In Minnesota, family fun outdoors means embracing all four seasons. If you are on this page because you are 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 of things to do with kids in the Twin Cities through our Family Directory, including family outings, services, classes, camps, birthday parties and more.
Family Fun Directory of Things To Do with Kids:
The Saint Paul Public Library ("SPPL") has 13 library locations, a bookmobile, and 2 early learning centers. All library locations feature children's play areas, children's specialists, and collections to stimulate your child's growing mind. The mission of SPPL is to connect people in Saint Paul with the imperative and the joy of learning through a lifetime by facilitating free access to technology, books, movies, music, classes and more.
Saint Paul Public Library - Fine Free
The library announced discontinued late fees in 2019. However, books that are more than 35 days overdue will be considered lost and the patron will be billed for the lost book. If returned after 35 days, the bill will be cleared from your account, minus a $10 collection fee. So you still need to return books in a somewhat timely fashion. But Yay! This is a win for parents all over Saint Paul!
Storytimes at Saint Paul Public Library Locations
Storytimes at SPPL branches use stories, songs, puppets, and more prepare children for reading success and to help parents find new techniques to do the same. The various branches offer storytimes in a variety of languages, including Somali, Amharic, Spanish, Karen, and Hmong. Find the Storytime calendar here or download a monthly Early Learning Calendar, which features all the Play & Learn events each month. This is a great way to see everything at a glance and plan your visits.
Summer Reading Programs at Saint Paul Public Library
Look for summer reading programs each summer, beginning in early June through the end of August. The program uses various activities to encourage kids to have fun, stay active, and keep learning all summer long. Look for free in-library programs, reading challenges and activity challenges. Kids can earn prizes, such as books and memberships to the Science Museum and the Children's Museum, along the way.
Saint Paul Public Library E-Card
There have been times in my parenting life when library visits and the care of borrowed items was more than I could handle. Now, for St. Paul families who feel this way, there is a solution. SPPL offers the e-card. You do still need to be a St. Paul resident to get this card, but it gives the user access to all of SPPL's electronic resources including e-books, music downloads, digital magazines and online tutorials. It does not require a visit to the library to sign up, but when you do visit a branch, it can be converted to a full-service card at any time by showing a current photo ID. If you already have a SPPL library card, you already have access to all of these digital resources.
Help Your Kids Choose The Next Book with NoveList K-8
NoveList K-8 is an online resource that helps kids find a book based on their interests. It has suggestions for both fiction and nonfiction and can be sorted by topic, genre, grade level, and Lexile score. You can also enter a title of a book they enjoyed and get "read-alike" suggestions. This tool can be accessed with your library card.
Join the Beanstack Reading Program With Saint Paul Public Library
Beanstack is a program made for libraries to help connect patrons to reading. Participate in the Beanstack reading programs to earn incentives and discover great books. Begin by registering and earning your first badge. Then your children can log their reading and activities to get more online badges and earn a Certificate of Completion. During the summer months, enroll in our Summer Spark program on Beanstack for more reading fun.
Access BookFlix Through Saint Paul Public Library
BookFlix is an online literacy resource that pairs classic video storybooks with related nonfiction. It helps kids improve reading skills and develop real-world knowledge and understanding. Best for ages 4-8. I find these to be a nice alternative to TV. Learn more about accessing this resource with your library card here.
The Nature Smart Library Initiative
This new program provides resources, programming, and access for youth to interact with nature in their neighborhoods. The program began at Sun Ray Library in 2013, but in 2017 3 more branches joined the program. Participating locations are Hamline Midway, Riverview, Saint Anthony Park, and Sun Ray.
These four libraries will offer Nature Smart backpacks to check out. The backpacks include both books and activities on selected nature themes, like monarchs, trees, and birds. Each of these libraries also has an outdoor space or garden where the backpacks can be used.
13 Saint Paul Public Library Branches
- Arlington Hills
- Dayton's Bluff
- George Latimer Central Library
- Hamline Midway
- Hayden Heights
- Highland Park
- Merriam Park Library
- Rice Street
- Saint Anthony Park
- Sun Ray
- West 7th
There is also a Bookmobile and two Debra S. Fish Early Learning locations - one in St. Paul in one in Minneapolis.
- Summer Reading Programs
- Bookflix – A New Way to Read Together
- Twin Cities Storytimes
- 101 Twin Cities Libraries - Mapped
What is the Family Fun Twin Directory?
This is the most extensive collection of companies, organizations, activities and places to find things to do with kids in the Twin Cities. Find things to do this weekend, things to do today, things to do with toddlers, things to do with teens. We have it all. Sort by indoor things to do with kids or outdoor things to do with kids. Find theater, music, water parks, aquariums, zoos, museums, seasonal fun.
Find the Answers to Your Questions. How much does it cost? What are the hours? Where can I find discount tickets? Where did my favorite store go?
We share Family Friendly Businesses. We work hard to keep it the most current and accurate parenting resource in the Twin Cities. Not just a blog for moms, we are a informational resource for families. This parent to parent list is perfect for dads, moms and grandparents to find fun things to do with kids year round.
This directory was made for families who live in the Twin Cities metro to connect with local businesses. However, visitors to the Minneapolis/St. Paul area will find our directory useful to learn more about venues with insider tips and details. Use this directory to find the best things to do with families in Minnesota's largest metropolitan area.
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