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Exploring the Twin Cities with our Kids
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Hunting for Easter Fun in the Twin Cities with Kids
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Free Family Weekend Events List: Easter Egg Hunts! (March 27-28, 2015)
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Indoor & Outdoor Fun: Twin Cities Nature Centers (NE Metro)
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Lots of Theatre for Children in March
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Free Family Weekend Events List for March 21 – 22, 2015
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Shooting Kabul : Take a Hankie
8
Once upon a Reader presents Moo! — It’s like a statewide book club for babies
9
Maple Syruping with Kids in the Twin Cities
10
TOYLEND USA — Rent. Play. Learn.

Exploring the Twin Cities with our Kids

Exploring the Twin Cities Together with Our Kids

Joy, Gianna, Anne

Welcome to Family Fun Twin Cities!
1 Website
2 Cities
3 Moms
4 Kids Each
and YOU!

 

The Twin Cities with Kids

Outside or Inside in March by Tesha M. Christensen

Featured Article …
 I have had the privilege of getting to know Tesha through working together at RedCurrent, and she has a blog called Driving with the Windows Wide Open.   She is an thoughtful person, an exceptional writer, and an intentional mom.

 

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Hunting for Easter Fun in the Twin Cities with Kids

The Twin Cities is all abuzz in the springtime as everyone comes outside in droves for egg hunts and other fun. Read More

Free Family Weekend Events List: Easter Egg Hunts! (March 27-28, 2015)

I’m thinking positive: the snow will have melted by Friday! You’ll still have to bundle up and bring your boots, but don’t let that keep you from a number of free community Easter egg hunts going on this weekend. Here are our picks this coming Friday & Saturday or, if you’d rather skip the slush, there are more free and low cost indoor ideas on our weekend Family Fun Calendar.

FRIDAY, MARCH 27

Old Fashioned Egg Hunt
@ Carver Lake Park
3175 Century Ave. S., Woodbury, MN

Time: 6:30pm
Ages: Recommended for kids 3-7 accompanied by adult
Details: Bring your own basket and hunt for eggs containing non-candy prizes.

Spring Egg Hunt
@ Airport Park
2130 105th Ave. NE, Blaine, MN 55449

Time: Check in by 6:20pm, hunt begins at 6:30
Ages: Kids ages 10 & under accompanied by an adult
Details: Hunt for candy-filled eggs in age-specific areas. Bags are provided, no registration necessary.

SATURDAY, MARCH 28

egg hunt silverwoodRichfield Egg Scramble
@ Veterans Memorial Park
6335 Portland Avenue, Richfield, MN 55423

Time: 10am
Ages: Kids ages 11 & under
Details: Kids sign up for one of three age groups (1-2, 3-5, 6-11) and scramble for thousands of eggs (including some golden eggs for special prizes). The Easter Bunny will be on hand for meet and greets, along with a bunny petting display.

Vadnais Heights Easter Egg Hunt
@ Community Park
651 E County Road F, Vadnais Heights, MN

Time: Hunt begins at 10:30am for ages 2 & under, 10:40 ages 3-4, 10:50 ages 5-6, 11:00 ages 7-9, 11:10 ages 10-12
Ages: 0-12
Details: This is a very popular hunt that, in my experience, provided a generous amount of treats and prizes. Staggered start times help the littlest ones collect their eggs first.

Shakopee Community Easter Egg Hunt
@ Shakopee Community Center
1255 Fuller St. S., Shakopee, Minnesota 55379

Time: 11am
Ages: Use your best judgment
Details: Join the community for an egg hunt, games and prizes. Open to all.


Indoor & Outdoor Fun: Twin Cities Nature Centers (NE Metro)

How very typical of you, Minnesota. Last week you have the kids in short sleeves begging to hit the playground after school and a few days later the same kids will be heading to the bus stop bundled from head to toe. Fortunately, our Twin Cities-area nature centers are well-equipped when it comes to our state’s wacky weather ways. These places are packed with ways to stay entertained and cozy inside when the temps are cold — and when the sun decides to make an appearance, there are countless ways to enjoy the natural world outside. Read on for a look at three nature centers located in the northeast metro. And, did I mention, all this fun is to be had only at the cost of the gas to get you there?

