by city, zip code or farm name. Or, if you’ve got a hankering for, say, strawberries or some fresh sweet corn, the website allows you to search by produce type as well. Included in the index of farms are independent family farms, farmer’s markets, CSAs, all-organic farms, and farms that sell animal products, textiles, gifts, and landscaping supplies. We also find it a great resource for planning fun family outings – many of the farms offer tours, animal encounters, wagon rides and, particularly in the fall, many other fun activities.

the berry patch forest lake

As July slips away, the strawberry season – though late this year – has mostly come to a close. Make sure to check out our pick-your-own address book below for updates! Read More

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

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