Forecast: Gorgeous fall weekends ahead to hit one of these Twin Cities-area pumpkin patches before Halloween! And even if you’re not in the market for a jack-o-lantern, these patches are crammed full of fall fun from corn mazes and farm animals to hayrides and train rides. Check out the list below. Did we miss any? Read More
It is our hope that you can use our September Family Events & Activities Guide page as a convenient way to find our traditional Free & Budget lists along with all the special themed activities each month brings. In September we are highlighting our favorite apple orchards, pumpkin patches and corn mazes across the Twin Cities Metro as well as keeping up with the harvest of fall festivals cropping up. As always, we hope to be inspiration in planning your family time together!
– Anne, Gianna & Joy
Family Fun Twin Cities
For a list of orchards spanning the four corners of the Twin Cities metro area, visit our FFTC Guide to Twin Cities Apple Orchards.
TWIN CITIES NORTH METRO APPLE ORCHARDS
The pickings are decidedly slimmer in the North Metro: a handful of orchards offer apples for sale, but you might invite disappointment if the kids have their hearts set on harvesting their own. I’ll list the orchards below that do not offer U-pick (because we feel some are worth a stop for some fresh produce or a chance to get outside) along with the lovely Sunrise River Farm that welcomes you to pick.
Sunrise River Farm | Wyoming
We were completely charmed by the atmosphere at Sunrise River Farm on the outskirts of Wyoming, Minnesota. We loved that even on a weekend, the orchard never felt crowded, that we could wander through the apple trees and pick without bumping into fellow harvesters, and the kids adored visiting with all the farm critters. Prepare to spend lots of time wandering the barn stalls and meeting the resident donkeys, chickens, pigs and more. Read More
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: