Parades are some of the best family fun in the summer. They are free, you get candy, and it doesn’t take a lot of effort. Just bring a blanket or a chair. Oh, and some pillowcases for all the tootsie rolls you will be collecting.
Looking for birthday party ideas for your child in the Twin Cities? We get it — the annual bash is a big deal, and as parents, we want to make our kids’ birthday parties the best EVER. Lucky for us, the Twin Cities metro area offers a plethora of birthday party venues from which to choose. We’ve rounded up over 100 of these Twin Cites party places to give you some inspiration for your next birthday celebration! Read More
Joy Peters - co-creator and writer for FamilyFunTwinCities.com.
Besides Family Fun Twin Cities, I spend my 9 to 5 at a day job pursuing my weird passion for calendars and organizing things as a legal secretary. When I get home I spend my time with my four kids, 10, 6, 4 and 1. My amazing husband is both a full-time musician and full-time stay-at-home dad. Together we run a small radio empire — SiaNet Radio — playing, promoting and enjoying the wide variety of local music and art in the Twin Cities. I juggle all this while writing about exploring the Twin Cities with kids. I couldn’t be happier.
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.
Big Back Yard at the Science Museum ofMinnesota Open June 18-September 5, 2016 10:30am-5pm Included with museum admission
Tucked between the towering buildings on Kellogg Boulevard above and the Mississippi riverfront development below is one of the city’s best splash pads and sandboxes. This endorsement comes courtesy of my four children, who never fail to have a blast when we make our annual summer trip to the Science Museum of Minnesota’s Big Back Yard. Now, the museum doesn’t tout itself as featuring a splash pad and sandbox on property, so you’ll have to keep in mind that the Big Back Yard might not be your destination if you don’t want the kids coming out sandy and soaked.
The first culprit is the nine-hole mini golf course. Designed to teach about the flow of water and how it shapes the land, it consists of tempting waterways, a hydraulic jump, and a braided stream. My son takes his golf pretty seriously, but his younger sisters quickly abandon their clubs and start splashing away. (Note: this is not necessarily allowed and probably not courteous if there are other golfers on the course. We try to visit when we’ll have the place to ourselves.)
If the kids aren’t damp enough after the putting, the Ground Water Plaza might guarantee there isn’t a dry patch left on them. The kids can pump buckets full of water from the Museum’s deep artisan well and pour it over a variety of surfaces to learn how groundwater can move through rock. Plenty of the water did end up on the rock, but much of it was aimed at each other.
An adjacent native prairie maze is helpful for drying off after the waterworks. My kids usually play tag through the native grasses and gardens and perhaps learn a thing or two about prairies and their role in cleaning the environment. A second (somewhat) drier activity available is panning for gemstones and fossils in a giant sluice.
So pick a nice, hot summer day to enjoy all the Science Museum’s Big Back Yard has to offer. If I can add one tip: let the kids wear swimsuits under their clothes! Exploring the gardens and ground water plaza is included in museum admission; a charge of $3.50 is levied for kids to play a round of golf, $4.00 for adults. The Back Yard is open Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day and September weekends, weather permitting.
Science Museum of Minnesota’s Big Back Yard 120 W. Kellogg Boulevard St. Paul, MN 55102
There is so much fun to be had out in our local communities. There is something to do every day of the week during the summer. The libraries have programming all summer. You can find out more information about all the different summer reading programs we found for Twin Cities families. Don’t forget to explore your own community for fun in your local parks where you can find music or maybe even the puppet wagon.
Summer Music at Normandale Lake Bandshell courtesy City of Bloomington
The Twin Cities practically sings in the summer. Every corner of the metro is full of music and a lot of it is FREE! What could be better? Not much! Enjoy strains of strings, rhythms of rockers and energy of ethnic music.
ONGOING SUMMER MUSIC – MINNEAPOLIS & ST PAUL
Starts Memorial Day Weekend:Music & Entertainment in the Parks | Daily with FREE concerts, family movies, theater productions and more. Check the link for a complete listing of events & locations.
EAGAN:Eagan Market Fest | Eagan Central Park Festival Grounds | Ongoing Wednesdays, 4-8pm starting 6/7/17. FREE family fun: The grounds buzz with weekly concerts and themed nights including one devoted solely to families.