Category - Free

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Free Weekend Family Events for February 6-7, 2016
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Twin Cities Valentine’s Day Weekend Events
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10 Free Things to Do in February in the Twin Cities
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Free Family Weekend Events for January 30-31, 2016
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Top 7 Free St. Paul Winter Carnival 2016 Activities for Families
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Join us for a FREE Complete Exercise Class FFTC Day at Stroller Strides
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BookHounds #1 ‘Ella and Penguin Stick Together’
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Crafts in the Cold: Two Activities to do at Home When You Don’t Want to Leave Your House
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Free Family Events for January 16-18 MLK Weekend
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45+ Fun Indoor Games for Kids of All Ages

Free Weekend Family Events for February 6-7, 2016

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What better to liven up the dead of winter than tons of free family events? Saturday is packed full of stuff to do from the final weekend of the St. Paul Winter Carnival to Walker Art Center’s Free First Saturday program. Plus, you can always check our Family Fun Calendar for more Twin Cities free events and festivals this weekend and beyond.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 6

Winter Carnival Family Fun Day
@ Landmark Center, 75 W 5th St., St. Paul

When: Noon-5pm
Details: Stop by the Landmark Center for entertainment and events for all ages.  There will be activities for children and adults alike. Wells Fargo brings the Minnesota Zoomobile from noon-2pm with live animals and the 3M Visiting Wizards will do hands-on science experiments from 1:30-2:30pm.

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Free First Saturday: Everyone is a Mn Artist
@ Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis

When: 10am-3pm
Details: Activities are geared towards kids ages 6-12, but don’t let that stop you from bringing your littler ones! Free gallery admission for the whole family every first Saturday of the month. February brings a host of local artists to share art-making, storytime and a performance by the Roe Family Singers.

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Art Shanty Projects Opening Weekend
@ White Bear Lake County Park

When: 10am-4pm
Details: Not only are these 19 unique icehouses designed by local artists, they are strongly encouraged to be interactive. Herein lies the fun of bringing the whole family out to see them – my kids had a great time exploring the shanties when they last appeared in 2014. Get the opening weekend schedule of events here.

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Pacifier – North Loop Grand Opening Celebration
@ Pacifier – North Loop, 219 N. 2nd St. #102, Minneapolis

When: 3:30pm
Details: Be there for the official grand opening of Pacifier’s new location in the North Loop neighborhood of Minneapolis. Join us for a day of fun for all ages, including a Diaper Derby, a Rock Paper Scissors Tournament, and a visit from the Snow Queen and Stormtroopers.

Free Family Concert: Melody, Harmony & Rhythm, Oh My!
@ St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Historic Hamm Bldg., 408 Saint Peter St., St. Paul

When: Tickets available for the 9:30am & 11am shows – get yours here while they last.
Details: Geared for ages 6-12, these kid-sized concerts call on a full-sized chamber orchestra to teach about how melodies, harmonies and rhythms are used as building blocks of music. At this concert, several familiar selections of classical music will be stacked up, knocked down and built up again so you can hear how music is made. The concerts are popular; tickets are free, but they will go quickly.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 7

Free Family Fun Days with Three Rivers Parks

Snow Forts @ Carl Kroening Interpretive Center
Stories By the Fire @ Richardson Nature Center, 3-4pm


Twin Cities Valentine’s Day Weekend Events

Spend a lovely weekend with your favorite sweethearts taking advantage of all the Valentine's Day activities in the Twin Cities - many of them FREE. Here are 10 ideas to get you started

Spend a lovely weekend with your favorite sweethearts taking advantage of all the Valentine’s Day activities in the Twin Cities – many of them FREE. Here are 10 ideas to get you started:

Spend a lovely weekend with your favorite sweethearts taking advantage of all the Valentine's Day activities in the Twin Cities - many of them FREE. Here are 10 ideas to get you started.Home Depot Kids Workshop: Valentine’s Mailboxes
@ Twin Cities Home Depot locations

When: Saturday, Feb. 6 • 9am-noon
Cost: Free
Details: Build a wooden Valentine’s Day mailbox to hold all your child’s valentine cards, then personalize their project with paint. All kids get to keep their craft, receive a free certificate of achievement, a workshop apron, and a commemorative pin. Adults must accompany children.

