Tag - eastman nature center

2017 Twin Cities Earth Day Family Events
Maple Syruping with Kids in the Twin Cities
3 Free Family Fun Ideas for this Late Labor Day Weekend
Fall Family Fun List: Weekend of October 4-5
Free List for The Weekend of January 3-5, 2014
The Free List – Decemember 27 – 29, 2013
Free List for October 12 – 13, 2013

2017 Twin Cities Earth Day Family Events

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.”
Earth Day Family EventsFor 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.

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.

Read More

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

3 Free Family Fun Ideas for this Late Labor Day Weekend

If your plans are to stay around town this weekend, you may be interested in some laid back fun.  We found a creative artistic endeavor, a natural tea experience, and fun at the river.


My family loves to explore at the Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park.  We love to walk along the river and see what we can collect or play in the exposed roots of the trees. The staff at Coon Rapids Dam understands this love of the hunt and want to encourage their guests to do more.  So they have invited us to come to the river and create art with the debris washed ashore.


Drop in at anytime to taste some teas made from plants in your backyard.  Kids under 17 must be with an adult.  I know that coming home from this event, my kids will try to brew their own tea from the grass in the backyard.  What do you think your kids will do?


Come and go as you please and enjoy time on the river.  Hopefully, there will be a lot of movement through the lock so that you can experience the physics in action.

Whether you have already started school, will start school, or school-age is a long way off, we know you will have fun together this weekend.

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.

Free List for The Weekend of January 3-5, 2014

The Holidays are over and I, for one, am ready to slow down a little.  We will probably cut back to ONE family outing a week again.  More than that is just too much for the kids and we pay for it in crabby breakdowns. But in place of more outings, we’ll start to fancy up our family meals again and maybe sit down and play some of those games we got for Christmas. Luckily, there is really no shortage of fun and free family outings to choose from for our ONE outing this weekend.

Note:  As the weather starts to dip down to the double-digit negatives, things are getting cancelled.  This is a good weekend to call ahead before heading out.



Family Skate Night

Bryant Square Park, 3101 Bryant Ave S, Minneapolis, MN, US 55408
Friday, January 3, 2013; 5:30 p.m- 7:00 p.m

I’m still trying to get us all out to enjoy our Minneapolis winter this year.  Family Skate Night at Bryant Lake Park looks like a great outing to accomplish this goal.  Besides free skating, there will also be hot chocolate and cookies!  Bryant Square Park is one of the rinks that offers free loaner skates on a first come, first serve basis. Sizes and quantities vary by location.  If you don’t have skates of your own, it might be worth it to show up early and see what you can get.  Even if you can’t get skates, there is still hot chocolate, so it’s won’t be a total loss.  Ice Rink Hotline: For ice conditions and rink closings, call the MPRB ice rink hotline at 612-313-7708


Free First Saturday – From Morocco to the Moon

Walker Art Center,1750 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55403
Saturday, January 4, 2013; 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Free First Saturday at the Walker never disappoints us.  This month “Travel to far-off places while touring the galleries.”  Gianna has more details HERE.

Very Hungry Caterpillar StorytimeThe Very Hungry Caterpillar Storytime with Children’s Theatre Company

Red Balloon Bookshop, Red Balloon Bookshop, 891 Grand Ave., St. Paul, MN 55105
Saturday, January 4, 2013; 10:30 a.m.

If, like our family, you can’t wait for the Children’s Theatre Company‘s performance of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, this weekend we can get a sneak peak at The Red Balloon Bookshop.  I’d arrive early.  I’m sure it will fill up fast.

deer-watch.ashxKnow Your Tracks & Deer Watch

Eastman Nature Center, 13351 Elm Creek Road, Dayton, MN 55369
Saturday, January 4, 2013
Know Your Tracks: 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Deer Watch: 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

This week Eastman Nature Center is offering two back-to-back opportunities for family fun.  First learn about animal tracks and even make your ink-stamp tracks.  Then stick around at dusk to watch the deer.  Eastman Nature Center asks that we be prompt and quiet during the deer watch so everyone can enjoy the deer without scaring them away.


MNBoychoirlogoMinnesota Boychoir Annual Winter Concert

Landmark Center, 75 West 5th Street, Saint Paul, MN 55102
Sunday, January 5, 2014; 1:00 p.m and 3:30 p.m

You can view my longer article on the Minnesota Boychoir HERE.   If this is your only outing of the weekend, you might want to come early for a tour of the Landmark Center or stay a little late to Ice Skate at Rice Park.

burnsvilleFree Public Skating Event

Burnsville Ice Center
251 Civic Center Parkway
Burnsville, MN 55337
Sunday, January 5, 2014;12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

In Celebration of National Skating Month Burnsville Ice Center is hosting a free public skating event — including free skate rental and mini private lessons.


If you didn’t see Gianna’s article on the Snow Shark built by some amazing local teens, you really need to check this out.  You can read the article HERE.

photo 5

Still not sure?  We have MORE on our Free Calendar.


Joy Peters is a co-creator and writer for FamilyFunTwinCities.com

The Free List – Decemember 27 – 29, 2013

This is a good weekend to avoid shopping unless you are a power shopper.  We’re still eating Christmas leftovers, so we’re not even going to grocery shop this weekend.  There’s always cleaning and laundry, but who really wants to do that?  Here are a few fun things to do — even if you blew your budget on Christmas.


S’mores & More – Outreach –  Outdoor Fun!

