Once the holidays and hockey season are over, I tend to change my tune about winter. If you’re like-minded, we’ve got plenty of free ways to hunker down inside and wait out the rest of the cold snap. Or, if you desire to be out of doors, we’ve included some frosty winter festivals and a really cool art event on White Bear Lake.
Winter Carnival Family Fun Day
@ Landmark Center, 75 W 5th St., St. Paul
When: Saturday, February 6 • Noon-5pm
Details: Stop by the Landmark Center for entertainment and events for all ages. There will be activities for children and adults alike. Wells Fargo brings the Minnesota Zoomobile from noon-2pm with live animals and the 3M Visiting Wizards will do hands-on science experiments from 1:30-2:30pm.
Free Family Concert: Melody, Harmony & Rhythm, Oh My!
@ St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Historic Hamm Bldg., 408 Saint Peter St., St. Paul
When: Saturday, Feb. 6 • tickets available for the 9:30am show only
Details: Geared for ages 6-12, these kid-sized concerts call on a full-sized chamber orchestra to teach about how melodies, harmonies and rhythms are used as building blocks of music. At this concert, several familiar selections of classical music will be stacked up, knocked down and built up again so you can hear how music is made. The concerts are popular; tickets are free, but they will go quickly. Get yours here.
Art Shanty Projects
@ White Bear Lake County Park
When: Feb. 6-28
Details: Not only are these 19 unique icehouses designed by local artists, they are strongly encouraged to be interactive. Herein lies the fun of bringing the whole family out to see them – my kids had a great time exploring the shanties when they last appeared in 2014. This year’s offerings include the Dance Shanty, Slumber Party Shanty and the Boiler Room Shanty.
Fire & Ice winter festival
@ Parkers Lake Park, 15205 County Road 6, Plymouth
When: Saturday, Feb. 6 • 3-7pm
Details: This free, fun family event includes hayrides, dogsled rides, live entertainment, snow bowling, a bonfire and fireworks at 6:30pm.
When: Saturday, Feb. 6 • 3:30pm
Details: Be there for the official grand opening of Pacifier’s new location in the North Loop neighborhood of Minneapolis. Join us for a day of fun for all ages, including a Diaper Derby, a Rock Paper Scissors Tournament, and a visit from the Snow Queen and Stormtroopers.
Fire & Ice Festival
@ Luxton Park, 112 Williams Ave. SE, Minneapolis
When: Saturday, Feb. 6 • 5:30-8pm
Details: Winter solstice is celebrated at our Fire and Ice Festival as a time for reflection, renewal, peace, and a time for the glistening snow to purify our air and leave a clean slate. Activities will include a recreational fire, horse drawn hayrides, music, crafts, and concessions.
Valentine’s Day Skating Party
@ Lyndale Farmstead Park, 3900 Bryant Ave S, Minneapolis
When: Sunday, Feb. 14 • 1-3pm
Details: DJs will be spinning music on the ice for your skating enjoyment. Valentine-making materials will be provided in the warming house for all skaters.
Family Day: Institute of Hearts
@ Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 2400 3rd Avenue S, Minneapolis
When: Sunday, Feb. 14 • 11am-5pm
Details: Bring your loved ones to celebrate Valentine’s Day at the museum. Make an arty heart, create a mixed-media valentine, take a workshop with teachers from the Children’s Theatre Company and preschoolers can take a special tour exploring feelings in art.
Minnesota Parent Camp Fair
@ Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, 1225 Estabrook Dr., St. Paul
When: Saturday, Feb. 27 • 10am-2pm
Details: Yes, it’s time to start planning the summer already. This event gives parents a chance to meet one-on-one with dozens of camp representatives, who will be sharing information about their camps for kids. Free children’s activities at the Camp Fair include face painting, a craft station and an appearance from a special Zoo animal.
One of our most popular articles for the month of January, it’s clear that parents in the Twin Cities are in need of indoor spots where their littles can burn off pent-up winter energy. The above lists 13 of these places around the Metro where they can do just that and save your sanity. For further ways to cozy up indoors, try these:
- Cozy Up and Play at These 8 Kid-Friendly Twin Cities Coffee Shops/Cafes
- Twin Cities Indoor Playgrounds – East Metro
- Twin Cities Indoor Playgrounds – West Metro
- Twin Cities Indoor Playgrounds – North Metro
- Twin Cities Indoor Playgrounds – South Metro
- Top Preschool Storytimes in the Twin Cities