Maplewood Nature Center
2659 East 7th St., Maplewood, MN 55119

Visitor Center hours: Tuesday – Saturday • 8:30am – 4:30pm

Indoor fun: With cutouts of trees on the walls, birds perched on the tree branches, and a sunken part of the floor made to resemble a pond, it’s easy to pretend you’re outdoors when, in reality, you’re stuck inside on a dreary day. My toddler loved the miniature animal set and the crawl-through log draped with animal pelts. Maplewood Nature Center often offers reasonably-priced ($5/kid) indoor family nature programs, usually combined with an outdoor activity. For a list of upcoming March & April events, click here.
Outdoor fun: The Nature Play Yard was a big hit with all four of my kids (ages 2-9). Who says a playground has to have elaborate equipment to be fun? This one has a ginormous tree trunk to climb on, sand for digging, hedges to hide in, materials to build a fort, and much more to spark creative nature play. If you can coax the kids out of the yard, there are hiking trails and a floating boardwalk from which to spot wildlife.

Harriet Alexander Nature Center
2520 North Dale St., Roseville, MN, 55113

Visitor Center hours: Tuesday – Saturday • 10am – 4pm

Indoor fun: An impressively realistic floor-to-ceiling “tree” now dominates the entrance to the nature center’s indoor exhibits. I don’t think my preschooler was as impressed as I was; she headed for a doctor’s kit and could have played veterinarian all day with stuffed forest friends. There’s also a library nook with children’s nature books, a back room crammed with tanks of turtles to observe, and a seasonal bee exhibit.
Outdoor fun: Harriet Alexander offers Sprouts, a great preschool program for kids ages 1-5 and their caregivers. You can enroll for a single day class ($14/first child, $7/additional children) or in a series of three ($36/first child, $18/additional). The classes combine indoor fun such as a make-and-take projects and games with outdoor exploration that encourages young children to connect with nature. Find out more about the classes here.

Tamarack Nature Center
5287 Otter Lake Rd., White Bear Township, MN 55110

Visitor Center hours: Monday – Friday • 8am – 4:30pm, Sat. 10am – 4:30pm, Sun. noon – 4:30pm
Discovery Hollow hours: Monday-Friday • 10 a.m.- 4 p.m., Saturday • 10 a.m.- 4:30 p.m., Sunday • Noon – 4:30 p.m.

Indoor fun: To tell you the truth, I don’t recall much about the indoor exhibits at Tamarack because the kids were so eager to play outside. But here’s an idea for the first Saturday of the month through May (and then every Saturday June – September): Tamarack hosts Drop-In Discovery Days at the interpretive center that are free, family-friendly, and based around nature and animals. To see examples of upcoming programs, click here.
Outdoor fun: What really shines at Tamarack is its glorious outdoor Discovery Hollow and Garden. Two things you really must know before you go: 1) bring a change of clothes for your kiddos unless you want a sopping wet drive home! As evidenced above, there are wonderful opportunities for them to dig in sand, mud and to get completely soaked. (Don’t worry, there are plenty of dry activities as well — beautifully-engineered rocks to clamber on, a garden to harvest vegetables from, logs to balance on, and sticks to build shelters with.) The second thing you should be aware of: plan to spend hours in Discovery Hollow.


Lots of Theatre for Children in March

In the next week or so, it will be opening night for new shows at many of our favorite theatres.  Here’s a rundown for you so that you don’t miss any of them.

Updated on March 19, 2015.  Check out the newest addition!

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Free Family Weekend Events List for March 21 – 22, 2015

The sap is flowing at Twin Cities-area nature centers and parks this weekend! The Sap to Syrup program at Eastman Nature Center is free; several other parks are offering low-cost maple syrup activities as well. Visit the link below to get the scoop plus a list of syruping events through the end of March. And, as always, check our Family Fun Calendar for more ideas on where to get out and about this weekend with your family!

