Category - Parks

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Nature Playgrounds in the Twin Cities – Get Back to Green
2
Twin Cities Spring Nature Play & Programs Guide
3
Opening in May – Twin Cities Area Attractions
4
Twin Cities May Budget Family Events & Activities
5
Free Twin Cities April Family Events & Activities
6
Twin Cities Indoor Playgrounds and Play Areas Guide
7
Skate the Twin Cities: Where To Find Free Outdoor Ice Rinks
8
Top Ten Twin Cities’ 2016 Christmas Experiences
9
10 Things for Kids: Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis
10
National Get Outdoors Day Round Up – 2017

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 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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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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Free Twin Cities April Family Events & Activities

Free Twin Cities April


Thanks to this month’s sponsor Rockin’ Jump!  Check them out at FFTC’s Rockin’ Party on April 15.

Click here for more Rockin' Party InformationClick here for more information.


April is literally blooming with free events and activities in the Twin Cities!

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Twin Cities Indoor Playgrounds and Play Areas Guide

We all know the realities of raising kids in the Minnesota extremities: there’s got to be a place to go were we can escape the elements while still allowing those kids a place to burn off that extra energy. Enter our Twin Cities Indoor Playgrounds and Play Areas list. We hope you can use it to find a new space to wear those littles out — and perhaps catch yourself a break.


indoor playground

Minnesota, we’ve got your Pak!

EatPakd prepares and delivers wholesome ready-to-pack lunches right to your front door. Our mission is to fill kids’ bellies with the best food to fuel their day at school, for a snack or on the go! We source organic, GMO-free, and hormone-free ingredients, and handcraft all of our kid-friendly recipes without the use of added sugar, fillers, or preservatives. Choose from one of our favorite Paks, or mix and match to create your own! Learn more at www.EatPakd.com.

The code is  Pakd4FamilyFun (4 Free Paks; $30 value)
If you use this URL, https://eatpakd.com/?trial_code=pakd4familyfun, the code will apply automatically.

For more options on keeping the little ones moving throughout the chilly months, check out our Open Play, Gym & Swim Spots for Tots in the Twin Cities!

 

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Skate the Twin Cities: Where To Find Free Outdoor Ice Rinks

Today marks opening weekend for many of the Twin Cities-area outdoor ice rinks and we’re sure, as hardy Minnesotans ourselves, that you’re dying to strap on your skates and hustle the kids out to the rinks! That’s why we’ve rounded up this list of local places to skate –and, as nearly all are located in city parks, there’s no charge for the skating. Find your city below and click through to get the latest rink hours, directions, warming house information, and numbers to call for rink conditions.
Twin Cities Outdoor Ice Rinks

If you don’t see your city below, my apologies in advance. Please contact us to have yours added to the list or leave the information in the comments. Thanks, and enjoy your outdoor rec time!

Twin Cities Outdoor Ice RinksAndover
Anoka
Apple Valley

Blaine
Bloomington
Brooklyn Center
Brooklyn Park
Burnsville
Coon Rapids
Cottage Grove
Crystal
Eagan
Eden Prairie
Edina
Fridley
Golden Valley
Inver Grove Heights
Maple Grove
Maplewood
Mendota Heights
Minneapolis (2016/2017 Brochure PDF)
Minnetonka
New Brighton
New Hope
Oakdale
Plymouth
Richfield
Rosemount

Roseville
Shoreview
St. Louis Park
St. Paul
Vadnais Heights
White Bear Lake

Woodbury
West St. Paul


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Top Ten Twin Cities’ 2016 Christmas Experiences

ChristmastimeintheCities

We wanted to give you a heads up to some of the most exciting Christmas experiences happening this year.  We’ll soon have an all-encompassing list for your family, but here are our Top Ten that you won’t want to miss – get them on your calendar! Read More

10 Things for Kids: Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis

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.

stone arch bridge

photo courtesy grkids.com

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

National Get Outdoors Day Round Up – 2017

National Get Outdoors Day is Saturday, June 10th this year. Each year Powderhorn Park in Minneapolis hosts an event.  I have the details on that below along with a list of State Park events: Read More

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