Spend a lovely weekend with your favorite sweethearts taking advantage of all the Valentine's Day activities in the Twin Cities - many of them FREE. Here are 10 ideas to get you started.In-store Valentine Craft Event
@ Twin Cities Lakeshore Learning locations

When: Saturday, Feb. 6 • 11am-3pm
Cost: Free
Details: 3 different “made with love” crafts to choose from, perfect for a homemade valentine gift.

Be My Valentine Family Day
@ Minnesota History Center, 345 W. Kellogg Blvd, St. Paul

When: Saturday, Feb. 13 • Noon-4pm
Cost: $12/adults, $10/seniors, $6/ages 5-17, under 5 & members free
Details: Explore the various ways Valentine’s Day is celebrated around the world. Activities include a karaoke love song sing-along, pop-up card making, cookie decorating ($2 supply fee), music, games, and displays of vintage Valentine cards, and learning customs about romance from around the world.

Spend a lovely weekend with your favorite sweethearts taking advantage of all the Valentine's Day activities in the Twin Cities - many of them FREE. Here are 10 ideas to get you started.

Valentine’s Day Family Fun
@ The Landing, 2187 Highway 101 E., Shakopee

When: Saturday, Feb. 13 • Noon-3pm
Cost: $8/pp, 2 & under free
Details: Celebrate Valentine’s Day, the outdoors, and Lincoln’s birthday. Create Victorian-era Valentines, ride a kicksled, or try snowshoeing. Tour Eagle Creek Village, hear stories about Lincoln, and assemble kid-sized log cabins. Warm up by a stove and with a hot beverage. Reservations required by February 6; children under 2 free.

Spend a lovely weekend with your favorite sweethearts taking advantage of all the Valentine's Day activities in the Twin Cities - many of them FREE. Here are 10 ideas to get you started.Valentine’s Day Hot Metal Pour
@ Franconia Sculpture Park, 29836 St Croix Trail, Shafer

When: Saturday, Feb. 13 • Noon-5pm
Cost: Free admission, fee if creating and purchasing a sculpture
Details: From the website – We invite you to join in this unique opportunity by scratching a block of sand that will be poured with molten iron, creating your very own iron sculpture at the Valentine’s Day Hot Metal Pour.

To make a scratch block, you will want to attend one of our scratch block workshops. Workshops are free with the purchase of a sand mold. Then whether or not you made a scratch block, make sure to come to the park on February 13th with your loved ones and some hot cocoa for a special event totally worth braving the cold for.

Valentine’s Day Skating Party
@ Lyndale Farmstead Park, 3900 Bryant Ave S, Minneapolis

When: Sunday, Feb. 14 • 1-3pm
Cost: Free
Details: Stop by the park and enjoy Valentine’s Day festivities in the warming room! DJs will be playing Music on the Ice for your skating enjoyment. Valentine-making supplies provided.

Spend a lovely weekend with your favorite sweethearts taking advantage of all the Valentine's Day activities in the Twin Cities - many of them FREE. Here are 10 ideas to get you started.Family Day: Institute of Hearts
@ Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 2400 3rd Avenue S, Minneapolis

When: Sunday, Feb. 14 • 11am-5pm
Cost: Free
Details: Bring all your little loved ones to celebrate Valentine’s Day at the museum. Make an arty heart, listen to some lovely music, and more! Get the full schedule of activities here.

Kids at the Castle: Hearts and Hugs
@ American Swedish Institute,  2600 Park Ave, Minneapolis

When: Friday, Feb. 19 • 11am
Cost: $5 per family
Details: Before the museum opens, join ASI for visual play, storytelling, music, and movement inspired by ASI’s exhibits that will encourage creative young minds. Recommended for ages 2-5.


Or, if you’d prefer cuddling up with your little valentines at home, we love these family fun ideas:

10 Free Things to Do in February in the Twin Cities

10 Free Things to Do in February in the Twin Cities with your Family

Once the holidays and hockey season are over, I tend to change my tune about winter. If you’re like-minded, we’ve got plenty of free ways to hunker down inside and wait out the rest of the cold snap. Or, if you desire to be out of doors, we’ve included some frosty winter festivals and a really cool art event on White Bear Lake. Read More

Free Family Weekend Events for January 30-31, 2016

Free St. Paul Winter Carnival activities, including a bunch aimed specially at kids, ramp up this weekend along with a couple grand opening celebrations, an art sled rally, and your last chance to visit the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum free on the weekend. For more ideas on getting out and about with your littles this weekend and beyond, visit our Family Fun Calendar.

