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Exploring the Twin Cities with Kids
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FFTC’s Guide to Twin Cities Halloween Fun
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BookHounds Invites: Belinda Jensen
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A-maze-ing: 10 Twin Cities Corn Mazes for Families
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Children’s Literature on Stage: ‘Elephant and Piggie’s We’re In A Play’ at Children’s Theatre Company
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Twin Cities October Family Festival Calendar
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Family Fun Idea: Lil’ Explorer Thursdays at Como Park Zoo & Conservatory
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Bookhounds Review – D’aulaires Book of Norwegian Folktales
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FFTC BookHounds Invites Illustrator Nina Crittenden
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Pick One: Twin Cities Pumpkin Patches
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Budget Twin Cities September Events & Activities

Exploring the Twin Cities with Kids


 

Exploring the Twin Cities with Kids

Is this your first visit to our site? Start here – get to know us and how we can help your family find fun in the Twin Cities!


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FFTC’s Guide to Twin Cities Halloween Fun

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We are just “dying” to share our roundup of frightfully fun family Halloween happenings across the Twin Cities! Check back often as we’re always adding in new events.

Quick Links:

FREE Halloween Fun Around the Twin Cities

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Plan Ahead Halloween Fun - Paid

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Halloween Fun at Three Rivers Parks

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Halloween Storytime at Ramsey County Libraries

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Halloween Fun at Minneapolis Parks

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BookHounds Invites: Belinda Jensen

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I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I was a little star-struck when I first met Belinda Jensen.  But she admits herself that she is a science nerd–and has always been one.

As a meterologist, Belinda gets to meet with second-graders and has learned first hand about their anxiety over the weather.  This is where being a mom herself collides with being a science nerd.

The Mayo Clinic has done research about how to help kids.  Bel took that information from Mayo and applied it.  She could do something to help kids.

That’s how Bel the Weather Girl  was born.


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A-maze-ing: 10 Twin Cities Corn Mazes for Families

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Some of us here at FFTC have recently learned the hard way not to let our minis out of our sight in the local corn maze. Others have kids that are ready to tackle those rippling rows of corn on their own. Whatever the ages and abilities of your family members, there is something for everyone at these 10 Twin Cities-area corn mazes plus a harvest of other classic fall fun: Read More

Children’s Literature on Stage: ‘Elephant and Piggie’s We’re In A Play’ at Children’s Theatre Company

image courtesy Dan Norman

 

My most beloved children’s literature characters are on stage for the next month.

Elephant and Piggie.

Kennedy Center’s Theater for Young Audiences on Tour  has brought them here in a partnership with Children’s Theatre Company.

 Whether you have a kiddo who loves books or one who is a reluctant reader, you will want to check this theatrical experience out!

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Twin Cities October Family Festival Calendar

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Now-10/30: Sever’s Fall Festival • Fri-Sun • $14-$15/pp • Family highlights: Admission includes a full lineup of fun – obstacle course, corn maze & pits, petting zoo, magic shows, zip line, playground and jumping pillow; additional activities extra.

Now-10/30: Scarecrow Festival @ Emma Krumbees, Belle Plaine • Open daily 10am-6pm • $5.50+tax/pp • Family highlights: Admission includes activities like tractor trikes, wagon rides, a slide and the 33rd annual Great Scarecrow Display. Read More

Family Fun Idea: Lil’ Explorer Thursdays at Como Park Zoo & Conservatory

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With the passing of summer and the start of a new school year I look forward to spending more quality time with my youngest while her older siblings are away for the day. Because let’s face it: when I’m down to one kid there’s less mess, fewer fights to break up, and not as many opinions to consider when we’re deciding how to spend our day.  For instance, I can take my preschooler to Lil’ Explorer Thursdays at Como Zoo & Conservatory without a single complaint from her big sibs.

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Bookhounds Review – D’aulaires Book of Norwegian Folktales

My six-year-old and I have been reading D’aulaires Book of Norwegian Folktales for our bedtime stories for the last several weeks. While it was a bit difficult to start, we’ve really started to enjoy this book.

Norwegian Folktales Review

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FFTC BookHounds Invites Illustrator Nina Crittenden

From what I have experienced, a picture book illustrator is a fun person. Especially those from Minnesota.

I guess I could be biased, but I don’t think so.  At the beginning of August, we met Mike Wohnoutka and today we meet Nina Crittenden.

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More information is included in the links below.

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Pick One: Twin Cities Pumpkin Patches

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Forecast: Gorgeous fall weekends ahead to hit one of these Twin Cities-area pumpkin patches before Halloween! And even if you’re not in the market for a jack-o-lantern, these patches are crammed full of fall fun from corn mazes and farm animals to hayrides and train rides. Check out the list below. Did we miss any? Thank you to our sponsor Wheel Fun Rentals for their support of this article!

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Wheel Fun Rentals Pumpkin Patches – 2 Twin Cities locations

Location: Veteran’s Memorial Park 6335 Portland Ave. S., Richfield, MN
Hours: Open weekends starting 9/24/16.
Admission: Pumpkin patch wristbands come in 2 options – $5-$10/pp
What’s picking: Pumpkins, plain and simple.
Other activities: You have the option of choosing two different wristbands to partake in pumpkin patch activities such as mini golf, inflatables, hayride and more.

