Tag - Family

FFTC’s Guide to Fall Fun in the Twin Cities
Family Fun: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever!
BookHounds Invites Stephanie Watson
The Best Fishing Holes in the Twin Cities
Children’s Theatre Company’s Peter Pan – Magic for the Whole Family
VolunteerMatch – Why I Use It.

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.

Family Fun: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever!

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever at SteppingStone Theatre is one of those Christmas items that is on my checklist every year. Unfortunately, it tends to get pushed aside for other things because I know I can always catch it next year. Not this year!

Best Christmas pageant ever!

SteppingStone has announced that after 2016, this beloved classic is getting sent to the vault. We don’t know when we’ll see it again. If, like me, it’s been on your checklist, this is the year to act. If you don’t know about, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, let me give you a quick history.

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BookHounds Invites Stephanie Watson

Stephanie Watson is a native Minnesotan who grew up immersing herself in stories:  reading, watching TV, acting in Children’s Theatre Company shows and spending lots of time at the library.  She is a local author who teaches writing classes and does picture book critique work as well.

Most importantly, she is happy to be a soul parent.  (Trust me, it’s most definitely soul and not sole–her heart and humor is two sizes too big)

She and her 5 year old daughter (who shares my birthday!) live in Minneapolis.

We are pumped to have Stephanie on BookHounds this month as she is a dynamic mama with a really cool job.  She talks about what it’s like to be an author and how they foster reading in their home.

For more information, see the Show Notes below.

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The Best Fishing Holes in the Twin Cities

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Children’s Theatre Company’s Peter Pan – Magic for the Whole Family

When you meet Peter Pan in Children’s Theatre Company’s Peter Pan the Musical, it’s after all have gone to bed and Nana is chained up. Peter’s charm captures Wendy’s heart immediately as does it yours.

  • Children's Theatre Company's Peter Pan the MusicalDancing Pirates*
  • A Little Magic Fairy Dust*
  • Children's Theatre Company's Peter Pan the MusicalWill You Be Our Mother?*

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VolunteerMatch – Why I Use It.


When I first moved to the Twin Cities, I found it difficult to find volunteer opportunities.  I am very shy and its difficult for me to initiate relationships.  At the time, I belonged to a larger church and, even when I would force myself to respond to a volunteer request, I wouldn’t get a call back, so I wouldn’t follow up.  That’s when I discovered VolunteerMatch.  Its the perfect solution for the shy and/or busy.


When you sign up for for this free online service, you are given options for the types of volunteer work you are interested in.  You choose the distance you are willing to travel and you can add your skills if you want.   From there you get a weekly e-mail of possible matches.  If you find a volunteer opportunity you are interested in, VolunteerMatch connects you to the right person to volunteer.  It’s so simple.


The problem. 

I no longer lack volunteer opportunities.  It’s ironic that when I was in a double-income, no-kids situation, I needed a service like VolunteerMatch.  Now that I am overwhelmed by the mobile destruction machines I call my children, I have all sorts of “mandatory volunteer opportunities”.  I assume most parents are in the same boat.  So why do I recommend VolunteerMatch?

  1. Active Parenthood is a temporary state.  There will be a time, again, when I will be looking for ways to connect with the world outside of my household.
  2. These volunteer activities take you outside of your current circles.  You get to meet new people and try new activities if you want.
  3. These are volunteer situations aligning with your own passions.  Most of them turn out to be a lot of fun.
  4. You can make “kid-friendly” one of your criteria; or you can choose adult activites and feel good about employing a babysitter.
  5. I believe whole-heartedly in “proactive giving”.  Everyone wants your money and your time, so why not decide how much you have available to give and then decide for yourself who you want to give it to.  That way when well meaning people come around looking for volunteers, you can honestly say you are giving to the max right now.
  6. I have a theory that there are a lot of people out there like myself, 10 years ago.  If they were all matched up with the amount of volunteer work they wanted and could handle, it might take the load off of those of us in a parenting state.  (I can dream a little here).  I highly recommend sharing volunteer match with your friends and siblings who are not raising families.  Volunteering is fun when you choose your own situations; it’s a great place to meet other single people with similar values; and it is just a great way to give back.



I recommend signing up for volunteer match now, even though you are already overwhelmed.  I have to be honest, I haven’t responded to a volunteer position since I became a parent.  No one is going to harass you if you don’t.  However, I still read my weekly e-mails and, in a couple years when my youngest is out of diapers, I hope to be able to do more again.  It keeps me excited about the world outside of my own.

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