Tag - Bell Museum of Natural History

Extended Another Year! MELSA smARTpass Program – An Arts Access Program for Metro Public Library Users
Free Twin Cities August Events & Activities
Free Twin Cities May Family Events & Activities
Free Twin Cities April Family Events & Activities
Now or Never! Three Things to Do This Holiday Season For the Last Time
Free Twin Cities October Family Events & Activities
Free Family Weekend Events List for August 15-16, 2015
Weekend Free Events List for January 3-4, 2014
Twin Cities Free Weekend Events December 20-21
Free List – January 31, 2014 through January 2, 2014.

Extended Another Year! MELSA smARTpass Program – An Arts Access Program for Metro Public Library Users

The MELSA Libraries (Anoka County, Carver County, Dakota County, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Saint Paul, Scott County, Washington County), that the smARTpass Program will be extended another year, beginning September 1, 2017. Library patrons will continue to have this option for free or reduced-price tickets to arts activities and museums. Like the Museum Adventure Pass that went before it, this program is not guaranteed to be around forever. We recommend taking advantage of it but also thanking the venues for their support. It would be sad to lose this resource.

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Free Twin Cities August Events & Activities

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Free Twin Cities May Family Events & Activities

Free May

5/2: Free Tuesday @ Washington County Parks • find a listing of parks hereExplore Washington County Parks with no vehicle permit required the first Tuesday of the month (non-holiday).

5/2 & 5/4: MayDay Build Workshops | In the Heart of the Beast Puppet & Mask Theatre, Minneapolis • 7-9pm • Come help create floats for the annual MayDay celebration in Powderhorn Park. Artists will guide volunteers in creating a piece of their own or a contribution to a parade float.

5/5: Friday Family Movie Night: Storks | Edinborough Park, Edina • 6:30pm

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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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Now or Never! Three Things to Do This Holiday Season For the Last Time

Do you look at our calendar of events and our December round ups and just wonder, “How do I choose?” I do. There are so many choices. Three things stand out because they will not be returning in 2017. Like the (still missed) Holidazzle Parade, these Twin Cities staples will cease to exist (at least for the indefinite future) after the 2016 season. Okay, it’s not actually “now or never” for two of them, but definitely, “now or not for awhile”. If you are having trouble choosing your holiday outings, consider these three “Now or Never” events:

Now or Never! Three Things to Do This Holiday Season For the Last Time

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Free Twin Cities October Family Events & Activities

With 12 children between them, the parents of the Family Fun Twin Cities team sure appreciate a good deal. And October is filled with them – from FREE Halloween events and fall festivals without admission fees to ongoing family art programs, special grand openings and open houses. For hundreds more ideas on how to find free Twin Cities events & entertainment in October, visit our Family Fun Calendar.

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Free Family Weekend Events List for August 15-16, 2015

Feel like taking a little drive this weekend? About 45 minutes from the Twin Cities, the town of Scandia has a wonderful Swedish heritage museum and this Saturday is their 25th Annual Fiddle Festival with free activities, music and dancing for all ages. A similar distance from the Metro, in the Taylors Falls area, is the quirky Franconia Sculpture Park with climb-on art and free guided tours every Sunday at 2pm. Or, if you feel like sticking closer to home, we have ideas galore on our Family Fun Calendar. Happy exploring!


tm gammelgarden museum

gammelgarden museum, scandia

Spelmanstamma – Gammelgarden Museum’s 25th Annual Fiddle Festival
@ Gammelgarden Museum
20880 Olinda Trail North, Scandia, MN 55073

Time: 10am-4pm
Details: About a 45-minute drive from the middle of the Metro is the charming Gammelgarden Museum, a collection of historic buildings that tells the story of Swedish immigrants to the Scandia area. Take a drive up for their annual Fiddle Festival where you can enjoy touring the exhibits for free, immigrant-inspired children’s activities and a whole lot of fiddling and folk dancing. Plus, one of our f

richfield farmers market

richfield farmers market, live entertainment

Richfield Farmers Market: Family Activities
@ Veterans Memorial Park
6335 Portland Ave S, Richfield, 55423

Time: Market open 7am-noon
Details: Read-a-Story live performances for families will take place in the community arts building next to the market from 10-11am this Saturday, and the Richfield Historical Society will demonstrate how to make homemade butter from 9am-noon, an easy recipe to make with kids.

