Tag - Three Rivers Parks

Free Twin Cities August Events & Activities
Free Twin Cities April Family Events & Activities
Family Fun: Farmyard Fun Days at Gale Woods Farm, Minnetrista
Free & Budget Family Events for February 27-28, 2016
7 Ideas for Fun on Presidents Day in the Twin Cities
Ski and Snowboard–Fun with Dad
Twin Cities Free & Budget Family Events for November 14-15, 2015
Family Fun: 7 Spots for Hands-on Science with Kids
Twin Cities Weekend Free Family Events for Oct. 31 – Nov. 1, 2015
Twin Cities Weekend Free Family Events for Sept. 26-27, 2015

Free Twin Cities August Events & Activities

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Free Twin Cities April Family Events & Activities

Free Twin Cities April

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.

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

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Family Fun: Farmyard Fun Days at Gale Woods Farm, Minnetrista

Why oh why did I wait until I was on my fourth preschooler to visit Farmyard Fun Days at Gale Woods Farm? The distance from my home, out past Lake Minnetonka all the way to Minnetrista may have had something to do with it. Let me assure all those who don’t reside in the western suburbs: it was worth every mile to see my 3-year-old delight in exploring the working farm.

First stop, the animals. Springtime on the farm means babies, babies, babies. Erin was able to climb right into the chicken coop and the lamb pen to get up close to the fuzzy offspring. There’s also a mock cow to try your hand at “milking”.

There’s plenty to do at Gale Woods besides the animals: In the kitchen, Erin loved grinding corn and mixing farm fresh ingredients for cornbread (and she enjoyed sampling the cornbread even more, drizzled with maple syrup harvested right from the farm). We also hiked out to the syrup shack to watch the spring’s sap being boiled onsite.

In the greenhouse, Erin helped scoop soil and prepare it for spring planting. There were also opportunities to craft with felted wool from the resident sheep and a chill-out room filled with books, coloring sheets, and small farm toys.

Farmyard Fun Days is designed especially for kids ages 2-7 and participants are welcome to explore as long as they like between 9:30am and 2:30pm (tip: bring snacks or a picnic lunch). Activities may change weekly; the cost is $6/pp, caregivers included.

Whether it feels like it outside or not (and we all know in Minnesota it can change on any given April day), spring has arrived at Gale Woods Farm.

Gale Woods Farm
7210 County Road 110 W
Minnetrista, MN 55364

Hours: The barn is open only for scheduled events (such as Farmyard Fun Days, Spring Into Farming and Saturday Mornings on the Farm). The visitor center is open Monday–Saturday, 9:00 AM–5:00 PM
Sunday, 12:00–5:00 PM.

Free & Budget Family Events for February 27-28, 2016



checkmark indexSATURDAY – FREE

Minnesota Parent Camp Fair @ Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, 1225 Estabrook Dr., St. Paul • 10am-2pm
Details: Yes, it’s time to start planning the summer already. This event gives parents a chance to meet one-on-one with dozens of camp representatives, who will be sharing information about their camps for kids. Free children’s activities at the Camp Fair include face painting, a craft station and an appearance from a special Zoo animal.

Free Tour Saturday @ Gabbert Raptor Center, 1920 Fitch Ave (St. Paul campus of the U of M) • 12:30-3:30pm
Details: Bring kids of any age for a fun and educational visit to the University of Minnesota’s Raptor Center. Check out their remodeled raptor habitats, and get up close to bald eagles, kestrels, owls and falcons. The Raptor Center treats about 800 injured birds a year with the goal of releasing them back to the wild. Read more about taking kids to the Raptor Center here.

PicMonkey Collage raptor center

Art Shanty Projects: Final Weekend @ White Bear Lake County Park, 5050 Lake Ave, White Bear Lake • 10am-4pm
Details: Not only are these 19 unique ice houses designed by local artists, they are strongly encouraged to be interactive. Herein lies the fun of bringing the whole family out to see them – my kids had a great time exploring the shanties when they last appeared in 2014.

tm art shanty projects 3 (2)

Winter Fun Kids Kraft @ Scott County Historical Society, 235 Fuller Street S, Shakopee • 10:30-11:15am • free, but registration required at 952-445-0378.
Details: Celebrate the chilly season with cozy stories and a special snow craft. Take advantage of free admission to the museum.

checkmark indexSATURDAY – BUDGET

Final Kenwood Poster PRINTRock Kenwood! @ Kenwood Community Center, 2101 W Franklin Ave, Minneapolis • 3-6pm • $20 per family at the door
Details: ARTrageous Adventures and Kenwood Park are co-hosting a family fun dance party! Jam to music with the Big Epic Show, make your own reARTcycled microphone and a rock star photo frame. Your family can get their own rock star make overs done and a photo shoot with a professional photographer! When it’s time for a break in the action, a chill room will be stocked with books and crafts.


