Category - School-Age

Girl Time at The Works Museum
Meet “Shelly Bean, The Sports Queen” — Book Review
FFTC’s Guide to Fall Fun in the Twin Cities
Pick One: Twin Cities Pumpkin Patches
Family Fun Idea: Kerfoot Adventure Park
Twin Cities Apple Orchards: Eastern Metro
Summer Family Fun: Beat the Heat with Cool Outings
Summer Farm Fun in the Twin Cities
Family Fun: Free Ink Day at Highpoint Center for Printmaking
FFTC’s Guide to the Best Frozen Yogurt in the Twin Cities

Girl Time at The Works Museum

The WorksGirls learn about engineering at this hands-on family event 
On Saturday, September 23, girls will explore the world of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) when The Works Museum hosts its third annual Girl Time event. At Girl Time, girls and their families will do hands-on activities, see demonstrations, and be able to ask women working in engineering about what they do.
“Girl Time lets girls learn about engineering while having a great time with their families. Girls are underrepresented in STEM fields, beginning in high school and into the workforce. Through events like Girl Time, we help girls understand what it means to be an engineer and learn about the many fascinating STEM careers open to them,” said Sarah Curtis, Director of Marketing and Communications. “Plus, it’s just a wonderful outing with your daughter, granddaughter, or niece.”
What: Girl Time, The Works Museum’s special event for girls and their families, featuring hands-on activities and demonstrations from women engineers and students in STEM fields.
Who: Perfect for girls ages 5-12 and their grown-ups. Boys also welcome.

Saturday, September 23, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

 The Works Museum, 9740 Grand Ave S., Bloomington, MN, 55420

 $9 Pre-registered/$12 at the door; Members free. Children must be accompanied by an adult.


Meet “Shelly Bean, The Sports Queen” — Book Review

Shelly Boyum Breen–the author, creator, and prototype of Shelly Bean–grew up in Brainerd, Minnesota as a girl who like to play.

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FFTC’s Guide to Fall Fun in the Twin Cities

Twin Cities families, it’s that glorious time of colored leaves. Of apple orchards and fall festivals and corn mazes. Oh, and pumpkin patches, too!

The fall season is a perfect time for families to explore all kinds of different things to do across the metro area and beyond into greater Minnesota.

Take a morning or an afternoon and spend time together in an apple orchard. The Twin Cities are FULL of orchards to the north, south, east and west. Some are free to enter with a la carte fees for activities that interest you. Others have an entrance fee that includes many of the activities.

Do your kids enjoy carving pumpkins or making pumpkin pie and pumpkin bars made from fresh pumpkin? And what is more iconic than spending a night in a pumpkin patch waiting for the Great Pumpkin?

The Twin Cities is home to many, many corn mazes — if you seek agri-tainment, these are definitely for you.  Check out the different options your family can enjoy together.

Because we live in one of the most beautiful settings for fall, it seems only fair that we have a plethora of fall festivals. I remember when I was a kid we enjoyed our weekends in the fall going to an annual fall festival in Sisseton, SD.  But you don’t need to go that far to find a fantastic festival; we have plenty right here in the Twin Cities.

Pick One: Twin Cities Pumpkin Patches


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

Family Fun Idea: Kerfoot Adventure Park

Kerfoot Adventure ParkLee Kerfoot, owner of Kerfoot Canopy Tour and Brainerd Zip Line Tours (aka Minnesota Zip Lines &  Adventures), likes to surprise us with invitations to do the next terrifying thing.  And I surprise myself by saying yes.

Our first zipline experience was at Kerfoot.  While I had heart palpitations going into the experience, I came out ready to zip again (see our article here).  My husband and I got another chance, only this time in Thailand.  And our Thailand experience was not pleasant.  I wanted to be back with my Minnesota guides and their kindness and patience.  Even my husband, who does not have a fear of heights, said the same thing.  Read More

Twin Cities Apple Orchards: Eastern Metro

Apple Orchards East Metro

For a list of orchards spanning the four corners of the Twin Cities metro area, visit our FFTC Guide to Twin Cities Apple Orchards.


Our first installment of the Family Fun Twin Cities Apple Orchard Guide looks to the East. There are some heavy hitters out there: Aamodt’s Apple Farm in Stillwater has been open close to 70 years. Pine Tree Apple Orchard of White Bear Lake is well-known for its bakery menu. And Afton Apple Orchard of Hastings sprawls over 190 acres into the pastoral country. Read on to find out how they stack up – and why visiting an apple orchard is one of my family’s favorite ways to spend a fall day.

afton apple orchardAamodt’s Apple Farm

Choosing to head to Aamodt’s on a gorgeous fall weekend is also agreeing to spend that day shouldered up against half the Metro. Plus a bus tour or three. At least, this was our experience a few years ago. Part of the popularity of the orchard is due to the winery on property. Personally, I would have loved to explore St. Croix Vineyards, but the children in the party had other ideas. They made a break for the toddler-sized John Deere trikes and giant hay bales. But wait! Don’t forget to bring cash for the activities: Aamodt’s charges small fees for the trikes, hay maze, a tractor-pulled kiddie train, and hayrides into the orchard. (The fees don’t seem quite so small when you’ve got a larger-than-average family, however.) Admission to the orchard itself is free as is the small goat petting farm. Read More

Summer Family Fun: Beat the Heat with Cool Outings

I don’t know about you, but I am really feeling the heat. It’s that time of year when even the most hearty Minnesotans melt.  We try to remember what it’s like when it’s negative degrees in January, but it’s no use. While there are some you thrive in the heat, I know there are many of us who could do without the heat and humidity.

So FFTC is here once again, helping you to stay cool during this hot summer days.

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Summer Farm Fun in the Twin Cities

Gale Woods Farm Collage

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

Family Fun: Free Ink Day at Highpoint Center for Printmaking

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.

FFTC’s Guide to the Best Frozen Yogurt in the Twin Cities

We’ve tried to round up as many as we could find, but please let us know if we missed your favorite.

frozen yogurt

I love a good frozen yogurt sundae.  And it’s always a treat for me to take my kids to a froyo bar.  Where is your favorite one?   Take a look at what we’ve found.

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