Free Family Weekend Events for January 30-31, 2016

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Top 7 Free St. Paul Winter Carnival 2016 Activities for Families

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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 28-Sunday, February 7, 2016:

Snow Park at the State Fairgrounds, 1265 Snelling Ave., Falcon Heights

When: Activities run Saturday, Jan. 23-Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016
Details: Chill out at the Fair with the following fun family-friendly events:

  • Jan. 23-24: Calling all kids who like heavy equipment! Watch as it assembles the giant snow blocks and walls created for the annual snow sculpting contest. Sat • 9am-4p, Sun • noon-4pm
  • Jan. 29-31: Come watch works of art whittled out of the snow during the Minnesota State Snow Sculpting Competition. Construction takes place Fri • 8am-10pm, Sat • 9am-10pm & Sun • 9am-1pm. Sculptures will be on display at the Fair through Feb. 7. 9am-10pm.
  • Jan. 30-Feb. 6: Plummet down the Giant Snow Slide (if you dare!) A fee of $2 per ride or $5 for three rides is charged, sleds provided.
  • Jan. 31: Hail the Vulcs on Vulcan Fun Day with free fire truck rides, a mini-medallion hunt for kids and more. 11am-3pm.

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20160116__winmedallion_500Pioneer Press Treasure Hunt, various Ramsey County public land sites

When: First clue is published in the Pioneer Press on Sunday, Jan. 24. A new clue will be published daily through Feb. 7 or until the medallion is found.
Details: A St. Paul tradition since 1952, the hunt challenges readers to solve daily clues and be the first to find the medallion hidden on public land in Ramsey County. A great way for families to explore outside together and vie for a prize of up to $10,000. Aimee at Twin Cities Kids Club offers 5 Tips for a Family-Friendly Hunt.

Winter Wonderland in Rice Park, 109 4th St. W, St. Paul

When: Thursday, Jan. 28-Sunday, Feb. 7
Details: Take a stroll through the 2016 Winter Carnival ice carvings and pick out your favorite, explore the mini-ice palace (small fee charged) and enjoy live music and other entertainment.

 

Moon Glow Pedestrian Parade, 401 W. Robert St to Rice Park, St. Paul

When: Thursday, Jan. 28 • 5:15-7pm
Details: The Moon Glow Pedestrian Parade officially kicks off the first day of Carnival, January 28, in downtown Saint Paul. Fuel up with complimentary hot chocolate and cookies then join in cool winter walk from the Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce offices to Rice Park. Bright your light-up gizmos! Open to the public, all ages welcome. Festivities start at 5:15 pm, the parade starts at 6 p.m.

Winter Carnival Kids Day @ Landmark Center, 75 W. 5th St., St. Paul

When: Saturday, Jan. 30 • 2-6pm
Details: Need a break from the cold? Warm up inside the beautiful Landmark Center Cortile with kid-centric activities like inflatables, crafts and live performances, including a “Frozen” appearance from Queen Elsa.

NordythebearFrozen Family Fun Night @ Rice Park, 109 4th St. W., St. Paul

When: Tuesday, Feb. 2 • 5-8pm
Details: Explore the Palace of the Winds (small fee charged for this) and the dazzling traditional ice sculptures, skate at the Wells Fargo WinterSkate rink, and meet guests including Clifford the Big Red Dog (5-6 pm), Nordy of the Minnesota Wild (6-7 pm) and the MN RollerGirls (7-8 pm).

Winter Carnival Family Day @ Landmark Center, 75 W. 5th St., St. Paul

When: Saturday, Feb. 6 • Noon-5pm
Details: Stop by the Landmark Center for entertainment and events for all ages.  There will be activities for children and adults alike. Wells Fargo brings the Minnesota Zoomobile from noon-2pm with live animals and the 3M Visiting Wizards will do hands-on science experiments from 1:30-2:30pm.