40th Annual Vadnais Heights Heritage Days
Most events @ Community Park (641 County Road F) and
Vadnais Heights Commons (655 County Rd F), Vadnais Heights, 55127

Time: Saturday, Aug. 15 • all day & Sunday, Aug. 16 • events until 5pm
Details: Of special interest to kids and their families are the children’s games, held 10:30am-2pm on the Community Park soccer field. Enjoy carnival games, a cake walk, watermelon-eating contest, races and more. Get the full schedule here. All activities are free.



arthur’s world at minnesota children’s museum

Target Free Third Sunday
@ Minnesota Children’s Museum
10 7th St W, St Paul, 55102

Time: 9am – 5pm
Ages: All ages attend free!
Details: Explore the museum, including the new exhibit Arthur’s World thanks to the generosity of Target.

Free Sundays at the Bell Museum
@ Bell Museum of Natural History
10 Church Street SE, Minneapolis

Time: Noon-5pm
Details: Admission is free every Sunday at The Bell – take the kids into the Touch & See Discovery Room to get hands-on with natural artifacts or take a scavenger hunt through the dioramas. Read about our take on the Bell Museum here.

Free Guided Tour at Franconia
@ Franconia Sculpture Park
29836 Saint Croix Trail, Shafer, MN 55074

Time: 2pm ongoing Sundays through October 25, 2015
Details: An hour-long guided tour throughout the 43-acre sculpture park gives you the inside story on the 100+ sculpture collection – and if the kids aren’t up to an organized tour, much of the art is climbable and interactive so you can let them have at it!

climb-on fun at franconia sculpture park

Weekend Free Events List for January 3-4, 2014

Ready to put the holidays behind you? Read on for some ideas on how to spend the first weekend of the new year on the cheap! And as always, check our Family Fun Calendar for a complete list of what’s going on for families in the Twin Cities this weekend and beyond.

Saturday, January 3, 2014

Walker First Free Saturday: Birthday Bash
@ Walker Art Center
1750 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403

Time: 10am – 3pm
Details: Come help celebrate the Walker’s 75 years as a public art center with time-traveling performances, artful cupcakes, photo portraits, and special activities designed for kids ages 6-12 (though don’t let that scare you away from bringing your littler ones – all ages will have fun!).

Nature Rocks! Outdoor Center Open House
@ Staring Lake Outdoor Center
13765 Staring Lake Parkway, Eden Prairie, Minnesota 55347

Time: 9am – noon
Details: Enjoy free family-friendly activities such as hiking, interactions with live animals, craft projects and more. The event is held the first Saturday of each month.

Saturday Drop-in Discoveries: Cockatoo Corner
@ Tamarack Nature Center
5287 Otter Lake Road, White Bear Township, MN 55110

Time: 10am – noon
Details: The ongoing program (held the first Saturday of the month now through February 2015) features up-close visits with live animals, including Tamarack’s resident owls, snakes and salamanders. Kids can get hands-on with touchable artifacts, and sample edible treats from the Discovery Hollow garden.

Sunday, January 4, 2014

Free on-going Sunday activities:

Bell Museum Free Sundays
@ The Bell Museum of Natural History
10 Church Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455

Time: Noon – 5pm
Details: Admission is free every Sunday at The Bell – take the kids into the Touch & See Discovery Room to get hands-on with natural artifacts or take a scavenger hunt through the dioramas.

Free Family Fun Days: Feed Me!
@ Carl Kroening Interpretive Center in North Mississippi Regional Park
4900 North Mississippi Drive, Minneapolis, MN 55430

Time:  1 – 3pm
Details: Drop in throughout the afternoon for hands-on family activities. Stay to explore the kid-friendly exhibits and the live animal room.

Sundays at Landmark: Minnesota Boychoir Winter Concert
@Landmark Center
75 West 5th St., Saint Paul, MN 55102

Time: 1 & 3:30pm
Details: Featuring Allegro, Cantabile, Cantando, and Cantar. A freewill donation will be collected. Note: The Sundays at Landmark program will be held January 4 & January 18.

Twin Cities Free Weekend Events December 20-21

Don’t forget to check our extensive Family Fun Calendar for a complete listing of events going on this weekend in the Twin Cities! If it’s seasonal events you’re searching for, try our Family Fun Twin Cities Holiday Guide.


