Rockin’ October
Free Family Concert with Sesame Street Puppeteer and SPCO
The Free List – 3 Stage Performances and Trick-or-Treat Fun
10 Twin Cities Pumpkin Patches To Pick From
Weekend in Pictures Including Kelley Farm and Peek
Beauty and the Beast at Old Gem Theater this Weekend
Peeking in on Peek
Family Night at The Great Clips IMAX Theatre at the MN Zoo This Monday, October 20
MEA Weekend Activities in 1 Minute
Halloween Happenings at Three Rivers Parks
Fall Family Outing: Pinehaven Farm in Wyoming, Minnesota

Rockin’ October


Pumpkins, Halloween, Costumes, Colored Leaves, Parties, Hot Apple Cider, Candy,

And Family Concerts

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Free Family Concert with Sesame Street Puppeteer and SPCO


On November 15, my children and I will be enjoying a performace of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, Pastoral, at the Ordway for free thanks to Target’s partnership with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.

Do you want to join us?  Keep reading! Read More

The Free List – 3 Stage Performances and Trick-or-Treat Fun


This weekend offers a play, a ballet performance and a puppet show for anyone looking for live stage.  If you would prefer to get outdoors and trick-or-treat, we have an option for that, too.  Of course there is always more to be found on our Calendars.

  • 2014-15-house-on-mango-1800x1200-title
  • Ballet Minnesota
  • Enjoy warm drinks compliments of Caribou Coffee. Trick-or-treating starts at 10a.m.
  • MonkeyMind

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10 Twin Cities Pumpkin Patches To Pick From


There’s still time – and most likely a gorgeous weekend ahead – to hit one of these ten Twin Cities-area pumpkin patches before Halloween. And even if you’ve already secured your jack-o-lanterns, these patches are crammed full of fall fun. Check out the list below. Did I miss any?


Pinehaven Farm

Location: 28186 Kettle River Blvd., Wyoming, MN 55092
Hours: Open weekdays noon – 6:30pm, weekends 10am – 6:30pm through October 31, 2014.
Admission/Discounts: General admission is $8.50/pp over 2 yrs. of age. Admission is discounted to $6.50/pp Monday – Wednesday. Find a $1 off/pp coupon here for use during the day. The fee covers the majority of attractions offered at the farm; there are a few nominal exceptions.
What’s picking: Take a hayride to the pumpkin patch and pick-your-own for 41¢/lb. The setting is beautiful and the fall colors are at peak!
Other activities: Included in admission to Pinehaven Farm are a bundle of fun fall activities: playground equipment, mazes, all-terrain trikes, a petting farm, wagon rides and special events on select weekends. The farm will host its annual Kids Halloween Party Oct. 25-26, 10am – 3pm. Treats are available for purchase daily, full concessions for sale on weekends only. Read about my visit to Pinehaven Farm here.

Anoka County Farms

Location: 128 Bunker Blvd., Ham Lake, MN 55304
Hours: Open Monday – Thursday 3pm – sunset, Friday 12pm – sunset, and weekends 10am – sunset.
Admission: $5 per car on weekends includes pumpkin games and the petting farm, additional activities extra. Cash only, no checks or credit cards accepted at the farm.
What’s picking: Pumpkins and other produce available for purchase.
Other activities: Paid activities include inflatables, hayrides, pony rides (weekends only) and a dump truck hill to play on. Concessions are also available weekends.

Eveland Family Farm

Location: 2575 Andover Blvd., Andover, MN 55304
Hours: Open weekdays 3 – 7pm, weekends 10am – 6m through October 31, 2014.
Admission: $3/pp includes a hayride, kids corn maze and self-guided tour of the farm.
What’s picking: Pumpkins and squash for 33¢/lb.
Other activities: Hayrides run at 4, 5 & 6pm on weekdays and run continuously from 10:30am until close on weekends. Exploring the farm and its many inhabitants is a highlight — llamas, alpacas, goats, pot-bellied pigs and more. A lovely picnic shelter is available whether you bring your own food or purchase concessions at the farm.

Waldoch Farm Garden Center

Location: 8174 Lake Dr., Lino Lakes, MN 55014
Hours: Open daily 10am – 6pm through October 31, 2014.
Admission: Free weekend hayrides to the pumpkin patch, weekday rides are $6/pp. The animal barnyard is also free. There is a separate admission charge for Waldoch’s giant corn maze: $10/ages 13+, $8.50/ages 3-12, under 3 free. Fee includes maze, pedal carts for all ages, sand and corn boxes, a hay jumping bin, an obstacle course, and more.
What’s picking: Pick-your-own pumpkins and other fall produce.


