Category - Outings

1
Nature Playgrounds in the Twin Cities – Get Back to Green
2
Twin Cities June Family Festival Calendar – Updated for 2017
3
10 Twin Cities Beaches & Playgrounds to Try This Summer
4
FFTC’s Guide to Free and Cheap Summer Movies
5
Twin Cities Spring Nature Play & Programs Guide
6
Opening in May – Twin Cities Area Attractions
7
Mother’s Day Events in the Twin Cities
8
Twin Cities May Budget Family Events & Activities
9
Where to Find the Minnesota Farm Babies
10
10 Family-Friendly Twin Cities Spring Farmers Markets

Nature Playgrounds in the Twin Cities – Get Back to Green

Nature Playgrounds are a growing trend for good reason; scientists keep finding connections between nature to child development and well-being.

nature playgrounds
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:

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Twin Cities June Family Festival Calendar – Updated for 2017

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:

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

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10 Twin Cities Beaches & Playgrounds to Try This Summer

tm big marine beach

Tired of heading out to the same old swimming spot? We’ve combed the Metro in search of new places to try with our own families and came up with ten we think are worth checking out for their beaches, playground, and other recreational opps nearby:

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FFTC’s Guide to Free and Cheap Summer Movies

Summer movies are a classic choice to enjoy together — especially outside in the parks where they are free! And for an indoor option to beat the summer heat, movie theaters with free or bargained price summer programs are also scattered around the Twin Cities. Read More

Twin Cities Spring Nature Play & Programs Guide

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

Opening in May – Twin Cities Area Attractions

tm opening in may

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

Caponi Art ParkNOW 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.

PicMonkey Collage gammelgarden

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: Wheel Fun Rentals | Lake Calhoun, Minnehaha Falls & Veterans Memorial Park – Richfield • visit the links for complete hours • Rent surreys, choppers, canoes, paddleboards and more.

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.

PicMonkey Collage eidem farm

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.

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Mother’s Day Events in the Twin Cities

Mothers-Day

How will you be celebrating Mom this Mother’s Day? If your plans include time spent together, here are some ideas around town to make her day extra special.

We also have some simple DIY gifts and cards the kids can make.

MOTHER’S DAY EVENTS – FREE FOR THE FAMILY

5/13: Mother’s and Father’s Day Cardmaking | Articulture, Minneapolis • 1-3pm Read More

Twin Cities May Budget Family Events & Activities

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.


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Where to Find the Minnesota Farm Babies

As soon as I can smell the wet earth and the sun is still shining at 6pm, I’m ready for a spring farm fix. Come on out and meet the fuzzy new arrivals — lambs, chicks, piglets, goats and all the rest — plus farmhands of all ages can partake in waking up the barns for spring.

I had no idea there were this many places to find Minnesota Farm Babies!

TWIN CITIES AREA FARM ACTIVITIES

Farm Babies | Minnesota Zoo, Apple Valley • 3/24-4/30, 9am-4pm • included in Zoo admission of $12-$18/pp + parking • In addition to getting hands-on with the babies, there are tons of other activities to enjoy out at the Wells Fargo Family Farm area of the zoo. Get the full lineup here.

Saturday Mornings on the Farm | Gale Woods Farm, Minnetrista • Ongoing Saturdays 4/1-5/27, 9:30am-noon • $5/pp • Calling all farmhands! Help out with chores, spend time with the animals and participate in other spring farm activities. Closed-toe shoes required. Strollers not allowed in the barn or around animals. Read More

10 Family-Friendly Twin Cities Spring Farmers Markets

How much more fun does it sound to bring your kids along to one of these Twin Cities family-friendly spring Farmers Markets as opposed to dragging them to the local supermarket? Here are 10+ fresh picks we chose based on their appeal to the whole family. Each is listed by their opening date:

10 Twin Cities Farmers Markets for Kids

 

4/29/17: St. Paul Farmers Market, see link for locations & hours across the Metro • Downtown location hours are Sat from 6am-1pm and Sun, 8am-1pm • Family fun: Be spontaneous! Pick any day of the week, except Monday, and find a market location to visit. 


