Tag - Powderhorn Park

Family Fun Idea: Annual Art Sled Rally in Minneapolis
Free Twin Cities Events & Activities in May
Free Twin Cities Family Events & Activities in April
Free Family Weekend Events List for June 13 – 14, 2015
Free Weekend Events List for January 31 – Feb 1
Free List: Top 5 Free Family Activities – Saturday, January 25 to Sunday January 26, 2014
Free List for January 17-20, 2014
CANCELLED — Family Camp Fire Nights at Powderhorn Park — CANCELLED
Meet Molly Beth Griffin: A Minnesota Mom and Published Author

Family Fun Idea: Annual Art Sled Rally in Minneapolis

Julian McFaul has been at it for a decade and doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

And even if he did, the Art Sled Rally has taken on a life of its own and could continue without him.

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Free Twin Cities Events & Activities in May

Free May

5/1: Lyra Family Concert Series: Meet the Irish Harp @ Baroque Room, 275 4th St E, St. Paul • 3-4pm • Details: Introduce the kids to classical music with an hour-long family-friendly concert with hands-on activities and snacks, presented in a casual environment.

5/3: Free Tuesday @ Washington County Parks • find a listing of parks hereDetails: Explore Washington County Parks with no vehicle permit required the first Tuesday of the month (non-holiday).

5/6: Friday Family Movie Night: The Good Dinosaur @ Edinborough Park, Edina • 6:30pm
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Free Twin Cities Family Events & Activities in April

April Calendar

April is literally blooming with free events and activities in the Twin Cities!

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Free Family Weekend Events List for June 13 – 14, 2015

A few ideas as you set out to plan what’s projected to be a pretty nice weekend. Need a few more? Our Family Fun Calendar is chock full for this weekend and beyond. Read More

Free Weekend Events List for January 31 – Feb 1

If we’re choosing to live in Minnesota, we may as well make the most of its winters, right? This weekend is FULL of FREE ways to get outside with your family and enjoy the cold season. And if you’re just not having any of it, our Family Fun Calendar has plenty of ways to stay cozily entertained indoors. Read More

Free List: Top 5 Free Family Activities – Saturday, January 25 to Sunday January 26, 2014


HylandHyland Park’s 5K Ski Trail Inaugural Celebration
Hyland Lake Park Reserve, 10145 Bush Lake Road, Bloomington, MN 55438
Saturday, January 25, 2014; 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Hyland Park is opening its 5 Kilometer Ski Trail this weekend with a free celebration.  The new ski trail offers snowmaking and lights – so you can ski all winter no matter the weather or darkness.  This weekend, get mini-lessons, ski tours, and a party. If you don’t have skis, free rentals are available and the daily ski pass is also free during the event. There will be refreshments.  Schedule of activities: 3-6 PM Free ski rentals 3-4 PM Free mini-lessons 4 PM 1K ski tour 4:30 PM Celebration Program – Skiing for a Lifetime! 5 PM 5K ski tour.

McFailThe Free  Family  Music -The Carnival of Animals
MacPhail Center for Music, 501 South 2nd Street, Minneapolis, Mn 55401
Saturday, January 25, 2014; 10:00 and 11:00 a.m.

On Saturday MacPhail will host another one of their Family Music events.  This time they will feature one of my favorites, The Carnival of the Animals.  If you would like to be more familiar with The Carnival of the Animals before you go in.  I like to learn my classical music from Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck.  Here’s a good 20 minute video for family screen time.  To learn more about what to expect from MacPhail’s Family Music Series, read Anne’s review HERE.

artsledArt Sled Rally
Powderhorn Park, 3400 15th Ave. S, Minneapolis, MN 55407
Saturday, January 25, 2014; 2:00 p.m.