Location: Como Lake – 1360 N Lexington Pkwy, St. Paul
Hours: Open weekends starting 9/24/16.
Admission: Pumpkin patch wristbands are $5/ages 3 & under, $9/ages 4-17, and $5/adults
What’s picking: PYO pumpkins!
Other activities: Admission to the patch includes a hayride, games, use of inflatables and photo booth.


NORTH METRO PUMPKIN PATCHES

Pinehaven Farm

Location: 28186 Kettle River Blvd., Wyoming, MN
Hours: Open weekdays noon – 6:30pm, weekends 10am – 6:30pm, 9/24-10/31/16.
Admission/Discounts: General admission is $8.99 plus tax/pp over 2 yrs. of age. Admission is discounted to $6.99/pp Monday – Wednesday and on the following days. 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. The setting is especially beautiful when 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. Treats are available for purchase daily, full concessions for sale on weekends only. Read about our visit to Pinehaven Farm here.

Anoka County Farms

Location: 128 Bunker Blvd., Ham Lake, MN
Hours: Open Monday – Thursday 3pm – sunset, Friday 12pm – sunset, and weekends 10am – sunset, 9/24-10/31/16.
Admission: $5 per car on weekends & MEA 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
Hours: Weekdays 3 – 7pm, weekends 10am – 6pm. 2016 opening date will be late September.
Admission: $3/pp includes a hayride, kids corn maze and self-guided tour of the farm.
What’s picking: Pumpkins and squash
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.

Lendt’s Pumpkin Patch

Location: 6903 Wyoming Trail, Wyoming, MN
Hours: Open daily, 9am-dusk starting 9/24 thru Halloween, 2016
Admission: Free
What’s picking: PYO pumpkins from the field, $4 apiece. Pre-picked pumpkins start at $6.
Other activities: Hour-long, educational hayrides are available by reservation, $8/pp includes a pumpkin and Indian corn. Kids can spend time in the giant corn box or in the play area; concessions and face painting are offered on fall weekends.

Waldoch Farm Garden Center

Location: 8174 Lake Dr., Lino Lakes, MN
Hours: Open daily 10am – 6pm starting 9/17/16-10/31/16.
Admission: Free weekend & MEA break hayrides to the pumpkin patch. The animal barnyard is also free daily. There is a separate admission charge for Waldoch’s giant corn maze: $10/ages 3+, 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.

Pleasant Valley Orchard

Location: 17325 Pleasant Valley Rd, Shafer, MN
Hours: Open daily 10am-6pm
Admission: Free; extra fee for weekend hayrides to the pumpkin patch ($3/pp).
What’s picking: PYO pumpkins weekends only starting 9/25-October. PYO apples available on select weekends.
Other activities: New in 2016, the orchard hosts 12 Days of Halloween,10/20-31 with special activities.

Tom’s Pumpkin Farm

Location: 15281 Panola Dr, Lindstrom MN
Hours: Open daily, 10am-dusk starting 9/24 thru Halloween, 2016
Admission: Free
What’s picking: Pick-your-own pumpkin and carry it out, $3.99 any size.
Other activities: Families can explore the corn maze, and there’s a hay bale maze for the youngest.

EAST METRO PUMPKIN PATCHES

Afton Apple Orchard

Location: 14421 S. 90th St., Hastings, MN
Hours: Open daily 10am – 6pm, pumpkins available starting 9/26/16.
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 2-10) is open Fri-Sun starting 9/17/16. 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.

Country Sun Farm

Location: 11211 N. 60th St., Lake Elmo, MN
Hours: Open weekdays 9am – 7pm, weekends 9am – 6pm. Activities are up and running Saturdays 10am – 5pm, Sundays 11am – 5pm starting mid-September.
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 ($4.50), pan for gems and lots more. Thanks to one of our readers for bringing Country Sun Farm to our attention!

SOUTH METRO PUMPKIN PATCHES

Barten Pumpkins

Location: 5716 W. 280th St., New Prague, MN
Hours: Open during daylight hours 9/21 through 10/31.
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 Family Fun Saturdays (10/1 & 10/8, 2016) where pony rides, caricature drawings and hayrides are free.

Peter’s Pumpkins & Carmen’s Corn

Location: 12860 Old Brickyard Road, Shakopee, MN
Hours: Open weekdays 11am – 6pm, weekends 9am – 6:30pm
Admission: Free
What’s picking: Free hayrides to pick-your-own pumpkins from the field.
Other activities: Enjoy the working farm and free face painting on October weekends.

Sever’s Corn Maze & Fall Festival

Location: 1100 Canterbury Rd. S., Shakopee, MN
Hours: Fridays 1- 8pm, Saturdays 10am – 8pm (last ticket sold at 6:30), Sundays 10am – 6pm (last ticket sold at 4:30).
Admission/Discount: $15/pp ages 4+ or $14 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: 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.


Budget Twin Cities September Events & Activities

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It doesn’t have to break the bank to entertain the family away from home in the Twin Cities! You’ll find September’s seasonal and ongoing events and activities listed here that all cost $5 or less per person to attend. For more ideas on budget and FREE family outings, check our Family Fun Calendar or hop over to our Free Twin Cities September Family Events & Activities page.


Family Fun Twin Cities is proudly sponsored by 

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9/10: Brickmania Toyworks Open House, Minneapolis • 10am-4pm • $5/pp or $10/group of 4 • Details: Intricate LEGO train layouts, hands-on LEGO activities and displays. This popular event is held the 2nd Saturday of each month. Read about a trip to the open house here.

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