Exploring the Twin Cities with Kids
13 Twin Cities Apple Festivals & Events in the Twin Cities
Twin Cities Marathon – Family Style
Expectation Station – An MEA Weekend Performance by DanceCo
Get Moving: Tot Times, Open Play, Gym & Swim Spots for Tots in the Twin Cities
Top 10 Family Picks: September in the Twin Cities
Girl Time at The Works Museum
Family Fun: Home Depot’s Kids Workshops
Meet “Shelly Bean, The Sports Queen” — Book Review
FFTC’s Guide to Fall Fun in the Twin Cities
Twin Cities Fall Family Festival Calendar

Exploring the Twin Cities with Kids

Exploring the Twin Cities with Kids
Connecting families to the educational, cultural, and meaningful fun in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis & St. Paul – and beyond!



Monthly & Seasonal Family Guides

Twin Cities September Family Events & ActivitiesFFTC’s 3rd Annual Orchard Crawl
FFTC’s Guide to Twin Cities Apple OrchardTwin Cities Fall Family Festival Calendar
Pick One: Twin Cities Pumpkin Patchescorn mazeTop 10 Twin Cities Corn Mazes for Families

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 Guide

FFTC’s Guide to Dance Studios

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

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Weekly Newsletter: FFTC's Family Planning

13 Twin Cities Apple Festivals & Events in the Twin Cities

It’s all about apples here in the Twin Cities for the next few weeks. Local orchards and other attractions are open for business and many have special apple events going on to tickle the taste buds. Read More

Twin Cities Marathon – Family Style

The Twin Cities Marathon is October 1st in 2017.  I think if I were to run a marathon, I would want to do it alone. To me, that is one of the joys of distance running — alone time.  However, whether you plan to run the marathon, it is something on your some-day list, or you just want to go watch, there are other fun ways to make it a family event while encouraging life long fitness all weekend.

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Expectation Station – An MEA Weekend Performance by DanceCo

My family and I had an opportunity to preview the upcoming Expectation Station and we are so excited for the full show. Expectation Station is an original Dance adventure created by DanceCo and featuring a Who’s Who of Twin Cities family entertainment. Engineer Paul of the Choo Choo Bob Show will be the storyteller, while the Roe Family Singers will be backing him up with music. The show will be presented at the Avalon Theatre (home of In the Heart of the Beast Puppet Theatre).

Expectation Station

Tickets are on sale now.

DanceCo was created by Matthew and Brittany Keefe. After moving to the Twin Cities with their young daughter, they discovered all the amazing things our city has to offer families, but found the area of dance relatively untapped and decided to fill it by starting DanceCo.

“DanceCo’s upcoming show is inspired by a year of parenting. Regularly, my daughter and I saw the Roe Family Singers perform and we went to Engineer Paul’s Story time at the Choo Choo Bob Train store. I watched my daughter fall in love with trains and train songs, just like her Dad. I saw an opportunity to craft a stage production that combines trains and their music with dance and theatre to make something new and delightfully different. A show that grandparents, parents and kids can enjoy together.” -Matthew Keefe

What to Expect From Expectation Station

Expectation Station is a train story told through dance and song. Wikipedia’s List of Train Songs fills 71 single-spaced pages of text. This is where the Keefe’s started; but I promise they’ve narrowed it down to a reasonable number. Our preview did not get to include Engineer Paul or the Roes, so we are looking forward to seeing the full production.

Last year, I reviewed the newly-formed DanceCo’s inaugural production – Wolf Tales. Because it was dance, I took my oldest daughter, assuming she would be the most appreciative. She did enjoy it, but I wished I could have brought my boys, too. This year, I brought the whole family, and I’m glad I did. My older two children enjoyed the performance, but it was my kindergarten son who had shiny, excited eyes throughout the whole performance (a truth you can see in the video above). He struggled to stay seated, which was okay, so did a lot of other kids and sometime’s they were invited to participate.

Our toddler also enjoyed the whole performance. This is saying a lot, because 2-year-old children just don’t sit still for anything. (Okay, the video above shows she was sometimes squirmy.) While the younger kids are going to be the most enthusiastic, all of my kids want to go back for the full production.

Expectation Station Details

Dates/Times: October 17-22: Tuesday-Saturday Matinee 10 am; Friday-Saturday Evening: 7pm; Additional Weekend Shows: Saturday 2pm; Sunday – 12pm and 2pm
Price$10/person. Find Tickets Here.
Venue: Avalon Theater, 1500 East Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN.

**Disclosure: We have been offered tickets to this show, but this review was essentially written before that offer was extended; nor did it change any opinions.

Get Moving: Tot Times, Open Play, Gym & Swim Spots for Tots in the Twin Cities

Tot Times and Open Gym was my savior when my firstborn was a squirrelly toddler who needed a space to run off his pent-up wintertime energy. A few years later, I had four littles under the age of 7 who were climbing the walls and testing the limits of my sanity. Perhaps you find yourself in the same boat? Browse through the listings below to find an open gym, open playtime or open swim near you and treat yourself to a (near) guaranteed naptime:Tot Times

Disclaimer: While we do our best to keep up with changes, Tot Times, Open Play and Open Gym times are subject to change without notice. We recommend calling or clicking on the accompanying links to double check our information before heading out.

