The Free List: A Romantic Free Weekend (with the hobbits)

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Does anyone else fondly remember the television show Blind Date — where the producers would set up two strangers for a tryst and at the end they would decide whether they like each other or not?  There were two things that made this an appealing show.  The first appeal was the date itself, which usually consisted of a low pressure day-time activity, a dinner and, if it was going well, something more intimate — such as dancing (I’m putting a g-rated spin on this very PG13 show).  The second reason to tune in was the snarky comment bubbles the producers added for comic relief.

It occurred to me that this weekend’s plans are a little like a Blind Date outing.  We’ll have something active and something more date-like, plus we’ll make dinner together and, whereever we go, we’ll have three snarky social commentators tagging along.  Of course it won’t be exactly like a blind date.  Packing that much fun into one day is too much with kids we’ll spread it across this three-day weekend with nap breaks for all of us.  Plus, I’m pretty certain my date is going to end positively.


skatingtrioValentines Day Skating Party
Lyndale Farmstead Recreation Center, 3900 Bryant Ave. S, Minneapolis, MN 55409
Friday, February 14, 2014; 3:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Drop in to Lyndale Farmstead for a Skating Party between 3:30 and 8:30 p.m. on Friday.  Besides skating, there will be Valentine activities in the warming room, including chocolate and valentine making supplies for all skaters! Skating season is ending, this could be your last chance to get out on the ice this year. (Yay!)  This is the perfect date if you didn’t plan ahead for gifts.  You can just say it was all part of your plan to make gifts at this skating party.  Afterwards maybe you can go home, make a romantic family meal and trade Valentines.

The-Starry-Sky-Backgrounds-Powerpoint-636x477Friday Night Public Viewing
Tate Laboratory of Physics., University of Minnesota – Institute for Astrophysics, 116 Church St. S.E., Mpls, MN 55455 (Go Here for Complete Directions)
Friday, February 14, 2014; 8:00 – 9:30 p.m. (and every Friday during the Semester)

If you are done with outdoor activities or you have the stamina to piggy-back two events, star gazing would be a great Valentine date.  The Spring semester viewings just started a couple weeks ago and they haven’t posted a schedule yet, but if other years are an indicator, the talk will probably coincide with Valentine’s day.  These public viewing nights are dependent on weather, sky conditions and on attendance, so it would be good to have a back-up plan if this is your only Friday night activity.  Right now sky conditions look favorable.


MonkeyMindMonkey Mind Pirates (Sold Out – But Rush Tickets May Be Available)
The Children’s Theatre Company, Cargill Theatre, 2400 3rd Ave S  Minneapolis, MN 55404
Saturday, February 15 at 2:30 pm (sensory-friendly performance) and 7:00 pm

I’ve promoted this show a couple of times and suggested reserving tickets early.  Reservations are FULL for both  performances, however they will release rush tickets for any unclaimed seats 15 minutes before showtime and will offer extra seats for the 7 p.m. show 45 minutes before showtime. Doors open for the afternoon performace at 1:30 pm for a free family happy hour on the Island of Calm.

You can read the original press release for this show HERE. Although I have no personal experience with this show yet, it sounds like a fun show and I am excited to see it this weekend.


Peters and the Wolf SquareSPCS Children’s Concert and ArtStart Activities
Mount Zion Temple 1300 Summit Ave. Saint Paul MN 55105
Sunday, February 16, 2014; 2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

I wrote up a preview of this concert earlier this week.  You can read it and preview the music HERE.

Ice FishingTake a Kid Ice Fishing
Como Regional Park, Como Park Pavilion, 1360 N. Lexington Pkwy., Saint Paul, MN 55103
Sunday, February 16, 2014; Noon to 3:00 p.m.

What could possibly be more romantic than ice fishing?  Learn how with experts and free loaner equipment at this family event.  You can also watch fish under the ice with an underwater video camera. Of course, since it’s an outdoor event in Minnesota, hot chocolate and a bonfire will be provided for warmth. Registration is preferred but walk-ins are welcome. You can register online here or call 651-292-6508 for more information.


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About the author

Joy Peters

Joy Peters - co-creator and writer for

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.

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