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
The historic Eidem Homestead, a turn-of-the-century farm out in Brooklyn Center, was one of the places that had languished on my master summer to-do list for several years. We finally made it out last month to check out “Daily Life on the Farm”, this season’s program at the historic site. It’s a fun chance for kids to get hands-on in the barn, the farmhouse, and in the field.
Free Ink Day is a program hosted four times annually at Highpoint Center for Printmaking. It’s the perfect way for an interested person of any age to dabble in printmaking without committing to a full class. Having brought young children to Free Ink Day, I have a few tips that may be helpful for those also contemplating introducing their kids to the art:
1) Have the kids arrive chock full of inspiration! Or, at least with an idea or two. A sketch couldn’t hurt, either. The central activity at Free Ink Day was creating relief prints on rubber templates a bit smaller than a postcard. The prints are made by carving a design into the rubber, coating the plate with ink, then pressing the plate onto a paper card. The biggest challenge in this process was coming up with a design, which leads me to suggest…
2) Plan to spend at least an hour designing, carving, inking and printing the kids’ creations. Free Ink Day spans three hours, but we came near the end in order to catch a special puppet show put on by Open Eye Figure Theatre. As a result, the kids were rushed in their printmaking, one squeaked in a print by the skin of her teeth, and it was semi-stressful scrubbing everyone’s hands clean in time for the show.
3) Budget time for cleanup! This one should definitely not be overlooked. Printmaking can be messy business. Aprons are provided, but you might want to dress in clothes you don’t care much for, just to be on the safe side.
Free Ink Day at Highpoint Center for Printmaking
912 W Lake Street
Minneapolis, MN 55408
Activities are open to all ages, but most kids 5 & under will need a significant amount of help with the printmaking tools. No advance registration is required.
As the line between late spring and early summer starts to melt away in the rising temps, it’s time to update our master list of Twin Cities beaches, outdoor swimming pools, water parks and splash pads. Several are anticipating an opening Memorial Day Weekend with dozens more following suit in early June. Find your new splash happy spot from our following suggestions:
Nature Playgrounds are a growing trend for good reason; scientists keep finding connections between nature to child development and well-being.
It used to be, according to my children, that in order for a park to be authentic, it needed at least a slide and a set of swings. I was less enthusiastic about taking them to places like state parks simply because I felt I’d have to go the extra mile to “prove” that playing and exploring in a natural environment could be just as fun as clambering around a commercially manufactured jungle gym. Don’t get me wrong – the local playgrounds can be a lot of fun, too. And some are really inventive! But I have to say that I get a deeper satisfaction from watching them play in a more natural setting: digging, figuring out how to climb that tree, following paths, building forts. They become immersed in tossing rocks into the water, scouting frogs, collecting wildflowers. They also gradually forget that “playing at the park” requires a plastic treehouse.
So here’s what I find really cool: incorporating natural elements into new playground designs seems to be the trend. More places are popping up where kids get the opportunity to interact with the landscape and, perhaps, develop a greater appreciation for it. Here are
seven places I’ve discovered that have those goals in mind:
TWIN CITIES JUNE FAMILY FESTIVAL IDEAS
Get your fill of June family festival outings with this handy list of local celebrations around the Twin Cites. Most are free. If there is admission, it is listed. Family-friendly highlights are listed for each:
Does the spring weather have you itching to explore beyond the backyard? Twin Cities-area nature centers and outdoor education centers are wonderful places to seek out signs of the seasons and play in the natural world. Most of them offer programming specially designed for preschoolers, free family events, and indoor exhibits to stimulate little explorers. Read More
It’s official – Family Fun Twin Cities has SPRING FEVER! Check back often as we’re always adding to this list of Twin Cities-area attractions opening for the season in May 2017.
TWIN CITIES ATTRACTIONS OPENING IN MAY
NOW OPEN: Caponi Art Park | Eagan • Tues-Sun, 9am-8pm • FREE admission, donations appreciated • Wander the trails through the sculpture park and take in free cultural entertainment. Special event: Summer Performance Series, Sundays July-Aug, 6:30pm.
4/28-4/30: Gammelgarden Museum | Scandia • Guided tours Fri-Sun, 1 & 2:30pm • $7/adults, under 13 FREE • 5 historic buildings immerse you in the lives of Swedish immigrants in the mid-1850s. There is no charge to picnic, walk the grounds, seek out the colorful Dala horses, or play on the equipment.
5/1: Cafesjian’s Carousel | St Paul • Como Park’s famous carousel, open daily through Labor Day, Mon-Fri 10am-4pm, Sat-Sun 10am-6pm • $2/pp ages 3+
5/6: Spring on the Farm | Eidem Homestead, Brooklyn Park • 10am-1pm • $6/adults, $4/under 12, under 4/FREE • Greet the farm babies, help with spring planting and other activities. Eidem Homestead will be open for a variety of special events through Dec 2017.
5/6-7: Grand Opening Celebration | Oliver Kelley Farm, Elk River • Noon-5pm • $6-$12/pp, under 5 & MHS members FREE • Be among the first to see the new visitor center and indoor/outdoor exhibits, participate in make-and-takes, demos and see the animals. Upcoming special events include Mother’s Day Weekend (5/13-14) and come out to meet the farm babies in June.
It doesn’t have to break the bank to entertain the family away from home in the Twin Cities! You’ll find seasonal and ongoing events and activities listed here that all cost $5-$6 or less per person to attend.