August Family Holidays: 31 Days of Celebrations

We’ve worked really hard to sprinkle this month’s celebration suggestions with things kids love, a little Minnesota trivia and history, as well as ways to sneak in some education for curious kids. Remember you don’t have to celebrate every day. Pick your favorite August Family Holidays from our list, make up your own, skip a week, skip a month. Have fun with your family and maybe learn a little something along the way.


August 1st – National Disc Golf Day

At Home Family Fun: Toss a Frisbee around. Maybe set up some baskets to see if you can hit your target. 
Read Aloud: You could read a book about Disc Golf, but it also happens to be Spiderman Day, so I think I suggest reading some Spider-Man Comics. If you don’t have one on hand, you can download last year’s Free Comic Day book for free on your Kindle.
Outing Idea: Try out one of these Twin Cities Disc Golf Courses. This is a great outing for those active but hard-to-please teens and tweens.

Meal Idea: Pizza is the ultimate disc. We have a delicious recipe for pizza with a homemade crust – then pick some creative toppings.
Dinner Conversation Starter: Do you think that Spider-Man’s powers would be a help or a hindrance at disc golf? Would his web’s make his hands too sticky to let go of the disc?
Learn More: about National Disc Golf Day, celebrated the first Saturday in August.

Spider-Man Frisbee
Combine the two Holidays with a Spider-Man Frisbee

Bonus Holidays:

  • International Owl Awareness Day – Celebrate with a day trip to the International Owl Center in Houston, Minnesota, online or in person. Use your library access to Bookflix to watch Owl Moon & Owls and Other Animals with Amazing Eyes.
  • Climb A Mountain Day – The highest point in Minnesota is Eagle Mountain near Grand Marais. It isn’t really a mountain, but we can make a goal to climb it someday anyway. If you are considering driving up that direction this weekend, Anne has some ideas for stops along the way.

August 2nd – National Coloring Book Day

At Home Family Fun: Color – we’re betting you have a big stack of books at home somewhere.
Read Aloud: Coloring is a good way to help smaller kids focus on longer books, look for a coloring book to go with a classic book you want to share.
Outing Idea:  Visit or order a pick up from your favorite creative store: Arts and Crafts for Kids Around Town.
Meal Idea: It also happens to be National Ice Cream Sandwich Day, end the meal with a treat tonight. Anne has a Recipe for Ice Cream Sandwiches.
Dinner Conversation Starter: Do you prefer to color pictures already made or make your own drawings to color in?
Learn More: About National Coloring Book Day.

August 3rd – Picnic Day (Australia)

At Home Family Fun: Pack a picnic together and eat at home or plan an outing. We think food simply tastes better eaten out of doors!
Read Aloud: The Lost Picnic by B.B. Cronin
Outing Idea: Need some ideas? Try one of our suggested 10 Places for the Perfect Picnic in Minneapolis.
Meal Idea: Have an Australian-Style Picnic – but it is also Watermelon Day – which goes well with a picnic.
Dinner Conversation Starter: Share these fun facts about Australia tonight.
Learn More: About Northern Territory Picnic Day held on the first Monday in August.

Picnic at Washburn Fair Oaks
Make your picnic simple or fancy

August 4th – National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day

At Home Family Fun: Bake up a batch of chocolate chip cookies. While you make the cookies, play “Who took the cookie from the cookie jar?
Read Aloud: If you give a mouse a cookie. by Laura Numeroff 
Outing IdeaSebastian Joe’s Ice Cream Shop also sells cookies. 
Meal Idea: End tonight’s meal with chocolate cookies for dessert.
Dinner Conversation Starter: What is your favorite cookie?
Learn More: About National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day

August 5th – Bobby Tufts Day

At Home Family Fun: Have a family election and vote for the next mayor of your family or write a letter to your city’s mayor.
Read Aloud: Amelia Bedelia 4 Mayor by Herman Parish
Outing Idea: Decorate your bicycles with your campaign signs and have a parade around your block.
Meal Idea: Let the new family mayor pick tonight’s meal.
Dinner Conversation Starter: If you were mayor, what would you do?
Learn More: About the elections of the youngest Mayor in U.S. History, Bobby Tufts, who became mayor of Dorset Minnesota at age 3 for a 2-year term. His younger brother James Tuft also became mayor at age 3 in 2015.

August 6th – National Root Beer Float Day

At Home Family Fun: Make root beer floats at home.
Outing Idea: Get your root beer from a local brewery like LTD Brewing or book a patio table and order your root beer floats there.
Meal Idea: Chili dogs go really good with root beer floats.
Learn More: About 
National Root Beer Float Day.

Rootbear at LTD Brewing
Image courtesy of LTD Brewing

August 7th – National Sea Serpent Day

At Home Family Fun: Start a prehistoric sea monster colony with a kit from Smithsonian. (These are similar to Sea-Monkeys)
Read Aloud: The Science of Sea Monsters by Alex Woolf 
Outing Idea: Visit Lochness Park in Blaine. As far as I know there has been no report of a sea serpent in Blaine’s Lochness, but I’m sure she is just more wily than her Scottish brother.
Meal Idea: I love this idea from Pinterest for a squid wiener. Or if you want to get out tonight, check Lake Monster Brewing’s food truck schedule here.
Dinner Conversation Starter: Do you think there is a real Loch Ness Monster?
Learn More: About Sea Serpent day from the Smithsonian.

Bonus August 7th Holidays – National Lighthouse Day 

August 8th – National Bowling Day and/or International Cat Day 

At Home Family Fun:

Read Aloud: This is a good day to share your favorite Pete the Cat book.
Outing Idea: Did you sign up for Kids Bowl Free? Many Minnesota bowling alleys are open with restrictions.
Meal Idea: Today also happens to be National Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day. Save some for your own dinner! Maybe Zucchini Bowls?
Dinner Conversation Starter: Why are cats afraid of Zucchinis?
Learn More: About Cats from National Geographic, the History of Bowling and kid-friendly zucchini recipes to use up your bounty.


August 9th – National Book Lovers Day

At Home Family Fun: Read a book. Read a LOT of books. Organize your books. Plan more books to buy.
Read Aloud: Matilda by Roald Dahl 
Outing Idea: Libraries are open for grab & go or curbside pick up. Grab a book and go to a nearby park to read together.
Meal Idea: Here are some great ideas for book-themed foods
Dinner Conversation Starter: If you could be any book character, who would you be?
Learn More: About the history of books.

August 10th – National Lazy Day

I’m taking this day off of writing to lay in my hammock.

August 11th – Anniversary of the Opening of the Mall of America

At Home Family Fun: Play store together. A good shop needs to be neat and orderly, so start by organizing all the toys and setting them up as mini stores. Make some play money and go shopping in each others stores.
Read Aloud: Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla by Katherine Applegate or, if your kids are a big enough for a little bit scary, Secrets of the Shopping Mall by Richard Peck (this book has left me slightly scared of mannequins my whole life).
Outing Idea: The MOA is open, and while taking small children out in masks does not really appeal to me, I might make an exception for a visit to Sea Life Minnesota. Get more tips for visiting the Mall of America in our floor-by-floor guide.

Meal Idea: Try out these mall food court copycat recipes.
Dinner Conversation Starter: What’s your favorite store in the MOA?
Learn More: About Mall of America, which opened August 11, 1992 as the largest mall on earth.

August 12th – National Middle Child Day

At Home Family Fun: Wake up your middle child(ren) with a middlest party.
Read Aloud: Bunny in the Middle by Anika A. Denise
Outing Idea: Let your middle child pick a park to visit today.
Meal Idea: Let  your middle child plan tonight’s mieal.
Dinner Conversation Starter: We tried this Quiz that suggests it can 100% tell whether you are oldest, youngest or middlest.  It was wrong for us. It is also aimed at adults so we had to modify many of the questions..
Learn More: About 
National Middle Child Day

August 13th – International Left Handers Day

At Home Family Fun: Wake up your left-handed child(ren) with a lefty party.
Read Aloud: The Left-Handed Book by James T. deKay
Outing Idea: Let your lefty choose your outing.
Meal Idea: Let your lefty choose your meal today.
Dinner Conversation Starter: Would you rather be a lefty or a righty?
Learn More: About Left Handers Day.

August 14th – Celebrate the Founding of St. Paul, MN

At Home Family Fun: Go on a Great River Virtual Tour courtesy of the Landmark Center.
Read Aloud: The Days of Rondo by Evelyn Fairbanks 
Outing Idea: Go for a self-guided walk in St. Paul – maybe the Great River Passage or climb up Summit Overlook Park and imagine the early days of river traffic on the Mississippi.
Meal Idea: Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine – How to Eat Like a Minnesotan
Dinner Conversation Starter: Share these cool facts about St. Paul at dinner tonight.
Learn More: On this day in 1848, residents sent Henry H. Sibley to a land sale where heformally purchased their lots for them, founding what would some day be St. Paul.

Minnesota State Capitol

August 15th – National Relaxation Day

It’s a perfect day to relax at your favorite beach!

water safety, three swimmers posing


August 16th – National Tell A Joke Day 

At Home Family Fun: Take turns telling your best jokes.
Read Aloud: Download a FREE joke book from Kindle.
Outing Idea: Pick a park with an empty stage and take your comedy show on the road.
Meal Idea: Today could be a good day to pull out some of those funny April Fools recipes and get another use out of them.
Dinner Conversation Starter: What was your favorite joke told today?
Learn More: About 
National Tell A Joke Day 

August Family Holidays
Free on Kindle.

Bonus Holiday:  National Roller Coaster Day. For an outing, reserve tickets at ComoTown – $15 for an hour and 20 minutes of unlimited rides — or Nickelodeon Universe $19.99 for 2 hours unlimited rides. For a book, you could read, I Got A Chicken for My Birthday by Laura Gehl.

August 17th – National Black Cat Appreciation Day 

At Home Family Fun: Try the German game, Armer schwarzer Kater (“Poor Black Kitty”)
Read Aloud: Black Cat by Christopher Myers (a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book).
Outing Idea: In the book Black Cat, the reader follows a black cat through its Harlem neighborhood, and sees the city from the cat’s view. Can you explore your own neighborhood and see it through a cat’s eyes?
Meal Idea: Tonight eat like a cat and have fish for dinner.
Dinner Conversation Starter: If you were a cat, where would you go?
Learn More: About 
National Black Cat Appreciation Day 

Rescue Readers
Visiting a black cat on the Humane Society‘s adoption floor.

Bonus Holiday: Anniversary of the Start of the U.S. Dakota War in 1862. Not a very FUN part of Minnesota history, but maybe a reason to learn a little more.

August 18 – Bad Poetry Day 

At Home Family Fun: Write “Bad Poetry” together. What makes a bad poem? Google it and you’ll get a variety of answers. You decide.
Read Aloud: Our favorite “bad poem” is Ode to Spot by Data in STNG. I guess this means I like bad poetry. 
Outing Idea: Start a Bad Poetry Journal by writing down today’s bad poems. Then go leave it in a Little Free Library. Encourage others to add to it and put it back. Maybe it will become a neighborhood game.
Meal Idea: It also happens to be National Fajita Day!
Dinner Conversation Starter: Can you create a bad poem about a fajita? Bonus points from the big kids if you can work in “Woah Hurricane Katrina? More like hurricane tortilla.”
Learn More: About Bad Poetry Day.

August 19th – National Aviation Day

At Home Family Fun: Make paper airplanes
Read Aloud: Fly Girls Young Readers’ Edition: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History by Keith O’Brien
Outing Idea: Take an afternoon at the Aircraft Viewing Area. Kids love watching the planes take off and land (from a close, but safe distance).
Meal Idea: Dinner & A Movie Night? A Pumpkin & A Princess website has a Disney Planes Movie Night – complete with airplane themed dinner. Today is also National Potato Day, so add some tots to your meal!
Dinner Conversation Starter: If you could fly anywhere, where would you go?

Aircraft Viewing Area

August 20th – National Radio Day

At Home Family Fun: Build a Radio Together with bigger kids or just let the littler kids play with the dials on an old-school radio. Its amazing how much they love that.
Read Aloud: Maybe instead of a read-aloud tonight, you could listen to a radio drama. Here is an episode of the old Star Wars Radio Drama
Outing Idea: While Pavek Museum of Broadcasting would be our first choice for a National Radio Day outing, they are still closed. Instead, you can visit The Bakken Museum this year and check out its renovations.
Meal Idea: Old-time radio makes me think of 1950s diner food. Today is also National Lemonade Day, and that also goes well with the theme.
Dinner Conversation Starter: Everyone has to use a radio announcer voice when talking at dinner today.
Learn More: About Pioneers of Radio from Pavek Museum.

August 21st – National Senior Citizens Day

At Home Family Fun: Call Grandma. She misses you.
Read Aloud: The Truth About Grandparents by Elina Ellis
Outing Idea: It’s probably not a good idea to visit a nursing home right now, so we’ll just put that on a back-burner and maybe make cards instead to cheer up loved ones.
Meal Idea: When you are on the phone with grandma, ask her what her favorite meal is. Make that.
Dinner Conversation Starter: What characteristic of grandma or grandpa do you hope to inherit when you are grownup?
Learn More: About National Senior Citizens Day.

August 22nd – National Tooth Fairy Day

At Home Family Fun: Watch the video below and practice brushing and flossing together.
Read Aloud: How to Catch the Tooth Fairy by Adam Wallace
Outing Idea: Make future plans to visit the Human Body Gallery at the Science Museum. Unfortunately, they are not open yet. Maybe today you could go buy new tooth brushes for everyone!
Meal Idea: Corn on the cob – both because corn looks like teeth and because you can’t eat corn on the cob when you are missing a front tooth, so those of us who don’t have current need for the tooth fairy’s services can celebrate!
Dinner Conversation Starter: Can you count your teeth? How many do you have.
Learn More: About National Tooth Fairy Day.

August 23rd – Hug Your Sweetheart Day

At Home Family Fun: Hugs all around (if desired). Your babies. Your teens. Especially your teens!
Outing Idea: These two little sweethearts pictured love donuts just about as much as they love each other. Satisfy your sweet tooth at one of these Twin Cities bakeries.

two kids at bakery counter


August 24 – Fort Snelling Day

At Home Family Fun: Learn more about Fort Snelling on its website.
Read Aloud: Frontier Fort: Fort Life on the Upper Mississippi, 1826 by Megan Ann O’Hara.
Outing Idea: Unfortunately, Historic Fort Snelling is still closed, but today you could go for a hike at Fort Snelling State Park. GPS units, birding kits, and fishing poles are available for free during your visit.
Meal Idea: Today is also National Waffle Day. Waffles for dinner!
Dinner Conversation Starter: On this day in 1819, Colonel Henry Leavenworth and the Fifth Infantry arrived to build Fort Snelling. In 1827, the first post office was established at Fort Snelling on August 25th.
Learn More: About This Day in History at MNopedia.

Bonus August 24 Holiday: National Peach Pie Day.  Obviously, Peach Pie for Dessert, but this is also the perfect day to get started on local author Erin Soderberg Downing’s latest middle-grade chapter series, The Great Peach Experiment 1: When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Peach Pie.