The weather is looking pretty good for Saturday — it’ll be a drop from 37 degrees.  But seriously, that one is hard to believe.  Saturday is shaping up to be a reasonable 16 degrees with maybe a fresh layer of snow for those art sleds.  The Art Sled Rally is hosted by South Sixteenth High Jinks a group of artists and neighbors who want to promote year-round outdoor activities.  Go watch the Rally this year and maybe next year you can get involved with the pre-rally workshops and make your own art sled!  Image courtesy of the Art Sled Rally.  Learn more at www.artsledrally.com.

Winter Carnival Kids Day
Landmark Center, 75 5th Street West
Saturday, January 25, 2014;  2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Word Girl is going to be busy this weekend!  She is at the Winter Carnival Kids Day on Saturday and She’ll be at the PBS Kids Writers Contest on Sunday.  Read more about Winter Carnival Kids Day HERE.  Image Credit: The Saint Paul Winter Carnival.

Sunday 26th

BazillionsPBS KIDS Writers Contest Kickoff Party
Rotunda at the Mall of America, 60 E Broadway, Bloomington, MN 55425
Sunday, January 26, 2014; 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
More Details Here.

I love the idea of encouraging children to write.  This contest is promoted as the largest annual national contest of its kind for kids in K-3rd grade! The problem with a National contest is that their chances of winning are pretty low. Your the best judge of how your child will handle disappointment if they don’t win.  My third grader would be devastated (for about a day and then she’d be on to a new get famous scheme).  All kids will get a participation certificate; additional prizes will be awarded for first place and honorable mention winners! First place winners’ stories will go to the national contest!  Either way, the party sounds fun — the Bazillions will be performing!!!.   Image Credit: The Bazillions.

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



Free List for January 17-20, 2014

It’s a long weekend for the kids.  How do we keep them busy?  Here are my five favorite free activities this weekend.


LanfordFamily Skating Party
Langford Recreation Center, 30 Langford Park, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55108
Friday, January 17, 2014; 6:00 p.m to 8:00 p.m.
Pre-Register: (651) 298-5765

I know I’m posting a lot a ice skating events.  Hope springs eternal.  There is only about 8 weeks left to winter and less for skating season.  I’d like to go once.  This week Langford Recreation Center is hosting a Family Skating Party.  Ice skates are available in limited sizes.  There will also be hot cocoa and cookies  served. If you get cold, board games or coloring materials will be available. Call the telephone number above to pre-register and get updates.


kiteLake Harriet Kite Festival
Lake Harriet, 4135 West Lake Harriet Parkway, Minneapolis, MN 55409
Saturday, January 18, 2014; Noon to 4:00 p.m.

The Lake Harriet Kite Festival is kind of a big festival with a lot of people coming together to make it happen.  Anyone who thinks Minnesotans hibernate in the winter isn’t paying attention to all the great family friendly activities our cities have to offer.  This is one of them.  Besides kite flying, there will be ice fishing, horse-drawn wagon rides, snowshoeing and a marshmallow roast with hot apple cider and cocoa. Bring your own kite or there will be kites available.  The weather looks like it will be nice this weekend, but in case of inclement weather, this festival will be held Next Saturday, January 25th.


MCMCreativity Jam: Mastermind, Mold and Make
Free Third Sunday
Minnesota Children’s Museum, 10 West Seventh Street, St. Paul, MN 55102
Sunday, January 19, 2014; 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

If you are not settling in for six straight hours of play off games, January is a good month to hit up Free Third Sunday at the Minnesota Children’s Museum.  It is not historically the least busy month, but it has lower attendance than the other cold months (my theory is football).  Also in your favor, there is no licensed character or rock group exhibit to draw in the hoards. The only traveling exhibit is Creativity Jam, which has been held over a little longer, so you have one last chance to catch it.

urban expeditionUrban Expedition
Landmark Center, 75 5th St, St Paul, MN
Sunday, January 19, 2014; 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 .m.

