Author - Anne Kingston

Family Fun Ideas: MLK Monday Break
Twin Cities Indoor Playgrounds and Play Areas Guide
Family Exercise Fun: Twin Cities Indoor Waterparks and Pools
Twin Cities January Family Events & Activities Guide
Twin Cities Winter Family Festival Calendar
Budget Twin Cities January Events & Activities
Free Twin Cities January Family Events & Activities
Saint Paul Winter Carnival 2017: Top 7 Free Family Activities
Skate the Twin Cities: Where To Find Free Outdoor Ice Rinks
December Weekend Family Fun: Keep Warm!

Family Fun Ideas: MLK Monday Break

So, what’s closed today? Or, perhaps more importantly, what’s open and where can I get the kids out of the house? We’ve got ideas both indoor and out plus a couple of fun family events to observe the day:




  • Tail Time | Wild Rumpus Books, Minneapolis, 10:30am • Arrive early if you want to get a decent spot. Stick around to see how many critters (yes, animal critters) you can spot slinking around the store!
  • PolarPalooza | Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, St Paul, 10am-4pm • Educational games and activities.
  • Behind the Scenes: Research Labs | Science Museum of MN, 12-4pm • Included with museum admission, $12.95-$18.95.
  • Mill City Museum | Minneapolis, 10am-5pm • Special holiday hours – see our tips at 10 Things For Kids: Mill City Museum.
  • Bakken Museum | Minneapolis, 10am-4pm (special holiday hours), $5-$10/pp
  • Preschool Open Play | The Blast Indoor Playground, Eagan Community Center, 9:30-11am • A variety of equipment is available to play in the gym as well as play time in the Blast Indoor playground. $4/child ages 1-5.
  • Find MORE preschool open gym and open play times.
  • Trolls | Riverview Theater, Minneapolis, 1 & 5pm • $2/pp plus awesome popcorn!
  • Half-price Open Swim | Great River Water Park, St Paul, 10:30am-8:30pm (activity pool and waterslides open 10:30-noon)
  • Find drop-in crafting opportunities for kids of all ages in our Winter Survival Guide.

Twin Cities Indoor Playgrounds and Play Areas Guide

We all know the realities of raising kids in the Minnesota extremities: there’s got to be a place to go were we can escape the elements while still allowing those kids a place to burn off that extra energy. Enter our Twin Cities Indoor Playgrounds and Play Areas list. We hope you can use it to find a new space to wear those littles out — and perhaps catch yourself a break.

indoor playground

Minnesota, we’ve got your Pak!

EatPakd prepares and delivers wholesome ready-to-pack lunches right to your front door. Our mission is to fill kids’ bellies with the best food to fuel their day at school, for a snack or on the go! We source organic, GMO-free, and hormone-free ingredients, and handcraft all of our kid-friendly recipes without the use of added sugar, fillers, or preservatives. Choose from one of our favorite Paks, or mix and match to create your own! Learn more at

The code is  Pakd4FamilyFun (4 Free Paks; $30 value)
If you use this URL,, the code will apply automatically.

For more options on keeping the little ones moving throughout the chilly months, check out our Open Play, Gym & Swim Spots for Tots in the Twin Cities!


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Family Exercise Fun: Twin Cities Indoor Waterparks and Pools

Swimming at these Twin Cities indoor waterparks and pools can be a wonderful way to squeeze in a workout during the frigid winter months in Minnesota, not to mention it’s guaranteed to wear out your most stir-crazy child!Twin Cities Indoor Waterparks.We’ve rounded up a list of indoor facilities around the Twin Cities where you can splash, slide and swim away the cold weather blues. Most of them offer swimming lessons as well:


Twin Cities January Family Events & Activities Guide

Thank you to our January Sponsor

As a neighborhood medical center, MedExpress offers a broad scope of urgent care, basic wellness and employer health services. With warm, welcoming centers and a full medical team, centers are open every day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. with no appointments necessary. Centers offer walk-in treatment for everyday illness and injury, including more advanced offerings such as X-rays, IVs, EKGs, labs, minor surgery, stitches and treatment for broken bones, sprains and strains. MedExpress also offers wellness and prevention services such as physicals, wellness exams, tobacco cessation counseling and flu shots.

MedExpress is located conveniently in Eden Prairie, Plymouth, and West St. Paul. Visit for more information.

It is our hope that you can use our January Family Events & Activities Guide page as a convenient way to find our traditional Free & Budget lists along with all the special themed activities each month brings. In January you can bundle up and expect a flurry of winter festivals and snow fun days including the popular St Paul Winter Carnival. When it’s time to come in from the cold, we’ve also got ideas for indoor fun and ways to spend that long mid-month MLK weekend.  As always, we hope to be inspiration in planning your family time together!

