Category - Zoos

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Family Fun: Minnesota Zoo Farm Babies
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Family Fun Ideas: MLK Monday Break
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Family Fun: Como Park Zoo & Conservatory Spring Checklist
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Goodbye Suka and Sakari – I Never Really Knew You.
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TC Family Activities in 1 Minute (October 25-26)
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More Halloween Haunts For MEA Weekend
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31 Dates in July: Romantic Outings – With or Without The Kids
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Sparky Returns For The 58th Year!
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The Free List: Five Ways to Celebrate Spring
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Mother’s Day Weekend Free List

Family Fun: Minnesota Zoo Farm Babies

Springtime means Minnesota Zoo Farm Babies time whether Minnesota is ready to give them a warm welcome or not! minnesota zoo farm babies

I’m guessing most of the newly-born lambs, calves, piglets and the rest have been spending their time huddled around heat lamps in the barn instead of basking in the sun at the Wells Fargo Family Farm. However, as we move into April we’ll see sunnier days ahead.

The animals will be greeting guests from March 24 to April 30, 2017. 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. Tram rides from the grain elevator (which, by the way, is a fun attraction in itself!) will run from 11:30am-1:30pm. The other offerings are as follows:

  • Hay maze in the Machine Shed 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Animal Enrichment – Weekends April 8-23

Saturdays:

9:00 a.m. – Snow monkey
10:00 a.m. – African penguin
10:00 a.m. – Brown bear
11:00 a.m. – Sea otter
1:00 p.m. – Amur tiger

Sundays:

10:00 a.m. – Brown bear
10:00 a.m. – African penguin
11:00 a.m. – Sea otters
1:00 p.m. – Amur tiger
  • Special Activities – April 14 & 15 – Including crafts and face-painting
  • A visit from Peter Rabbit on Easter, April 15, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Daily Cow Milkings:  11:00, 1:00 & 3:00

Admission to the Minnesota Zoo Farm Babies exhibit is included with your zoo tickets. You can find current ticket prices and parking rates here. Find ways to get discounts here.


Family Fun Ideas: MLK Monday Break

MLK Monday – So, what’s closed today? Or, perhaps more importantly, what’s open and where can I get the kids out of the house? We’ve got ideas both indoor and out plus a couple of fun family events to observe the day:

MLK Monday - Family Fun

OBSERVE

OUTDOOR FUN

INDOOR FUN

  • Tail Time | Wild Rumpus Books, Minneapolis, 10:30am • Arrive early if you want to get a decent spot. Stick around to see how many critters (yes, animal critters) you can spot slinking around the store!
  • PolarPalooza | Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, St Paul, 10am-4pm • Educational games and activities.
  • Behind the Scenes: Research Labs | Science Museum of MN, 12-4pm • Included with museum admission, $12.95-$18.95.
  • Mill City Museum | Minneapolis, 10am-5pm • Special holiday hours – see our tips at 10 Things For Kids: Mill City Museum.
  • Bakken Museum | Minneapolis, 10am-4pm (special holiday hours), $5-$10/pp
  • Preschool Open Play | The Blast Indoor Playground, Eagan Community Center, 9:30-11am • A variety of equipment is available to play in the gym as well as play time in the Blast Indoor playground. $4/child ages 1-5.
  • Find MORE preschool open gym and open play times.
  • Trolls | Riverview Theater, Minneapolis, 1 & 5pm • $2/pp plus awesome popcorn!
  • Half-price Open Swim | Great River Water Park, St Paul, 10:30am-8:30pm (activity pool and waterslides open 10:30-noon)
  • Find drop-in crafting opportunities for kids of all ages in our Winter Survival Guide.

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Family Fun: Como Park Zoo & Conservatory Spring Checklist

I forget every year how a trip to the Como Park Zoo & Conservatory instantly lifts my spirits in those first few fickle weeks of spring in Minnesota. I’ve spent some time both indoors and out lately at Como and had my kiddos come up with the top ten things you should be sure to see at Como if you’re craving some spring. The pictures correspond to the bullets starting with the main photo and then moving clockwise:

  • The Spring Flower Show in the Conservatory’s Sunken Garden is a beautiful blast of color and the blooms instantly transport you to gardening season.
  • Sitting at the fishpond in the humid North Garden is almost like being up north at the lake cabin, right?
  • Springtime means babies! Como Zoo welcomed Kemala, a Sumatran orangutan, on January 7.
  • Como’s Lil Explorer Thursdays program, featuring free weekly themed hands-on activities for preschoolers, runs through April 30.
  • Storytime is offered for kids at noon every day in the Visitor Center.

