Category - Fun with Dad

Cooking With Kids in the Twin Cities
St. Patrick’s Day: Fun at Home or Around Town
10 Things for Parents in “Moana” Disney’s New Animated Feature Movie
Christmas in the Twin Cities: Planes, Trains, & Sleighs
BookHounds Invites Mike Wohnoutka, Illustrator of ‘This is NOT a Cat’
Take a Kid Fishing Weekend – June 10-12
10 Things for Kids: Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis
Twin Cities June Family Festival Calendar
BookHounds Episode 1 “It’s A Tiger” by David LaRochelle
Bonus BookHounds– Interview with Aimee Bissonette

Cooking With Kids in the Twin Cities

cooking classesI have a 10 year old daughter who–more than anything–loves cooking.  I, personally, am not a fantastic  teacher or even a so-so  teacher.

My girls in particular love to cook with their Aunt Ruhama and their Grandpa Kordatzky.  Unfortunately, both these willing chefs live in Deep Wisconsin (extreme south and extreme east).

So the fact that there are schools for chefs-in-the-making here in the Twin Cities makes me so incredibly happy.


Thanks to our sponsor The Kids Cooking School. Tiffany Cavegn has opened the perfect shop for kids to learn to cook.  With a spunky and knowledgeable teacher, any kid will learn how to cook a  3-course meal.

summer camp

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St. Patrick’s Day: Fun at Home or Around Town

It’s the luck of the Irish that makes St. Patrick’s Day fall on a Friday, so we can party all weekend.  There is a lot of fun happening around town including two parades and some celebrations.

Also, if you would rather stay in, we have included some ideas for you to use at home.
St. Patrick's Day


March 17St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations around theTwin Cities

St. Paul’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade (Friday, March 17.  Noon. Rice Park. FREE)

St. Patrick’s Day Irish Celebration (Friday, March 17. 10 am-5 pm. Landmark Center. $5-$7)

St. Patrick's Day at The Landmark Center

Image courtesy of the Landmark Center






St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner. I don’t know about you, but I love this “holiday.” It’s a fun one for me because there are no expectations. If we forget it, it’s okay–nobody is worse for the wear. If we celebrate it, EVERYONE in the family has fun.

St. Patrick’s Day Fun at Home


Lucky Rainbow Chain for St. Patrick’s Day from Crafty Morning

Clover Sun Catcher from Pink Stripey Socks
St. Patricks DayShamrock Shake Copycat Recipe from Babble

One suggestion I would make for the shake is start with 1/8 tsp of peppermint extract and then add to taste!


10 Things for Parents in “Moana” Disney’s New Animated Feature Movie

Disney does it again with Moana.  We have been singing “How Far I’ll Go” non-stop for three days now.

Kids are going to love this film, but that’s to be expected.  I know you want to know if you will.  Here are 10 Things for Parents to Enjoy.

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Christmas in the Twin Cities: Planes, Trains, & Sleighs


We have a unique opportunity in the Twin Cities to enjoy the holidays on trains and planes and sleighs, and we’ve rounded up all we can find just for you and your family!

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BookHounds Invites Mike Wohnoutka, Illustrator of ‘This is NOT a Cat’

BookHounds Invites Mike Wohnoutka:

This episode is sponsored by

BookHounds Invites Mike Wohnoutka


More BookHounds Fun • Stephen and Trisha Speed Shaskan • Rick Chrustowski •




Shownotes for BookHounds Invites Mike Wohnoutka, Illustrator of ‘This is NOT a Cat’

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Take a Kid Fishing Weekend – June 10-12

Enjoy two one-act plays together as a family.