Childish Films: Wind in the Willows
at Minneapolis Central Library, 300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN • 10am – 12pm

Ages: Most films are best enjoyed by kids ages 3+ but all ages are welcome.
Details: Doors open at 10am for snacks and hands-on activities, pre-show entertainment begins at 10:30 and films begin closer to 11am.

Live Animals @ Maplewood Nature Center
Maplewood Nature Center, 2659 E 7th St, Maplewood, MN 55119 • 1 – 2:15pm

Ages: Ages 3 & up with an adult present
Details: Touch and see the nature center’s live snake, toad and salamander.  Watch them slurp up a treat!  No registration necessary. Stay to explore and play with the indoor exhibits.

STEM Saturday @ Ramsey County Library Roseville: Stop Motion Animation
2180 Hamline Ave N, Roseville, MN 55113 • 10:30-11:30am

Ages: 8-14
Details: Try your hand at creating a movie using stop-motion animation and the library’s iPad Lab. Instructors will walk you through the process and be available to help anyone with their film creation.


Target Free Third Sunday
at Minnesota Children’s Musem, 10 West 7th Street, St. Paul MN • 9am-5pm

Ages: Appropriate for all ages.
Details: Roam the museum free of charge every third Sunday of each month – take note, it will most likely be crowded. Current visiting exhibits include Adventures with Clifford the Big Red Dog and Healthyville.

Free List – January 31, 2014 through January 2, 2014.

This week winter is starting to wear on me a little, but I’ve still included two options for getting outside for some winter fun with your family.  Both are outdoor celebrations at parks on Saturday evening.   You can choose between Minneapolis and St. Paul.   If you would rather be indoors, we have some options for that, too.  This is also the second and final weekend of Winter Carnival.  There are even more activities on our Free Calendar.


Holy Smokestacks!Storytime with Choo Choo Bobs!

Red Balloon Bookshop, Red Balloon Bookshop, 891 Grand Ave., St. Paul, MN. 55105
Saturday, February 1, 2014; 10:30 a.m.

Let’s take two of our favorite local shops and make one of the best story times ever!  The Red Balloon will be hosting Choo Choo Bob, who will be reading Holy Smokestacks! Here Comes A Steam Engine! — written by one of his very own writers, Brandon Terrell.  If you have children who love trains, want to hear a story read by Choo Choo Bob and sing songs, then the Red Balloon is the place to be Saturday morning.

AudubonAudubon and the Art of Birds

Bell Museum of Natural History
10 Church St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455
Sunday, February 2, 2014; noon–5 p.m. (Sundays are Free)

Back in October, I shared this article about  Audubon and the Art of Birds.  You may recall that only half of the collection was on display.  This weekend, the exhibit re-opens with new portions of the collection available to view.  As always, the Bell is free on Sundays.

Music Under Glass – Urban Hillbilly Quartet

Marjorie McNeely Conservatory, 225 Estabrook Drive, Saint Paul, MN 55103
Sunday February 2, 2014; 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm

This week’s Music Under Glass concert is the Urban Hillbilly Quartet.  Their blend of bluegrass and country creates a nice backdrop to stroll the gardens with your family.  This is just such a great way to get out of the cold and enjoy a little bit of summer for a couple hours.   If you want to come a little early, the zoo closes at 4:00.  That will give you just enough time to find a space in the conservatory.


FirFire-and-Icee and Ice Festival

Luxton Park, 112 Williams Ave. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414
Saturday, February 1, 2014; 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Pre-Registration Available.

The Fire & Ice Festivaat Luxton Park celebrates Winter Solstice.  I’m not sure why they waited until February for this — maybe because December 21st is too close to Christmas?  Or maybe we just need a celebration that incorporates  “reflection, renewal, peace, and a time for the glistening snow to purify our air and leave a clean slate” right about now.  Whatever the reason for the scheduling, it sounds like a lot of fun with activities that include a recreational fire, horse drawn hayrides, music, crafts, and concessions.

Winter Lock Out

Battle Creek Recreational Center, 75 Winthrop Street, St. Paul, MN
Saturday, February 1, 2014 6:00 p.m.to 8:00 p.m.

I think the flyer below says it all.  Accept you can call 651-501-6347 or for more information.



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