Tag - White Bear Lake

FFTC’s Guide to FREE Summer Music in the Twin Cities
Top 10 Fireworks Displays in the Twin Cities and More 4th of July Fun
Family Fun Idea: Discovery Hollow at Tamarack Nature Center
Art Shanty Projects: Final Weekend Feb. 22 – 23, 2014
Summertime Together: Ice Cream Around The Metro

FFTC’s Guide to FREE Summer Music in the Twin Cities

Find parks at Family Fun Twin Cities

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. 


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.

Starts 5/29/17: Minneapolis Music in the Parks, 6 venues presenting music nightly.

Starts 6/7/17: Groovin’ in the Garden | Como Park Zoo & Conservatory | Ongoing Wednesdays with FREE concerts, a climbing wall, bounce house, and lawn games for kids, and food available for purchase.

6/22/-24: Twin Cities Jazz Fest | Mears Park, Lowerton & other St Paul venues

Starts 7/4/17: 9 Nights of Music | Minnesota History Center | Ongoing Tuesdays thru 8/29/17 | Dance lessons, 6:30pm, music begins at 7.

8/11-13: Irish Fair of Minnesota | Harriet Island, St Paul | Free admission & live Irish music

Scroll Down to See More Summer Music


BLAINE: Performance in the Park | Town Square & Aquatore Park | Select dates starting 6/14/17 including Family Fun Night (7/18/17).

COON RAPIDS: Summer Concert Series | Coon Rapids Regional Park performance pavilion | Ongoing Thursdays starting 6/8/17 – FREE

MAPLE GROVE: Sounds of Summer | Town Green Maple Grove | Includes Celebrate the Family, ongoing Thursdays starting 6/15/17

NORTH ST. PAUL: Music in the Parks Summer Concert Series | Casey Lake Park | starts 6/22/17

PLYMOUTH: Entertainment in the Park | Hilde Performance Center | Starts June 2017

ROSEVILLE: Live @ The Rog! Performance Series | Frank Rog Amphitheater| Ongoing Sundays starting 6/11/17

SHOREVIEW: Concerts in the Commons | Shoreview Commons at Shoreview Community Center | Ongoing Wednesdays starting 6/14/17

ST ANTHONY: Sounds of Silverwood | Silverwood Park | Ongoing Wednesdays starting 6/7/17


APPLE VALLEY: Music in Kelley Park | Ongoing Fridays starting 6/16/17 with FREE music 6-9pm, food available for purchase, prizes and a splash pad for the kids to cool off in.

BURNSVILLE: Thursday Rockin’ Lunch Hour Concerts & Thursday Rockin’ Readers | Nicollet Commons Park | Ongoing Thursdays starting 6/15/17, plus enjoy the landscaped splash.

CHASKA: Kids Entertainment Series, 6/13 & 6/27 & Wednesday Night Concerts, ongoing Wednesdays starting 6/14/17.

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.

MENDOTA HEIGHTS: Market Square Concert Series | The Village at Mendota Heights | Ongoing Wednesdays starting 6/7/17, 6:30pm

SHAKOPEE: Performance & Event Series | Huber Park | Ongoing Thursdays starting 6/1/17, 7pm



BLOOMINGTON: Arts in the Parks includes the Monday Morning Kids Series at Moir Park starting 6/12/17 & Tuesday Evening Performance Series at Normandale Bandshell starting 6/13/17.

EDEN PRAIRIE: Eden Prairie Park Players Presents: Honk!, 6/16-18/17 & 6/22-25 at the Staring Lake Amphitheater • Kidstock kicks off 6/20 with entertainment ongoing Tuesdays.

EDINA: Centennial Lakes Park is a haven for FREE summer entertainment! Events are held daily Sun-Thurs and include family-friendly concerts at the outdoor amphitheater.

