Category - Free

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Pollinator Family Fun in the Twin Cities
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FFTC’s Guide to the 2016 Minnesota State Fair
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Twin Cities Fall Family Festival Calendar
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Free Twin Cities August Events & Activities
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10 Free & Air-Conditioned Indoor Family Outings
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Summer Farm Fun in the Twin Cities
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Twin Cities August Family Festival Calendar
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Amy’s Cupcake Shoppe
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Free Twin Cities July Events & Activities
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Twin Cities Independence Day Events and Activities

Pollinator Family Fun in the Twin Cities

butterflyI was excited to see that Netflix is streaming Flight of the Butterflies right now. It has been a couple of years since we reviewed the film at the Science Museum. My boys didn’t even remember it, so we were able to watch it again like it was new. This reminded me that there are so many pollinator events in the late summer and early fall in the Twin Cities. I’ve gathered a few. Most are free.

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FFTC’s Guide to the 2016 Minnesota State Fair

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This guide and giveaway have been generously sponsored by the Minnesota Farm Bureau. Be sure to stop by their family-friendly building at the Minnesota State Fair to win prizes, meet local farmers, snap a family picture in their photo booth and enter your kid’s name to win a free children’s book. Visit their Facebook page for more details.

tm farm bureau


*** GIVEAWAY has closed. Thanks for entering!***

We are holding the giveaway for 2 tickets to the 2016 Minnesota State Fair on our Family Fun Twin Cities Facebook page. Please follow the link to enter – do not post your comments/entries on this article.

We’re only about a week out from that glorious summer finale we fondly call the Great Minnesota Get-Together. Read More

Twin Cities Fall Family Festival Calendar

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Get ready for a bumper crop of fall festivals in the Twin Cities!

8/27: Johnny Appleseed Day @ Bruentrup Heritage Farm, Maplewood • 11am-3pm • $3-$4/pp • Family highlights: Admission nets you hayrides, a petting zoo, butter-making, games and crafts. Tour the historic farmhouse and new exhibits.

9/7-11: Burnsville Fire MusterFamily highlights: Don’t miss the fire truck water display (9/9), annual community and fire truck parade and fireworks (9/10). FREE admission.

9/9-11: James J. Hill Days, Lake Street, Downtown Wayzata • Family highlights: $5 cruises on the Steamboat Minnehaha, a carnival, parade (9/11, 2pm) and fireworks (9/10, dusk). FREE admission.

9/9-11: Inver Grove Heights DaysFamily highlights: Community Family Fun Night (9/9, 5:30pm), kids treasure hunt, grand parade and fireworks (9/10). FREE admission.

9/9-10/30: Sever’s Fall Festival • Fri-Sun • $14-$15/pp • Family highlights: Admission includes a full lineup of fun – obstacle course, corn maze & pits, petting zoo, magic shows, zip line, playground and jumping pillow; additional activities extra.

9/10: Otsego Prairie Festival @ Prairie Park, Otsego • 10am-dusk • Family highlights: Catch firetruck displays, a carnival and fireworks at dusk. FREE admission.

9/10-10/30: Scarecrow Festival @ Emma Krumbees, Belle Plaine • Open daily 10am-6pm • $5.50+tax/pp • Family highlights: Admission includes activities like tractor trikes, wagon rides, a slide and the 33rd annual Great Scarecrow Display.

9/16-17: Bloomington Heritage Days @ Nativity of Mary Catholic Church grounds • Family highlights: Live music and performing arts, parade (9/17, 10:30am). FREE admission.

9/17: Excelsior Apple Day, Downtown Excelsior • 9am-10pm • Family highlights: Tots will love the Happy Apple Kids Corner, parents may like the artisan vendors, music and street dance. FREE.

9/17: Golden Valley Arts & Music Festival @ City Hall Campus • Family highlights: Family-friendly live entertainment, games, art activities and artist vendors to browse. FREE admission.

9/17: Wild Rice Festival @ Harriet Alexander Nature Center, Roseville • 10am-4pm • Family highlights: Games for all, activities with Gibbs Farm, Native American dancing and drumming, hands-on demos and much more. FREE admission.

9/17-18: Lakeville Art Festival, Downtown Lakeville • 10am-5pm • Family highlights: 70+ exhibitors and a “Young at Art” tent for youth. FREE admission.

9/24: Fall Raptor Release @ Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center, Hastings • 10am-3pm • Family highlights: The Raptor Center releases rehabbed birds at 11am & 2pm plus wagon rides, kids activities and educational displays. FREE admission.

9/24: Party in the Prairie @ Richardson Nature Center, Bloomington • 3:30-8:30pm • $6/pre-reg, $8/at door • Family highlights: SO much to do – climbing wall, live music for all ages, lawn games, scavenger hunt, live animals and a story stroll.

9/24-25: Afton Art in the Park, Town Square Park • 10am-5pm • Family highlights: Art vendors and Franconia Sculpture Park’s free art pavilion for kids with fall crafts and spin art. FREE admission.

