Author - Anne Kingston

1
Nature Playgrounds in the Twin Cities – Get Back to Green
2
Twin Cities June Family Festival Calendar – Updated for 2017
3
10 Twin Cities Beaches & Playgrounds to Try This Summer
4
Twin Cities Memorial Day Weekend Events
5
Twin Cities Spring Family Festival Calendar
6
Twin Cities May Family Events & Activities Guide
7
Twin Cities Spring Nature Play & Programs Guide
8
Opening in May – Greater Minnesota Attractions
9
Opening in May – Twin Cities Area Attractions
10
Mother’s Day Events in the Twin Cities

Nature Playgrounds in the Twin Cities – Get Back to Green

Nature Playgrounds are a growing trend for good reason; scientists keep finding connections between nature to child development and well-being.

nature playgrounds
It used to be, according to my children, that in order for a park to be authentic, it needed at least a slide and a set of swings. I was less enthusiastic about taking them to places like state parks simply because I felt I’d have to go the extra mile to “prove” that playing and exploring in a natural environment could be just as fun as clambering around a commercially manufactured jungle gym. Don’t get me wrong – the local playgrounds can be a lot of fun, too. And some are really inventive! But I have to say that I get a deeper satisfaction from watching them play in a more natural setting: digging, figuring out how to climb that tree, following paths, building forts. They become immersed in tossing rocks into the water, scouting frogs, collecting wildflowers. They also gradually forget that “playing at the park” requires a plastic treehouse.

So here’s what I find really cool: incorporating natural elements into new playground designs seems to be the trend. More places are popping up where kids get the opportunity to interact with the landscape and, perhaps, develop a greater appreciation for it. Here are seven places I’ve discovered that have those goals in mind:

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Twin Cities June Family Festival Calendar – Updated for 2017

TWIN CITIES JUNE FAMILY FESTIVAL IDEAS

Get your fill of June family festival outings with this handy list of local celebrations around the Twin Cites. Most are free. If there is admission, it is listed. Family-friendly highlights are listed for each:

Family Festival Calendar - Get Your Fill of Twin Cities Festivals in June

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10 Twin Cities Beaches & Playgrounds to Try This Summer

tm big marine beach

Tired of heading out to the same old swimming spot? We’ve combed the Metro in search of new places to try with our own families and came up with ten we think are worth checking out for their beaches, playground, and other recreational opps nearby:

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Twin Cities Memorial Day Weekend Events

Twin Cities Memorial Day Weekend Events

FREE TWIN CITIES MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND EVENTS

Twin Cities Memorial Day Weekend Events: Sparky the Sea Lion at Como Park Zoo

Sparky the Sea Lion at Como Park Zoo

Sticking around town this weekend? We’ve saluted a few of the larger celebrations below. In addition to the special events, we’ve got weekend suggestions sure to be memorable.

5/27-29: Sparky the Sea Lion Opening Weekend @ Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, St. Paul • shows at 11:30am & 3pm.

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Twin Cities Spring Family Festival Calendar

After our long winter’s rest, the Twin Cities is awake with a full lineup of spring family festivals and events! You can get started planning those beautiful weekends in May right here: Read More

Twin Cities May Family Events & Activities Guide

It is our hope that you can use our May 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. May is filled with seasonal openings across the Twin Cities Metro Area, Mother’s Day activities and farmer’s markets bursting with fresh produce. And, when it’s time to unwind at home, we’ve added in some suggestions for crafts, recipes and read-alouds. As always, we hope to be inspiration in planning your family time together! Read More

Twin Cities Spring Nature Play & Programs Guide

Does the spring weather have you itching to explore beyond the backyard? Twin Cities-area nature centers and outdoor education centers are wonderful places to seek out signs of the seasons and play in the natural world. Most of them offer programming specially designed for preschoolers, free family events, and indoor exhibits to stimulate little explorers. Read More

Opening in May – Greater Minnesota Attractions

Greater MN bannerI had way too much fun doing the research for this article — poring over trip journals and photos from adventures taken with our growing family as well as mapping out road trips to new destinations this season! It was especially enjoyable to stretch well beyond the borders of the Twin Cities — out of our comfort zone, you could say — to share ideas for family fun. Here’s just a taste of what we came up with. If there’s a favorite you don’t see on the list that you’d like added, please let us know! Read More

Opening in May – Twin Cities Area Attractions

tm opening in may

It’s official – Family Fun Twin Cities has SPRING FEVER! Check back often as we’re always adding to this list of Twin Cities-area attractions opening for the season in May 2017.

TWIN CITIES ATTRACTIONS OPENING IN MAY

Caponi Art ParkNOW OPEN: Caponi Art Park | Eagan • Tues-Sun, 9am-8pm • FREE admission, donations appreciated • Wander the trails through the sculpture park and take in free cultural entertainment. Special event: Summer Performance Series, Sundays July-Aug, 6:30pm.

4/28-4/30: Gammelgarden Museum | Scandia • Guided tours Fri-Sun, 1 & 2:30pm • $7/adults, under 13 FREE • 5 historic buildings immerse you in the lives of Swedish immigrants in the mid-1850s. There is no charge to picnic, walk the grounds, seek out the colorful Dala horses, or play on the equipment.

PicMonkey Collage gammelgarden

5/1: Cafesjian’s Carousel | St Paul • Como Park’s famous carousel, open daily through Labor Day, Mon-Fri 10am-4pm, Sat-Sun 10am-6pm • $2/pp ages 3+

5/6: Wheel Fun Rentals | Lake Calhoun, Minnehaha Falls & Veterans Memorial Park – Richfield • visit the links for complete hours • Rent surreys, choppers, canoes, paddleboards and more.

5/6: Spring on the Farm | Eidem Homestead, Brooklyn Park • 10am-1pm • $6/adults, $4/under 12, under 4/FREE • Greet the farm babies, help with spring planting and other activities. Eidem Homestead will be open for a variety of special events through Dec 2017.

PicMonkey Collage eidem farm

5/6-7: Grand Opening Celebration | Oliver Kelley Farm, Elk River • Noon-5pm • $6-$12/pp, under 5 & MHS members FREE • Be among the first to see the new visitor center and indoor/outdoor exhibits, participate in make-and-takes, demos and see the animals. Upcoming special events include Mother’s Day Weekend (5/13-14) and come out to meet the farm babies in June.

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Mother’s Day Events in the Twin Cities

Mothers-Day

How will you be celebrating Mom this Mother’s Day? If your plans include time spent together, here are some ideas around town to make her day extra special.

We also have some simple DIY gifts and cards the kids can make.

MOTHER’S DAY EVENTS – FREE FOR THE FAMILY

5/13: Mother’s and Father’s Day Cardmaking | Articulture, Minneapolis • 1-3pm Read More

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