Free Family Flicks: Hop  @ Theatres at Mall of America • 10am

Lakeshore Learning Free Crafts for Kids  @ Twin Cities Lakeshore Learning locations • 11am-3pm

Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 2400 3rd Ave S, Minneapolis • 11am-5pm

Saturday Live! @ George Latimer Central Library, 90 W 4th St, St. Paul • 11:15am
Details: Fresh entertainment every Saturday including live music, puppetry, magicians and more.

Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, 1225 Estabrook Dr, St. Paul • winter hours 10am-4pm • suggested donation of $2/child & $3/adult, but all are welcome whether or not you choose to donate.
Details: Seasonal events include Dr. Entomo’s Palace of Exotic Wonders (creepy crawlies on display through April 17), the Winter Flower Show in the Conservatory’s sunken garden, storytime at noon, and animal programs throughout the day. Open year-round.


The Blast Indoor PlaygroundFANtastic Saturdays @ Eagan Community Center, 1501 Central Pkwy, Eagan • 5-8pm • $4/pp ages 18 mon-12 years, all others free.
Details: Better bang for your buck every Saturday evening: $4 will get you into the Blast Indoor Playground, the gym for games, and provide a movie and crafts (parents must stay to supervise their kids).

Saturday Shows for Kids @ In the Heart of the Beast Puppet & Mask Theatre, 1500 E Lake St, Minneapolis • shows at 10am & noon • suggested donation of $5/pp or pay-what-you can
Details: Two showings of The Stuffed Animal Spring Show. Stay for a make-and-take workshop based on that day’s puppet show theme (additional $5 per child, $3 per adult, advance registration recommended at 612-721-2535).

Michaels Kids Club Crafts @ Twin Cities Michaels locations • 10am-noon • $2 per project


checkmark indexSUNDAY – FREE

Winter Games @ Lowry Nature Center, 7025 Victoria Dr, Victoria • 12:30-2pm
Details: Unplug by spending time outside playing snow and ice games.

checkmark indexONGOING SUNDAYS – FREE

Bell Museum of Natural History, 10 Church St SE, Minneapolis • Noon-5pm
Details: Explore the very kid-friendly Touch and Feel room and the wildlife dioramas free each Sunday.

Bell Museum of Natural HistoryMinneapolis Institute of Arts, 2400 3rd Ave S, Minneapolis • 11am-5pm

Free Family Fun Days @ Three Rivers Parks
Carl Kroening Interpretive Center: Tracks, Trails & Tales • 1-3pm
Richardson Nature Center: Feeding Time • 3-4pm

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Anne's Family Attended A Family Fun & Fitness Friday at Great River Waterpark.$4 Sundays @ Great River Water Park, 270 N Lexington Pkwy, St. Paul • 11am-5pm • $4/pp
Details: Read about the kid-friendly amenities at Great River Water Park here.

And as always, please check our Family Fun Calendar for more ways to get out and about with your family this weekend and beyond!



7 Ideas for Fun on Presidents Day in the Twin Cities

If you’ve got Presidents Day to while away with the kids, you might be looking for a way to get out and make the most of it. We’ve rounded up 7 free or inexpensive ways:

CTCBe Inspired! ALL ACCESS CELEBRATION @ Children’s Theatre Company, 2400 3rd Avenue S, Minneapolis • 11am-4pm • FREE
Details: Celebrate a world of wonder and imagination at CTC’s FREE open house event. Take backstage tours and a Theatre Arts Training Class, play with puppets used in the current main stage show The Snowy Day, hear stories, learn dance moves, and more!

Rice & Arlington Batting Cages @ 1500 Rice St, St. Paul • noon-8pm
Details: Batter up and train for baseball season with special prices for Presidents Day – $1/token for 22 pitches.

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Ski and Snowboard–Fun with Dad



Family Fun With Dad


Meet Jeff Lenz. He is a local dad who likes to spend time with his family outdoors.  Right now in this winter season, he likes to ski with his girls.