This weekend is the first Urban Expedition of the season.  Gianna wrote this review and had mostly great things to say about these expeditions.  I love finding uncrowded events like this, too.  This month the featured country is Spain.   Sendero Flamenco and the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet will be the musical entertainment.


mlkThe following parks will be hosting Martin Luther King Jr. Celebrations

 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreation Center, 4055 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55409
January 20, 2014; 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Attendees are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food and handmade knitted items to donate. Refreshments will be available following the program. For more information, please visit www.minneapolisparks.org or call 612-230-6400.


Powderhorn Park, 3400 15th Ave, Minneapolis, MN, US 55407
January 20, 2014; 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Celebrate the history of Martin Luther King, Jr. with food, entertainers, performances, and activities that reflect on the importance of this special holiday at this free family-friendly event.


Battle Creek Recreation Center, 75 Winthrop St. S., Saint Paul, MN 55119
January 20, 2014; 3:00pm to 5:00pm

To celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Battle Creek Recreation Center will be creating an art piece with your help! Come together as a community and make an art mural that will be displayed at Battle Creek Recreation Center. The theme for this day is unity. The mural will be led by Mica, a community artist, and created by all who want to participate. There will be food, music and the opportunity to honor the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Join us and be a part of the Dream. This is a family event! Bring your family and friends ready to paint, have fun and celebrate the movement that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. started. If you have any questions, please call the recreation center at (651)-501-6347

CANCELLED — Family Camp Fire Nights at Powderhorn Park — CANCELLED

NOTE:  This Activity has been cancelled for September due to construction.  The Parks department hopes construction will be finished on time for the October Camp Fire Night. 

Family Camp Fire Nights
Powderhorn Park, 3400 15th Ave. S, Minneapolis, MN 55407
Friday from 8pm to 11pm on the 3rd week of each month (That’s this weekend!!)
Free; All Ages

Friday is Family Camp Fire Night at Powderhorn Park.  This free event includes smores and fun activities using the great outdoors.  This is great opportunity for the whole family to be outdoors and under the stars?  Can you see the stars at Powderhorn Park?  That alone would make it worth it.

I assume there will be plenty of activities to participate in, but if you want more or if you want to do this on your own, here are some links to help you get started with the basics:

Camp Fire Songs.

The thought of a family camp fire night renews my interest in nagging my guitarist husband to learn some campfire songs. Songdrops.Com offers the lyrics and guitar chords for over 80 kids songs.  I also love the idea of learning folk songs.  Singalongwith.us has 200 folk songs with chords and lyrics.  If you prefer to learn from video, here is a campfire playlist on YouTube.

Spooky Stories.

What is a camp fire without some spooky stories?  I loved scary stories when I was a kid, but I suspect I never had the details quite right and I certainly don’t remember them now.  Bone up on your camp fire stories with the American Folklore website.  They also have other categories such as children’s stories and funny ghost stories, plus jokes and riddles and more campfire songs.  This is a great place to start.

These are all short versions of longer stories gathered and retold by author S. E. Schlosser.  If you find that this is a family activity you would like to spend more time with, you can buy her books with full-length tales on this site, too.  I can imagine lighting the a fire in the hearth (or in our case flipping the switch to the faux fireplace) and sitting by the fire reading stories all winter long.

Visit www.kimandjason.com for campfire games.

Camp Fire Games.

Sitting still is not one of my kids top skills.  For the more active children, games might be the way to go.  Escape Adulthood offers 10 Campfire Games plus a list of books you can get for more if you like them.




Meet Molly Beth Griffin: A Minnesota Mom and Published Author

We, the members of Family Fun Twin Cities, have a secret passion we are about to disclose.

While we are  completely dedicated to the cultural, historical, artistic, creative, natural, and unique opportunities around the Twin Cities, it is time to reveal one of  our hidden loves.  (Although it probably isn’t hidden very well due to the fact that we post about this love often)

We love books.  Any book.  All books.   We are thrilled with new books, old books, bookstores, libraries, books in rhyme, books of the classics, books of the contemporary.  Books.  And we love authors.  Authors are incredibly cool. I, Gianna, go completely gooey when I meet authors.  I can’t form intelligible words.  Or if you can understand me, I might as well be 20 years younger for the immature phrases that I utter.  It’s ridiculously embarrassing.  I ought to ashamed of myself and my behavior.