Gro Tonka Park,  17003 Prospect Place, Minnetonka
Friday, December 27, 2013; 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
My family goal is to spend more time outdoors this winter.  So far, I’m not doing too well — although the kids are getting out there.  This looks like a great way to get outside this weekend.  The Hopkins-Minnetonka Recreation Service and Three Rivers Park District are teaming up to offer a night of  ice skating, sledding, snowshoeing and kick-sledding with hot chocolate and s’mores by the fire. Bring your own skates and a chair to sit by the bonfire. Registration is not required and it looks like the weather is going to cooperate.  If you are unsure, call 952.939.8355 to check on any weather cancellations.





State Capital LEGO® Model Display – History with a Playful Twist

Minnesota State Capital, 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155
Saturday, December 28, 2013; 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Tours: 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

Visiting the Minnesota State Capitol has been on my bucket list for some time now.  Seeing the LEGO® model is only part of my incentive.  This weekend is a good weekend to do this in my household as we have an overseas house guest.  However, just getting there for ourselves would be interesting.  Besides the LEGO® replica of the capitol, I would like to go on one of thef free guided tours of the building.  That part will probably be of most interest to the adults and maybe the grade schooler, but the little ones get to see hte LEGO® model, so hopefully it will go well.   😀  Image Credit: MNHS.org.


Make Yourself A(t) Home

North side of University between Hamline and Syndicate on the former Midway Chevrolet site
Saturday, December 28, 2013; 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

This is a last-minute addition.  I just happened to see it in my Facebook feed.  The Facebook invite says “Invite only”, but I checked and it is a public event.  Stop by or, if you want an invite, go friend Leo’s Loft and ask for an invite.   This is the information from the invite:

“Free event to celebrate HOME! Make projects in a giant inflatable structure, Play Yard games in the snow and Create a cardboard replica of the 108 affordable Housing units that PPL will build on this very site this spring! Leonardo’s Basement in partnership with ARTIFY – Bringing the Arts to Hamline Station and Irrigate and Project for Pride in Living and Springboard for the Arts The fun will happen on the former University Avenue Midway Chevrolet site (Hamline and University Aves, across from Target).  Puppets ‘n’ People will be there as well doing a project called Seven Steps Around the House! Come help make a puppet show, take in some giant puppets, and do some fun projects.”

eastmanRecycled Bird Feeders – Something to do with Your Milk Cartons

Eastman Nature Center, 13351 Elm Creek Road,  Dayton, MN 55369
Sunday, December 29, 2013; 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Eastman Nature Center is hosting a drop-in event on Sunday. Bring a milk carton (or 3) and turn them into birdfeeders.  You can even learn which birdseed attracts which birds. This program is recommended for ages 5 and up, but I’m sure there is something for the younger crowd to do while the older ones make birdfeeders.  Image Credit: Three Rivers Parks.Org

I know I’ve shared this often, but it is cool.  Click the picture below to go to an Interactive Bird Song Poster courtesy of the Minnesota DNR.  This would be fun to have nearby while you watch the birds in your new bird feeder.

Birds variety all backyard



Free List for October 12 – 13, 2013

Fall has been settling in in earnest the past week with its welcome refreshing temps and gorgeous color displays. I’ve highlighted a couple Twin Cities-area spots for enjoying autumn outdoors on Sunday. As usual, you’ll also find additional suggestions on our family-oriented Free Calendar. Or, if the chill in the air drives you inside, I listed some good bets for indoor fun on Saturday. All events are guaranteed free admission.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

twin cities book festivalTwin Cities Book Festival
Progress Center, State Fairgrounds

10am – 5pm

We attended this book-and-author fest last fall as a family. I don’t know if I’d use the word “astonishing” to describe the children’s pavilion (quote the website) but it does come packed with live music, storytelling, crafts and a couple fun surprises. I’d recommend bringing two adults if possible — one to keep an eye on the kids while the other browses the reads.

brickmania toyworksBrickmania Toyworks Open House
1620 Central Avenue NE, Suite 170
Minneapolis, MN
10am – 4pm

Adults will probably get nearly as much joy picking out the details in these incredible LEGO sculptures as the kids will. Plus, there are plenty of LEGOs available to build with and a couple other hands-on activities.

bakken museum

Free Second Saturday at The Bakken
3537 Zenith Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 
11am – 4pm

You can’t go wrong with free admission. Plus, this Saturday the Bakken is celebrating science Halloween-style with a Monster Mash! Costumes encouraged. Try a meet-and-greet with Frankenstein’s Monster, conduct spooky science experiments and get up close to some real brains.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

highland park water tower

Fall Colors from the Highland Park Water Tower
Snelling Ave at Ford Pkwy, St. Paul
9 am – 5pm

The view is beautiful from this landmark St. Paul water tower. The perfect urban spot to appreciate the colors of the season. Last year, treats and activity books were handed out to kids.

Colorful Fall Leaves at Eastman Nature Center
13351 Elm Creek Rd
Osseo, MN 

1 – 3pm

What, exactly, makes those leaves turn such brilliant colors in the fall? Find out at this free drop-in event at Eastman Nature Center.

credit minneapolis institute of artsTarget Family Day at MIA: Journey to Japan
2400 3rd Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 

11am – 5pm

Family Day is traditionally packed with activities to suit a wide span of ages. This month, travel to Japan with the MIA through taiko drumming, judo workshops, art activities, gallery scavenger hunts, costuming and more. Both the museum and this free program are terrific cultural resources!


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