The Free List – My Five Favorite Family Outings for July 18-20, 2014.

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With Aquatennial in full swing, there is no shortage of fun this weekend.  I’ve picked my favorites below.  If you are still looking for something more, Anne suggests finding a farm where you can Pick-Your-Own-Produce.  You can also check out our calendars for both free and pay activities happening around the Twin Cities.

Friday Night

The Young Fiddlers Association of Minnesota seeks to provide opportunities for young fiddlers ages 8-18 to play folk tunes together in a supervised yet informal setting

Fiddles on Fire – Outdoor Summer Concert Series

Dodge Nature Center Amphitheater, 365 Marie Ave. W., West St. Paul, MN 55118 
Friday, July 18, 2014; 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Pre-Registration is Preferred.  Donations to Compensate the Musicians are Welcome.

Summer evenings are made for music and Dodge Nature Center has it for you. Enjoy the eclectic music of the youth of Fiddles on Fire.  DNC encourages you to come early and picnic, but if you would rather purchase something, refreshments will be available for a minimal fee.



The Shockwave water-ski show is a 60-minute live production featuring many water-ski stunts incorporated with music, excellent narration and lots of laughs.

Antique Tractor Show and Midsummer Festival
Cedar Lake Farm Regional Park, 400 West 260th Street, New Prague, MN 56071
Saturday, July 19, 2014; 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Antique Tractors aren’t really my thing, but my boys like anything with an engine and wheels and the rest of the festival has a lot to offer the whole family.  While the boys may be going for the tractors, the rest of us can enjoy music; watch kayak, canoe and archery demos; attempt to scale a climbing wall; get up close to raptors; bounce around in inflatables; participate in a fishing clinic or a hands-on pond study and enjoy the Shockwaves water-ski show at 6 PM. This event is free, but food will be available for purchase.

The Minnesota River Arts Fair boosts beautiful views of the Minnesota River and takes place in a restored 1880 village.

Minnesota River Arts Fair

The Landing, 2187 Highway 101 East, Shakopee, MN 55379
Saturday, July 19, 2014; 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

This art fair is held at the historic Landing Minnesota’s most beautiful and unique arts fair features over 50 booths, artist demonstrations, a Plein Air painting competition, and musical performances. Participate in 1800s-era craft demonstrations. Meet the residents of Eagle Creek and the frontier, ride a horse-drawn trolley, and more. Many buildings open for touring. Food concessions available.

Play from Scratch will be among the artists with projects at Play Day.

Play from Scratch will be among the artists with projects at Play Day.

Play Day

Minneapolis Convention Center Plaza
Saturday, July 19, 2014; 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Play Day is so incredibly huge, I can’t possibly cover everything in a paragraph.  So go to the Aquatennial website to get more details.  Here are some of the highlights.  There will be a music stage, several artists with projects including two of our favorites — Leonardo’s Basement and Play from Scratch.

Sister Cities Day
Nicollet Island Pavilion, 40 Power Street, Minneapolis
Sunday, July 20, 2014; 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Celebrate all Eleven Sister Cities to Minneapolis in one big party. Get there early to make your own ice cream sundaes – when they run out of supplies, they are done.  There will be international entertainment all afternoon .

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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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