Author - Gianna Kordatzky

1
Girl Time at The Works Museum
2
Family Fun: Home Depot’s Kids Workshops
3
Meet “Shelly Bean, The Sports Queen” — Book Review
4
FFTC’s Guide to Fall Fun in the Twin Cities
5
Family Fun Idea: Kerfoot Adventure Park
6
Twin Cities Apple Orchards: Southern Hospitality
7
Twin Cities Apple Orchards — Southeastern Fun
8
FFTC’s Guide to Family Music Classes
9
FFTC’s Guide to Dance Studios in the Twin Cities
10
Summer Family Fun: Beat the Heat with Cool Outings

Girl Time at The Works Museum

The WorksGirls learn about engineering at this hands-on family event 
On Saturday, September 23, girls will explore the world of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) when The Works Museum hosts its third annual Girl Time event. At Girl Time, girls and their families will do hands-on activities, see demonstrations, and be able to ask women working in engineering about what they do.
“Girl Time lets girls learn about engineering while having a great time with their families. Girls are underrepresented in STEM fields, beginning in high school and into the workforce. Through events like Girl Time, we help girls understand what it means to be an engineer and learn about the many fascinating STEM careers open to them,” said Sarah Curtis, Director of Marketing and Communications. “Plus, it’s just a wonderful outing with your daughter, granddaughter, or niece.”
What: Girl Time, The Works Museum’s special event for girls and their families, featuring hands-on activities and demonstrations from women engineers and students in STEM fields.
Who: Perfect for girls ages 5-12 and their grown-ups. Boys also welcome.

When:
Saturday, September 23, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Where:
 The Works Museum, 9740 Grand Ave S., Bloomington, MN, 55420

Cost:
 $9 Pre-registered/$12 at the door; Members free. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

 

Family Fun: Home Depot’s Kids Workshops

Home Depot Kids Workshop
First Saturday of the month
9:00 am-12:00 pm

Registration is encouraged. Find the next workshop here.

Home Depot Kids WorkshopOn the bright first Saturday morning in March, Chris–the husband and daddy–packed up the girls and drove to Menards, Lowe’s, and Home Depot.  They were on a mission to buy the supplies needed to redo our bathroom.  What they ran into was the opportunity to build.  They all came home extremely excited and chitty-chatty.  Meanwhile, the boys were beside themselves with envy having to wait until the following month. Read More

Meet “Shelly Bean, The Sports Queen” — Book Review

Shelly Boyum Breen–the author, creator, and prototype of Shelly Bean–grew up in Brainerd, Minnesota as a girl who like to play.

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FFTC’s Guide to Fall Fun in the Twin Cities

Twin Cities families, it’s that glorious time of colored leaves. Of apple orchards and fall festivals and corn mazes. Oh, and pumpkin patches, too!

The fall season is a perfect time for families to explore all kinds of different things to do across the metro area and beyond into greater Minnesota.

Take a morning or an afternoon and spend time together in an apple orchard. The Twin Cities are FULL of orchards to the north, south, east and west. Some are free to enter with a la carte fees for activities that interest you. Others have an entrance fee that includes many of the activities.

Do your kids enjoy carving pumpkins or making pumpkin pie and pumpkin bars made from fresh pumpkin? And what is more iconic than spending a night in a pumpkin patch waiting for the Great Pumpkin?

The Twin Cities is home to many, many corn mazes — if you seek agri-tainment, these are definitely for you.  Check out the different options your family can enjoy together.

Because we live in one of the most beautiful settings for fall, it seems only fair that we have a plethora of fall festivals. I remember when I was a kid we enjoyed our weekends in the fall going to an annual fall festival in Sisseton, SD.  But you don’t need to go that far to find a fantastic festival; we have plenty right here in the Twin Cities.


Family Fun Idea: Kerfoot Adventure Park

Kerfoot Adventure ParkLee Kerfoot, owner of Kerfoot Canopy Tour and Brainerd Zip Line Tours (aka Minnesota Zip Lines &  Adventures), likes to surprise us with invitations to do the next terrifying thing.  And I surprise myself by saying yes.

Our first zipline experience was at Kerfoot.  While I had heart palpitations going into the experience, I came out ready to zip again (see our article here).  My husband and I got another chance, only this time in Thailand.  And our Thailand experience was not pleasant.  I wanted to be back with my Minnesota guides and their kindness and patience.  Even my husband, who does not have a fear of heights, said the same thing.  Read More

Twin Cities Apple Orchards: Southern Hospitality

For a list of orchards spanning the four corners of the Twin Cities metro area, visit our FFTC Guide to Twin Cities Apple Orchards.

TWIN CITIES SOUTH METRO APPLE ORCHARDS

Sponsel’s Minnesota Harvest | Jordan

Driving into Sponsel’s Minnesota Harvest Apple Orchard is driving into Apple Land. I know there is no such place as Apple Land, but I just created it in my head.

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Twin Cities Apple Orchards — Southeastern Fun

Southeast Metro Apple Orchard

For a list of orchards spanning the four corners of the Twin Cities metro area, visit our FFTC Guide to Twin Cities Apple Orchards.