EXCELSIOR: Excelsior Concerts in the Park | The Commons | Dates: 5/24, 6/21, 7/19 & 8/16

GOLDEN VALLEY: Golden Valley Concerts in the Parks | Brookview Park | Ongoing Mondays starting 6/5/17, 7pm

HOPKINS: Hopkins Summerfest | Downtown Park | Ongoing Thursdays starting 6/15/17, 7pm

MINNETONKA: Arts in the Park | Minnetonka Civic Center Amphitheater include  Music in the Park ongoing Tuesdays starting 6/13/17.

RICHFIELD: Kids Entertainment in Augsburg Park | Ongoing Tuesdays at noon starting 6/13/17.

ST LOUIS PARK: St. Louis Park Creative Kidstuff Concerts | The Shops at West End | Ongoing Wednesdays starting 6/14/17, 10am

WAYZATA: Wayzata Summer Concert Series | Depot Park | Ongoing Wed in July, 7pm


STILLWATER: Stillwater Summer Tuesdays | Lowell Park | Ongoing Tuesdays starting 7/11, 6pm

TAYLORS FALLS: Music at Franconia | Franconia Sculpture Park | Saturdays: 6/24, 7/22 & 8/26

WHITE BEAR LAKE: White Bear Lake Marketfest | Downtown White Bear Lake | Ongoing Thursdays starting 6/15/17, 6pm


WOODBURY: Summer Concert Series at Woodbury Lake | Woodbury Lakes Shopping Center | Wednesday Kids Concerts 10am-11am; and Thursday All Ages 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm |  7/5-8/3





Top 10 Fireworks Displays in the Twin Cities and More 4th of July Fun

Over the Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis

Celebrating Independence Day with Minneapolis’s Red, White and Boom over the Stone Arch Bridge.

Fireworks on the 4th of July are a tradition for our country.  You can stay at home and watch them on your TV (which we have done when our kids were super tiny) or you can find live fireworks near you.  Most of them start just after dusk–approximately 10:00 p.m.  More than likely, you will want to arrive before then to find a good spot to sit.

Here are our top 10 Fireworks Displays to enjoy this Saturday, plus some other fun to enjoy. Read More

Family Fun Idea: Discovery Hollow at Tamarack Nature Center

I’m loving the back-to-nature trend I’ve seen pop up at outdoor play spaces in the Twin Cities. As much as I appreciate neighborhood parks we can bike to, it’s refreshing to take a break from the standard play equipment and unleash the kids on a place like Discovery Hollow at Tamarack Nature Center in White Bear Lake. This natural playground has been designed with all the elements kids crave: fallen logs and stumps to balance on, sticks to build forts, beautifully-engineered and arranged boulders to clamber over and a sufficient amount of sand and water to keep them entertained for hours.

PicMonkey Collage discovery hollow 2

Read More

Art Shanty Projects: Final Weekend Feb. 22 – 23, 2014

Art Shanty Projects
White Bear Lake
Map: White Bear Lake County Park, 55110
Shanties are about 1,500 offshore on the ice
February 22 – 23, 2014
10am – 4pm
Free; donations appreciated

This weekend is my last shot for 2014: if I don’t get the family out to the Art Shanty Projects on White Bear Lake I’ll have failed something like five years running. To add extra urgency, the little art galleries on ice are now slated to pop up biannually. Meaning, our next chance to check them out won’t be until 2016.


Note: the warming house hosted by the White Bear Center for the Arts (the one with the cocoa and cookies!) will NOT be available this weekend. A downer, sure, but after five years of Art Shanty Project fails, we won’t be deterred.

Get the Art Shanty Projects schedule for February 22 – 23, 2014, here.

Summertime Together: Ice Cream Around The Metro

Minneapolis and St. Paul are not the only hosts to delicious ice cream.  Little gems are hidden around the twin cities, so I thought I would let you in on these secrets.

Knoke’s Chocolates
220 Locust Street
Hudson, WI 54016

Just east of the Twin Cities, across the St. Croix River you will find the fanciest little candy and ice cream shoppe.  All the chocolates are made instore.  You can see the staff working in the back kitchen as you walk into this charming little place.

The ice cream is supplied by Cedar Crest and Brown’s.

For $1.75, you get a very large hand dipped ice cream cone.  I was completely taken aback at the price of this frozen treat!

