Category - Free

Great FREE activities in the Twin Cities

Gianna’s First Year Favorite Finds: Our Team
Kids At The Castle
Free Open House at Circus Juventas Tomorrow
The Free List for the Weekend of April 11 – 13, 2014
MIA News! New Family-Friendly Cafe and an Updated Family Center!
The Free List for April 5th & 6th, 2014
Children’s Library Corner: The Song of Pentecost
Birthday Giveaway: Our First Love–BOOKS!
Newsletter Double Take

Gianna’s First Year Favorite Finds: Our Team


We talk a lot about being a team on Family Fun Twin Cities.  I think that’s because we are so happy to be working together.

We have been blessed to work together for many reasons.  But the biggest one for me is because where one of us may have fallen a little short, another wanted that responsibility anyway. Read More

Gianna Kordatzky is a co-founder of Family Fun Twin Cities

Kids At The Castle


ASI in the winter

American Swedish Institute
 2600 Park Avenue Minneapolis MN 55407
Hours:  Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday 12:00-5:00pm
                 Wednesday 12:00-8:00 pm
                 Saturday 10:00 am-5:00 pm
                 Monday, Most holidays Closed

Admission:  $9 / adults, $7 / ages 62 and above, $5 / ages 6-18 and full-time students with ID
                          Free/ ASI members and kids ages 5 and under

Did you know we have a castle here in the Twin Cities?  I told my boys that it was built for the King and Queen of Sweden because it is now the American Swedish Institute. They believe that the royalty comes here to stay when they visit the United States.  I didn’t take any time to correct that erroneous information because after checking out the outside of the castle, we headed inside and blasted through the castle running around together in search of springtime.

Read More

Gianna Kordatzky is a co-founder of Family Fun Twin Cities

Free Open House at Circus Juventas Tomorrow



The Free List for the Weekend of April 11 – 13, 2014


Welcome to the weekend! Need a few suggestions on finding family fun with your bunch? Here are some of our picks for FREE activities happening in the Twin Cities over the next few days. As always, be sure to check our Family Fun Calendar for a complete listing of events for this weekend and beyond.

Family Fridays at Midtown Global Market
920 E. Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55407

Friday, April 11, 2014
5 – 8pm; FREE!

Every Friday is Family Night at Midtown Global Market! The live music and activities are geared for all ages and can be enjoyed along with dinner from one of the many ethnic vendors that populate the indoor market. Park free for up to three hours with a validated purchase.

Peadpods Spring Festival
2290 Como Ave., St. Paul, MN 55108
Saturday, April 12, 2014
12 – 4pm; FREE!

Peapods — the natural toy and baby care shop in St. Paul’s St. Anthony Park neighborhod — is hosting their first Spring Festival this Saturday. Expect crafts, treats, great prizes and baby chicks! Gianna has more details here.

Free Second Saturday: Nano Science!
The Bakken Museum
3537 Zenith Avenue S., Minneapolis, MN 55416
Saturday, April 12, 2014
11am – 4pm; FREE!

EVERY second Saturday of the month is free at this unique museum dedicated to electricity and magnetism. April’s theme celebrates Nano Science — the science of the small — with loads of activities. Get the entire list here.

Minneapolis Institute of Arts – Family Day: April Showers
2400 Third Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55404

Sunday, April 13, 2014
11am – 5pm; FREE!

As usual, Family Day at the MIA will be packed with art activities that appeal to all ages plus a special preschool tour that explores emotions in art. Joy tells us about recent family-friendly updates to the museum here.

Urban Expeditions: Senegal
Landmark Center
75 W. 5th St., St. Paul, MN 55102
Sunday, April 13, 2014
1 – 3pm; FREE!

Travel to Senegal for an hour or two through Landmark Center‘s popular Urban Expeditions program, now in its tenth year. I couldn’t find any teasers online about this installment, but you can probably expect some authentic cultural performances, crafts and probably food. Parking is free in downtown St. Paul on Sundays.

