Tag - White Bear Lake

1
Wishing Tree Play Cafe Giveaway
2
FFTC’s Guide to FREE Summer Music in the Twin Cities
3
Top 10 Fireworks Displays in the Twin Cities and More 4th of July Fun
4
Family Fun Idea: Discovery Hollow at Tamarack Nature Center
5
Art Shanty Projects: Final Weekend Feb. 22 – 23, 2014
6
The Monkey House
7
Summertime Together: Ice Cream Around The Metro

Wishing Tree Play Cafe Giveaway

**************************************************Giveaway now Closed!***************************************************************

Congratulations to Cheryl for being our winner!  (Not Sara as I kept saying).  Here’s the link to the video with the official announcement!The Wishing Tree Play Cafe

The Wishing Tree Play Cafe has offered one of our readers the opportunity to win a 20 Visit Punch Pass. Read More

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


This summer music post is sponsored by Open Window Theatre. Enjoy two one-act plays together as a family.
Wizard-of-Oz_email-banner

Open Window Youth Theatre
Open Window Theatre
(Metropolis Minneapolis Building)
1313 Chestnut Ave., Ste.#102
Minneapolis, MN 55403


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.  Read More

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.


The Monkey House

Monkey House Square 3The Monkey House, 1815 Buerkle Rd, White Bear Lake, MN 55110
Open Play Hours:
10am-3pm Tues-Friday- GREAT for preschoolers, but older kids welcome!
10am-12noon Saturday-Sunday
Holidays and No School Days- Check Events page
Admission per child $7.50; up to 2 Adults and children under 1 year free with a paid child admission.

The Monkey House is a relatively new indoor playground.  They opened last January.  They specialize in private events such as birthday parties but offer open play hours nearly every day.  We were lucky enough to be invited to a birthday party shortly after they opened last year.  The Indoor Play Center is 5000 square and includes inflatable bounce houses, an obstacle course, an eighteen foot slide as well as climbers and a foam pit.  While not as elaborate as some of the city-owned indoor play areas, it is head and shoulders above any mall play area I’ve gone too. 

What they really need to do is offer a game-day package for football season.  I’d be lining up to go almost every Sunday if I could watch the packers in peace while they kids had a good time (and everyone had pizza).


Monkey House Square 1Private Events and Parties
Reservations required
Tue-Friday 3pm-6pm start times
Sat-Sun Noon-6pm start times 

The Monkey House also offers a place to host birthday parties.  Private parties start at $129 for a no frills – just play package.  All other packages (starting at $199) include use of a party room and food


Monkey House Square 2

Note:  We found it a little hard to find.  It is tucked back in a warehouse area of White Bear Lake.  Google Maps repeatedly led us to the wrong building and, at least last year, the sign was not easy to spot from the road. Especially if you are attending a birthday party, I would recommend leaving time to find the place. 

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

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.
Excelsior
952-470-0035

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!

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