I met Jeff at my 20th high school reunion where I grew up with Kassie his wife.  Reconnecting with Kassie and meeting her husband were some of the best parts of the reunion.  When I learned that they lived in South Minneapolis (and we laughed at how we both were small town girls who wanted to live in an actual city), I asked Jeff if he wouldn’t mind sharing how he and his family spend time together. Read More

Twin Cities Free & Budget Family Events for November 14-15, 2015

Have you heard that the popular open houses at Brickmania Toyworks have re-opened the second Saturday of each month? They are no longer free, but a family of four can attend for $10 and enjoy the LEGO train layouts, play tables and much more. Also this weekend are free tours at the Raptor Center on the U of M St. Paul campus and a host of free family programs hosted by Three Rivers Parks. As always, check our Family Fun Calendar for more inspiration this weekend and beyond!

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Family Fun: 7 Spots for Hands-on Science with Kids

Wondering where to take your small fry where they can get hands-on with science? Here are seven ideas of places that offer education programs for a wide range of ages, many of them ongoing, and one free annual event you won’t want to miss!

Raptor Center Tours @ Gabbert Raptor Center
1920 Fitch Ave, St. Paul

When: Every half hour, 10:30am-3:30pm, Tues-Fri & 12:30 pm-3:30pm, Sat/Sun
Cost: $3-$5/pp
Details: Bring kids of any age for a fun and educational visit to the University of Minnesota’s Raptor Center. Check out their remodeled raptor habitats, and get up close to bald eagles, kestrels, owls and falcons. The Raptor Center treats about 800 injured birds a year with the goal of releasing them back to the wild. Read more about taking kids to the Raptor Center here.

girlsscience-thumb[1]Girls, Science & Technology @ Science Museum of Minnesota
120 W. Kellogg Boulevard, St. Paul

When: Saturday, Nov. 14 • 10am-4pm
Cost: Up to 4 kids FREE w/ paid adult ($13) available only with this coupon available on the Fox 9 Girls, Science & Technology page.
Details: Join Fox 9 and prominent female scientists from around the state for this important community event. It’s a brilliant and fun opportunity for girls to be introduced to the exciting worlds of science and technology.

2012-11-17_15-26-06_744[1]Math & Science Family Fun Fair @ University of Minnesota TC
Coffman Memorial Union, 300 Washington Ave SE, Minneapolis

When: Saturday, Nov. 21 • 10am-4pm
Cost: Free
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.

Science Studio: Autumn Foods @ Bakken Museum
3537 Zenith Avenue South, Minneapolis

When: Saturday, Nov. 21 • 10:30am-4:30pm
Cost: $10/adults, $8/students & seniors, under 4 FREE
Details: Discover the science of favorite autumn foods— corn and candy corn! Learn about how corn grows and the history behind the harvest trio “the Three Sisters.” Cultivate your estimating skills and prepare kernels of corn that you can bring home and grow yourself! Participate in a challenge to build towers out of candy corn and do experiments to see what melts those classic treats.

Tech Take Apart @ The Works
9740 Grand Ave, Bloomington

When: Saturday, Nov. 21 • 11am-4pm
Cost: $8/pp
Details: Dig into the guts of machines and electronics and figure out how those gadgets work! All supplies provided

tm-science-museum-preschool-playdates-3[1]Preschool Playdates @ Science Museum of Minnesota
120 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul

When: Ongoing Tuesdays • 9:30am-noon
Cost: Kids ages 5 & under admitted FREE with paid adult ($13). Note: Minnesota Children’s Museum members all receive FREE admission to the museum for the preschool playdates program!
Details: Science is fun for even the littlest explorers! Visit on Tuesday mornings and enjoy special activities and live theater performances especially for preschoolers.

Big River, Small Fry: Nature For Curious Kids @ Kroening Interpretive Center
4900 Mississippi Court, Minneapolis

When: Thursday, Nov. 12 • 9am-noon
Cost: $5/pp
Details: Take time to explore nature and science with your little one. Participate in sensory learning, science activities, hikes, ideas for home, and more. Children must attend with an adult. Stay for an hour or the whole morning. Reservations required by the Tuesday prior. *We apologize for not posting this information in time to sign up for the Nov. 12 class, but the winter session of Big River, Small Fry begins Dec. 10 and can be found here.

Twin Cities Weekend Free Family Events for Oct. 31 – Nov. 1, 2015

Saturday is packed full of of FREE Halloween events, most designed for the ones who want only the mildest of spooks and thrills. Read on for more details, and be sure to check our Family Fun Calendar for additional Halloween fun and beyond.


Free Ink Day: Dia de los Muertos
@ Highpoint Center for Printmaking

912 W Lake St., Minneapolis 55408

Time: 12-4pm
Details: All ages are welcome
to take part in this free Highpoint tradition. Learn how to carve relief blocks by hand and make prints to take home, this month’s theme celebrating Dia de los Muertos. Young children will enjoy the activity, but will need close participation from adults.