Join us for a FREE Complete Exercise Class FFTC Day at Stroller Strides

FFTC Day at Stroller Strides (2)Just yesterday, I was bemoaning the fact that I didn’t know why I couldn’t keep up an exercise routine.  Yes, it’s cold, and yes, I don’t like getting up in the morning, but even when I decide to do it later in the day, I don’t do it. I want to like it and when I’m done, I’m almost always glad I did it.  But I can’t seem to get the grit to go.

  • I thought it was the kids.  I didn’t want to put them in childcare.
  • I thought it was that I wasn’t meeting someone so I wasn’t being kept accountable.
  • I thought it was that I didn’t have enough time.

If you are like me and struggle getting some good exercise in for any of the reasons above, you will want to join us for FFTC Day at Stroller Strides.

This is an intense complete workout.  No joke!

 

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BookHounds #1 ‘Ella and Penguin Stick Together’

Megan Maynor and Gianna hang out to talk about Ella and Penguin Stick Together with you.  See below for all the show notes.  And join us February 26, 2016 10:00 for our next BookHounds with Stephen and Trisha Speed Shaskan and their new book Punk Skunks.

Please forgive the technical difficulties at the beginning of the scope.  Bear with us because the discussion becomes really interesting. Read More

Crafts in the Cold: Two Activities to do at Home When You Don’t Want to Leave Your House

Family Fun Twin Cities was invited into the WCCO studio to suggest some fun crafts to do with the kids during this absolutely horrific cold weather. (I’m not complaining about the cold in Minnesota.  I’m just saying there is cold, very cold, and absolutely horrific cold.  We are currently experiencing the latter!)

Watch the segments and find the show notes for each idea.

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Free Family Events for January 16-18 MLK Weekend

free listIt’s MLK Weekend which means a long weekend.  With the temperatures predicted to plummet drastically, we looked for some indoor activities this weekend with one exception for MLK Day itself. We have just under 10 ideas for your family.

If you are interested in everything we’ve found, be sure to check out our calendar.

What do you plan to do this weekend?

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45+ Fun Indoor Games for Kids of All Ages

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Rainy day and indoor games for kids of all ages! They are categorized into age appropriate groups, but as always, these indoor games can truly be enjoyed by anyone who is ready and willing to have fun. What games did your family love to play growing up, and what games do you play now with your kids? Let us know!

Indoor games for kids ages 2-4
Indoor games for kids ages 5-8
Indoor games for kids ages 9-12
Indoor games for kids ages 13-17
Indoor games for kids of all ages!

Indoor games for kids ages 2-4

1. I Spy
A great game for your child to get to know the world around her. For a child who has never played, you can start by picking out an object within plain view, not mentioning the object, and saying “I Spy something blue.” If there is only one child, then she can keep guessing until she gets it right. If there are multiple children then they can take turns looking around and guessing. The first child correct gets to spy something next. Simple and fun!

Variations – Limit the number of guesses each child gets. Or, say things like “I Spy something that is a circle.” The difficulty is easily changed by what you are actually spying (smaller or less obvious things) and how you describe what is spied (bumpy or soft things, for example).

2. Balance Beam
This is more easily set up than you might think. Go get the masking tape, tape down a line of any length, and have a blast! Challenge your child to only walk on the line all the way to end. And definitely tape down further lines at different angles. Spirals and zig-zags are always fun.

Variations – The fastest child without stepping off, walking it heel-to-toe, walking it backwards, with eyes closed (socks off so they can feel the line), and jumping down the line (both feet still on!) are all great variants. If you want to get real about it, you can certainly lay down and secure 2×4 pieces of wood!

3. Touch-and-Feel
This is a great way to focus young kids on the sense of touch in a world so focused on the sense of sight. Get their mind to associate information to something other than just the way it looks. The point here is to put interesting objects into containers that a child must reach into and identify without looking at them. You’ll most likely want to use shoe boxes for the container as they are usually readily available, can be easily cut with scissors, and do not let any light through. Making the boxes can actually be part of the fun – have the kids color, paint, or draw on them, but make sure to cut out a child-sized hand hole on the side of the box beforehand as we don’t want good art to be cut out J! Put an item in each box and have your kids take turns guessing what the items are. Encourage questions and offer clues as needed. After identifying the objects you can have one of the children go get the items to put in next.

Variations – Offer points to those that guess correctly, or put in foods that may be wet, like spaghetti noodles or grapes. Read More

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