About the Author: Anne Kingston is a co-founder of Family Fun Twin Cities.

MIA News! New Family-Friendly Cafe and an Updated Family Center!


This weekend is a Family Day weekend at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.  If you plan to go, you can check out their new kid-friendly Cafe – Half Pint.  It features fast service and family-friendly healhty food and treats, plus it features more space for families.

Also note: The Family Center is being or soon will be updated.  On weekends during this time, The Wells Fargo Community Room will still be open for families and will offer the same kid-friendly envirnoment we love.


The Free List for April 5th & 6th, 2014


At the top of our Free List this week is OUR parties.  We will be hosting one at The Red Balloon Bookshop on Saturday and another at Choo Choo Bob’s Train Store on Sunday.  There are some other cool things going on, too.


princess bride quoteFree Family Flicks – The Princess Bride
Theatres at the Mall of America, 401 South Ave, Bloomington, MN 55425
Saturday, April 5, 2014; 10:00 a.m.

Maybe this year isn’t your year for the film festival.  You can still see the greatest movie ever made.  The Princess Bride is Free at the Theatres at the Mall of America (and you can still make it over to our party afterwards).

EasterbunnySpring Holiday Party
Hillcrest Recreation Center, 1978 Ford Pkwy., Saint Paul, MN 55116
Saturday April 5, 2014; 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Here’s another outing you can attend on Saturday and still make our party.  Hillcrest Nature Center is throwing a Spring Holiday Party complete with carnival games, crafts, face painting, and a jump castle. Bring a camera if you want to take pictures with Spring Holiday Bunny. For more information about this FREE event – contact the recreation center at 651-695-3706


Children’s Library Corner: The Song of Pentecost


Librarian Ruhama is here!  Let me just say that not only is she a children’s book fanatic, but she has now inspired her brother–my husband–into a new hobby.  Cake decorating.  She is an amazing cook, and whenever I make something out of my comfort zone, I think of her.  You can check out some of her ideas, foods, crafts, and book recomendations at Rumahama. Read More

Gianna Kordatzky is a co-founder of Family Fun Twin Cities

Birthday Giveaway: Our First Love–BOOKS!



Minnesota Historical Society Press is a local publishing company based through the Minnesota Historical Society.  (Now, wasn’t that a brilliant statement?  Bear with me as I have been in a sick household for the past month!)  It started in 1859 and is now the largest historical press in the country.  They publish books that highlight our region of this planet and usually by local authors. Subjects include–but are not limited to

  • Native Americans
  • Historical Figures: Men and Women
  • Cooking
  • Agriculture
  • Art
  • Military History
  • Nature

Relatively recently (without the past decade), MHS Press has begun to publish children’s picture books.  Local authors and illustrators–like David LaRochelle, Debra Jo Larson, and Kevin Kling–develop and create these beautifully rich books.  They speak of the beauty of our land, history, and our people.  Even current characters from Minnesota. 

You can find their books all over the state or the country (under the name Borealis Books).  You can search for their books online. 

Or It’s Birthday Present Time!FFTC_favicon

 MHS Press was so gracious and offered to our readers Minnesota’s Hidden Alphabet by Joe Rossi and David LaRochelle and Big Little Brother by Kevin Kling and Chris Monroe.  One explores the natural Minnesota land through the alphabet and the other is Kevin Kling’s personal memoir (not exactly) about growing up–in Minnesota, though it’s not mentioned–as the older and smaller brother.

Giving away presents on our birthday sounds like a lot of fun!  If you want to join in the fun, here are the rules!

  • Logo_SquareOne entry per person.  If your email is not included, we will choose a new winner.  
  • Winner must live in the US.
  •  To Enter Giveaway:  Leave a comment with your email about why you use Family Fun Twin Cities and what you would find more helpful in the future.


This Giveaway is open until Wednesday, April 25, 2014 at noon Central Time.