There is no place to sit in the shoppe or even outside.  The best thing to do is to take your cone and take a walk along the St. Croix River where there is plenty of space to run and walk and enjoy the scenery.
It is definitely worth the drive into Wisconsin to fill up on some sweet goodness!

Cup and Cone
2126 4th Street
White Bear Lake, MN 55110


  In downtown White Bear Lake, MN, there is a seasonal ice cream shop that is proudly acclaimed by the locals. This hopping place is in a small brown building tucked away behind the Caribou Coffee shop.  The building was once a gas station, a hair salon, a taco place, and a record store.  Now, for ice cream alone the building has a line extending from the front windows at which you order and onto the sidewalk.  On extremely busy days, it must twist around the block. 

It’s open in the summer from 10:00 am-10:30 pm.

Cup and Cone serves soft serve ice cream: chocolate, vanilla, twist, flavor of the day, and twist with the flavor of the day, in our case raspberry pina colada. Not only do they have the different flavors, but they have different dips and my favorite crunch coating.  YUM!  Their dips include: Choc, Cherry, Butterscotch, Choc Peanut Butter, Strawberry.  I think I saw a blue raspberry today as well.  

A specialty they have is called a Crunchi Cream cone. They swirl candy or cookie bits into the vanilla ice cream as they put on your cone.  The Creami Crunch is available in M&M, Oreo, Reeses Pieces, Nerds, Heath, Choc Chip Cookie, Butterfinger. 

 They have a bunch of different sizes, too.  Starting with kiddie for $0.47.  I can give all my kids an ice cream cone for $2. 
They also have   Small cone (6 oz cup) 1.17   Medium cone  (8 oz cup) 1.63,    Large cone (16 oz cup)  2.10,   Sugar cone (12 oz cup)   1.40,  Waffle  cone (20 oz cup) 3.03.  
Other items on their menu include malts and shakes, candy bar malts and shakes, slushies, floats, freezes, sundaes, and other frozen novelty items: paddles, drumsticks, ittybitz, ice cream cookie sandwiches.


I had my  “bring me back to childhood” vanilla crunch cone, and my kids had the Creami Crunch (except for Tori who had the flavor of the day)

 Being an outdoor ice cream venue, they do a very nice job.  There is a  courtyard in the center of 3 buildings where they have placed a lot of picnic tables. The buildings do a nice job of protecting you from any potentially  strong wind.  When we were there, there was a lot of wind and even though our hair floated into our ice cream, we were protected from the huge gusts.  
The courtyard is decorated with potted plants and trees.  It’s a relaxing feel. I was completely impressed.  You must step up onto a porch to order and even though it can get a bit chaotic to be there with 4 small children, they work quickly and you are not stuck for very long in a small space.
Cup and Cone is a favorite summer stop in White Bear Lake.  
Grandpa’s Homemade Premium  Ice Cream Shoppe
1258 East Moore Lake Drive
Fridley, MN 55432

When you walk into this sweet little shoppe, you experience all the joys of going to Grandma’s and Grandpa’s.  In a brightly lit shop and with a variety of different choices, you are welcome to sit down and relax.  Grandpa’s is owned by the Simmons and they run it themselves along with some summer help.

All their ice cream is made in house by Grandpa himself in the kitchen behind the shop.  When you walk in, you are greeted with a sign that reads, “Yes, we make it here.”  Which is really funny since that was the first question I asked.  I was so busy looking around and enjoying the atmosphere that I completely didn’t see the sign.

They have 32 flavors to choose from at each visit.  However, it is a rotating menu.  The ice cream is a light ice cream.  Don’t get me wrong it’s made from cream with 14% butterfat, so it is in no way a diet ice cream.  But if you like a light airy taste, Grandpa’s stands out that way.

Each flavor is carefully given it’s own name. Some of the flavors are named after others:  mostly grandchildren like Megan’s Pop Rock Sprinkles or Brittany’s Brownie Sundae or Josh’s Cookies and Cream.  Other flavors are named for special people in their lives like Sharon’s Maple Nut or Vonnie’s Gizmo.

