Tag - Dodge Nature Center

Maple Syruping with Kids in the Twin Cities
Summer Farm Fun in the Twin Cities
Budget Twin Cities July Events & Activities
Where to Find the Minnesota Farm Babies
2017 Twin Cities Earth Day Family Events
Twin Cities Weekend Free & Budget Family Events for October 3-4, 2015 (archived)
Nature Playgrounds in the Twin Cities – Get Back to Green
Indoor & Outdoor Fun at Twin Cities Nature Centers: Dodge Nature Center & Farm – Archived
Fall Family Fun List: Weekend of October 4-5
Finding Fun on the Farm: Gale Woods, Gibbs Museum, and the Dodge Nature Center (June 21)

Maple Syruping with Kids in the Twin Cities

March is maple syrup month in Minnesota, and with an abundance of nature centers around the Twin Cities, we have ample opportunities to learn about and participate in the maple syruping process. Maple syrup events usually contain one or more of the following activities: tapping the maple trees, collecting the sap, boiling it into syrup, and the best part — according to my kids, anyway — a sample of the finished product.

Click through for a list of upcoming maple syrup events across the Twin Cities Metro. Read More

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

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

Where to Find the Minnesota Farm Babies

The Minnesota Zoo is not the only place to find Minnesota Farm Babies. We have a list of several affordable alternatives for getting your baby farm animal fix.

I had no idea there were this many places to find Minnesota Farm Babies!


Saturday Mornings on the Farm @ Gale Woods Farm, 7210 Cty Rd 110 W, Minnetrista • Ongoing Saturdays in April & May, 9:30am-noon • $5/pp • Details: Calling all farmhands! Help out with chores, spend time with the animals and participate in other spring farm activities. Closed-toe shoes required. Strollers not allowed in the barn or around animals.

tm gale woods farm 3Spring Into Farming @ Gale Woods Farm, 7210 Cty Rd 110 W, Minnetrista • 4/7, 4/20, 5/3, 5/10, 9:30am-2:30pm • $6/pp • Details: Celebrate new life on the farm through crafts, cooking and games. Meet farm animals and participate in educator-led programs. Activities are geared toward preschoolers and kindergartners.

Spring on the Farm @ Oliver Kelley Farm, 15788 Kelley Farm Rd NW, Elk River • 4/30, 5/1, 10am-5pm • $9/adults, $7/seniors, $6/ages 5-17, free age 4 & under and MNHS members • Details: Pay a visit to baby animals, help with the early spring planting and more while exploring this historic working farm.

Farm Babies @ the Minnesota Zoo, 13000 Zoo Boulevard, Apple Valley • now through April 30, 2016, 9am-4pm • included in Zoo admission of $12-$18/pp + parking • Details: 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. Get the full lineup here.

Spring on the Farm @ Eidem Homestead, 4345 101st Ave N, Brooklyn Park • May 15, 10am-1pm • $6/adults, $4/under 12, under 4/FREE • Details: Greet the farm babies, help with spring planting and other activities. Eidem Homestead will be open for a variety of special events through Dec. 2016.

Dodge Nature Center & Farm, 1701 Charlton St, West St. Paul • Details: Feel free to wander the farm grounds daily during nature center hours. Visitors aren’t allowed in the farm buildings unless registered for a program, but there are plenty of animals to see from the fences. Annual event Rock the Barn gets you up even closer 5/21, 3-7pm • $7/adults, $4/kids, $25/families, 2 & under FREE.



Sibley Farm @ Sibley Park,

Farmamerica – Minnesota Agricultural Interpretive Center, 7367 360th Ave, Waseca • Self-guided tours Memorial Day-Labor Day, 10am-sundown Tues-Sat & noon-sundown Sun • Suggested donation of $5/adults and $3/child • Details: Take a self-guided stroll through historic buildings and learn about evolving agriculture in Minnesota. Baby farm animals are due in May!

Govin’s Meats & Berries, N6134 670th St, Menomonie WI • Find lambing barn hours here • $7.25/pp, under 2 admitted free • Details: Cuddle the farm babies, take pony and wagon rides, and, if you’re lucky, witness a live birth! Nate of the blog MinneMama Adventures gives you more details here.

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


2017 Twin Cities Earth Day Family Events

  • Events in Red are 2016 dates that have not been updated
  • Banner needs to be updated for 2017

Earth Day Network’s first Earth Day was in 1970. It’s continuing mission — “to broaden and diversify the environmental movement worldwide and to mobilize it as the most effective vehicle to build a healthy, sustainable environment, address climate change, and protect the Earth for future generations.” For us, it’s a chance to teach our children about good stewardship of our planet, while getting out and enjoying the long-awaited spring. I think the spring thing may be why the Twin Cities Metro does not skimp on Earth Day activities and events.   We have a sampling of Earth Day family events to get out with your kids and celebrate our environment this month.
Earth Day Banner

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Twin Cities Weekend Free & Budget Family Events for October 3-4, 2015 (archived)

Need some ideas for a brisk October weekend? How about heading down to the State Capitol to either join in or cheer on the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon family races? Also this Saturday is Walker Art Center’s Free First Saturday with plenty of hands-on arty projects for kids and for Sunday, we recommend checking out a performance of “Monkey Mind Pirates” at SteppingStone Theatre in St. Paul. For more inspiration, try our Family Fun Calendar this weekend and beyond!