Open Window Youth Theatre
Open Window Theatre
(Metropolis Minneapolis Building)
1313 Chestnut Ave., Ste.#102
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Minnesotans 15-years-old or younger and their grown up companion can fish without licenses on Friday, June 10, through Sunday, June 12, during Take a Kid Fishing Weekend. You don’t even need to own fishing gear!, Take a Kid Fishing Weekendbecause it is available for loan from Minnesota State Parks. We borrowed fishing gear last year at William O’Brien State Park. It was very easy to do and a park ranger stopped by to give the girls pointers. If you can’t make it to Take a Kid Fishing Weekend, Minnesota residents generally can fish in state parks without a fishing license, unless the body of water requires a trout stamp.

Take a Kid Fishing? Print a Poster

Get the Full Size Printable version at Explore Minnesota

If you are interested in learning more about the fish that live in Minnesota lakes and rivers, Explore Minnesota has a PDF poster you can print and take with you to compare to any fish you encounter.

Take a Kid Fishing in Minnesota State Parks - I Can Fish Program

Naturalists Kao Thao and Krista Jensen – I Can Fish (Image courtesy Minnesota DNR)

DNR Tips To Take a Kid Fishing and Some Colorful Personal Commentary:

  1. Plan to have fun and remember to bring a camera. This seems like a no-brainer to me, but as a kid, I’ve gone fishing with adults who took it very seriously. This is not your fishing day. This is the day to help you secure fishing buddy when your children are older.
  2. Choose fishing spots with a high likelihood of success. (Learn where, when, and how the fish bite). Several years ago, we had amazingly good luck off the pier at Roseville’s Central Park. Every time my daughter dropped her Pink Princess fishing pole into the water, she brought up a Sunny. I don’t know if that is normal, but that is where I would personally start.
  3. Use live bait to increase the chance of catching a fish. (Live bait is more interesting to kids, too.) I’m not sure if I agree with the part in parenthesis. My kids don’t particularly like handling worms and neither do I. If you are going to deal with live bait (and plan to keep your fish for that matter), bring someone who is not squeamish.
  4. Pick a place that is comfortable, safe, and easy to get to—public fishing piers are a great place to start. (Find a fishing pier This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it.).  If its windy, public fishing piers can be a little nerve wracking with preschoolers and toddlers.  You may want to put them in life-jackets.
  5. Bring snacks! That’s just good advice for parenting. Always bring snacks.
  6. Remember the basics: sunscreen, insect repellent, and a first aid kit. Again, I’d add life-jackets, diapers & wipes, a change of clothes and towels.
  7. Provide kids with simple tackle in working order. If you already enjoy fishing, you can probably dig through your own stash.  Otherwise, see the part about State Parks offering this stuff for free.
  8. Start with realistic expectations. With short attention spans, kids may want to move onto something else after a very short time. Choose a park with a playground or a beach. Bring a non-fishing adult who doesn’t mind taking them if you want to continue fishing for a bit.
  9. Have patience! I think they are talking about fishing, but this is also just good advice for parenting.

Giliane E. Mansfeldt Photo FAM 0615 2cx2 - resized


10 Things for Kids: Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis

stone arch bridge

photo courtesy

Stone Arch Bridge is a historical destination for many locals.  Besides walking across the bridge, I wondered, what is there to do? It took an out-of-stater–my friend Melody from GRKids to help me to appreciate all the different things to do. We found all kinds of things!  A plethora of parks that meet together, for one. And history.  Lots of history.

More Family Fun: What’s Opening in June Read More

Twin Cities June Family Festival Calendar

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


Get your fill of festivals throughout the month of June with this handy list of local celebrations around the Twin Cites. Family-friendly highlights are listed for each:

6/2-10: I Love Burnsville WeekFamily highlights: New sculpture/water feature unveiling in Nicollet Commons Park (6/2, 5:30-9pm) with live music & free apps, Thursday Rockin’ Lunch Hour & Rockin’ Readers for kids kicks off 6/9, and Friday Fest is held 6/10, 6:30-10pm, a free movie at dusk.

6/3-5: Edina Art Fair @ 50th & France • Family highlights: Live music and a Kids Zone filled with art activities, inflatables and a shady place to rest.

