Tag - American Swedish Institute

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Membership – The No-Clutter Gift of Together Time
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Christmas in the Twin Cities: Do You Hear What I Hear?
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12 Twin Cities Early Holiday Events
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Budget Twin Cities July Events & Activities
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Free Twin Cities Events & Activities in May
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Twin Cities Mother’s Day Events
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Sights and Sounds of Christmas
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Family Fun Idea: Kids at the Castle at American Swedish Institute
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Winter Wonderland: Experience the Magical Holiday Traditions Of Sweden at the American Swedish Institute
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Archived: Twin Cities Early Christmas Events

Membership – The No-Clutter Gift of Together Time

christmas-guide-banner-shoppingI think, like a lot of parents, I dream of having a home that is more of a cozy little landing pad for our adventures than a storage facility for our stuff. So I have been collecting up ideas for clutter-free gifts of adventure through membership to museums and other fun places.

Hello Grandparents:

If you are an out-of-town grandparent, membership gifts are ideal. Your grandchildren will look forward to your visits so you can enjoy your gift together; plus they will enjoy it with their parents the rest of the year. Furthermore, your children will tell all their friends that you are so much cooler than the grandparents who bought loud, battery-powered, plastic toys that end up in the garbage heap we call a toy box. Trust me on this. Read More

Christmas in the Twin Cities: Do You Hear What I Hear?

christmas banner

Want to go to a Christmas concert?  There is a plethora for you to choose from from Instrumental, Choral, Rock, Classical, Dance, etc. Read More

12 Twin Cities Early Holiday Events

10 Twin Cities Early Holiday Events

night-trainsNight Trains @ Twin City Model Railroad Museum, St. Paul 

When: Ongoing Sat Nov 5-Feb 25, 2017 • 6-9pm
Cost: $15/pp, family rates available, children 4 & under FREE
Details: A special holiday tradition at the Twin City Model Railroad Museum, Night Trains season magically transforms the museum layouts. Buildings and street lights glow, and throughout the museum the layouts are adorned with Christmas lights.

Nature Arts & Crafts Fair @ Richardson Nature Center, Bloomington

When: Saturday, Nov 5 • 10am-3pm
Cost: Free admission
Details: Local artisans of jewelry, felting, painting and more display their wares; afterward enjoy the park reserve. All vendor fees donated to the VEAP-Bloomington Food Shelf.

Santa’s Arrival Ceremony @ Mall of America

When: TBD
Cost: Free
Details: The holiday season officially kicks off at Mall of America with Santa’s Arrival Ceremony. Santa will be greeted in holiday style with live performances.

tm asi christmas

Family Day: Celebrations of Light @ American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis

When: Sunday, Nov 13 • noon-5pm
Cost: $5-$10/pp
Details: Explore Nordic holiday traditions, see the historic Turnblad Mansion decked out for the season, and join in family craft activities. Included with museum admission.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical @ Stages Theatre Company, Hopkins

When: Runs Nov 18-Dec 28, 2016
Cost: $25/pp, $5/lap passes for children ages 3-4, under 3 are free. Nov 20 is pay-what-you can day for this particular performance. These special accessible tickets are available at the box office only.

bachmans2Holiday Open House featuring Santa & Albert’s Arrival and Annual Holiday Play
@ Bachman’s on Lyndale, Minneapolis

When: Saturday, Nov 19 • 9am-4pm
Cost: Free
Details: Join us as we welcome Santa and his sleigh Saturday morning and kick off the holiday season! Visit Bachman’s on Lyndale for treats, shopping, and season’s greetings during store hours. Kids can visit the live reindeer corral and stop by the craft counter for crafts and activities. Cookies, juice, and coffee available for snacking! And of course, see the annual Santa & Albert holiday play at 10am, 11:30am, 1pm and 3:30pm.

Rice Park Tree Lighting Ceremony, St. Paul

When: Nov 19 • 5pm
Cost: Free
Details: Rice Park sparkles with thousands of twinkling lights! The tree will be up through January 1, 2017. The other lights will stay up and illuminate the park through the end of the Winter Carnival.

HLNewLogoPlain[1]Holiday Lights in the Park @ Phalen Regional Park, St. Paul

When: Runs nightly Nov 22-Jan 1, 2017 • 5-10pm
Cost: $10 cash per vehicle at gate or $8 online ticket only
Details: All of the net proceeds from the event will be distributed to a community non-profit. 60 holiday light sculptures and animated displays entertain guests as they cruise through the park in the evening hours.