9/24-25: Lone Oak Days Fall Festival @ Holz Farm, Eagan • 11am-4pm • Family highlights: Old fashioned fun farm includes pedal tractors, kids coin hunt, animals in the barn, fun farm chores & more. FREE admission.

9/24-10/30: Twin Cities Harvest Festival & Maze, Brooklyn Park • Open weekends 10am-6pm • $10-$12/pp • Family highlights: This destination festival includes a mega corn maze (and a mini one for kids!), corn pit, petting zoo and hayrides. Additional activities available for an extra fee.

9/30-10/3: Fall Fair @ Afton Alps, Hastings • Family highlights: Family entertainment at Afton’s annual Ski & Snowboard Swap includes chairlift rides, inflatables, live music, movies and more. FREE.

10/1: Apple Festival @ Gibbs Farm, Falcon Heights • 10am-4pm • $5-$8/pp • Family highlights: All things apple! Treats, games, crafts, a tour through the orchard, and all food included.

10/3-4: Annual Apple Festival @ Fischer’s Croix Farm Orchard, Hastings • 9:30am-5pm • Family highlights: Activities at the orchard including their wagon rides, straw mountain, farm animals and family-friendly corn maze. FREE admission.

10/3-18: Afton Apple Fest @ Afton Apple Orchard, Hastings • 10am-6pm • $3-$4/pp • Family highlights: Admission includes hayrides, run of the playground and tire hill, petting farm, magician, music and other live entertainment.

10/8-9: Stillwater Harvest Fest, Downtown Stillwater • 10am-6pm • Family highlights: Kids activities all day both days, plus don’t miss the pumpkin regatta & giant pumpkin drop (10/11). FREE.

10/15: Fall on the Farm @ Eidem Homestead, Brooklyn Park • 12-3pm • $4-$6/pp, 4 & under free • Family highlights: Join in harvest time, cider pressing, pumpkin carving and more.


Free Twin Cities August Events & Activities

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10 Free & Air-Conditioned Indoor Family Outings

My kid broke the fan yesterday.Three summers ago, Joy — sweating it out in an un-air-conditioned house — wrote our original article about seeking relief from the heat in a series of much cooler public buildings, most of which offered free family activities to boot. Following a quick check of this week’s weather forecast, I thought it might be time to revive the suggestions for others out there needing to cool off the kids on a budget. Here you have it, freshly updated for 2016: Read More

Summer Farm Fun in the Twin Cities

Gale Woods Farm Collage

The FFTC Team’s city kids love the opportunity to visit farms not much further than their urban backyards! Browse the favorites below for ideas on where your own little ones can get up close to animals, play at farm chores, pick their own produce, and learn through living history activities: Read More

Twin Cities August Family Festival Calendar

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Kicking off with some neighborhood fetes and culminating with summer’s fair-well bash, August is ripe with family festivities: Read More

Amy’s Cupcake Shoppe

Ammy's Cupcake Shoppe


If you were at FFTC’s Monster Bash in April, you probably met Amy Brace, the owner and chief baker at Amy’s Cupcake Shoppe. Not only did you get to enjoy her as a person, but hopefully you were able to enjoy her delicious treats: yummy cupcakes and beautiful macaroons. Read More

Free Twin Cities July Events & Activities

Twin Cities Free July Events and Activities
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7/2: First Free Saturday Stage & Screen: Groovy Adventures @ Walker Art Center, Minneapolis • 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.

7/2: Home Depot Kids Workshop: Ice Age Bowling Game @ TC Home Depot locations • 9am-noon • Details: The first Saturday of each month kids get a kit to build, apron and pin while supplies last; adults must accompany children.


We are proud to have the St. Paul Saints as our July monthly sponsor.

Saints_Family Fun TC_July Ad


7/4:  Minneapolis Red White & Boom @ Downtown riverfront • 6-10pm • Music, movie, family events and fireworks at dusk. For more Twin Cities Independence Day events and activities, click the graphic below:

Independence Day 2016

7/4: 4th of July at Langford Park @ 30 Langford Park, Saint Paul • 11am-4pm. • Picnic, parade, fun run, music, pony rides, speeches, volleyball, horseshoes, tennis, games and more! New this year are a bouncy house, face painting, Instagram contest, photo booth, and an obstacle course.

7/4: Cafesjian’s Carousel Free Ride Day @ Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, St. Paul • 11am-4pm (free rides also take place on 7/23, National Carousel Day).

7/5: Storytime with Engineer Paul @ Choo Choo Bob’s Train Store, St. Paul • 10am • Details: Wonderful stories, songs and preschool activities with a (no surprise) train slant. Stick around to play at one of the 7 train tables set up at the back of the store. Also held 7/19. For more of the best storytimes in the Twin Cities, click the graphic below.

Story Time Any Time

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Twin Cities Independence Day Events and Activities

Do you have a Independence Day Go-To Plan? Or do you like to switch things up each year? Since I didn’t grow up here, I like to check out different festivals each year.

Independence Day 2016We’ve collected several ideas for celebrating Independence Day as a family. If you know of an event — free or paid — that you’d like to see added, please drop us a line via our contact form. Thanks!

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