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Top 10 Family Picks: September in the Twin Cities

Make the most of Fall’s grand entrance with 10 highlights your whole family can get into during the month of September in the Twin Cities.

1. Visit an apple orchard

According to family tradition, Fall is upon us once 1) the State Fair has wrapped and 2) we’ve made tracks to one our our favorite apple orchards! We love seeking out one of the quieter, less-traveled orchards on the outskirts of the metro to pick a peck, get up close to some farm animals and take a hayride. Options in the Twin Cities run the gamut from large operations filled with elaborate playgrounds and numerous kiddie attractions to more simple spots to spend the day. Some of our favorites include Minnetonka Orchards (amazing apple cider donuts!), Fall Harvest Orchard, and Fischer’s Croix Farm Orchard, sponsor of FFTC’s annual Orchard Crawl on Sept 24. For a dozen or so more ideas, check out our Guide to Twin Cities Apple Orchards.

2. Lone Oak Days Fall Festival

Dozens of family-friendly fall festivals dot the Twin Cities this time of year. Last autumn we discovered this gem down in Eagan. Lone Oak Days Fall Festival takes place at the historic Holz Farm (9/23-24, 11am-4pm) and is packed full of such down-home fun as pony rides, virtual cow milking, old-fashioned farm chores and a pumpkin pie-eating contest. Admission, along with many activities, is FREE; select attractions require a small fee. For a list of festivals across the Twin Cities metro, try our Fall Festival Calendar. Read More

Girl Time at The Works Museum

The WorksGirls learn about engineering at this hands-on family event 
On Saturday, September 23, girls will explore the world of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) when The Works Museum hosts its third annual Girl Time event. At Girl Time, girls and their families will do hands-on activities, see demonstrations, and be able to ask women working in engineering about what they do.
“Girl Time lets girls learn about engineering while having a great time with their families. Girls are underrepresented in STEM fields, beginning in high school and into the workforce. Through events like Girl Time, we help girls understand what it means to be an engineer and learn about the many fascinating STEM careers open to them,” said Sarah Curtis, Director of Marketing and Communications. “Plus, it’s just a wonderful outing with your daughter, granddaughter, or niece.”
What: Girl Time, The Works Museum’s special event for girls and their families, featuring hands-on activities and demonstrations from women engineers and students in STEM fields.
Who: Perfect for girls ages 5-12 and their grown-ups. Boys also welcome.

Saturday, September 23, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

 The Works Museum, 9740 Grand Ave S., Bloomington, MN, 55420

 $9 Pre-registered/$12 at the door; Members free. Children must be accompanied by an adult.


Family Fun: Home Depot’s Kids Workshops

Home Depot Kids Workshop
First Saturday of the month
9:00 am-12:00 pm

Registration is encouraged. Find the next workshop here.

Home Depot Kids WorkshopOn the bright first Saturday morning in March, Chris–the husband and daddy–packed up the girls and drove to Menards, Lowe’s, and Home Depot.  They were on a mission to buy the supplies needed to redo our bathroom.  What they ran into was the opportunity to build.  They all came home extremely excited and chitty-chatty.  Meanwhile, the boys were beside themselves with envy having to wait until the following month. Read More

Meet “Shelly Bean, The Sports Queen” — Book Review

Shelly Boyum Breen–the author, creator, and prototype of Shelly Bean–grew up in Brainerd, Minnesota as a girl who like to play.

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FFTC’s Guide to Fall Fun in the Twin Cities

Twin Cities families, it’s that glorious time of colored leaves. Of apple orchards and fall festivals and corn mazes. Oh, and pumpkin patches, too!

The fall season is a perfect time for families to explore all kinds of different things to do across the metro area and beyond into greater Minnesota.

Take a morning or an afternoon and spend time together in an apple orchard. The Twin Cities are FULL of orchards to the north, south, east and west. Some are free to enter with a la carte fees for activities that interest you. Others have an entrance fee that includes many of the activities.

Do your kids enjoy carving pumpkins or making pumpkin pie and pumpkin bars made from fresh pumpkin? And what is more iconic than spending a night in a pumpkin patch waiting for the Great Pumpkin?

The Twin Cities is home to many, many corn mazes — if you seek agri-tainment, these are definitely for you.  Check out the different options your family can enjoy together.

Because we live in one of the most beautiful settings for fall, it seems only fair that we have a plethora of fall festivals. I remember when I was a kid we enjoyed our weekends in the fall going to an annual fall festival in Sisseton, SD.  But you don’t need to go that far to find a fantastic festival; we have plenty right here in the Twin Cities.

Twin Cities Fall Family Festival Calendar

Twin Cities Fall Family Festival Calendar

Get ready for a bumper crop of fall festivals in the Twin Cities! Read More

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