In Minnesota, family fun outdoors means embracing all four seasons. If you are on this page looking for a new Twin Cities-area park, playground or nature center to explore, hundreds of entries can be found through our Parks & Playgrounds Search feature.
Or, continue searching hundreds more ideas for family outings and services in the Twin Cities through our Family Directory.
The American Swedish Institute strives to be welcoming and fun for families. They encourage visitors of all ages to explore traditions, immigration, handcraft and art. The third Friday of every month, the museum offers Kids at the Castle, when families can come explore and play from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. for $8/family. Families are invited to spend the rest of the day at ASI! Their Kids at the Castle sticker is their admission for the day. Explore the changing exhibits and Turnblad Mansion, Have fun in the family gallery, eat at FIKA, run around outside and play!
Current and Upcoming Exhibits at the American Swedish Institute
ASI Family Gallery: Tom's Christmas Fish
November 10, 2018 – January 13, 2019
New in the ASI’s imaginative and interactive Family Gallery, is a seasonal exhibition inspired by Tom’s Christmas Fish, a children’s book by Swedish mother and daughter duo, author Rita Törnqvist-Verschuur and illustrator Marit Törnqvist. Children and their important adults can play and pretend to be a baker, fishmonger or artist in a Christmas market booth.
American Swedish Institute's Family Features:
- Strollers are generally welcome. However, the historic Turnblad Mansion has some tight spaces. A small stroller may be best, and the museum reserves the right to restrict stroller use in special exhibition galleries for the protection of the loaned items and because of the higher volume of visitors in those spaces.
- Family restrooms and changing stations are available. They are located on both the first and second floors of the Nelson Cultural Center and the Lower Level of the Turnblad Mansion.
- Food and drink are not permitted in Turnblad Mansion or the Osher Gallery.
- Family Friendly Meals Are Offered at the Cafe. If you would like, you can dine outside while the kids can explore the Outdoor Playcart.
- Outdoor Playcart. The ASI offers outdoor spaces as well as indoor galleries. The outdoor playcart offers a rotating supply of fun things to play with while exploring outside, such as binoculars, magnifying glasses; scarves, ribbons, hula hoops, tree blocks; and kubb games. Outdoor Playcart Season runs April-September (weather permitting)!
- There is a Family Gallery and Guides. Turnblad Mansion's Third Floor Family Gallery has rotating installations and an interactive play area that encourages visitors to play, touch, read and learn! This is a good place to start as the topics change with the gallery exhibits and kids can get a child-centered perspective before venturing into an adult-oriented exhibit.
- Write to Tomte. Turnblad Mansion's Tomte has a mailbox on the third floor. Visitors are encouraged to write him a note or ask him a question.
Families looking for things to do together can check out American Swedish Institute's Youth and Family Programming, which is extensive, varied, fun and welcoming to kids of all skill levels and backgrounds and their grownups. The ASI's eclectic range of creative activities and offerings for families includes the Youth Slöjd (Craft) workshops, extended school year class sessions, and På Gang, a Sunday afternoon Swedish class/social club for teens.
Birthday Parties at American Swedish Institute
- $200 members / $225 non-members. Groups of 10 kids / 4 adults.
- $225 members / $250 non-members. Groups of 11-15 kids / 6 adults.
- Kids At The Castle
- Julmarknad: Experience the Magical Holiday Traditions Of Sweden at ASI
- Meet Ulla the Baker (Past Exhibit)
- Cows Can Dream (Past Exhibit)
- Family Fun: Kids at the Castle at ASI
- Got Preschoolers? 10 Twin Cities Spots to Entertain & Educate