If we left it up to Anne to write her own bio, it would never get posted. She doesn't enjoy talking about herself, but Anne does love exploring the Twin Cities with her family and sharing her finds here. She, her husband and their four kids are lifelong residents of St. Paul.All posts from Anne Kingston
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.
In the event that you’re looking for one more place your child can stretch the use of their Halloween costume (and, yes, collect some goodies), several local grocery stores are offering trick-or-treating and other activities in the upcoming weeks:
Jerry’s Foods Halloween Creepy Crawl: Edina, Woodbury & Eden Prairie locations. Trick-or-treat around the store with a re-usable bag to tote your loot! Plus Halloween crafts, scavenger hunts and face painting. When: Sat, Oct 29 • 11am-1pm (Edina & Woodbury) and Sun, Oct 30 • 11am-1pm.
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The novelty of back-to-school has worn off, the excitement of Halloween parties have wrapped up, and it’s still weeks until Thanksgiving break. And so we’re left with…November. But take heart, there’s plenty of free and budget family entertainment going on this month; you just have to dig a little deeper to find it. Here are 12 ideas to get you started:
Wednesday Wiggles @ Straightline Dance Fitness
34 13th Ave NE, Suite 104, Minneapolis
When: Ongoing Wednesdays starting Nov. 4 • 10-11am
Details: Join Straightline Dance Fitness every Wednesday for a playdate in their open studio. Balls, ribbons, mats, scarves, dress up clothes, and music provided.
Get Out For Nature Play!
When: Thursday, Nov. 5 • 10-11:15am
Cost: $3/pp plus tax
Details: Head outside and look for the ways nature is changing and preparing for winter. This program is designed for 2-5 year olds who are accompanied by an adult. Pre-registration is required.
When: Wednesday, Nov. 25 • 1-2pm
Details: Explore, discover, and play in your local park. Meet families interested in getting their children outdoors. Wear appropriate clothes and shoes.
ExploraTots @ Phalen Lakeside Activities Center
1530 Phalen Dr, St Paul
When: Wednesday, Nov. 11 • 10-11:30am
Details: Join other families for outdoor adventures with a different theme each month! Search for clues that animals have left behind, enjoy hands-on activities and story times, and get up-close looks at treasures from our naturalist’s backpack. It’s a great way to get outside with your child and learn about the natural world and get inspired with ideas to take home.
Nature Play: Green Time @ Phalen Lakeside Activities Center
1530 Phalen Dr, St Paul
When: Thursday, Nov. 19 • 10-11:30am
Details: Swap screen time for green time! Meet up with other families for unstructured nature play. Drop-ins are welcome.
When: Nov. 5 and ongoing Thursdays through April 28, 2016 • 10am-noon
Details: The hall between the Visitor Center and the Conservatory is filled with hands-on activities, manipulatives, art projects and games perfect for the 4 & under set. Explore a different theme each week through April 2016. Donations appreciated.
When: Sunday, Nov. 8 • 1-3pm
Details: Drop in for art projects, explore the grounds, the sculptures, and the current gallery exhibit.
When: Nov. 10 and every second Tuesday of the month following • Noon-1pm
Details: Bring a lunch to Landmark Center in St. Paul and enjoy a sampling of the Saint Paul City Ballet training and Company repertoire. Excerpts from Clara’s Dream:from the Nutcracker with audience participation will be performed Nov. 10. Great for budding ballerinas!
When: Friday, Nov. 20 • 5-7:30pm
Details: Hosted by Doing Good Together, a variety of family-appropriate service projects will be available to participate in. DTG is a proud participant of Family Fun Twin Cities’ Great Give Back Challenge!
When: Sunday, Nov. 22 • 4pm
Cost: Pay what you can, but note these accessible tickets are only available through the box office by calling 952-979-1111.
Details: Aimed at making theater accessible to all families, take advantage of this special pay-what-you-can offer and enjoy this classic Christmas tale presented by the young actors of Stages Theatre Co.
Volunteer with FFTC @ Feed My Starving Children
401 93rd Ave NW, Coon Rapids
Time: Monday, Nov. 23 • Noon-2pm
Details: Pack meals with Feed My Starving Children. When the following link becomes live, you can reserve your space to join in!
Holidazzle begins @ Loring Park
1382 Willow Street, Minneapolis
When: Begins Friday, Nov. 27 • 5-9m
Cost: Free admission this year!
Details: Holidazzle has moved to Loring Park this year, 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. 20, 2015.
Kids are preschoolers for such a short-time. Before you know it, they are heading off to school and then middle school and then conquering the world.
The fall has come where I find myself finally down to one kid at home during the day. My preschooler and I are now able to see her three older sibs off at the bus stop each morning and then stroll home to spend all that quality one-on-one time she’s been waiting her whole short life for. We’re also planning to tackle the list (below) of kid-centric activities around town that I’ve kept in my back pocket since my oldest could toddle. Let me share some of my favorite places to take preschoolers — and I’ll mention where it’s absolutely appropriate to bring older siblings as well. Please note that all of the following activities take place on weekdays. For more inspiration on where to take the entire family on the weekend, visit our Family Fun Calendar.