Winter Lighting Ceremony @ Nicollet Commons Park
Nicollet Avenue and 126th Street, Burnsville

When: Wednesday, Nov 23 • 6-6:45pm
Cost: Free
Details: Making an appearance are local choirs, refreshments, Mr. and Mrs. Claus, 200,000+ lights, and a 30-foot-tall tree.

thO0PBFN04Holidazzle begins @ Loring Park, Minneapolis

When: Begins Friday, Nov 25 • 5-9m
Cost: Free
Details: Holidazzle has moved to Loring Park, is offering free admission to all, and there will be vendors, activities, food, and fireworks for all. Holidazzle will run Thurs-Sun from 5-9pm on Thursdays & Fridays and 11am-9pm Saturdays & Sundays through Dec. 22, 2016.

Taylors Falls Lighting Festival

When: Friday, Nov 25 – Sunday, Nov 27
Cost: Free
Details: Family highlights include the Grand Lighting & Santa Parade (11/26), Christmas at the Folsom House (11/25-27), storytime with Mrs. Claus and wagon rides.

Tree Lighting Ceremony @ 50th & France, Edina

When: Saturday, Nov 26
Cost: Free
Details: Holiday Market is open 12-5pm followed by tree lighting, carolers and visits with Santa.


Budget Twin Cities July Events & Activities

It doesn’t have to break the bank to entertain the family away from home in the Twin Cities! You’ll find July’s seasonal and ongoing events and activities listed here that all cost $5 or less per person to attend. For more ideas on budget and FREE family outings, check our Family Fun Calendar or hop over to our Free Twin Cities July Family Events & Activities page. Read More

Free Twin Cities Events & Activities in May

Free May

5/1: Lyra Family Concert Series: Meet the Irish Harp @ Baroque Room, 275 4th St E, St. Paul • 3-4pm • Details: Introduce the kids to classical music with an hour-long family-friendly concert with hands-on activities and snacks, presented in a casual environment.

5/3: Free Tuesday @ Washington County Parks • find a listing of parks hereDetails: Explore Washington County Parks with no vehicle permit required the first Tuesday of the month (non-holiday).

5/6: Friday Family Movie Night: The Good Dinosaur @ Edinborough Park, Edina • 6:30pm
Read More

Twin Cities Mother’s Day Events

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:

MOTHER’S DAY EVENTS – FREE FOR THE FAMILY

5/7: Mother’s and Father’s Day Cardmaking @ Articulture, 2613 E Franklin Ave, Mpls • 1-3pm

5/7: Saturday Crafts for Kids: Mother’s Day Cards @ Lakeshore Learning locations • 11am-3pm

5/7: Mother’s Day Cookie Decorating Event @ Jerry’s Foods, Woodbury, Edina and Eden Prairie locations • 11am-1pm • Details: Decorate a treat for mom and, if you’re one of the first 150 kids to show, snag her a free carnation as well.

5/7: Mother’s Day Storytime @ Barnes & Noble MOA • 11am • Details: Plus, make a card for Mom.

5/7: All About Family – Mother’s Day Card/Gift Making @ Community Covenant Church, 901 Humboldt Avenue N., Minneapolis, MN 55411 • 3pm – 6pm • Details: Mothers Day Gift and Card Making.

5/8: Family Day: Mother’s Day Musical @ Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis • 11am-5pm • Details: Combine words and art through games, storytelling, crafts, and a gallery hunt.

5/8: St. Paul Civic Symphony’s Mother’s Day Concert @ Landmark Center • 1pm

5/8: Mother’s Day Wildflower Walk @ Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden & Bird Sanctuary, Minneapolis • 11am-noon & 3-4pm.


MOTHER’S DAY EVENTS – FREE FOR MOM

5/7-8: Mother’s Day Weekend @ Oliver Kelley Farm, Elk River • Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 12-5pm • Details: Moms free when accompanied by a child; help with spring planting and visit the farm babies.

5/7-8: Macy’s Mother’s Day Weekend @ Minnesota Zoo, Apple Valley • 9am • Moms are in FREE!

5/8: American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis • noon-5pm • Moms and grandmas admitted FREE!

5/8: Como-Harriet Streetcar Line, Minneapolis • 12:30-8:30pm • Moms ride FREE!


MOTHER’S DAY EVENTS – PAID

5/7: Mother’s Day Tea @ Scott County Historical Society, Shakopee • 1-3pm • $5/kids, $10/adults • Details: Kids ages 5 & up and their families can enjoy tea and treats, make a Victorian trinket box and snap a picture in the photo booth.

5/8: Mother’s Day Clay @ Silverwood Park, St. Anthony • 10am-noon • $25/adult-child pair, $15 per additional child. Reservations required by phone only.

5/8: Mother’s Day Flower Walk & Tea Party @ Lowry Nature Center, Victoria • 1-2:30pm • $5/pp • Details: Take a spring hike, craft a scented firestarter and enjoy tea or juice with Mom.