6/4: Waterfest @ Phalen Regional Park, St. Paul • 11am-4pm • Family highlights: Celebrate clean lakes and outdoor rec with family canoeing, fishing lessons, crafts, games, interactive exhibits and more.

6/4: Springtime & Rhubarb Festival @ Le Duc Historic Estate, 1629 Vermillion St, Hastings • Family highlights: Tour the historic house, grub on some rhubarb, visit the chicken coop and more.

6/4-5: Flint Hills International Children’s Festival, Downtown St. Paul • Family highlights: The whole shebang, from outdoor artist performances to the exhibit and activities tent, is great for kids. Get tips for bringing the whole family at the link.

6/4-5: Grand Old Days, Grand Ave, St. Paul • Family highlights: Plenty of kids activities in the Family Fun District (for a fee), but no charge to enjoy the live music and parade.

6/5: Rhubarb Fest @ New Brighton History Center Museum, 700 Park Dr, New Brighton • 1-4pm

6/9-12: Spring Lake Park Tower Days, Spring Lake Park • Family highlights: Festival at Lakeside Lions Park (6/12, 10am-dusk) features interactive lumberjack shows, a visit from the Ghostbusters of MN, and other kids activities.

6/9-12: Hugo Good Neighbor Days, Hugo • Family highlights: Parade and fireworks (6/11).

6/10-12: Wannigan Days, Taylors Falls/St. Croix Falls • Family highlights: Kids parade through Taylors Falls (6/10, 6pm)

6/11: Lakefest 2016 @ Trapp Farm Park, 841 Wilderness Run Rd, Eagan • 10am-2pm • Family highlights: nature art projects, kids science experiments, no fishing license required to fish; equipment provided.

Twin Cities Summer Festivals, 2016

6/11-12: Art on the Lake, Excelsior • Family highlights: Get creative in the Kids Art Tent and treat the whole family to a discounted cruise on the Steamboat Minnehaha ($5/pp).

6/11-12: Chalkfest at Arbor Lakes, Maple Grove • Family highlights: A Chalkfest Family Zone is set aside for families to create together, plus games, music and food.

6/14-18: Farmington Dew Days, Farmington • Family highlights: Tour the Dakota City Heritage Village on Friends & Family Fun Day (6/17, 10am-noon, $5/pp).

6/16-18: Fridley ’49er Days @ Commons Park • Family highlights: Parade (6/16, 6:30pm), Kids Day with watermelon-eating contest, Kids DJ and inflatables, and fireworks at 10pm.

6/16-18: Tater Daze Festival, Brooklyn Park • Family highlights: Parade (6/16), free root beer float social, live music and a movie in the park (6/17).

6/16-19: St. Louis Park Parktacular, St. Louis Park • Family highlights: Both the Grand Day Parade (noon-2pm)  and Kidtacular Family & Kids Activities (2-6pm) are 6/18. Activities are free or low cost.

6/16-21: Cottage Grove Strawberry Fest, @ Kingston Park, 9195 75th Street S • Family highlights: Free kids tractor pedal pull (6/16), free petting farm (6/18, 1-5pm), self-guided StoryWalk through the festival, and $3 tethered hot air balloon rides.

6/16-7/4: Manitou Days, White Bear Lake • Family highlights: Movie on the beach (6/18), sandcastle contest (6/20), Family fun night (6/24), free pontoon rides (6/27).

6/17-19: GermanFest Minnesota, @ Historic Schmidt Brewery, 900 7th St W, St. Paul • Family highlights: Kids can make FREE Father’s Day cards in the Art Tent on Fri (4-7pm) & Sat (10am-6pm) plus daily music and maypole dances.

6/17-19: Stone Arch Bridge Festival, Minneapolis • Family highlights: Take a stroll across the bridge to seek out the Family Activities Area with birdhouse-building, games, and a family photo opp.