– Anne, Gianna & Joy
Family Fun Twin Cities



Free Twin Cities January Family Events & Activities

Budget Twin Cities January Family Events & Activities



Saint Paul Winter Carnival 2017: Top 7 Free Family Activities

Twin Cities Winter Family Festival Calendar

FFTC’s Twin Cities Winter Survival Guide

12 Weekends Until Spring! My Winter Checklist

Twin Cities Sledding Hills Guide

Blooma’s Twin Cities Family Wellness Guide

Twin Cities Winter Family Festival Calendar

1/6-2/11: Ice Castles | Lowell Park, Stillwater • Once inside, explore the ice palaces for as long as you’d like! $6.95-$15/pp

1/8: 27th Annual Winter Ice Festival | Centennial Lakes Park, Edina, 1-5pm • Family highlights: Horse-drawn wagon rides, face painting, ice sculpting demos and skating for families – rent skates or bring your own. FREE. Read More

Budget Twin Cities January Events & Activities

It doesn’t have to break the bank to entertain the family away from home in the Twin Cities, especially after that often spendy holiday season! Our list of budget Twin Cities January family events. 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 January Family Events & Activities page.Budget Twin Cities December Family Events

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Free Twin Cities January Family Events & Activities

Who doesn’t appreciate a whole lotta FREE after the holidays? Free events, free activities, free admission – January is stocked with opportunities for free family fun in the Twin Cities! Read More

Saint Paul Winter Carnival 2017: Top 7 Free Family Activities

We’ve got the scoop on the coolest carnival in town! From ice sculptures to the thrilling Vulcan snow slide, browse below for our top 7 picks for FREE family fun during the run of the St. Paul Winter Carnival, Thursday, January 26-Sunday, February 5, 2017:

Snow Park at the State Fairgrounds | Falcon Heights

When: Activities run Saturday, Jan 27-Sunday, Feb 5, 2017
Details: Chill out at the Fair with the following fun family-friendly events:

  • Jan 21-22: Calling all kids who like heavy equipment! Watch as it assembles the giant snow blocks and walls created for the annual snow sculpting contest. 9am-4pm.
  • Jan 27-29: Come watch works of art whittled out of the snow during the Minnesota State Snow Sculpting Competition (Fri) and the Amateur Snow Sculpting Contest (Sat). Sculptures will be on display at the Fair through Feb 5, 9am-10pm.
  • Jan 28-Feb 4: Plummet down the Giant Snow Slide (if you dare!) A fee of $2 per ride is charged, sleds provided.
  • Jan 29: Hail the Vulcs on Vulcan Fun Day with free fire truck rides, a mini-medallion hunt for kids and more. 11am-3pm.

tm vulcan snow park 2 Read More

Skate the Twin Cities: Where To Find Free Outdoor Ice Rinks

Today marks opening weekend for many of the Twin Cities-area outdoor skating rinks and we’re sure, as hardy Minnesotans ourselves, that you’re dying to strap on your skates and hustle the kids out to the rinks! That’s why we’ve rounded up this list of local places to skate –and, as nearly all are located in city parks, there’s no charge for the skating. Find your city below and click through to get the latest rink hours, directions, warming house information, and numbers to call for rink conditions.

If you don’t see your city below, my apologies in advance. Please contact us to have yours added to the list or leave the information in the comments. Thanks, and enjoy your outdoor rec time!

Apple Valley

Brooklyn Center
Brooklyn Park
Coon Rapids
Cottage Grove
Eden Prairie
Golden Valley
Inver Grove Heights
Maple Grove
Mendota Heights
Minneapolis (2016/2017 Brochure PDF)
New Brighton
New Hope

St. Louis Park
St. Paul
Vadnais Heights
White Bear Lake

West St. Paul

December Weekend Family Fun: Keep Warm!

As the snow piles up and the temps crash, we’re encouraging you to stay indoors this weekend and hunker down with crafts, games and other activities!

KEEP WARM WITH CRAFTS: Created to Grow, Heartfelt, Kiddywampus & Michaels

Created to Grow | St. Anthony
Offers: Every Saturday is Family Fun Day here – from 10:30am-1:30pm all ages can drop by to work on a variety of projects. Gifts for the grandparents perhaps? • $15/session, discounts if you purchase a pack of 10 family visits.

HeartfeltHandcraft Holiday Gifts | Minneapolis
Offers: Drop-in crafts and a comfortable, child-friendly environment to spend some time. Browse their Holiday Gift Digest, filled with 30 holiday projects from tabletop reindeer to wood-burned picture frames, that can be given as handmade gifts.
Most drop-in crafts are priced between $10-$20 apiece.

Kiddywampus | Hopkins
Offers: Check out the Maker’s Studio, a space dedicated to letting little ones get creative • $8/child per hour ages 18 mon-10 years, open daily 10am-5:30pm.

Michaels | Twin Cities locations
Offers: Kids Club crafts are simple and inexpensive yet could lend a nice personal touch to a small gift. Drop in Saturdays 10am-noon during Nov and Dec to make felt ornaments, clay pot elves and other holiday themed items. $2 per project, supplies included.

WITH CHRISTMAS INDOORS: Jerry’s Foods Very Merry Santa Day | Eden Prairie • Sat Dec 17, 11am-2pm & Woodbury, Sun Dec 18, 11am-1pm • Details: Before getting groceries out of the way, meet up with Santa, get your face painted, catch some caroling, sample treats and more. FREE

WITH CULTURE: Kids at the Castle: Tiny Tomtes | American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis • Sat Dec 17, 9-10am • Details: Littles can roam free in a real-life castle after an hour or so of structured activity time with stories, songs and games aimed at ages 2-5. $8/family.

WITH CRAZY CONTESTS: Winter Beach Party | Great River Water Park, St Paul • Sat Dec 17, 1-5pm • Details: Hit the tropics for only $2/pp open swim complete with contests and tube races plus FREE live music, food and photos with Santa.

WITH CRITTERS: Bell Museum of Natural History | Minneapolis • Sun Dec 18, 12-5pm • Details: This is your final chance to pop into the Bell for FREE (Sunday only) before the museum closes until 2018. For two other classes going on indefinite hiatus, see below!

Now or Never! Three Things to Do This Holiday Season For the Last Time

WITH CHARADES: Among other simple indoor games for kids – all categorized by age!

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