5/8: Mother’s Day Open House @ Westwood Nature Center, St. Louis Park • 1-4pm • $7-$9/pp

5/8: Mother’s Day Brunch @ Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul • seating times: 10am, 12pm, 2pm • $12.95-$27.99, kids 3-5 eat for $4.75, prices include general admission to the Science Museum.


MOM EATS FREE

She hasn’t posted it yet, but Carrie Rocha of Pocket Your Dollars typically has got the best roundup of Moms-Eat-Free deals offered in the Twin Cities for Mother’s Day. When the post goes up, we’ll link to it here.


Want more great ideas?  Check out Family Planning, FFTC’s Monthly Newsletter.

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Sights and Sounds of Christmas

ChristmastimeintheCitiesOne way to feel especially  in the holiday spirit is to listen the sounds of the season or see the beauty of the season.  One of my favorite ways to accomplish this is  by attending a Christmas-y performance.

The Twin Cities has a bevy of performances to enjoy and it can get very confusing. We’ve narrowed down the selections for those that are especially family friendly. Read More

Family Fun Idea: Kids at the Castle at American Swedish Institute

This is exactly how my kids refer to the American Swedish Institute: “Going to play in the castle!” And while on the facade it’s more imposing stone fortress than Disney fantasy, this castle has got plenty for children to enjoy.

tm american swedish institute 4 (2)

Such as the aptly-named Kids at the Castle program. Hosted the third Friday of each month, the program is aimed at kids ages 2-5 and involves simple activities that typically tie into ASI’s current exhibitions.  I was pleasantly surprised the day I visited that the program, which is held before the museum opens to the public, also included a structured circle time with music and movement, and a themed storytime.

PicMonkey - american swedish institute

After the event, we were free to explore the nooks and crannies of the Turnblad Mansion. On the don’t-miss list for families with kids:

  • IMG_6543the play nook high in the turrets of the castle. Stocked with a pretend café, picture books and an art project, we could easily have spent hour in that room alone.
  • Interactive, family-friendly exhibits. Click here for the latest.
  • ASI’s Outdoor Playcart – props for outdoor play and discovery on the lawn. Pack a lunch to bring along and eat outside while the kids play or purchase food from the FIKA cafe. (Seasonal.)
  • Find Tomte’s mailbox and write the Swedish Christmas elf a letter.
  • When my son was 6, I purchased ($2 at the time) a special children’s tour booklet, available in the gift shop, to make the most of his visit.

Location: American Swedish Institute
2600 Park Avenue Minneapolis, 55407

Next Kids at the Castle: 3rd Friday of the month through 2017, 9-10am

Cost: $8/family


Winter Wonderland: Experience the Magical Holiday Traditions Of Sweden at the American Swedish Institute

Tomte, the Swedish Christmas Elf, lives part time at the American Swedish Institute! Visit him for story time at ASI’s Julmarknad (Christmas Market) on Saturday, Dec. 6.

Guest Post by Laura Cederberg from the American Swedish Institute.

Christmas is a magical time in Sweden and the Nordic region. There’s no place on earth that’s more of a winter wonderland and the darkest months are filled with light and joy thanks to many special traditions. Read More

Archived: Twin Cities Early Christmas Events

Anyone else wake up this morning to kids who just couldn’t wait to get outside and play in the snow?

While I didn’t exactly share my own kids’ enthusiasm, I didn’t want to spoil theirs. And, we moms commiserated at the bus stop (as the kids had a snowball fight), the wintry weather is an inevitable part of our Minnesota lifestyle – we can’t stop it from coming. Kind of like our holiday season in the Twin Cities, my reasoning for sharing this list of upcoming early Christmas events around town. My apologies if you’re just not ready to be hit with Christmas stuff yet; I took down the last trappings of Halloween today myself.

Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas
at Children’s Theatre Company
2400 3rd Avenue S., Minneapolis, MN 55404

Dates: November 11, 2014 – January 4, 2015
Ages: Recommended for all ages
Cost: Tickets start at $25 and go up depending on seat, age, and performance time. Parties of 10 or more are eligible for group rates (phone only, 612-874-0400).
Details: Dr. Seuss’s classic holiday tale comes to the stage in big, bright, Children’s Theatre style.

Santa’s Arrival Ceremony Ceremony
at Mall of America

Date: November 11, 2014 • 6pm
Ages: Anyone who believes, right?
Cost: FREE
Details: Santa gets a celebrity welcome in the Rotunda from the Teddy Bear Band and other live entertainment. Meet characters from Penguins of Madagascar and enjoy treats from Nestle. Santa will visit with guests at Mall of America through Dec. 24 – show up at your convenience (see the calendar here) or schedule an appointment. Photo packages will be available for purchase. Read More

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