The Free List – Summer’s Last Hurrah

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We have had a sort of end of summer theme going with FFTC this week.  Of course the State Fair is a sign to many people that summer is ending and we have covered that extensively.  Anne and I also tried out the Walker on the Green Mini Golf Course this week.  You only have until Labor Day to squeeze that in.  I reviewed Mill City Live, and next Wednesday is the final concert for the 2014 season.  Finally, Anne rounded up the suggestions from all of you wonderful readers of things you would still like to do this summer in her Farewell To Summer article.  So, in keeping with this theme, I’ve decided this weeks Free List will cover five free outings that will soon be ending.

Minneapolis pools begin closing this week, but some remain open as late as the end of September.

1.  Wading pools and beaches begin closing this week

A couple of Minneapolis pools (including my neighborhood pool) have already closed for repairs or upgrades.  Minneapolis Parks announced this week that the 31 wading pools connected to schools will close on Monday (August 25th) Sunday evening (August 24th); 24 more pools and the Minneapolis beaches will remain open through Labor Day; but 7 remaining pools will stay open until the weather turns or the end of September.  Waterparks and life guard services also end on Monday.  For more information about Minneapolis pools click HERE.

In St. Paul, The Great River Water Park will close on Monday the 25th, but this indoor water park will reopen after Labor Day.  The outdoor water parks will be closing for the season after Labor Day.  Phalen Beach closes for the season on Monday, August 25th.  For more on St. Paul Aquatics click HERE.

The Three Rivers beaches and swimming holes appear to be open through Labor Day, but if you have a favorite, I would check it before going.  You can find links to all Three Rivers Parks with beaches or swimming ponds HERE



Catch a movie in the park while you still can.

2.  Movies in the Parks.

Minneapolis Movies in the Park end after this weekend and St. Paul will have a few more through mid-September.  I am not aware of any suburban parks hosting movies after this weekend, but some may still come up through September, and I will be sure to post them if they do.  However, this weekend would be a great weekend to squeeze in a Movie in the Park if you haven’t yet. The following movies are playing this weekend:

  • Frozen is playing on Friday at both St. Paul Battle Creek Park and Staring Lake Amphitheatre in Eden Prairie.
  • Mystery Men is also playing Friday at Lake Harriet Bandshell.
  • Despicable Me 2 is playing one last time Friday at Painter Park.
  • Ghostbusters wraps up the Minneapolis season on Saturday at Victory Park.

For more details on any of these or upcoming movies in the parks, see our Calendars page.


Music in the Parks Ending Soon

3.  Outdoor music

Most of the outdoor music and concert series hosted by the local parks end this week.  Although a few will trickle in through mid September.  If you are in search of outdoor music in September and October, I recommend looking for small community and church festivals.  Fall is the season for most of these.  Again, if you want details on music in the parks and other outdoor festivals, check our Calendars page.


The Pierre Bottineau House is one of the Historic Open Houses that ends soon

4. Historic open houses

Four Historic sites have offered free Open House days on Saturdays this summer.  Three of those, the Ard Godfrey House (also open Sundays), the Pierre Bottineau House and the Grimm Farmhouse, only run through August.  The St. Louis Park Historic Train Depot continues open houses through September 13th.

This is one of my recent CSA shares, but you can find similar local produce at the Farmers Market

This is one of my recent CSA shares, but you can find similar local produce at the Farmers Market

5.  Farmers Markets

We have a little more time for most Farmers Markets.  But I know, because my CSA shares are getting enormous, this is the best time of the year to get out to buy local produce.  To find the most convenient Farmers Market for your family, check out the Minnesota Department of Agriculture website.

Hey! Maybe next week I can scrounge up 5 new opportunities for Free Family Autumn Fun! Let’s see what I come up with!

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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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