Family Fun: Kids at the Castle at American Swedish Institute

This is exactly how my kids refer to the American Swedish Institute: “Going to play in the castle!” And while on the facade it’s more imposing stone fortress than Disney fantasy, this castle has got plenty for children to enjoy.

Kids at the Castle at American Swedish Institute

Such as the aptly-named Kids at the Castle program. Hosted the third Friday of each month and select Saturdays, the program is aimed at kids ages 2-5 and involves simple activities that typically tie into ASI’s current exhibitions.  I was pleasantly surprised the day I visited that the program, which is held before the museum opens to the public, also included a structured circle time with music and movement, and a themed storytime.

After the event, we were free to explore the nooks and crannies of the Turnblad Mansion. On the don’t-miss list for families with kids:

  • Kids at the Castle at American Swedish InstituteAn interactive, family-friendly room is tucked away in the turrets of the castle. It is typically stocked with imaginative playthings and picture books that tie into the current exhibit.  Click here for the latest so you’ll know what to expect when you tour.
  • ASI’s Outdoor Playcart – props for outdoor play and discovery on the lawn. Pack a lunch to bring along and eat outside while the kids play or purchase food from the FIKA cafe.
  • Find Tomte’s mailbox and write the Swedish Christmas elf a letter.
  • Consider purchasing the special children’s tour booklet, available in the gift shop, to make the most of your visit.


Location: American Swedish Institute
2600 Park Avenue Minneapolis, 55407

Next Kids at the Castle: 3rd Friday of the month and select Saturdays through 2017, 9-10am

Cost: $8/family

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