Wini’s Lemon Sorbet was named in honor of a special lady named Wini.  She had Alzheimer’s and couldn’t remember her family or her children, but she did remember Grandpa’s and the lemon sorbet.  Every week, her family would bring her to Grandpa’s and they would enjoy the lemon sorbet together.  Wini has since past, but in honor of her memory, the Simmons named it after her.

Some of my favorites are their Marshmallow and Josh’s Cookies and Cream My friend, Dacia, would be all over their Rocky Road since it has real marshmallows and not marshmallow creme.


You can get an ice cream cone with a mini scoop, a double mini scoop, a regular scoop, or a double scoop in a cone (cake, sugar, or waffle) or a dish.  They will make you a sundae out of any flavor you choose or a malt or a shake.  They have banana splits and other special sundaes available as well as smoothies, coffee, cookie, candy, and ice cream cakes.

The prices are comparable to other locally owned hand-dipped ice cream shoppes around town.  It’s not inexpensive, but it’s not outrageously incomparably high either.

You know you have come to a special place when the owners will sit down and chat with you.  And get to know your children, not bothered at all by their inquisitiveness.  Grandma even offered my children some finger puppets to keep them occupied.

They have special events occasionally.  You can follow all their happenings on their facebook page.


Adele’s Frozen Custard
800 Excelsior Blvd.

In the small, yet bustling, village of Excelsior is a well loved frozen dessert boutique. Serving frozen custard, frozen yogurt, fresh deli sandwiches, and other food like bbq’s and hotdogs, Adele’s is a hopping place.  In the summer.  Adele’s is well known and loved for their custard pies.  And who couldn’t love them with names like Cookies & Cream Pie, Mudd Pie, Turtle Pie, Truffle Pie, and Mint Oreo Pie.  In November, they are open for a few days to make and sell  pumpkin pie!  Yum!  The best way to get a hold of one of Adele’s pies is to pre order it.  This shoppe has been around for 26 years and was started by Adele herself.  She has since sold the business into the very capable hands of Jenny, the new owner.



  Everyday Adele’s offers vanilla and chocolate frozen custard as well as 2 or 3 flavors of the day.  While we were they they offered Lemon Chiffon, Ginger Snap, and Tin Roof Sundae.



 We got a quick tour of Adele’s behind the scene.  Behind Wordgirl is the–da da dum–Custard Maker.  Each day the staff fills it with the proper ingredients for the day’s custard and it mixes and spins and mixes and spins.


Adele’s makes their frozen yogurt by the same process they make the custard.  The yogurt is different ingredients and lower calories, but Adele’s assures us that it is just as delicious as the custard. The list of flavors makes my mouth water.  And on their website is a calendar of flavors in case you want to plan ahead.


Adele’s also makes their own waffle cones.  Here they sit waiting.  A staff member comes in hours before they open, just to make sure the waffle cones are made fresh daily.  On a given week day, 5 dozen are needed.  However, on weekends and holidays, 9 dozen or more are prepared for the rush of customers.  And 9 dozen waffle cones equals 108 cones (I know!  My math is exceptional!).  Do you see how many waffle irons they have?

The answer is 2!  TWO!  How long do you think it would take to make 108  cones?

I don’t know, but I can assure you that your waffle cone is worth every penny you spend!


Two Scoops
1918 – 2nd Ave So
Anoka, MN 55303
(763) 323-0622


Anoka is a cute town with a cute ice cream shoppe featuring Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream from Madison, Wisconsin.


A nice big window seat is good for seven kids to sit and enjoy company or ice cream or both!



Honestly, by this point in my “research,”  I had had enough ice cream and wasn’t able to exclaim over it again.  However, I will say this…It’s really good.  And if you are in the NW suburbs, it’s totally worth stopping by to get a scoop or two.


I hope you can find a good ice cream cone this summer.  If you know of a shop I haven’t mentioned, I would love to hear about it!

© 2016 Family Fun Twin Cities LLC. All Rights Reserved. 1786 Carroll Ave, Saint Paul, MN, 55104, USA