TWIN CITIES SOUTHEAST METRO APPLE ORCHARDS

Whistling Well Farm | Hastings

Southeast Metro Apple OrchardThis is a quaint orchard that welcomes you to enjoy farm life. Named for the whistling well on their property, Whistling Well Farm is run by Charlie and Carol Johnson — and sons Chad and Neal. With no entrance fee, you are welcome to roam around the farm at your leisure.

Whistling Well Farm has all the basic amenities of a typical orchard: gift barn, food barn, and animals. They have a donkey and a goat. While the animals didn’t do much when we were there, they were still fun for the kids to see.

Whistling Well Farm is maintained with the help of a springer spaniel named Emmy. In fact, she has her own picture book for sale (written by Charlie). They also sell small stuffed replicas of her.

But the best part of Whistling Well Farms? The chickens!

I can guarantee that your children will spend the rest of your visit in the chicken coop coaxing the non-hungry chickens into eating more corn from their hands. I must admit, it was lots of fun to have the chickens actually eat out of your hands!

Or, if your children have no interest in actually feeding the chickens, they may take corn kernel by corn kernel out of the cob and make a pile of feed for the chickens.

For its unique farm experience, I recommend Whistling Well Farm.  It is worth the drive.

Orchard notes
Open: Picking season begins around Labor Day, check their website or call to confirm.
Hours: Daily, 9am-6pm
Cost: Free admission and limited children’s activities
Picking & details: Stop by the farm and pick up some apples, visit with the goats and chickens, and make a wish at the whistling well with all donations going to local charities. The orchard’s Apple Festival runs the first three weekends in October.

Fischer’s Croix Farm Orchard | Hastings

Open: Mid-Sept-Oct
Hours: Tues-Sun, 9:30am-5pm
Cost: Free admission, fees for additional activities
Picking & details: Enjoy the fall season at this beautiful orchard on the St. Croix River. Pick-your-own apples and pumpkins and, for more family fun, take a tractor pulled wagon ride to the corn maze (weekends only) mid-September to October. Straw Mountain and the Apple Express are popular with kids and all ages will enjoy a visit to the barnyard. The Food Wagon is open on weekends, from late September through late October. Catch the Annual Apple Festival with fun family activities running the first two weekends of October.

McDougall’s Apple Junction | Hastings

Please note: This orchard is now permanently closed.

This is the perfect Mom-and-Pop apple orchard. It’s a fairly sizable orchard with more than fifteen varieties of apples, and admission into the orchard is free on weekdays!

As you drive into the property, a fun atmosphere welcomes you. The Apple House and Outdoor Market supply you with many different opportunities for purchasing their own honey roasted peanut butter, apple paraphernalia, already picked apples, pumpkins, chrysanthemums,  and the ultimate favorite for everyone in our family: Pick Your Own Apples. While we were visiting, the Haralson apples and Honeygold were available for PYO.

The apple trees at McDougall’s are well tended. They are small which makes it possible for you to reach almost all the way to the top. And full of apples. They are pruned for maximum fruit bearing.

The Apple Junction Playland at the back of the yard has a $3 admission fee for kids. There is also a suggested 50 cent donation to climb the newly constructed Observation tower just outside the playland.

The playland is intended for children ages 10 and under and contains a children’s maze, all terrain trikes, slides, swings, a climbing wall, sand box, a thirty-two foot wooden train, milking a (pretend) cow, and a small prize.

Apple Junction also has a goat mountain (read: goat pen that has a mountain of straw for the goats to play on!), a straw mountain for humans to play on, new duck races, a calf named Cupcake, and some bunnies. There are also plenty of picture stops.

If you want to, you can take a wagon ride to the pumpkin patch and come back with pumpkins for the season. Each fall they host a Pumpkin Festival and an Apple Festival. This is a dynamite orchard and is definitely worth the trip!

Orchard Notes
Location:
14325 110th St S., Hastings, MN, 55033
Hours:
Open daily from 10am – 6pm
Picking:
Click here for an update on what varieties are currently being picked in the orchard.

Orchard Notes
Location:
8973 St. Croix Trail South, Hastings, MN 55033
Hours: Open daily 9am – 6pm through November.
Picking: Click here to see what’s currently pickin’ at Whistling Well Farm.


FFTC’s Guide to Family Music Classes

Family Music classes aren’t simply about introducing your child to music education.  A big part of it is learning how to play with your child.  In the Twin Cities we are blessed to have so many different options. These classes are a great way to get out of the house with a specific purpose – to enjoy an hour together with your little ones.
singing music

Advertorial Article

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FFTC’s Guide to Dance Studios in the Twin Cities

There must be hundreds of dance studios in the Twin Cities.  Family Fun Twin Cities has collected some of the most unique ones, and we’re excited to share these with you.

Dance Studios

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Summer Family Fun: Beat the Heat with Cool Outings

I don’t know about you, but I am really feeling the heat. It’s that time of year when even the most hearty Minnesotans melt.  We try to remember what it’s like when it’s negative degrees in January, but it’s no use. While there are some you thrive in the heat, I know there are many of us who could do without the heat and humidity.

So FFTC is here once again, helping you to stay cool during this hot summer days.

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