Afton Apple Orchard

Location: 14421 S. 90th St., Hastings, MN 55033
Hours: Open daily 10am – 6pm through October 2014.
Admission: $4/pp ages 5+, $3/pp under age 4. Includes hay rides when available, use of play equipment and petting farm.
What’s picking: Take a hayride to the pumpkin patch to pick-your-own, call (651) 436-8385 to check the status of apple picking.
Other activities: Afton’s 15-acre corn maze ($9/ages 11+, $7/ages 2-7) is open Fri-Sun through November 2, 2014. The maze is divided into three progressively challenging phases. 3 additional mazes are included in admission. We haven’t tried the corn maze, but my kids love the tire hill and the play structure. A ride on the kiddie cow train is $2 extra.

Country Sun Farm

Location: 11211 N. 60th St., Lake Elmo, MN 55402
Hours: Open weekdays 9am – 7pm, weekends 9am – 6pm. Activities are up and running Saturdays 10am – 5pm, Sundays 11am – 5pm.
Admission: Free, with a charge for all fall activities with the exception of the petting farm and outdoor display photo ops.
What’s picking: Pumpkins, though you don’t choose them from the field.
Other activities: Play in a giant corn pit outfitted with buckets, slides and toys ($3), make your way through the corn maze ($4), enjoy the fall scenery on a hay ride ($4), pan for gems and lots more. Thanks to one of our readers for bringing Country Sun Farm to our attention!


Peter’s Pumpkins & Carmen’s Corn

Location: 12860 Old Brickyard Road, Shakopee, MN 55379
Hours: Open weekdays 11am – 6pm, weekends 9am – 6:30pm
Admission: Free
What’s picking: Free hayrides to pick-your-own pumpkins from the field. Bring or show this coupon for a buy-two-get-one free pumpkin.
Other activities: Enjoy the working farm, corn maze ($1) and free face painting on the weekends.

Sever’s Corn Maze & Fall Festival

Location: 1100 Canterbury Rd. S., Shakopee, MN 55379
Hours: Fridays 1- 8pm, Saturdays 10am – 8pm (last ticket sold at 6:30), Sundays 10am – 6pm (last ticket sold at 4:30).
Admission/Discount: $13/pp ages 4+ or $12 online or with this coupon. Includes admission to Sever’s giant themed corn maze, the corn pit, play equipment, jumping pillows, an exotic petting zoo, live shows and quite a bit more.
What’s picking: New for 2014 – pick-your-own pumpkins at Sever’s Fall Festival.
Other activities: Sever’s Corn Maze is well-known for its extensive menu of activities. In addition to what’s included in admission, these diversions require an extra fee – giant slide ($2), pony and camel rides ($5), pumpkin cannons ($5), face painting, sand art, hay rides ($1), an arcade, and concessions.

Barten Pumpkins

Location: 5716 W. 280th St., New Prague, MN 56071
Hours: Open during daylight hours through October 31, 2014.
Admission: Free
What’s picking: Pumpkins of every shape and size (pre-picked) most priced at $2-$6.
Other activities: Play free pumpkin bowling and other games, call 612-227-0033 to schedule a family hayride, and take note of Barten’s two Pumpkin Fun Saturdays.

Wheel Fun Rentals Pumpkin Patch

Location: Veteran’s Memorial Park - 6335 Portland Ave. S., Richfield, MN 55423
Hours: Open weekends 9am – 7pm through October 28, 2014.
Admission: Free to enter the pumpkin patch, an extra charge for special fall activities.
What’s picking: Pumpkins, plain and simple.
Other activities: You have the option of choosing two different wristbands to partake in the pumpkin patch activities. Wristband #1 ($5/pp kids under 6 and $10/pp ages 6+) includes a pumpkin, inflatables, a hay ride, surrey rental, and 18 holes at the Malt-Tees miniature golf course. Wristband #2 ($5/pp) includes the aforementioned attractions without the golf.

Weekend in Pictures Including Kelley Farm and Peek


Yesterday my husband and I were talking about our lovely fall weather as we cleaned up the yard of leaves (never mind the tree unloaded another third today), and I asked him, “I think this fall has been beautiful, don’t you?” 

To which he wholeheartedly agreed. 


Because there is one thing I don’t have patience for, and that is when people complain that we didn’t have a fall.  Fall is my favorite time of year so I soak it in–loving the sights and the scents and the sounds (crunching the leaves under your feet, anyone?).  Sure, sometimes the snow comes a little early or the temperature plummets to a reading that rivals Antartica, but that’s what living in Minnesota is.  

An experience of never knowing what you’re going to get. 

peek and kelly farm weekend

So while we had the time, my kids and I took MEA weekend and explored some unknown destinations.  We journeyed back in time to the 1850′s and discovered life on a farm at the Oliver H. Kelley Farm.  On another day, we hopped on the fashion train to discover an up and coming designer fashion store for kids–Peek–just opened in the Mall of America. 

What did you do this weekend?


Beauty and the Beast at Old Gem Theater this Weekend


Old Gem Theater Students perform an original adaptation of Beauty and the Beast this weekend.

This Old Gem original play tells the timeless tale of self-sacrifice and true love and is produced as the culmination the fall Young Performers Ensemble class.