We are so thrilled that Lu & Bean Read Podcast is partnering with FFTC BookHounds this summer!


5/6/17: Mill City Farmers Market, 750 S 2nd St, Minneapolis • Saturdays, 8am-1pm thru Oct. 2017 • Family fun: Bring Mom down on Opening Day for fresh spring produce, flowers, samples, live music from Jack Klatt, storytime with the Guthrie, and join the Power of Produce Club. Last indoor market is April 22, 2017.

New in 2017: Mill City Farmers Market will be at The Commons on Tuesday evenings from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. between July 18-September 26, 2017 • Family fun: By farm fresh produce to take home and cook or stay and buy prepared food from vendors  while you listen to live music and have a picnic supper in The Commons.

5/6/17: Midtown Farmers Market, Lake St E & 22nd Ave S, Minneapolis • Saturdays, 8am-1pm & Tuesdays, 3-7pm (beginning in June) • Family fun: Live music, children’s educational activities and storytime, advice and demonstrations for cooking, gardening and composting. Year round, visit Midtown Global Market. It has the feel of a old-fashioned street market indoors.

5/20/2017: Northeast Farmers Market, 629 NE 2nd St NE, Minneapolis • Saturdays, 9am-1pm • Family fun: A children’s tent is stocked weekly 9am-1pm with educational market activities such as seed planting, food-themed art projects, storytime and more. Live music also accompanies the bountiful local food and handcrafted items. The Winter Market ended in March, so you do have to wait for this one.

5/20/2017: Richfield Farmers Market, Veterans Park, Richfield • Saturdays, 7am-noon • Family fun: Plenty for families to enjoy at the market in addition to perusing the produce: art programs every 2nd Saturday, puppet story program every 3rd Saturday, live music and more. Plus there’s the proximity to Malt-T-Melt‘s grilled cheese sandwiches and 18 holes of mini golf.

5/20/2017: Fulton Farmers Market, 4901 Chowen Ave S, Minneapolis (plus 2 other locations and times) • Saturdays 8:30am-1pm • Family fun: Local businesses take turns sponsoring children’s crafts each week — in past years kids painted, made sand art, and designed and pressed their own buttons. Past entertainment has included storytime and magic shows. Plus, what kid can resist samples?

6/7/2017: Eagan Market Fest, Eagan Central Park Festival Grounds • Wednesdays, 4-8pm thru 8/31/16 • Family fun: The grounds buzz with weekly concerts and themed nights including one devoted solely to families (Kidsdance DJs, free inflatables, lawn games and craft projects galore.). Get the full lineup of entertainment here.

6/8/2017: Maple Grove Farmers Market, Maple Grove Community Center • Thursdays, 3-7pm through September (reduced hours in October) • Family fun: Weekly live music, Kids POP Club and seasonal activities round out the fresh local offerings.  Winter indoor farmers market select Thursdays November – May. Last two indoor markets – April 13 & May 11, 2017.

6/10/2017: Bloomington Farmers Market, 1800 W Old Shakopee Rd • Saturdays, 8am-1pm thru 10/21/17 • Family fun: Kids ages 5-12 can participate in the POP Club.

6/15/3027: Centennial Lakes Farmers Market @ Centennial Lakes Park, Edina • Thursdays, 3-7pm thru 9/28/17 • Family fun: There are 10 acres of kid-friendly space to explore within Centennial Lakes Park. Kids ages 8+ might enjoy the obstacles on the 18-hole putting course, younger kids may get a kick out of renting a paddleboat or seeking out the labyrinth. Thursday evenings also play host to a radio-controlled miniature boat club and Movies in the Park begin at sunset.


More Twin Cities Farmers Markets


 

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