Gianna Kordatzky is a co-founder of Family Fun Twin Cities



This weekend is a quiet weekend for free activities, but I found a few gems.  You can find more on our Free Calendar. Other free ideas: head over to your local library to check out a book by our featured local author, Dara Dokas or sample a Music Together class.  Oh! Or you could just go to a park and play outside!!  I’m so happy to see signs of spring!


Image Credit: Red Balloon Bookshop

Image Credit: Red Balloon Bookshop

Minnesota Book Award-Young People’s Literature Readings
Red Balloon Bookshop, 891 Grand Ave., St. Paul, MN 55105
Friday, March 21, 2014; 7:00 pm

The Red Balloon is hosting four local authors — all Minnesota Book Awards Finalists in the category of Young People’s Literature.  The authors will be reading from their book and talking to the audience.  Light refreshments will be served.  This would be the perfect outing for book groupies.  The Four authors are:

WAM@20: Paper Now - July 6, 2014

WAM@20: Paper
Now – July 6, 2014


WAM@20: Paper
Weisman Art Museum, 333 East River Road, Minneapolis, MN 55455
Now through July 6, 2014; Saturday and Sunday Hours: 11 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Admission is always free at the Weisman Art Museum, so its easy to overlook.  This quiet weekend would be a great weekend to pull this one out of our back pockets. On Saturdays and Sundays, the “Weisguides” lead free public tours at 1:00 p.m.  The Weisman is celebrating its 20th birthday in its current location.  Now through July 6th, they are featuring the exhibit WAM@20: PAPER, which highlights the various artistic mediums that use paper.

Photo Credit: Cultural Society of Cultural Society of Filipino Americans (CSFA)

Photo Credit: Cultural Society of Cultural Society of Filipino Americans (CSFA)


Phillipine Day
Landmark Center, 75 West Fifth  Street, Saint Paul, MN 55102.
Sunday, March 23, 2014; Noon to 4:00 p.m.

Technically, Phillipine Day is NOT part of the Landmark Center’s Urban Expedition Program, but if you are enjoying that series, this is another chance to learn about another culture.  Join the Cultural Society of Filipino Americans for this celebration of their heritage.  As with the Urban Expedition program, your family can get a little taste of the Phillipine culture through dance, activities and food.

Let's Get stARTedLet’s Get Started: Spring Bloom: Watercolor Leaf Prints
Silverwood Park, 2500 County Rd. E,  St. Anthony, MN 55421
Sunday, March 23, 2014; 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

This is another activity that I really enjoy, but tend to set on the backburner.  Show up at Silverwood Park and try your hand at the art activity of the month.  This month make Watercolor Leaf Prints.  This is a fun activity for the whole family, because you’re given the tools and any encouragement that you would like, but the final product is up to you.  A two-year-old may end up fingerpainting his chest while a grade school age child could make something you want to frame.  Mom and dad can create alongside the kids, too.  During the same time, there is an artist led tour of the Silverwood grounds or you can strike out on your own or just sit in the coffee shop and sip lattes while the kids play with the open-ended toys provided.  I love this for a lazy Sunday afternoon with no rules or structure or expectations.  Just family.

Joy Peters is a co-creator and writer for

Newsletter Double Take


April is a very special time for Family Fun Twin Cities.

It’s the beginning of spring in Minnesota (Oh, please let it be the beginning of spring).

We get to celebrate Easter outside (Oh, please let us be able to celebrate Easter outside).


It’s our birthday.

We are turning the big number 1.

We have a lot of activities lined up and to be able to get you all that information, we will be sending out a Birthday Newsletter.

We will also be sending out an April newsletter the next week.  This is the one time we will send 2 newsletters  in one month because we don’t want to clutter your inbox.  But if you don’t want to miss out on what is happening for our birthday, I would say sign up for the newsletter ASAP.


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Gianna Kordatzky is a co-founder of Family Fun Twin Cities

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