HOBT-22x28-Halloween-BLEED-1a[1]Monster Mash Sing Along with Heart of the Beast Puppet Theater
@ Calhoun Square
3001 Hennepin Ave. S. Minneapolis 55408

Time: 10 & 11:30am
Details: Heart of the Beast will take center stage in the first floor atrium with their first show at 10:00am. Afterwards, children will have the opportunity to “create and take” a puppet. The second show will begin at 11:30 am. Come in costume and go trick-or-treating at Calhoun Square after the show!

BareBones Halloween Outdoor Puppet Extravaganza
@ Hidden Falls Regional Park
1313 Hidden Falls Drive, Saint Paul, 55116

Time: 7-8pm
Details: Since 1993, BareBones Productions has presented The Annual Halloween Outdoor Puppet Extravaganza, a community-created spectacle pageant of larger-than-life puppetry, drama, stilting, dance, fire, song, and music that honors the circle of life by celebrating its seasonal arc of death in the Fall.

Halloween Events at Minneapolis Parks: Joy has rounded up a great list of 9 Halloween events (all of which are free save one) going on around Minneapolis Parks. Click the above link for the list.

Trick-or-Treating at Twin Cities Shopping Malls: Tons of not-so-spooky FREE events going on at Twin Cities-area shopping centers on Halloween! A handful include Rosedale Mall’s Spooktacular, Mall of America’s Howl-o-Ween, and Halloween on the Mall at Eden Prairie Center. For a complete list, click the above link.

Trick-or-Treating at Twin Cities Grocery Stores & Markets: Activities going on the day of Halloween include Boo Blast at Lunds/Byerly’s Wayzata and the Fall Festival at the Plymouth location (both 11am-3pm), and Halloween activities at the St. Paul Farmers Market.


It’s You & Me, Kid
@ Lowry Nature Center, Carver Park
7025 Victoria Drive, Victoria, 55386

Time: 2:30-4pm
Details: Unplug with your child in nature. Enjoy crafts, games, puzzles, coloring, nature artifacts, bird watching, and live animals. Go on a hike before or after the program.

Free Family Fun Days at Three Rivers Parks
Turkey Talk @ Richardson Nature Center, 3-4pm
Skulls @ Carl Kroening Interpretive Center, 1-3pm

Twin Cities Weekend Free Family Events for Sept. 26-27, 2015

This weekend is packed full of ways to spend time with the family on a budget. We’ll get you started with six ideas below — all admission-free — and, if you’re in need of some more inspiration, check out our Family Fun Calendar here. Happy exploring!


2008-Raptor-Release-by-Jeff-Fischer-031-300x240[1]Fall Raptor Release @ Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center
12805 St Croix Trail S, Hastings, 55033

Time: 10am-3pm
Details: Raptors nursed back to health by the U of M’s Raptor Center will be released back into the wild at 11am & 2pm. Also enjoy hayrides through the apple orchard, kids activities and more.

MCMMOA[1]Grand Opening of Minnesota Children’s “Pop-Up” Museum @ Mall of America
60 E. Broadway, Bloomington, 55425

Time: 10am-6pm
Details: Come celebrate the grand opening of the new “pop-up” satellite of Minnesota Children’s Museum at the Mall of America with activities in the Sears Court from 10-noon and previews of the new museum space from noon-6pm on the 3rd floor, north side of the mall. Plus, giveaways and prizes.

“Jungle Book” Workshop with Children’s Theatre Company @ Red Balloon Bookshop
891 Grand Ave, St Paul, 55105

Time: 10:30am
Details: Teaching artists from CTC will help kids create a drama adventure based on characters from their upcoming production of The Jungle Book. No pre-registration necessary.


tm parade of stablesParade of Stables – find a list of participating stables here.

Time: 11am-3pm
Details: This event is designed to introduce families to the American Saddlebred horse. 7 participating stables will host open houses offering demos, kids activities, refreshments, pony rides, giveaways and more.


RussBorud2[1]Medieval Fair @ Caponi Art Park
1220 Diffley Rd, Eagan, 55123

Time: 11am-4pm
Cost: Admission is free; donations are greatly appreciated.
Details: Explore medieval dress, cooking, combat, crafts and storytelling. Kids can even get in on the action! Food truck will be onsite.

Free Family Fun Days @ Three Rivers Parks

Carl Kroening Interpretive Center • 1-3pm
Richardson Nature Center: Raptors in the Yard • 3-4pm

Details: These ongoing Sunday programs are free of charge and change themes weekly. Drop in any time for hands-on family activities.

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