Keep that in mind when I tell you the next part of the story.

I decided to take a writing course at The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis.  I was so excited and nervous about taking this class.  The teacher was a published author of children and young adult fiction:  Molly Beth Griffin.


I was in awe.  And yet, when I walked into the class, I decided I was going to act cool.  I walked into the room with the thought,   Oh, yeah. This is no big deal.  When really I was sitting in the back row thinking, you’re so cool.  I hope you notice me.  Can I have your autograph?  When can I talk to you?  What would I say?  You are published!  Acting cool means you don’t get to actually talk to the cool teacher, so instead you email her.

So I did. And because I want you to meet this really awesome  Minnesota Mom and Published Author, let me introduce you to Molly Beth Griffin.

Molly is a self-proclaimed mostly-stay-at-home mom of a 3 1/2 year old son and a baby on the way in July.  Let me just interject here that she is adorably pregnant.  She says that she is huge, but she’s not.  However, when you can’t bend over to tie your shoes, I will attest, you do feel gigantic.






LOON_BABY small silhouette cover

As a writer for all ages and genres, most often you will find Molly’s stories connect modern children with their landscapes.  Her two published books are Loon Baby–a beautiful picture book about a baby loon learning to dive set in the northwoods–published by Houghton Mifflin in 2011, and Silhouette of a Sparrow–her YA novel about a girl coming of age set in 1926 in Minnesota–published by Milkweed Editions in 2012.  (YA means Young Adult–although I’m sure you already knew that.  And just a word of advice with this novel, engage in discussions regarding this book.  As a parent, I confess that I sometimes don’t get into discussions about all the books that my girls are reading, but Silhouette of a Sparrow is one  with which you will want to interact)

 Molly grew up in Excelsior swimming in Lake Minnetonka, moved to Iowa for college, and moved back to the Twin Cities.  Her family loves the Powderhorn Park area of Minneapolis.  Since they live close to the park, they take advantage of all the different activities it provides from simple picnicking in the summer or skating in the winter to the jubilant summer festivals of MayDay, Independence Day, and the Art Show and the winter Art Sled Rally.  

You never know where you  might find Molly: maybe in her kitchen trying a new recipe while reciting the soundtrack of Finding Nemo with her son, maybe at the park, or maybe just on a random patio sipping a cool drink. You could potentially find her at Namaste Cafe in Uptown.  Her family has known the owners before they had the restaurant, and her son has been eating Mango Lassi and Chole practically since before he was born (which is amazing since I have no idea what those words mean let alone how to say them!).  Molly recommends the chai if you ever decide to venture there.

Sometime in the future, Molly is hoping you will find her in a canoe on Minnehaha Creek paddling from Lake Minnetonka to the Falls.  She is dreaming of the day when her kids  can sit still for a long canoe ride.   One thing is for sure, you will not find her down by Mill City on a Segway.

Even though she is an author, Molly is a parent just like us.  She knows the effort it takes to be intentional with your child and the privilege we have to live in the Twin Cities while raising our families.

mother's day 2011

This is what Molly likes about the Twin Cities in her own words.

We have a fantastic literary community, and a vibrant arts scene in general.  I also love that we have beautiful parks and lakes right in the middle of the city– my child can have the cultural opportunities of urban life and still see an eagle on his way to preschool.

Yes, Molly!  We agree!  Thanks for sharing your books with us and your love for the Twin Cities.

Don’t forget to look for Molly’s books Loon Baby and Silhouette of a Sparrow in some of our local bookstores:  Wild Rumpus, The Red Balloon, The Bookcase, Magers & Quinn.

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