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  • The children’s exhibit room is always a must-stop. The preschooler loves to play zookeeper and even the 9-year-old still likes to work the water cycle (but don’t tell him I told you).
  • The new(ish) Ordway Gardens wing lets kids design their own Japanese garden.
  • My techie insists on stopping to pot and trim his own virtual bonsai tree – also in the Ordway Gardens wing.
  • The wildlife is increasingly out and about in the spring! And if it’s a gusty day, the buildings are heated and have great viewing windows.
  • If you’re lucky, you might catch the fish feeding in the Tropical Encounters exhibit. We arrived around 11:15.

Goodbye Suka and Sakari – I Never Really Knew You.

Goodbye to our Visiting Polar Bears

I can’t really tell the difference between polar bears. They all look the same to me. So, I’m not really going to notice the absence of Como’s visiting residents. Still, I think its good news that Suka and Sakari have found a new home in one of my favorite childhood places, Henry Vilas Zoo. The two and a half year-old twin polar bears will be moving to Madison in time for the Memorial Day grand opening of their Arctic Passage exhibit. If you want a last chance to visit the pair, you should schedule it soon. For more information, visit the link above or Como Zoo. Read More

TC Family Activities in 1 Minute (October 25-26)

tm eveland family farm | family activitiesLearn more about the FREE Ballet Minnesota Performance and Pumpkin Fest 

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Check out the information about Como’s Zoo Boo.

For more information about other events and family activities to enjoy this weekend, you can check out Anne’s pumpkin patch post, Gianna’s corn maze post, Anne’s other post about Halloween events  or Joy’s free list.


Don’t forget about the Monster Dash in St. Paul as well.  I was going to run in that but then realized I still had a lot of training to do. Not only that, but I will be heading to the Minnesota Blogger Conference.  With that in mind is there anything you would like to see on Family Fun Twin Cities?  What family activities do you know about that we are missing? Please contact us by using the contact form at the top of the page.  We love to hear from you.  You can also leave us a message on our facebook page.


video courtesy of Lori (thanks Lori)

More Halloween Haunts For MEA Weekend

Not only is this weekend MEA, but also it has Halloween fun.  Don those costumes and get out there for candy or more festivities.

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31 Dates in July: Romantic Outings – With or Without The Kids

This month, my husband and I will celebrate our 21st wedding anniversary.  This is a significant one to me, because I was 21 when we married.  Sometime this year, I will have been a part of this unit longer than I was ever single.

We’ve had far from a fairy-tale marriage.  In those 21 years, we’ve battled debt and dug out and gone back in and dug out again; we’ve lost people we love and added unexpected family members (who we love); we’ve hurt each other, sought forgiveness, held grudges and forgave as best we could.  We found our faith together, lost it separately and are seeking to rebuild it stronger together again.

Through all our ups and downs, I’ve maintained a deep belief in the importance of romance.  I don’t need expensive get-a-ways or fancy dinners. Coffee on the back porch is one of my favorite romantic dates (even with an oversized puppy who thinks if I’m sitting I should be tossing a ball and a toddler who sees it as lap time).  We don’t have family nearby, so dates need to be pre-planned and budgeted or include our children.  I’m okay with this.  We find other times to be alone, and I understand there is a season for everything.  Someday it will be just us again.

July, to me, is the most romantic month.  The days go on forever — with dusk falling somewhere around 9 p.m.  There are fireworks and ice cream socials and countless opportunities for picnics.  So I thought this would be a good month to think about dates we can go on even when with a tight budget and kids.  In celebration of my anniversary month, here is a list of romantic things to do this July – with or without the kids. Read More

Sparky Returns For The 58th Year!

This is a share from my email.  Another sign of Summer is that Sparky the Sea Lion will be back outside starting Saturday.  I’m assuming Sparky isn’t actually 58 years old.  Does anyone know how many Sparky incarnations there have been?  I’d like to know.

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The Free List: Five Ways to Celebrate Spring

Easter and Earth Day are kind of the herald’s of Spring in Minnesota.  We’ve finally moved away from the snow and into the April Showers. Here are five ways to celebrate spring this weekend.

Mother’s Day Weekend Free List

Only one of my picks this week is specifically geared towards mothers, but that is kind of okay with me.  At this point in my life the thing I want most of all is to be able to just hang out with my family in a stress free environment.  Anyone of these activities fit that description.  Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t turn down a date night or a spa day and if my husband offered to “let me catch up on laundry” while he took the kids out, I’d take him up on the offer.  However, its our family days I look forward to the most and the family days I’m going to remember.  Here are my picks for the week.

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