August 25 – Volcano Day

At Home Family Fun: It’s a classic science experiment – build a homemade volcano together.
Read Aloud: Magic Tree House: Vacation Under The Volcano by Mary Pope Osborne
Outing Idea: Planning a trip to the North Shore? According the Minnesota DNR, the rock’s along Lake Superior are volcanic rock.

Meal Idea: Volcano Meatloaf! Serve banana splits for dessert because it also happens to be National Banana Split Day.
Dinner Conversation Starter: I don’t know about you, but I don’t have to start conversations about volcanoes. My kids do that. If you do, these 12 US States have active volcanoes (not Minnesota).
Learn More: About Pompeii, which historians believe erupted on this day in 79AD.

August 26th – National Dog Day

At Home Family Fun: Play doggy, doggy where’s your bone?
Read Aloud: Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion
Outing Idea: On this day in 1917, the first ship passed through the Minneapolis locks at St. Anthony Falls. Take your dog for a walk along the river. The Stone Arch Bridge will give you a great view of the falls and it’s reserved just for pedestrians and bikes.

Meal Idea: Hot dogs?
Dinner Conversation Starter: What do you think would be the ideal dog for your family. (It’s okay if you say “cat”.)
Learn More: About National Dog Day

August 27th – National Just Because Day

At Home Family Fun: Do something nice for each other, just because.
Read Aloud: Just Because by Mac Barnett
Outing Idea: Go somewhere special, just because.
Meal Idea: Pick your favorite meal, (you guessed it) just because.
Dinner Conversation Starter: Let’s go around the table and say something nice, just because it always feels good to receive (and give!) a compliment.
Learn More: About National Just Because Day

August 28th – National Waterpark Day

At Home Family Fun: Make a DIY Waterpark with a sprinkler and a sheet of plastic for sliding.
Read AloudWater Park: How Did They Build That? by Nancy Robinson Masters 
Outing Idea: Pick an open Twin Cities beach, pool, waterpark or splash pad to visit. There are a couple open waterparks, but beaches and splash pads are easier to find this year.
Meal Idea: What’s that thing your kid always asks for at concession stands – nachos? burger basket? Make that at home.

St Louis Park Aquatic Park
St Louis Park Aquatic Park – Image courtesy of St. Louis Park

August 29th – Pony Express Day

At Home Family Fun: Have hobby horse races around the block. First person to deliver the letter to your porch win. You can use brooms or just gallop if you don’t have hobby horses.
Read Aloud: Riding the Pony Express by Clyde Robert Bulla (This one is kind of a collector book, but you can find a copy at Hennepin County Library)
Outing Idea: Make plans to visit a Twin Cities Stable and take a trail ride.
Meal Idea: A western-themed dinner seems appropriate.
Dinner Conversation Starter: 10 facts about the Pony Express.
Learn More: About The Pony Express – celebrated on the last Saturday in August.


August 30th – National Beach Day 

At Home Family Fun: Have fun with an at-home beach day.
Read Aloud: The Sandcastle That Lola Built by local favorite Megan Maynor.
Outing Idea20 Twin Cities Beaches, Parks & Playgrounds to Try This Summer
Meal Idea: Why not make it a picnic at the beach tonight?

August 31st – Foshay Tower Day

At Home Family Fun: Build towers with your blocks. Then march to the Foshay March!
Read Aloud: Marching With Sousa by Norma Jean Lutz
Outing Idea:  The building is now a Marriot Hotel, but the 30th floor houses a museum and observation deck. $10/adults; $6/children. You’ll want to call ahead to make sure it’s open and learn any current restrictions. 
Meal Idea: Dig out an old cookbook or try some of these popular recipes from the 1920s.
Learn More: On this day in 1929, composer John Sousa wrote and performed the Foshay March in honor of the grand opening of the tallest building in Minnesota.

We find many of our calendar ideas on National Day Calendar. If you don’t like one of our ideas, they have several holiday options for every day of the year. Choose some of your own to create your own special family memories. Much of our Minnesota History comes from’s This Day In Minnesota Page.

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