Twin Cities Marathon Family Events
@ Minnesota State Capitol
75 Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, St Paul

When: Family Activity Tent open 8am-noon, races begin at 10am.
Cost: There is a fee to participate in the family races; the Family Activity Tent is free.
Details: You can sign up the day of the event to participate in any of the family and kid races.

Walker Free First Saturday: Painting Stories
@ Walker Art Center
1750 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis

When: 10am-3pm
Cost: Free
Details: Activities are geared towards kids ages 6-12, but don’t let that stop you from bringing your littler ones! Free gallery admission for the whole family every first Saturday of the month.

Family Harvest Hayride
@ Dodge Nature Center
1701 Charlton St., West St. Paul

When: 1-3pm
Cost: $7/pp or $20/family
Details: In addition to the titular hayrides is apple cider pressing and sampling, a look into the bee hives, a bonfire and popcorn. Must pre-register for the event here.

tm prospect park gardenProspect Park Harvest Festival
@ Prospect Park Community Garden
2901 4th Street SE, Minneapolis

When: 6-10pm
Cost: Free
Details: This community event, located in the Prospect Park Community Garden space, will feature entertainment by a Japanese drummer group, an Ethiopian musical group and an Aztec dance troupe. In addition there will be an artist helping everyone create community sculptures using found objects.


MMP.monkeys[1]Monkey Mind Pirates Puppet Performance
@ SteppingStone Theatre for Youth Development
55 Victoria Street North, St. Paul

When: Doors open at 1pm for a free “happy hour” with family activities, show begins at 2pm.
Cost: Suggested donation of $3/pp at the door
Details: The performance is the culmination of an effort between Moreland Magnet School and Z Puppets Rosenschnaz. Students from the school will guest star in “Monkey Mind Pirates”, a puppet show that teaches tools to overcome stress and anxiety.


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
nature playgroundsIt 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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Indoor & Outdoor Fun at Twin Cities Nature Centers: Dodge Nature Center & Farm – Archived

Fall Family Fun List: Weekend of October 4-5

Bundle up and head outside for these classic fall family events, heavy on the apples and autumn colors. All of these activities come with a fee attached, but we tried to pick ones that we thought were reasonable for families. For our list of FREE weekend events, check over here and for our complete Family Fun Calendar for this weekend and beyond, head over here. Thanks for stopping by!


Fall on the Farm
Where: Eidem Homestead, 4345 101st Ave N., Brooklyn Park, MN , 55444
When: 12 – 3pm
Cost: $6/adults, $4/kids 4-12
Ages: Appropriate for all ages
Details: It’s harvest time on the historic Eidem Homestead! Join in for harvesting activities, cider pressing and pumpkin carving.

Apples Galore
Where: Dodge Nature Center, Farm Entrance at 1701 Charlton Street, West St. Paul, MN
When: 1 – 2:30pm
Cost: $7/pp or $20/family (non-member), $5/pp or $15/family (member)
Ages: Designed for all ages
Details: Hike to the apple orchard for tastings and press them for fresh juice. Educational for all ages. Pre-registration is required.


Where: The Landing – Minnesota River Heritage Park, 2187 Highway 101 East
Shakopee, MN 55379
When: October 4 – 5 • 10am – 5pm
Cost: $5/adults, $3/ages 2 – 17, 65+
Ages: Appropriate for all ages
Details: Learn how German immigrants harvested and processed apples, play games and ride a horse-drawn trolley.

Weekend Family Fun: Fantastic Foliage
Where: Minnesota Landscape Arboretum‘s Learning Center
When: October 4 – 5 • 12 – 4pm
Cost: $13/ages 13+
Ages: Appropriate for all ages
Details: Learn about leaves and why they turn those gorgeous colors in fall, participate in leafy crafts and complete a scavenger hunt. Take time to explore the Arboretum grounds and, kids, spend some time in the Green Play Yard.

Fall Color Tram Tour
Where: Eastman Nature Center at Elm Creek Park Reserve, 12400 James Deane Pkwy, Maple Grove, MN 55369
When: October 4 – 5 • Tours run on the hour from 1 – 5pm.
Cost: $5/pp, 20% discount for groups of 4+
Ages: Best for kids who can tolerate a decent ride.
Details: Registration required (763.559.6700 only). Enjoy the fall foliage from the comfort of a tram. Take in an apple cidering demonstration Sunday only from 1 – 4pm.


Wood Lake Sunday Special: Apple Cidering
Where: Wood Lake Nature Center, 6710 Lakeshore Dr, Richfield, MN
When: 1 – 4pm
Cost: $3/pp
Ages: Appropriate for all ages
Details: Mill and press apples into cider.

Finding Fun on the Farm: Gale Woods, Gibbs Museum, and the Dodge Nature Center (June 21)

Farm life is foreign and exotic to my kids. They, like probably most other children of parents reading this post, have spent their entire (albeit young) lives within the confines of city blocks. And they never tire of opportunities to take a break from the traffic and get a little more rural. Luckily, you don’t have to travel too far to get a taste of the farm in our cities. In some cases, the farm might even be in your own neighborhood. Try visiting one of these spots to play farmer (or pioneer) for the day: Read More

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