SATURDAY, MARCH 21

“Once Upon a Reader” event: Moo! Traveling Trunk Show
@ R.H. Stafford Branch Library, 8595 Central Park Place, Woodbury, MN 55125
and Park Grove Library, 7900 Hemingway Ave S, Cottage Grove, MN 55016

Time: Woodbury • 10:30-11:30am & Cottage Grove • 3-4pm
Ages: Aimed at kids ages birth to 6
Details: Join local author/illustrator team David LaRochelle and illustrator Mike Wohnoutka as they host a traveling trunk show starring “Cow” from their book Moo! The book has been chosen to pilot the first year of the “Once Upon a Reader” program, aimed to get kids and their parents reading together. To find more fun Moo! events in the month of March, click here.

“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” Day
@ Peace Coffee – Wonderland Park • 3262 Minnehaha Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55406
and Trylon Microcinema3258 Minnehaha Ave. S., Minneapolis

Time: Screenings of “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood and “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” at the Trylon, 8-10am followed by activities and stories at Peace Coffee, 10am-1pm.
Ages: Appropriate for all ages – especially those who grew up with Mr. Rogers!
Details: The legacy of Mr. Rogers lives on during the fourth annual “Won’t You Be My Neighborhor?” Day, aimed at encouraging kids to be kind. If you like, bring non-perishables to donate to Minnesota FoodShare.

Childish Films: Comedy Carnival
@ Minneapolis Central Library
300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55401

Time: Doors open at 10am for snacks and activities, pre-show performances begin about 10:30 and films begin closer to 11am.
Ages: All ages are welcome; films are best enjoyed by kids ages 3+
Details: Xelias Aerial Arts will perform before two black-and-white carnival-themed comedies are screened, one 24 minutes, the other 27.

SUNDAY, MARCH 22

Sap to Syrup
@ Eastman Nature Center
13351 Elm Creek Rd, Osseo, MN 55369

Time: 1-4pm
Ages: All ages welcome, children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult
Details: Watch how trees are tapped and the sap boiled into maple syrup. Get a taste of the finished product.

*** March is Maple Syrup Month in Minnesota! For a complete list of syruping events in the Twin Cities, visit our maple syrup page. Some events are free, some you gotta fork over a nominal fee for. All are great ways to spend time outside with the family!


Shooting Kabul : Take a Hankie

You’ll recall I made some lofty goals for preparing to go see Shooting Kabul.  I pretty much failed.  I did get as far as getting the book from the library and reading the first chapter out loud.  This review will be without the benefit of having read the book, yet.  I ended up purchasing the book at the autograph table, so I will read it — eventually.  I’m looking forward to it, but I want to do it out loud with my daughter.  So I’ll do it on our schedule.

You do not need to read the book to enjoy the play.  So don’t let that stop you.  But if you have the time, I believe from the post-performance discussion, that it will be worth the trouble.  The following is my review of the SteppingStone Theatre production of Shooting Kabul.

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Once upon a Reader presents Moo! — It’s like a statewide book club for babies

Cow-and-AuthorI might be a complete book nerd, because this program is incredibly exciting to me.  As I type up this article, I am also on chat with my husband typing a mile a minute about all the things I want to do with this. It’s like a book club for babies and their nerdy parents. Read More

Maple Syruping with Kids in the Twin Cities

March is maple syrup month in Minnesota, and with an abundance of nature centers around the Twin Cities, we have ample opportunities to learn about and participate in the maple syruping process. Maple syrup events usually contain one or more of the following activities: tapping the maple trees, collecting the sap, boiling it into syrup, and the best part — according to my kids, anyway — a sample of the finished product.

Click through for a list of upcoming syrup events across the Meto. Read More

TOYLEND USA — Rent. Play. Learn.

Two years ago, when Elizabeth Willcox’s little girl was just a baby, she noticed how quickly her daughter would lose interest in toys.  She decided to collaborate with her neighbors and friends to swap toys. This was good for a while.  However, as the kids grew bigger, Elizabeth noticed that it was harder to swap toys equally because how do you swap a big toy for a little toy.  Her solution?  Toy Rentals.

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