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Peeking in on Peek


Kyla, my fourth grader, wants to be a fashion designer–among many other things–when she grows up, so when Family Fun Twin Cities was invited to come to Grand Opening of Peek–a unique children’s clothing and gift store in the Mall of America–she was estatic.  We were also invited to come chat with Tina Canales, the owner and CEO of Peek, and I thought, “How much fun would Kyla have learning about the fashion industry?  And how much fun would it be for us to watch her learn about it?” Read More

Family Night at The Great Clips IMAX Theatre at the MN Zoo This Monday, October 20


 Galapagos 3D: Nature’s Wonderland: In the vastness of the Pacific Ocean, there is a paradise unlike any other: the Galapagos archipelago. Amongst these fascinating and remote volcanic islands, life has played out over millions of years in relative isolation. The result is a wonderland of nature, with a remarkable collection of plants and charismatic animals that have all adapted to this unique environment. This is a story of discovery, of survival against the odds, and of nature’s ingenuity, all brought to life in stunning 3D. You’re invited to explore these extraordinary and enchanted islands, whose remarkable inhabitants helped change the way we understand nature. (taken from the IMAX press release)

And you are invited to see this amazing show at the Minnesota Zoo IMAX for just $5/person on Monday, October 20.  It includes pizza, beverages, and the incredible film on the largest screen in Minnesota.  Keep reading for more information. Read More

MEA Weekend Activities in 1 Minute


Halloween Happenings at Three Rivers Parks


Image Credit: Three Rivers Park District

Halloween Happenings

From the scary to not-so-scary

Have some Halloween fun! Three Rivers is hosting a series of family-friendly celebrations with games and treats. Trick-or-treat along candlelit paths, see a Halloween puppet show, meet live animals, hone your pumpkin carving skills, make a pumpkin boat, and more.

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Fall Family Outing: Pinehaven Farm in Wyoming, Minnesota


Forget that the name “Wyoming” conjures up a landscape hundreds of miles from the Twin Cities. Pinehaven Farm in Wyoming, Minnesota, is a fairly quick and easy day trip from most Metro locations because it sits right along a major freeway and just off the cusp of the northern suburbs. I took my bunch (ages ranging from 3 to 9) to Pinehaven today because of MEA break (also because it was forecast to be the last 70-degree day this year), but it would make a super fun family weekend outing as well.

I like the convenience of paying an admission charge upfront at a place that offers lots of activities. Pinehaven Farm’s got a plethora of activities to choose from and the entrance fee covers nearly all of them, including these highlights:

  • children’s playgrounds – most of the play equipment is appropriate for young children. The tot lot has a wonderful collection of corncrib slides, pony tire swings, junior pedal tractors, and a gravel box to play in. Send the older kids over to the two-story tube slides instead.
  • multiple mazes – including a tiny straw bale maze, a short hay bale maze, and a slightly more challenging one for school-aged kids.
  • tractor wagon and hay rides – kids up to 12 can ride the wagon train, but the short loops are geared for preschoolers. Entire families can take a hay ride into the fields to search for the perfect pumpkin (priced at 41¢ per lb.)
  • jumping pillow - kids can bounce to their heart’s content – if they don’t mind waiting in line (weekends will draw a crowd).
  • pedal trike track - the sturdy trikes appealed to my older kids; for the youngest in the bunch there is a small pedal tractor loop in the tot lot.
  • large petting farm - including goats, cows, emus, turkeys and more. Bring quarters for feed if your kids are interested in feeding the animals.
  • special weekend events – such as the pumpkin-eating dragon show (my kids LOVED this when they saw it a few years ago). Magic shows, a Halloween party and other special events are held select weekend dates. See the complete calendar here.

Extras not included in the admission fee:

Bring cash if you think you might be interested in firing the corncob cannon ($1), purchasing a rubber duck for the duck derby races ($1), picking pumpkins (41¢ per lb.) or other produce, buying snacks or purchasing more substantial concessions (weekends only).

Other things to consider:

Keep in mind that weekends, particularly temperate ones, are going to be crowded. If it’s an option for you, consider going during the week. Pinehaven Farm is open weekdays from noon – 6:30pm and admission is discounted $2.00 (to $6.50 per person) Monday – Wednesday. A coupon good for $1 off daytime admission throughout the week can be found here. Teens and/or adults might be interested in the darker side of Pinehaven Farm – the Dead End Hayride runs through November 1, 2014.

Location: Pinehaven Farm is located at 28186 Kettle River Blvd., Wyoming, MN 55092 (conveniently along Interstate 35). It’s a little over a half hour’s drive from the middle of the Metro in good traffic.
Hours: Open weekdays noon – 6:30pm and weekends 10am – 6:30pm through October 31, 2014.
Admission: $8.50/pp Thursday – Sunday, $6.50/pp Monday – Wednesday, kids under 3 are free. Print and bring along this coupon for $1 off/pp.

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