6/22-26: Columbia Heights Lions Jamboree, @ Huset Park, 3965 Jefferson St NE, Columbia HeightsFamily highlights: Jamboree Parade (6/24) and FREE activities in the park including rock climbing, an obstacle course, and an art class (6/25).

6/23-25: Earle Brown Days Festival, Brooklyn Center • Family highlights: A full Saturday (6/25) of fun in Centennial Park with a petting zoo, crafts, family games, horse-drawn wagon rides, ice cream and more.

6/23-25: Oakdale Summerfest, @ Walton Park, 15th St & Hadley Ave, Oakdale

6/23-27: Rosefest, Roseville • Family highlights: Skate for FREE at the Roseville Skating Center or hit up Family Fest at Central Park (6/24), roast smores around the campfire at Harriet Alexander Nature Center (6/25) and get up in some big rigs on 6/26. Annual Rose Parade is held 6/27.

6/24-26: Kaposia Days, South St. Paul • Family highlights: Try your hand at kids carnival games at Central Square (6/25, 10:30am-2:30pm), FREE kites to fly 6/26.

6/24-25: Blaine Festival @ Aquatore Park • Family highlights: Family beach party (6/24), kids magic shows and dance parties both 6/25-26, parade (12-2pm, Sat), safety displays and exhibits.

6/25: Summer Fest 2016 @ Minnetonka Civic Center, 14600 Minnetonka Blvd • 4-10:30pm • Family highlights: All activities are FREE (excluding food): pony rides, petting zoo, kids races, games, fire department open house, music, fireworks and more.

6/25: Burnsville Fairy Festival, Burnsville • 11am-8pm • Family highlights: Celebrate summer solstice with fairy walks, storytime, music and workshops.

6/25: Midsommar Dag @ Gammelgarden Museum, Scandia • Family highlights: Tour the historic buildings FREE, complemented by kids “Immigrant for a Day” activities plus Swedish music and dance.

6/25-26: Eagan Art Festival, Eagan Festival Grounds, 1501 Central Pkwy, Eagan • Family highlights: Art activity tents sponsored by the Eagan Art House.

6/26: Scandinavian Summer Fest @ Minnehaha Park, Minneapolis • Family highlights: Potluck lunch, children’s parade at 11:45am, music and maypole dancing.

6/27-7/4: Apple Valley Freedom Days, Apple Valley

Twin Cities Summer Festivals, 2016

BookHounds Episode 1 “It’s A Tiger” by David LaRochelle

Welcome to BookHounds!  We love books and know that kids do to!  Each week, we want to help you find great books to read together because we know that families who read together have fun together.

(This post contains affiliate links)

Show Notes

It’s A Tiger by David LaRochelle

BookHounds–How to Read the Book
  1.  Take your time.  Turn the page and sit for a moment to enjoy the pictures.
  2. Start calmly and speed as the character panics.  Really play in up.
  3. At the very end, let your voice trail off…..and let your child finish the book.
BookHounds–Activities to Make the Book Come Alive
  1. Print off a tiger or cut a tiger out of a magazine and hide it around the house. Whenever anyone finds the tiger, they shout, “It’s a tiger!!!!!”
  2. Play Tiger Hide & Seek
  3. Draw a picture of something you are afraid of and talk about it.
  4. Write a new circle story together.
BookHounds–Why I Like This Book
  1. The discusses fear in a light-hearted way.
  2. The pictures are very fun
  3. You can pick up on pattern.
  4. Make it a puzzle book and look for the tiger in each page.
Book Recommendations
Next Week’s Book

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett

Read Together


Bonus BookHounds– Interview with Aimee Bissonette

Our final pre-launch BookHounds interview was with Aimee Bissonette.  She is the author of Northwoods Girl and Miss Colfax’s Light.  We had some technical difficulties while recording this interview due to malfunctions of my own.  However, I was able to capture the story in full and most of the interview.  

Thanks for your understanding and enjoy the show (s). 

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