Thanks to our sponsor Base Camp Pre-K Days. If you are looking for a program with one of the most wonderful preschool teachers, David Donavan, look no further than Base Camp. Click here for Base Camp Pre-K Days
You never know what the day will hold if you just decide to try something new. So we did. Read More
To get you started this weekend, here are 4 FREE Twin Cities events going on that we (and many of our kids!) have given the stamp of approval. For a complete listing of weekend events both free and paid, be sure to check out our Family Fun Calendar!
Doing Good Together’s Family Service Fair
at Midtown Global Market
920 E Lake St., Minneapolis, MN 55407
Date: Friday, November 21 • 5 – 8pm
Cost: FREE event, free parking (1.5 hrs w/ vendor validation)
Appropriate for: All ages can participate in the service projects.
Details: A fun, low-commitment way to get out and volunteer with the whole family! Twin Cities-based nonprofits set up tables with service projects kids will enjoy doing right on the spot. (Photo at left is my son decorating lunch bags for recipients of Meals on Wheels.) This is a great opportunity to have conversations with your kids about the importance of giving back.
Math & Science Family Fun Fair
at the University of Minnesota – Minneapolis campus
Coffman Memorial Union Building
300 Washington Ave. S.E., Minneapolis, MN 55455
Date: Saturday, November. 22 • 10am – 4pm
Cost: FREE; find parking ramp rates here.
Appropriate for: All ages, but preschoolers on up will get the most out of it.
Details: It’s a day jam-packed with hands-on STEM fun. (And this is coming from a mom who didn’t appreciate math and science until she had her own kids!) Highlights include free ExploraDome shows, playing with robots, and really cool exhibits that truly get kids excited about chemistry, engineering, physics and much more. Get the complete schedule here and note that the special “Physics Force” and “Energy and U” shows require (free) tickets that are picked up at the event check-in. My own kids had a blast at this event; plan to spend several hours.
Bachman’s Holiday Open House
at Bachman’s on Lyndale
6010 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55419
Dates: Saturday, Nov. 22 & Sunday, Nov. 23
Appropriate for: All ages
Details: Don’t miss Santa and his right-hand elf, Albert, arriving by sleigh (Saturday only) at 10:30am! Crafts for kids, treats, and demonstrations follow inside the festive store. Bachman’s traditional holiday play (this year’s title is “Santa’s Top Secret Toys”) is a real kid-pleaser and will be performed at 11am, 12:30pm, and 2pm weekends through December 21. Grab a seat early for the play; they fill up fast.
Free Family Fun Day: River of Thanks
at Karl Kroening Interpretive Center, North Mississippi Regional Park
4900 Mississippi Court
Minneapolis, MN 55430
Date: Sunday, November 23 • 1 – 3pm
Appropriate for: All ages
Details: Drop in and explore a different topic each week through hands-on activities. Most are science and nature-based. Got a preschooler? They’ll probably enjoy the interpretive center’s exhibits geared towards the youngest visitors: set up a pretend farmer’s market, build in a make-believe brickyard, put together puzzles, and curl up with a good book.
Enjoy your weekend wherever it may take you!
Welcome to the weekend! Need a few suggestions on finding family fun with your bunch? Here are some of our picks for FREE activities happening in the Twin Cities over the next few days. As always, be sure to check our Family Fun Calendar for a complete listing of events for this weekend and beyond.
Family Fridays at Midtown Global Market
920 E. Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55407
Friday, April 11, 2014
5 – 8pm; FREE!
Every Friday is Family Night at Midtown Global Market! The live music and activities are geared for all ages and can be enjoyed along with dinner from one of the many ethnic vendors that populate the indoor market. Park free for up to three hours with a validated purchase.
Peadpods Spring Festival
2290 Como Ave., St. Paul, MN 55108
Saturday, April 12, 2014
12 – 4pm; FREE!
Peapods — the natural toy and baby care shop in St. Paul’s St. Anthony Park neighborhod — is hosting their first Spring Festival this Saturday. Expect crafts, treats, great prizes and baby chicks! Gianna has more details here.
Free Second Saturday: Nano Science!
The Bakken Museum
3537 Zenith Avenue S., Minneapolis, MN 55416
Saturday, April 12, 2014
11am – 4pm; FREE!
EVERY second Saturday of the month is free at this unique museum dedicated to electricity and magnetism. April’s theme celebrates Nano Science — the science of the small — with loads of activities. Get the entire list here.
Minneapolis Institute of Arts – Family Day: April Showers
2400 Third Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55404
Sunday, April 13, 2014
11am – 5pm; FREE!
As usual, Family Day at the MIA will be packed with art activities that appeal to all ages plus a special preschool tour that explores emotions in art. Joy tells us about recent family-friendly updates to the museum here.
Urban Expeditions: Senegal
75 W. 5th St., St. Paul, MN 55102
Sunday, April 13, 2014
1 – 3pm; FREE!
Travel to Senegal for an hour or two through Landmark Center‘s popular Urban Expeditions program, now in its tenth year. I couldn’t find any teasers online about this installment, but you can probably expect some authentic cultural performances, crafts and probably food. Parking is free in downtown St. Paul on Sundays.